paranoid, paranoid, paranoid: but I see something in you

Ever since the assassination of JFK, Texas has been prime real estate for plots, ponderings, and general hokum, so I was not surprised to find what I hoped would be my new favorite book wasting away in a Houston antique store. The Conspiracy Reader is an anthology of articles from Paranoia Magazine, a long-running zine that began in the early ’90s and worked as one of the most prominent means of conspiracy theory dissemination in America, before 9/11 and Loose Change’s wide availability on the internet would mainstream such ideas.

One of the things that made Paranoia unique was its…

Jaquaree Simmons, 1997–2021

Contrary to observation, Texas has not thawed out.

Hundreds of thousands of people still do not have clean water to drink. While power has been restored to most, an affordable bill is far from guaranteed in many parts of the state, and infrastructural necessities from water mains to power lines remain battered or broken. Against health advisories Governor Abbott has lifted the mask mandate in an effort to get Texans “back to work,” even as cultural institutions are disappearing and employment opportunities shrink. Elon Musk moved in. Suffering and grim tidings surround us.

I will not be the first resident…

You may have noticed that I haven’t published very much over the past year. The pandemic has made many things that were easy difficult and things that were difficult next to impossible. Writing is among these things for many people, myself included; entering the second year of being trapped indoors has not made it easier to settle into a productive routine, in the same way that being crushed by a rockslide doesn’t help you build muscle tone. Curiously, many people are not trapped indoors: a large portion of the American population is willing to kill or infect others for a…

the privilege is all mine

I have two devices on which I play video games: a Nintendo Switch and a low-to-moderately powerful laptop. This puts me in the privileged position of being a gamer who is able to keep up with modern trends from the relative safety of machines that couldn’t run most big-budget AAA titles if they wanted to. Over the last few years the graphical ineptitude of my Switch and laptop have protected me from my own morbid curiosity towards a number of notorious gaming disasters such as Fallout 76, Anthem and, most recently, Marvel’s Avengers.

Marvel’s Avengers is The Muppets, except it’s…

i’m just here for the free food

I didn’t have anywhere to live during the 2016 primaries, but if I’d had a permanent place of residence I would’ve definitely cast my vote for Bernie Sanders. I intend to make the same decision in 2020; I’ve been a type 1 diabetic since I was a year old, and as such I have a lot of skin in the Medicare For All game. And a great many of his other beliefs and ideas, like his general inclination towards ramping down US imperialism, hold a lot of water with me as a voter as well.

I like what the future…

Planet Soul

Notes from a neophyte spiritualist

A long-haired person reaching toward the sky; ripples radiate from their hand. Everything is monochromatic gray.
A long-haired person reaching toward the sky; ripples radiate from their hand. Everything is monochromatic gray.
Illustration: Laura Knetzger

I shall have to train my senses, make them at once stronger and more delicate, at one moment tough, at another fragile; in a word, more lucid. I shall hear with my sense of sight and with my skin; I shall cover myself with eyes. Everything, even judgment, will be touch and hearing. Everything must be felt. I shall also think with my eyes and my hands: Everything must think. —­­Octavio Paz, “From Criticism to Offering”

Last year, I began praying for the first time in almost two decades. I don’t remember the precise reason I started back up, but…

illustration by Gallery Provence

I’m working on a much longer piece about 6ix9ine right now, but I wanted to take a break from that project to briefly discuss something about recent developments in the Daniel Hernandez/6ix9ine case. Namely: the media has been doing a dog shit job of reporting on recent developments in the Daniel Hernandez/6ix9ine case, and you should not take what you read at face value.

Yesterday afternoon Page Six ran the rather audacious headline “Tekashi 6ix9ine Testifies Cardi B is Member of Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.” This struck me as suspcious for a number of reasons. Firstly, Cardi B has been…

I couldn’t tie my shoes until I was in the 5th grade.

Pay attention to that second word. “Couldn’t.” I could not do it; I tried and tried for years and it wouldn’t work. And it wasn’t for a lack of effort: there were specialized physical therapists who did their best to help me, there were countless scattershot days of the week when I was pulled out of class for gentle-yet-intensive drills on how to pull of a simple Bunny Ears loop on my little sneakers.

I learned from this experience with my kind-hearted counselor that there’s something much more…

Illustration by Laura Knetzger

Clarence feels as though he should be intimidated as the car shrieks to a halt on the curb beside him, but his response is closer to that of morbid curiosity. A man in a polo shirt comes boiling out of the driver’s seat, lurching towards him in a cloud of apoplexy. Sitting in his compact sports car he seemed normal-sized from a short distance away, but this man is in fact nothing short of a colossus: he looks like if one of the cyborgs from Universal Soldier had been specifically designed for hostile deployment into a Buffalo Wild Wings. …

“The Angelus,” Jean-Francois Millet

There’s nothing like a romantic relationship to make a person fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy — a concept more commonly expressed as “in for a penny, in for a pound.” Another person’s love will often allow you to see your possession of it as a zero sum game: either it’s entirely there or it’s completely gone. A decent partner will ameliorate this feeling in the other. A manipulator will use it to their advantage.

Here’s the good news: you’re not the type of person who falls prey to head games. Now for the bad: that doesn’t matter. Despots…

Christopher M. Jones

Writer, media critic, and thinker of thoughts based out of Austin, TX. Get in touch at, or follow on Twitter at @CJIsWingingIt

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