by Barabule Cuterescu
Editor’s Note: The entirety of this short story is fiction and meant for entertainment purposes only.
God is alone, but the devil, he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.
–Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time. I put it off because I’ve generally got better things to do than write in English for the dogshit Americans who still think they rule the world. But since some of them are my friends, and I love them very much, I will proceed to tell you the true story of how two anarchist degenerates made the US Empire swallow its own tail.
Before I really get going, you need to know a few things about where I’m writing this. First, it’s an anarchist commune disguised as a peasant farm. Second, it’s in the bleak Moldova region of Romania. Third, it’s the summer of 2021, and hot as shit. I can barely even think, let alone type this bullshit. It’s 32 degrees outside, or 90 degrees for you cretins, but that’s only because the clouds are blocking the sun. As I sit here, smoking a cigarette, staring out the window, I know what’s coming, and so do all the peasants. A cold front suddenly blows in, followed by a massive downpour of hail, or grindină as we call it. Shortly after it begins to ravage our crops, the military starts shooting explosive mortars into the air, hoping to melt the hail before it can land. I’m dead serious.
To call it a war against nature isn’t an understatement or an overstatement, it’s something that happens every summer in the wastelands of Moldova. This barrage of mortars is all coordinated from a shitty little building in the capital Bucharest. Its walls are covered in graffiti, people wait for the bus outside its crummy doors, and the poor, miserable workers of the National Anti-Hail and Precipitation Growth System smoke cigarettes on the crumbling Ministry of Agriculture balcony, probably counting how many mortars they needed to explode in order to buy another shipment from the ex-communist arms manufacturer, which is pretty much what this is all about. So far this year, they’ve fired over 600 explosive mortars into the air, and all us peasants are good at telling the difference between military explosives and thunder, which usually go together in our fucked up little world.
They’re really going at it right now, shooting mortar after mortar, determined to melt some of this endless hail. These aren’t tiny little rockets, by the way. People used them in the Transnistria War when they didn’t have any other weapons. Deadly enough, from what I hear. Not that you even know what the fucking Transnistria War is. Why would you? It’s not like your country precipitated the conflict or anything.
Basically, your former President, ex-CIA scumbag GHW Bush, green-lit a coup-attempt in Moscow, and in the build-up to this infamous event, the army of newly-Westernized Moldova decided it would claim the strip of land east of the Dniester River using arms generously donated by newly-Westernized Romania. According to their vision, all of Moldova would be incorporated into Romania and become a shiny new post-communist state. No one in Transnistria wanted this, so they teamed up with the Red Army (still in existence then) and began a dirty little war that lasted from 1990 to 1992. Like I said, they used weather mortars in this conflict, being that desperate to defeat the West, and hundreds of people died on both sides.
Meanwhile, in the middle of that, your skull-faced, coke-running President backed a coup-attempt in Moscow to oust evil Gorbechev and install lily-white Yeltsin, something which was ultimately successful. The USSR had collapsed and become the Russian Federation while the war raged on in little Transnistria. Russia was still committed to the secessionist side and helped broker a cease-fire that’s in effect today. Not only is Transnistria unrecognized by Moldova and the alleged international community, it’s also protected by 1,500 Russian soldiers. They’re at the border right now, a bunch of little green men guarding a tiny strip of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine. My friends and I used to go visit this weird non-country where we experienced the pure Soviet vibes which still reign along the east bank of the Dniester River, a land caught in time and exploited by oligarchs where it’s easy to start believing in alternate realities.
From where I am right now, in my hail-ravaged Moldovan commune, it’s a three hours drive to reach Tiraspol, non-capitol of the non-place called Transnistria, though most of that time is eaten up by the hard border checkpoints, one between Romania and Moldova, the other between Moldova and itself, allegedly. Moldova is still too corrupt for the EU, which is saying a lot, and the country’s corrupt politicians can’t seem to figure out if they want to ally with the corrupt Russian Federation or the corrupt EU. All this basically means there’s a hard-border between Moldova and Romania, cutting the greater Moldova region in half (minus Transnistria, of course).
As you may or may not know, I grew up on the western side of this hard border in the part of Romania everyone calls Moldova. If I were to travel further west to the Hungarian border, you’d think I’d just cruise right on through, being an EU citizen of an EU member state called Romania. Nope! Wrong! Turns out that Romania is still too corrupt for the EUs Schengen free travel area, so I’m just going to go out on a limb and say the hard-border will be around for a while, at least until I finish this article. The moment us dirty Romanians can get in our fourth-hand cars and drive to Paris without a border checkpoint, untold amounts of chaos will transpire. Count on it.
Though I haven’t done it in a while, I’m very fond of leaving Romania for years at a time. For the moment, I’m very content on our anarchist commune, aside from the occasional rocket landing in our corn fields. I’m serious, sometimes these anti-hail rockets don’t explode in the air and fall to earth where they sit for a month. That’s how long it takes the Ministry of Agriculture to come diffuse their bombs. Anyway, that’s all beside the point. What I meant to say was I’m very fond of leaving Romania behind, and the whole purpose of this article is to tell you what happened to me when I traveled to the United States in the late fall of 2008. Those events still haunt me now, as the rockets explode inside hail-pregnant storm clouds.
As you can see, I take a while to get to the point, but trust me, this one will be worth it. I’m going to keep it short from now on, so here I will establish the tempo. Ready? I was accepted into UC Atom-Bomb before I ever set foot on US soil. They probably thought they’d snared some dumb hick Romanian who they could recruit into the CIA to spy on Moldova or some shit. I got a full ride from these fucks, and luckily I didn’t have a criminal record, which was nice, because I’m a lifelong criminal. The thing was, no one in the US knew that, and I wasn’t trying to make waves, at least not at first. Luckily for my immigration status, a friend’s cousin found me a room in West Oakland, a neighborhood that was pretty close to UC Atom-Bomb (hereafter referred to as UCAB), and I was able to move in without signing a lease. It was what you’d call a punk house.
I didn’t start classes at UCAB until the summer of 2009, so I spent a lot of time walking around and hanging out with the low-life creeps who I shared a house with. They weren’t all bad, it’s just that most were plain old dumbshit imperialist Americans, the kind I’d always heard about. A lot of them were shitty men who left their stupid Vice magazines in the bathroom. I picked up one when I was taking a shit and saw horrible racist captions inside about black people and watermelons, so once I’d wiped my ass I stormed out and asked which Nazi fuck was reading this fascist garbage. Keep in mind, this was when boot-licking colonial cos-player Gavin McInnes openly ran the magazine, and even then, these worthless American punks were defending that shit.
One of the guys in the house was alright, only he went to jail, probably because he was actually cool and the US is a nightmare police state. His girlfriend stuck around, and one day I was making dinner with her when this guy dressed all in black and smelling like wood smoke walked inside. Little did I know that I’d know this fool for the rest of my life. He apologized for interrupting and then immediately disappeared. I tried to tell him it was fine but he was already gone. Turned out he was staying with one of the scumfuck losers downstairs, only I never saw him hanging out with those guys, ever. I didn’t know what he was doing, but he would appear in our upstairs collective kitchen to cook and eventually I realized he was alright. Then I realized he was an anarchist, just like me. Then I realized he wasn’t a colonizing imperialist swine like all the other men in this house. In fact, he was totally out of his mind, so I immediately liked him.
He claimed to have just come from Washington State where he and others had turned shit upside down, starting with blocking tanks from shipping to Iraq in 2007 and organizing demos against ICE detention centers. I’d learned about all these things before, being an avid reader of Indymedia websites, and back in those days, Seattle IMC, Portland IMC, and Indybay were popping with communiques about this and that. Pretty exciting times, given I’d previously been led to believe (probably by Crimethinc.) that 9/11 destroyed all active resistance before morphing into the Green Scare which allowed countless secretly-rich scene kids to act like they’d burned down the Vail ski resort for the second time, or something like that.
Anyway, back to this guy I met in the Oakland punk house (who will be named Werther). He was bound up in all this action and definitely warned me against ever calling him or emailing him directly. That’s how hot the guy thought he was, only I never asked for his info. Either way, he lived in a place called Olympia and it sounded pretty exciting so he gave me a tiny slip of paper with an address before hitchhiking back up north. Yes, he literally hitch-hiked. Do people still do that in the US? Or is that destroyed too?
I went to visit Werther a month later. I can’t really tell you what we did up in Olympia those last months of 2008, but it was nice. I learned a lot and came back to Oakland in December, a few days before the Greek Insurrection kicked off. A month after that, the BART police murdered Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale train station. I went out onto the streets after that and saw revolt burst through the eyes of hundreds of people. I never imagined the US would be like this: cars burning, stupid mayors being shouted down, people looting what they couldn’t afford. It was beautiful, and I was truly blessed to be part of this history.
I went back up to Olympia to see Werther a few more times, only the vibes had started to change. Something dark had crept in. People weren’t as trusting, nor were they trustworthy, and Werther was getting more and more paranoid. During my third visit in 2009, I realized he wasn’t totally insane when a spy from the US Army was revealed to have infiltrated his scenes. Werther didn’t want me to go, but I had to get out of there. It wasn’t safe to be that openly associated with these people, especially given that I still wanted the CIA to try and recruit me at UCAB. Call me a piece of shit if you want, but I wanted my free ride at UCAB and didn’t want to be deported just yet, so I spent the rest of 2009 reading books in the punkhouse, getting ready to transform myself into a Master of the Fine Arts. Spoiler alert: I got my MFA and PhD at UCAB. Fuck the CIA.
I’ll just cut to the chase. The CIA did try and recruit me at UCAB. They never revealed themselves as such, but other international students told me they’d gotten similar offers from unnamed fiscal sponsors. It was just something we all had to deal with, especially the Persians, who I felt sorry for, given the CIA relentlessly stalks them across campus every day, even going so far as to watch them sleep. I’m serious. A lot of the times they just need international students to take a GPS ball to every hospital in some rural district of Iran and click the button, marking the sites as critical infrastructure. Obviously, they try to get these internationals to do more risky shit, which no one should ever do. By the way, being offered a job by the CIA doesn’t exactly make one feel under the radar, not at all, so unfortunately I had to become an art hipster until about 2011, when the real nice shit kicked off with Occupy Oakland. That’s when I saw Werther again.
I didn’t think the CIA would mind me poking my head in, given that CIA Director Petraeus needed an organic US rebellion to go along with the alleged Arab Spring (specifically the events in Libya and Syria), and while I was out there kicking cops on the street, I saw several sketchy long-term UCAB students leading people around with hip clothes and bullhorns. See what I mean about haunted? Keep reading this cursed document if you want, but I promise, this all just gets worse and worse, and you probably have no idea where this is going, though some of you just might.
Let’s just focus on Russia Today (RT). Back then, during Occupy Oakland, the cops would ruthlessly beat and teargas people. Afterward, the local media would not only refuse to air any of this footage, they repeated police lies verbatim. Once this occurred, RT usually swooped in with purchased footage that showed what actually happened, uncut. This operation, simple and effective, was enough to make RT a trustworthy news-source among people who distrusted the US government. These people then began earnestly listening to RTs talk-shows, not just watching the uncut Ruptly footage. This core of US viewers that RT generated during the Occupy Movement partially morphed into the same core that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me rewind to just before Occupy Oakland kicked off.
I moved out of the punk house into a tiny little shack in a friend’s backyard that had it’s own side entrance and patio. I paid my friend $100 dollars a month and lived there from 2010 until 2018. I also married my friend, legally, and because of that, I could take out a bunch of loans which I had no intention or repaying, given we’d we divorce before I left the country. That’s how I ended up with the small fortune that funded this anarchist commune in Moldova, the one where I’m now writing to you.
Back then, I was surely living the high life, although I did yearn to scream in the faces of all the gallery girls, poetry hipsters, loft-living heiresses, creepy professors, narcissistic careerists, and all the other American scumbags who I was forced to interact with as a Master of the Fine Arts. It was quite a relief when Occupy Oakland kicked off and I was able to punch cops in the face, smash up banks, light fires in street, paint all over Burger King, and do my best not to get shot with a tear-gas canister like poor Scott Olsen, my former neighbor. He was the military veteran who suffered serious physical trauma from this attack, triggering the so-called General Strike which was really just a march and some smashy-smashy.
I found Werther in the middle of all this action and over the next months, we watched the stupid Americans destroy what little chance they had at a real uprising. I swear, if anyone from UCAB starts leading you around, just stop. Werther and I wouldn’t stand for it. We made a vow to keep the rebellion going, a real one, but then Werther did what he does best. He vanished for a year. When he came back from wherever it was he gets his terrorist training, our promise was still in full effect, and both of us launched ourselves into building squats, attacking the new tech yuppies infiltrating everywhere, smashing Google buses, vandalizing condos, and all that other stuff we actually didn’t do because I’m just trying to impress my girlfriend.
By 2014, we’d done our best, each in our own way. I had to be far more secretive and could never reveal I knew Werther, to anyone. He needed to be crazy, sorrowful young Werther, while I needed to remain Barabule, the contemptible art hipster. I’d already become an alleged Master of the Fine Arts and was now on my way to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy. A scum-fuck yuppie like me would never associate with someone like Werther, a guy on the actual terrorist watchlist. I felt worried for him all the time because he was too crazy to notice how close to the edge he was, but I guess he knew how to use his imperial privilege, something I never could with my shitty little green card. More power to him, I thought, and then the Ferguson Uprising popped off in Oakland, lasting for over three weeks.
We tore it up, all of us, and it was a real uprising. Everything changed after that. Repression came down from every direction and by 2015 poor, sorrowful young Werther had lost his squat and decided to go live alone in a cabin in the part of Washington State where they filmed Twin Peaks. He was defeated, debilitated, abject, and I didn’t want him to be alone. I told my UCAB advisor I was taking a long sabbatical to finish my dissertation and followed Werther into the haunted woods where my story gets really dark and scary.
On the drive up there, all the forests seemed to be burning and the sky was choked through with black smoke. Little did I know that the summer of 2015 would mark the beginning of our current ecological crisis. After making it through the fires in California and Oregon, I arrived in Seattle and then followed Werther into the woods just as the fires began in Washington. Werther lived on one side of Tiger Mountain, I lived on the other, and together we plotted our revenge against the American pig dogs who still thought the entire world belonged to them. During our first days in that forest, the sky was brown from wood smoke, the sun an ominous red disk.
Back in 2008, when I first arrived in Olympia, I happened to find myself in one of those punk houses painted all black. The entire household was sprawled out in the living room like some fucked up incestuous family, all watching an old show called Twin Peaks. They were on a binge marathon and I had nothing better to do. It was nasty and snowy outside, rare apparently, so I took off my stinky jacket and boots and spent the next two days watching some really fucked up shit that informed my early impressions of your disgusting country.
Long story short, it’s about a white woman named Laura Palmer who is raped and killed by her father. Meanwhile, the viewer slowly learns the entire town of Twin Peaks either turns a blind eye or covers it up or is too wrapped in their American kitsch to notice the horror transpiring outside their window. In the plot, a demon named Bob is responsible for most of the evil that infects the town, but not all of it. The rest of it comes from the townspeople themselves. The real shitty part is that the main characters are FBI and cops, and it’s even worse than that. My favorite character was Special Agent Dale Cooper.
I emerged from that Olympia black house craving donuts, pie, and coffee, a sure sign I’d been hypnotized by some sophisticated pro-police propaganda dreamed up in an MKULTRA laboratory. All the main characters in Twin Peaks are obsessed with donuts, pie, and coffee, most of them cops, and once I’d worked that weed-fueled craving from my gut, I promptly forgot about the existence of Twin Peaks for a total of seven years, having no desire to revisit such a brutal series of VHS tapes (which some American pig dogs still watched in 2008).
I didn’t really think about it again until 2015 when I met young Werther for coffee in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle. Down the street was a restaurant called Lost Lake, owned by some local rapist, and when I peeped inside its windows, I saw a facsimile reproduction of the restaurant in Twin Peaks, a fictional place call the RR Diner. Later that same day, we drove to our anarchist wood squats but stopped in a nearby town first, a place called North Bend, and it was here I learned the RR Diner was real, only Werther told me not to go there. He said it was terrible.
Werther had been the given the keys to two cabins over the ridge from North Bend. Both of them were at the base of Tiger Mountain and we parked our car in the driveway of an American libertarian before hiking in to our new homes. As I’d learned, the US is the only country where libertarian doesn’t mean anarchist, only this guy was different. He knew exactly what we were doing and supported us 100%, especially because we paid no rent, no taxes, and lived closer to his dream than he ever dared. Sure, he was a dumb fucking white man, but after you learn what happened to us, you’ll realize this guy was alright.
My cabin floor was 12×12 feet with a slightly smaller loft above. It had a wood-stove, a propane cooking set-up, firewood, solar panels, batteries, a rudimentary sink, a big table, a little couch, a nice bed. In short, it was a true paradise, especially with the massive, primordial forest outside my window, a giant green beast pulsing with life. Werther spent the night on the couch and in the morning we hiked a mile to his cabin, located near the edge of a town called Preston. Unlike mine, his cabin was situated directly along the river, and I joined him in drinking this pure alpine snow-melt. This is where we got our water. Not once did we ever get sick. True story.
I guess this is just what certain anarchists do when they’ve had enough. They build these little cabins, then they’ve had enough of that, then they leave, then another anarchist comes along who wants to live in the woods, then they leave, so on and so forth, etc. It’s one of the ten best things about the US, and there’s really not much. My cabin was the most isolated, which I wanted, and young Werther’s was closer to civ, as we called it. Because of that, my poor friend experienced the brunt of the outside world.
We both lived our own lives for the next year, me working on my dissertation, Werther doing god knows what. The only thing I know for sure is he went into Seattle every weekend to go volunteer at Left Bank Books, mostly to stay up to date on our precarious US rebellion. He told me a lot of strange things about the metropolis every Monday, when he’d stop by for coffee, and I’ll try to list the important ones: the ex-SYRIZA boot-licker crowd was transitioning into gym bros, most of the Seattle anarchists were basically just syndicalists who fetishized their working class identity, the city was rapidly gentrifying, the number of homeless camps was multiplying, and generally few people had any clear direction that summer of 2015.
I rarely went to the city, finding it insufferable, and I hid out with my books among massive red cedars, Douglas firs, and sweet-smelling alder trees, all growing up from a bed of ferns and moss almost neon in its brightness. My dissertation was on the international radical links between Russia and California, mainly through the port of San Francisco, but only from the years 1871 to 1919. I read dozens of books, wrote hundreds of pages, and paced for miles inside my wonderful cabin, alone for days at a time. My only company was Werther, who came by every odd morning to compare notes with his project, a work of history about the anarchist movement in San Francisco during the late-Victorian/post-Victorian period. He claimed to be writing this massive work but I never saw a page of it, even though it was all he talked about. When I finally made it back to his cabin for a visit, I saw that he wasn’t just writing a history, he was helping to write a pulp mystery novel. When I asked him what it was about, that’s when everything went sideways.
He claimed to be in contact with several people who’d explained to him how the population had been studied through their smartphones since 2008, a practice which had morphed into outright psychological manipulation by 2015, and I mean mass-manipulation. Anarchists have been writing about this shit forever, at least since Jean Weir and Alfredo Bonanno released instructions on how to sabotage an entire computer complex, back when they took up whole buildings. If only those crazy Italians would have known how correct they were.
They warned us to destroy it before it was too late, and by the summer of 2015, it was definitely too late. Everyone was being swayed to and fro by the algorithms which were crafted by the ruling neo-liberal elite and designed to replicate their world, only no one really cared or noticed. Because of this, the ruling elite was growing arrogant, something that was driving Werther mad. According to him, that’s what his mystery novel was about, although I shouldn’t say his. It was theirs, whoever they were.
Sorrowful young Werther had a lot of company in the woods, besides me off course. His friends would come stay a few nights, he’d dog-sit for them while they worked in Seattle, that kind of thing. He even had some friend from Snoqualmie, back in the real life Twin Peaks, though I never met her and she could hardly imagine I existed. I wanted to ask what he was doing, only I didn’t. If I had, he might have thought I was interested in him, or something like that. I probably did call her the townie though, so maybe I was a bit jealous, given he was my only real friend for a thousand miles. Either way, he was mingling out there in Twin Peaks, so I decided to try my luck.
One morning, I packed lunch and went on a two hour hike through the forest until I’d arrived at the outskirts of Snoqualmie, the other half of fictional Twin Peak where the famous waterfall from its credits are located. I struggled to find the center of this little town and all I could see were horrible suburban houses built into clear-cut forest. I must have walked for another hour through this hellscape when I finally reached the old part of town and made my way to Snoqualmie Falls. It’s truly breathtaking, and I got as close to the water as I could, along with the other brave tourists who probably also watched Twin Peaks.
I felt kind of dumb and basic after that, wanting to see something just because it was on TV, so I walked back into the old part of town and found out Snoqualmie had a fucking casino! Keep in mind, I’m Romanian, so once I learned this place was run by the Snoqualmie tribe, I caught the first city bus down the road, ready to sip free drinks and play blackjack. To my surprise and horror, the bus took me back through old Snoqualmie, back through the evil suburban hellscape it took me an hour to walk through, and then made a stop at the hospital, near the start of my trailhead that led back to the cabin. Because of this miracle, I realized Snoqualmie was well within my grasp, and right on cue, my buses next stop was the glorious Snoqualmie Casino.
I’m not going to lie, I went wild that night, won several hundred dollars, got wasted, and ended up in a room with a person. In the morning, I remembered this person was Russian. We got breakfast downstairs where I learned my new buddy had friends, also staying in the hotel. We all ate together and spoke in Russian, a language I know well. In the middle of this, one of them asked me what part of Russia I was from, and that’s when I realized I must have pretended to be Russian all night, like a fucking spy. I broke the sad truth that I was in fact Romanian, and for some reason, all of them began staring at me in awe. By the end of our breakfast, I learned they were doing sociological research for some academic institution in Saint Petersburg, only they were being vague about it, so I kissed my new friend goodbye and never saw those Russians again. I’m telling you this detail for a reason, so please don’t forget. It’ll all make sense at the end.
Encountering Russians in the Seattle area isn’t that big of a deal, given they’re everywhere. Did you know that in certain years, the majority of prisoners in the Tacoma ICE detention center are Russian immigrants? Did you know that the Russian mafia is moderately to pretty big in Western Washington State? I’m not going to get killed for saying this, because everyone knows it up there. All this to say, I didn’t think anything odd about partying with a Russian and then meeting some more Russians at a casino in the woods. It just felt like part of the scenery. Werther didn’t think much of it either, being preoccupied with something called vengeance, and once he laughed at my Snoqualmie adventure, he let me know just what he meant.
Werther believed the ruling elite was trying to engender pro-war feelings among the populace in preparation for a ground invasion of Syria. He didn’t just believe, he knew, something Werther always did. Not only did he know that, he claimed the ruling elite were trying to take control of the discourse following the 2014 uprising, mainly through digital media, and from what he could tell, it was working. The only thing that could stop them were a series of public revelations of how this system truly functioned. Werther was obsessed with encoding this into a mystery novel and then getting it into jails and prisons where potential rebels could read it and gather a holistic picture of the current techno-industrial surveillance apparatus. I told him a mystery novel wasn’t enough, and he agreed, but at least it was a start.
Summer turned to fall, both of us spent more time together, and when the gray rains arrived, blotting out our sunshine, we spent many nights by the stove talking for hours, scheming, plotting, making plans which we actually carried out. Neither of us were paying much attention to Donald Trump, who’d announced his candidacy that June, but we were concerned with how the US anarchist movement had neglected small towns like the one Werther and I were living near. Every time he went to Seattle, he told his friends they should leave the city, stop paying rent, build woodsquats, and get active in these rural areas before the fascists took them over.
No one listened to him, of course, given he was crazy, sorrowful young Werther, and eventually he gave up. Neither of us joined the half-assed liberal bullshit Seattle was calling a movement in 2015, and we watched from afar as the ruling elite tranquilized the populace with smartphones and work regimes. Little did they know that those same smartphones would soon tear the wretched, miserable, and depraved United States into two putrid halves, one just as grotesque as the other. But you already know that, given that you’re likely living in that same hellhole.
My long-term partner contacted me that fall and insisted I come stay with her in Paris for a month. She had the keys to our mutual friend’s apartment with its luxurious claw-footed bathtub. I hadn’t had a real bath or shower since my stay at the Snoqualmie Casino, so I succumbed to the pressure and booked a flight to Paris from SEA-TAC international airport. Werther was sad to see me go, even if only for a month, but at least he knew why I was going. The COP 21 was going to happen in Paris at the end of November, and every psycho anarchist from across Europe was going to be there to make sure the earth-destroyers knew we were coming for them. I couldn’t wait.
Imagine my horror when I was sitting in the claw-footed bathtub, reading a funny book, when all of a sudden I hear non-stop automatic gunfire, minute after minute. Yes, it was the daesh attack of 2015, an event that triggered a state of emergency where all protests were banned. I still went out on the street with hundreds of others and we fought the police and trashed as much shit as we could but it wasn’t the glorious green-anarchist siege of Paris I’d been promised. I knew those daesh monsters hadn’t done this alone. Something darker was at work here, and I returned to Seattle haunted by the bleak future we were all walking into.
Werner was enraged when I got back, fuming over what happened in Paris, thinking I’d been killed until I managed to send him an email right before my plane left. Neither of us were big on constant contact in this age of digital surveillance, and these are the consequences. He stayed in my cabin a couple days, we went on hikes, and within a week we’d returned to our normal routine. I’d go with him in the car sometimes for grocery runs, and when I did I saw the real conditions of the rural, conservative United States.
Contractors with immaculate trucks owned giant McMansions while their workers lived in trailers, mobile home parks, and even their cars. Drug addiction, mainly meth and heroin, were just as bad as in the city, but over those winter months, I realized everyone who fucked up out here in the sticks ended up homeless in Seattle. There were a few sanctioned homeless encampments in my neck of the woods, but outside of that, homelessness wasn’t tolerated in these little towns. I never saw people begging in Snoqualmie, North Bend, or Preston, although that might have changed. In short, I learned these rural areas remain depopulated from constantly ejecting those who don’t want to pay rent, who hate working for a boss, and don’t want to fit into a suburban lifestyle.
At the same time, things were transitioning away from the conservative, Republican status quo. Microsoft had shuttle buses running to the new suburban developments in Snoqualmie, bringing hundreds of liberal, non-white residents into the cultural mix. I walked through these neighborhoods a lot, gathering the vibes, and I learned that these Microsoft techies who voted for Obama were now living next door to Romney voting SPD officers. Yeah, a shit ton of Seattle cops live out there, just so you know, and Werther verified this when he ran into one who he’d tussled with in the past.
Luckily, this encounter happened in Issaquah, over the mountain from our cabins, and crafty Werther was able to improvise a situation where this SPD officer thought he was being stalked by a crazy anarchist. Werther was always good at this type of thing, turning the table on the pigs. He was like a walking chaos machine, and the more time that passed, I realized everything he was involved in led to some law enforcement agency or other completely losing their shit, making themselves look like fools, and revealing more intelligence than they’d ever hope to gather.
As another example of how pervasive this piggish atmosphere was, a retired cop lived down the road from the American libertarian who let us use his driveway to park. When we expressed some alarm, he said the ex-cop kept to himself, like everyone else, and that was the only law around here, according to him. This suited us fine, and would have continued to, had not Trump began making speeches about evil immigrants and firing up his fascist US base. But that’s skipping ahead a bit, so let me reel it back in to the winter of 2016. February, to be exact, just over a month before the Russian state hack of the Podesta Files began.
Back then, I used to joke that we weren’t just doing historical research in our cabins, we were conducting sociological research of the wider area, and this is effectively correct, though we weren’t the only ones. Those Russians I met at the casino. Who came from that nebulous academic institution in Saint Petersburg. Yep! Bingo! They were here (legally, I might add) to survey the rural, conservative population of King County, an area they wanted to swing towards Trump. Me and Werther just wanted to spread anarchy, only we had little money, no state backing, and lived in the woods with no running water or refrigeration. It’s not like our many observations went nowhere, but neither of us dealt with state power, or wanted to for that matter, and the most we could hope for was to educate those who wanted to listen.
During one of my sociological derives, I happened to encounter a film crew in North Bend, their trucks and cameras surrounding the RR Diner, which is called Twede’s Cafe in real life. That’s when I realized they must be filming a third season of Twin Peaks, and the first stranger I accosted confirmed this for me. I was only in town to use the free library internet and eat a slice of cherry pie from the actually good bakery a few doors down from the RR. While I was sitting there munching, David Lynch walked in with some lady and then sat down next to me with their coffee. If you don’t already know, he’s the deranged boomer who directed Twin Peaks, and before I had a chance to say anything, Werther walked into the bakery and sat down beside me. I nodded my head towards the illustrious director and within a few minutes we were talking his ear off and eating cherry pie. I’m not making this up.
I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, we were clearly interrupting, but we all parted ways with a smile and I followed Werther to his destination, the other reason he was in town. For the past months, he’d been dropping of old Zig-Zag and Gord Hill propaganda at the Raging River Recovery Center, owned and operated by the Snoqualmie tribe. That day, he was delivering a nice, thick stack of glossy Colonization and Decolonization, printed illegally at Seattle University. When I walked into the center with him, the lady who ran the place greeted Werther as if she knew him and accepted his latest offering, stating clearly, these are really good for the kids. Again, this was why I liked young Werther. While I blew my money at the tribal casino that funded this addiction recovery center, Werther did his best to help uplift indigenous youth whose ancestors lived in this valley since the beginning of time. Basically, he lived distroism and spread anarchy.
The filming of Twin Peaks Season 3 continued through February, and based on the weird scenes I saw them film, I had no idea what the plot would be. Neither did anyone else, apparently, not even the actors. This level of secrecy astounded me, and one day when I was in the North Bend library with Werther, waiting for him to finish whatever terrorist communiques he was writing, I learned that David Lynch is literally a cult leader. Not only did that explain the secrecy, it made a whole layer of Hollywood suddenly make sense to me, your peasant narrator, Barabule Cuterescu.
Katy Perry, outdated hand-maiden of cultural fascism, is a member of this cult. George Stephanopoulos, co-host of Good Morning America, is a member of this cult. Russel Simmons, founder of Def Jam, is also a member of the cult, which goes by the elongated title the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, or DLF (Dude, I’d Like To Fuck). They aren’t as wild as the Rajneeshee cultists in Oregon, which sucks, because at least they armed themselves against the state. DLF went the other direction, offering PTSD treatment for soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, partnering with the Army itself in a program designed to make imperialist war have no consequences. Even back then, this cult was intertwined with the neo-liberal mainstream at a time when it reigned supreme (and largely unchallenged).
I was creeped out by Twin Peaks Season 3 after that, but I also started to get paranoid about being here precisely when it was being filmed, suspecting young Werner had brought me to the middle of the woods for some unknown purpose relating to the cult. I wasn’t exactly thrilled when he showed up at my cabin in the middle of the night soon after, nor was I happy when he said he needed to leave the country immediately and go to Canada. He wouldn’t explain why, but he needed to take the car and promised to have a friend deliver it back. He left that same night and was gone the next morning. I even went to check. The car was definitely gone. The scary, late-winter night in my cabin that followed was the biggest trust building exercise I’ve ever undergone, and I survived. I’ll always trust Werther. He never lets me down.
He left in March, just days before the Russian hack of the Podesta Files began. Neither of us knew this, we just saw the cascade of Russian troll accounts spreading memes and soaking up all the organic rifts that your contemptible US society displays publicly on social media. They were doing this on a mass-scale, having access to large data sets compiled within the US itself, some of it sold outright for profit or simply given away for free. While the NSA was busy soaking up more information than it could handle, a bunch of Russian trolls around Werther’s age (or quite younger), were causing massive chaos in the US while eating pirozhki off napkins, all from the safety of some shitty corporate building in Saint Petersburg.
For example, some anti-state communist academic nitwit might make a meme criticizing Hillary Clinton and encouraging abstention from the 2016 election. That meme might then be picked up by the Internet Research Agency, the above-mentioned Russian troll farm, and given a much wider circulation than those memes would’ve otherwise received. The academic nit-wit then believes their critique and imagery have tapped into the collective consciousness or tapped into the vein of historical time, but that’s only because their personality was studied in some room in Saint Petersburg, using the above-mentioned data sets generated in the US. This wasn’t just happening to one academic nit-wit, or academic nit-wits in general, but to all influencers across all social-media spheres. I checked the internet about twice a week at the local libraries, and all I could see was this process unfolding across social media and chatrooms. It was especially vivid after what I’d learned from Werner and almost identical to the processes that were running in 2015, guided by the neo-liberal elite and their invisible algorithms.
Being a fucking idiot, I assumed if I could see this, the US government could see this, and who’d believe these Russian accounts anyway? It was all happening in plain view, for anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account, and I watched it go from March to June. In the background, unseen, was the Russian effort to elect Donald Trump, a massive attack that would trigger the irreversible and terminal downfall of the US Empire, even if Trump lost the second term. Being the monster that I am, I truly hoped he’d get elected, if only to punish the most arrogant country on earth. I never said this aloud, of course, and I’m only telling you because it doesn’t matter anymore.
As Trump’s speeches became more racist and xenophobic, the people down the road began casting me funny looks when I drove by on grocery runs. One night, I heard a man screaming not far from my cabin, so I did what I do best and over-reacted. First I grabbed the loaded shotgun I’d borrowed from Werner and shot about six shells into the night. Then I took a quarter-stick of dynamite, a stump-remover they called it, lit the fuse, and threw it in the direction of the yelling. The explosion was immense, lighting up the entire woods for a split second, and I saw the fucker tumble down the hill, probably covered in piss, thinking he’d roused an army. I kept shooting after that, though not so much I wouldn’t have more for later. The guy was definitely gone, but I slept with a shotgun and another quarter-stick at my side, determined to blow holes in the guy if he stormed in below.
The next morning, I walked the mile down to Werther’s cabin, going slow and with the barrel pointed forward. It took me twice as long to get there, but I made it intact, only I was too stupid to comprehend what I was seeing. A massive Douglas Fir tree had fallen right beside the cabin, nearly crushing it to smithereens. Oddly, the front door was open and some of the furniture thrown outside. I walked closer and realized the tree had been sawed down, only it missed the target. Inside, the entire place was ransacked, not vandalized. They were clearly looking for something and tried to cover their tracks by crushing the cabin. Then they just got sloppy and made it look like vandalism, only none of the windows were busted out. Amateurs.
For real, though, they left an entire box of rounds for me, so I loaded them up into my bag and walked down to see the libertarian who guarded our car, hoping he was still our friend. As luck would have it, he was, because he actually hated all government. The guy was waiting on his porch, holding a gun just like me, and he quickly caught me up to speed. He’d seen some people near our car and fired his AK over their heads until they left. He heard my blast shortly after, followed by the sound of someone running through the woods, then red tail-lights disappearing down the county road. Sketchy, to say the least.
I asked if I could pitch a tent in his yard until I heard from Werner and the nice old man insisted I take his daughter’s cabin. She was still in Alaska, done with the witner crab season and now stuck on a processing boat, determined to make enough money to last a decade. I never knew she existed, but I got cozy in her room, spent the night, then drove to Issaquah to check the internet. The first thing I saw was a series of emails titled URGENT. They were all identical, sent within the last 48 hours, and I learned young Werther was stuck in a heroin hotel on East Hastings (namesake of my favorite GY!BE song). As usual, his emails were forwarded to me by a mutual friend, and it took seven hours in that library to figure out he needed to be picked up at the foot-border crossing in Blaine, about two hours away by car. He arranged to cross by bus and arrive there at 5:00 PM. Going to pick him up was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, and that’s saying a lot.
I only had a green card and was already veering dangerously close to espionage. If you want me to translate this French word to English for you, maybe consider exactly how much ignorance permeates your imbecilic culture, then wait a moment, then keep reading. Espionage, noun, is the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information. I’m an anarchist, not a spy, but I don’t think the US government would have seen it that way, not when I was picking up a suspected terrorist at the Canadian land border crossing. Because of this, I parked at the edge of town, away from the border, and studied the city bus map before posting up within sight of the crossing. Eventually, after several chilly hours, young Werther’s ragged form appeared on the streets of Blaine, and he didn’t see me until the last second. In this candid moment, I noticed he was singing the Beatles song Back in the USSR. I was sitting on a bench when he walked past me. Discretely holding a finger to my lips, I muttered out advice to take the bus to the edge of town and then go hitchhiking.
An hour later, I picked him on the onramp to Interstate 5, drove to the next exit, then took a long rural road, the name I’ll never forget: Portal. Werner got in the car with a giant duffel bag filled with books and a single back pack. His face was covered in bruises, his lips were cut, and he definitely seemed to be in shock. Once I knew we weren’t being followed, I pulled back onto the freeway and then asked him to explain what was happening. I’ll never repeat what he said, but it’s terrible, horrible beyond words, proof that dark, shadowy forces truly do exist, hiding in plain sight. As we drove south towards Bellingham, an allegedly Romanian hacker named Guccifer 2.0 announced they’d hacked the DNC, claiming sole responsibility.
When I asked Werther if the border guards beat him up, Werther claimed the bruises were from someone else, although his crossing wasn’t pleasant. He’d forked over 50 loonies to ride a bus from Vancouver, BC to Blaine. Ever since 2012, whenever he flew on a commercial plane, Werther received an SSSS mark on his boarding pass, designating him for enhanced security measures. Werther was accustomed to this treatment, having all of his bags searched, being asked pointless questions, screaming in the officers faces, being let go. As far as he or anyone knew at the time, his SSSS status only applied to airlines. Now we know that he was on the FBIs Terrorism Screening Center watch-list, but back then we didn’t, nor did anyone know what would happen when he crossed the hard land border on bus.
For some reason I cannot explain to you, Werther had been accidentally smuggled into Canada, with his passport never being scanned, given Werther had intentionally fried it. This was a red flag to me, somehow living underground in so-called British Columbia for months, but like I said, the dark forces were at work. When young Werther was forced to cross back into the US, he was told to disembark with the other bus passengers and line up for inspection. At the security kiosk, my poor friend handed over his passport, watched the guard fail to scan it, then waited as he manually typed in the passport number. Once that pig hit the enter key, red lights started flashing, Werther was surrounded by men with guns, cuffed, taken into a cinder block cell, and then sat there for an hour while his bus left, all the passenger believing they’d just witnessed a thwarted terror attack.
The joke was on the border guards, though, given all Werner had were some dirty clothes and a duffle bag filled with history books. It took them an hour until they gave up, bewildered. It was clear no one knew what was happening. No one had any questions for Werther. There were no FBI agents waiting to interrogate him, no CIA waiting to black-site him, and sorrowful young Werther hauled his 100+ history books up to my bench, singing Back in the USSR. This devil always had wit, even in the grips of trauma and shock, a state I was also stuck in, even if I was doing my best not feel it.
Having no Beatles cassettes to put into our ancient stick-shift Geo, I put in our old favorite, stolen from some Olympia scum-punk, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) by Brian Eno. By June 2016, we’d listened to it over a hundred times, bewitched by the synchronicity between the album title and the Tiger Mountain we lived under. We drove onward without speaking, listening to this bizarre album, and we’d just reached Everett when the title track came on with its haunting lyrics, we climbed and we climbed, oh, how we climbed, my, how we climbed, over the stars to top Tiger Mountain. Forcing the lines through the snow. By the end of that track, both of us were weeping together, something that never happened before.
During our stay in the woods, we’d hiked all over Tiger Mountain, including to its summit, which we climbed and climbed and then walked back home to our cabins, illegally built on its state preserve. As we drove back to Tiger Mountain in the dead of night, I realized our adventure was coming to an end, whether we wanted it to or not. The cabins were way too hot and the timing of our various disasters too sequential to be ignored, so it was only a matter of days before we packed up and went our separate ways. It had been real with Werther, as always, but I worried for him, I really did, and I’m crazy as shit. We were into some heavy shit, and it would only get wilder.
We stayed at our libertarian friends for a night and then hiked with him up to my cabin, all of us armed. No one had been there and I gathered all my research material before closing the door for the last time. We helped Werther gather his belongings, none of them missing, and then hauled everything back to the Geo where we said goodbye to perhaps the only American libertarian worth a damn. He wished it didn’t have to be this way, that the dark forces weren’t catching up to us, but they were, just as they’d soon overwhelm the entire US.
I asked Werther to do something for me before we left for Seattle. I told him to drive me to Snoqualmie Falls so I could see it with eyes unclouded by TV. On the way, I told him the origin story of the Snoqualmie tribe, one that centers on these falls.
Long ago, two tribal daughters wished they could marry the brightest stars in the sky, and one night their wish came true. Both of them were transported to the Sky Country where the stars had taken the form of Snoqualmie men. The sisters started a new life up there, and the eldest conceived a child with one of the stars.
After he was born, the sisters discovered they could leave the Sky Country by digging a tunnel straight down and dropping a cedar bough ladder. They returned to our world and celebrated with their families, although while they partied, Dog Salmon snatched the eldest daughter’s little boy and took him down river.
He grew up as a salmon until the birds told him the truth of his birth, and once he knew he was the Moon, he traveled back up the river transforming everything in his path: the animals, the plants, the landscape itself. He raised Snoqualmie Falls and told the tribe: here you will eat salmon, for they can swim no further. After that, Moon returned to Sky Country, where he still lives today.
He was up in the sky when Werther and I made the hike down to the falls and walked as close to the spray as possible. This was the source of all life for the ancient tribe, a bountiful place where the energy of creation fell from the heavens and spread across the land. It was summer, so I didn’t give a fuck. I took off my clothes and went for a swim. So did Werther.
I still don’t know who attacked our cabins that night or how it was coordinated with what happened to Werther in Canada, but it happened. On the morning of December 2, 2016, a month after Trump was elected President, an unknown car smashed into Werther’s during a rainstorm, spinning him wildly across the freeway into another car. Had logging trucks been hurtling down that Olympia stretch of Interstate 5, as they always do, Werther would have been dead. As fate would have it, he managed to get the car onto the side of the freeway just before a State Patrol appeared out of nowhere and claimed Werther had spun out his own car, was not hit from behind, and issued a ticket Werther never paid. Later that night, a thousand miles away in Oakland, two of our friends burned to death in the Ghost Ship fire. I was in town that night, smoking weed in my tiny house, and I’d already learned what happened to Werner. Once I got the call about the Ghost Ship, I knew we were being attacked, although by who wasn’t clear. I’m a paranoid person, sure, write me off all you want, but unfortunately all of this is true.
Maybe they blamed us for Hillary Clinton losing the election. Maybe they thought we had something to do with all the Russian interference. Maybe we did, just like millions of other people on Facebook and Twtiter. Maybe it was all a coincidence, but if you’ve read this far, you must realize coincidences mean something, especially in this age where algorithms are trained to find them. Life got really dark that December, but I pulled through, and so did young Werther. We went back on the offensive in this new climate, each in our own way, and in 2018 I finally received my PhD from UCAB, which was my cue to leave the country and my debts and never come back. All the academic wankers boo-hoed my decision to leave, truly believing I’d stick around in this shit-hole to be their star child of communism, their weaponized immigrant, ready to push whatever agenda was in vogue, for the right price, like all the rest of those pearl-wearing zombies.
Before I left the country, I had Werner come visit me in Oakland and we sat down on my couch and spent three days watching all of Twin Peaks Season 3. Basically, the David Lynch cult either hacked our dreams and spit them out as nightmares, or maybe we unconsciously influenced the dreams of David Lynch & Co., beaming down our thought rays from the transmitter of Tiger Mountain. Probably neither, but either way, watching that show creeped me out.
It’s about a long, cosmic war between Darkness and Light. As you can imagine, Darkness has infiltrated everywhere, including the state, with the Light barely managing to survive. At the end, our hero Dale Cooper manages to undo a knot in time and stops Laura Palmer from being killed by her father, as she was in the first season. However, just as Dale’s leading her back home, a giant female-trauma monster named Judy snatches Laura back into the Darkness, reminding the viewer that David Lynch’s artistic choices can’t be undone with a snap of the fingers, and when some depraved art hipster casually depicts femicide in 1990s, his actions will have consequences. This is the closest Lynch has ever come to critiquing himself, but it’s hidden within hours of self-indulgent bullshit and Hollywood idleness. There’s even a slow pan-down focused on his new starlet’s ass, showing the dirty old man really hasn’t changed.
Werther and I watched it mostly to see a cinematic depiction of the place we lived for a year, and you can imagine our disappointment when most of the show was shot in Nevada, North Dakota, and a bunch of obvious Los Angeles locations, like the generic Police Station No. 11 down there on York Blvd near the hipsters. Once we were finished, Werther and I shared a blunt out on my little porch and amid the silence he told me he was going to leave the country and never come back. He’d given it his all but everyone in the US was a fucking moron, and I agreed. Less than two weeks later, both of us caught the same $300 flight to Paris. Ciao, scumbags!
I guess I’m about done here. Werther didn’t stay in Europe for very long, your sick country lured him back, but thankfully the young man doesn’t regret it. All it took was one look at us dumb Romanians begging for neo-liberalism to convince him the Beast needed to be slayed in its own homeland, the United States. We keep in contact, when we can, and he’s still crazy as ever.
They just started firing rockets again out of here in my Moldovan commune, those anti-hail ones I told you about twenty pages ago. Compared to the rain, hail, lightning, and thunder above, this war against nature seems pretty one sided, and humans are obviously losing. There are much better things to do than shoot rockets at the sky, and one of our simple solutions is to iron garbage plastic into long, transparent sheets which can placed over sensitive crops without limiting their sunlight.
During the hail season, this plastic sheeting is enough to deflect most of the damage. Rather than drive far out of the village to the nearest town where expensive plastic sheets can be purchased by the roll, we’ve taught all the village women how to transform plastic trash into sheets with nothing but a clothing iron. The men in the village will at least hang the stuff over the crops when a rainstorm approaches, and this is the second year we’ve been practicing this simple, hippy solution among the conservative, religious peasants. Not saying it can stand up to a windstorm, but it’s better than an anti-hail mortar. In case you didn’t catch it twenty pages ago, these mortars are still in wide use across the former Eastern Bloc because ex-communist arms manufacturers needed to stay in business after the USSR collapsed. That’s it. That’s why our peasant skies are warzones.
If the Ministry of Agriculture isn’t careful, one of these unexploded mortars is going to kill a peasant, and then there’ll be a real war, only this one not against nature. When that day comes, you know I’ll be here, your nasty and faithful Barabule Cuterescu, anarchist until the end. By the way, the Serviciul Român de Informații, the SRI, Romania’s secret police, can consider this my formal debrief. Also, before I go, I’d just like to point out that Russia’s victory over the US would never have been complete without Joe Biden being elected. Trump was never supposed to win twice, in case that isn’t obvious. It takes two to do a polyarizatsiya, and Biden’s the second act, as it were. So there ya go. Lol.