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An exclusive rush transcript of a White House ethics course
Allan Uthman

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The BEAST's simian scribe gives us a heart to heart conversation about drugs

Pandemic Of Fear
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Today's topic: Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court

Reader Opinions
Our distinguished readers weigh in on current events

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Interview With A Charred Corpse
The BEAST chats with the seared remains of a 2004 napalm attack  on Fallujah

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by N. Sorrenti

Classic Hammer Rings Untrue For Today's Early Teens

Sheer Idiocy Scores Victory Over Evolution

THIS ISSUE: Derailed, Pride And Prejudice, Jarhead, Chicken Little, and more!

Losman to the rescue... and Yoda too!

by Andrew Gullerstein


The BEAST answers your letters

Idiot Box

Perry Bible Fellowship


Here's Looking At You, Monkey

Iím going to talk about sunglasses and how they are destroying the ignition system for sex and friendship our monkey society has depended on for millions of years.

But first I want to start with how I came to see the massive danger sunglasses pose to our society. It started when took a drug called 4-propylthio-2,5-dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylthiophenethylamine, also known as T7. Itís a drug designed by Alexander Shulgin, the father of ecstasy and author of thousands of psychoactive compounds. Ecstasy was one of Shulginís early works; it was for narcotics enthusiasts what Henry Fordís Model-T was for the auto industry: a crude first entry that by dint of its mass production became a household name. By contrast, T7 is Shulginís 485-horse power Ferrari 550 Maranello, a high-performance marvel of engineering available only to a handful of elites. Lucky me.

I took a dose of T7 with a friend right before going to a concert by a folksy, hokey band called The Gourds at a large indoor oleí fashioned wooden concert hall with a upper balcony. Just as the music started, the T7 started to hit, and hereís what happened: The sound of music slowly turned off, I stood completely still, and all I could hear was the wood creaking from the rafters, and still more creaking on the wood floor panels as the crowd danced to the music.

I started looking at the crowd, and I felt sick to my stomach. Without the sound to overwhelm my senses, what I saw was that the 400 or so people at the concert were all engaged in looking at each other for a period of a second or so before looking at the next person. Four hundred pairs of eyes constantly swiveling around looking at another set of eyes before moving to the next. Looking, looking, looking. Mix that in with the sound of wood creaking, and a crowd dancing to a six-part string band jamming out notes I couldnít hear.

Five minutes of this, and I needed out. So I went out on the sidewalk for a moment, which was a busy one at that time of nightÖ and more looking.

Kind of amazing, really. Three girls would walk past, look at me, gather the details, look at the tattooed bouncer, standing next to me and move their eyes to the couple down the street. I looked at the girls too, of course, communicated my thing, looked at the bouncer, who shared his experience of having just looked at the girls when he looked at me, and then he and I bounced that off two guys who were coming inside to watch the show. I was out there for a while, looking at the faces, them looking back at me. It wasnít so bad without the creaking sounds and absurd musical silence.

I didnít get sick of it at all, and I donít in real life either. Neither does anybody else. The T7 just helped me recognize what I do every day (donít get me wrong; I enjoyed it. T7 makes you feel like Thor). Itís a key thing to look at the monkey face as it gets near, opens the cafť door, or walks toward you on the street. Most of the time the monkey looks at you too, and the information passed in the looking sequence is vital. Youíre not really seeking eye contact, but itís usually made. Walking down the street in huge cities like New York doesnít stop the looking mechanism, despite the increase in volume of faces to stare at Ė the process just goes much faster.

We use our eyes kind of like those supermarket scanners; we stare until the monkey face registers the barcode and beeps. I donít know about you, but I can do about 40 faces every three seconds in high-traffic moments. Whatís clear is this looking mechanism is highly developed, and we share how to use it with each other as we look at each other. Attractive girls teach you how to look at them, hideous birth-marked or scarred faces teach you how not to look at them, people who might become your friends let you know that youíre OK. Sometimes a face and eyes will tell you that itís fine to stare at them and their quivering bodies, and other times they say donít dare.

Itís so viral; so easily spread. Weíve been working on the monkey barcode stare for millions of years; weíre losing our hair, losing our hunting skills, but the Looking we brought with us from the jungle is alive and well. And unlike oral tradition or weaving techniques that are invariably lost in mass genocides, it takes just one look from the victim to the face of an attacker to pass it on.

But unlike the minor stop-in-the-tracks effect of Burqas, blinders at poker games or ski goggles, the burgeoning sunglasses phenomenon is really, really fucking with the monkey-face barcode apparatus. Iím worried folks. Itís odd to go to a cafť and see 25 tables of shuttered monkey faces that donít let on the Message each has to share with you and canít receive a clear Message from you about the reaction their faces produce. Itís the height of the cultural process and ultimate symbol of this Thing that has us all feeling so lonely, so alienated.

The sunglasses give license for the users to lapse this social muscle, and the most prevalent users Ė young monkeys Ė are the ones supposed to be pairing up and fucking and having babies.

Not only this, but itís fucking with how we gather much of our information from the media. Tradition has it Ė quite rightly Ė that thereís a monkey on the cover of every magazine. We made our judgments about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts by looking at his baby embryo face and freakish bloodshot eyes. But increasingly, they are showing us pictures of these people with sunglasses on. How the fuck were we supposed to react when we saw Judith Miller coming out of jail with black Prada wraparounds? Thatís the real cover-up. Are we supposed to believe Maxim that Paris Hilton is a Rich Coke Whore when her barcode is hidden from view? Her whore body makes an unconvincing case that she in fact is one. We need to see the face.

I understand why itís tempting to wear sunglasses; itís to escape from this natural mechanism and enjoy the benefit of staring at all the monkey faces you want with no need to return the serve. But the Looking we do is just as vital as the need for transparent government Ė itís all over if we canít see whatís going on.









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