Phi11y’s P-Hines{T} /> #Hardcore PHant-[O]m$: Part One, Chapter Eight

Excerpts from r(E)volutionized contributor John Corry’s satire Phi11y’s P-Hines{T} /> #Hardcore PHant-[O]m$

Physical front, back and spine of Corry’s Phi11y’s P-Hines{T} /> #Hardcore PHant-[O]m$.

Physical front, back and spine of Corry’s Phi11y’s P-Hines{T} /> #Hardcore PHant-[O]m$.

11/5/18, 11:48 am EST

By John Corry

From the flap:

“Imagine if Tom Wolfe had been born in 1975 and instead of writing 'Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers' in 1970, he'd have written a book about the state of society and it's obsession with social media, internet fame and all of the intricacies that go along with it. On shrooms. Using Chuck Palahniuk's 'Pygmy' as his sole piece of inspiration.... you'd have John Corry's 'Phi11y's P-Hines[T] /> #Hardcore Phant-[O]m$'.” -Travis Besecker (author and comedy writer)

After 19-year-old reformed gang member Randall Gähstŭr is brutally murdered at the start of the Baltimore riots of 2015, the subsequent investigation leads both his former closest friends and the two very different special agents assigned to investigating the case into a web of conspiracy involving everything from police corruption, to global world domination, to manipulated/unnecessarily clung-to gang violence (relatively defined), war, and, eventually /> r(E)volution.

Every Monday and Friday, we’ll be releasing 1-2 chapters of r(E)volutionized contributor John Corry’s Phi11y’s P-Hines{T} /> #Hardcore PHant-[O]m$. You check it out here, get a free PDF here, or check it out on Amazon, or on Barnes and Noble.

Parental discretion is advised.


April 24th, 2015

3:17 p.m.

“They made me do it. It was… bad. I was /> afraid. More so because I thought I’d fuck it up–which I did–but… I dunno. I really didn’t want to do it. They made me do it… They made me…”

Herb sat staring into space like a dying goose knowing all too well that only he, herself was to blame for his own death, no matter how many other peoples or circumstances may have appeared to cause it on the outskirts. He was kinda being a bitch (a total bitch ><), but, then again, in his defense, these were somewhat benign circumstances (¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

“What did you do?” Gestarrè asked.

They were sitting in one of the few small meeting rooms in the psychiatric ward at Jefferson Hospital in Center City Philadelphia. Palmer and Gestarrè went reluctantly; according to their sergeant, even though he was nothing more than an accidental bystander, Herb Pot’s take on the events of the night of #TheBranding™ , would be of the utmost help regardless. Perhaps Herb’s being there could point them in the direction of the gang members so clearly responsible for Randall’s murder and, undoubtedly, so many other murders in not just Philadelphia alone, but in all cities, always such a simple result of Douchebags™ being Douchebags™ and nothing more…

“The thing slid. It–” Herb stuttered in his recollection. “It– It wouldn’t stick to Randall’s skin…”

He turned his head to the side and downward, closed his eyes.


“Everyone there laughed,” he said. “Thought it was funny at the time. I mean, it was genuinely hilarious! But the smell was terrible, and it–”

He took a deep breath.

“It swelled up the moment the metal touched the flesh, and… I almost accidentally sneezed because the odor was so potent…

“It was…”

He opened his eyes back up, looked at Palmer.

“…Really nasty.”

“I never understood those guys to be honest,” Herb began AGAIN #BeginAgain #Swifty #Red #Swifty’sBestRecord [1]. “I mean we’re fuckin’ bros of course, and I dunno if it was all the weed or that sheer professionalism they always had just for the sake of seeming professional, or… that’s how I always took it /> but something always just threw me off. I don’t know what it was, and I honestly don’t care, but maybe that has some implication here?”

Something always ‘just threw’ Herb off… Always…(:o)

“Anyway, for what it’s worth, I like em’. My dad always used to tell me that I read too much. I used to go through like, three, maybe four books a week, and almost always something classic or heavy. I read Brave New World and Island by Aldous Huxley both five times each within three months; Plato’s Republic, Black Boy by Richard Wright, Orwell’s 1984, Kierk-egaard’s The Present Age, The Autobiographies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., The Souls of Black Folk: same general thing. Alan Watts, Malcolm, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Hegel, Nietzsche, Bowie, Jung, Von Mises, 2Pac. I fuckin’ love those guys. I never really got why people never said anything real about them in conversation or in mainstream media. I mean people think they talk about Plato or Brian Greene (theoretical physicist) or brother Malcolm, but unless they’re scientists or ‘experts’, they never really talk about any of them /> they just form Absolute Opinions. Ayn Rand is the only one most people really talk about, and that’s only because privileged people can use her philosophy as a scapegoat for their not caring about the rest of the world. Actually, maybe she did only care about herself…”

“She had good stories,” Palmer said after a pause.

Herb: “Yeah… She did.”

“Mr. Pot; #TheBranding™ story, please.”

“They made me do #TheBranding™ . Randall was really drunk; Barry was being a Douchebag, that’s pretty much the whole ‘physical’ story, and it sounds to me like you guys have already gotten the general gist of it. Even I don’t see how it goes much deeper than that. I mean, what would you do if a dude, so drunk off his ass that he was actually enjoying a Vanilla Ice track, threatened you, and tried to start a fight? Not to mention that he even said he was considering giving Insane Clown Posse a chance[2]! Of course, he was really drunk, so that complicates things, but I think the main thing to get out of all of it, especially now, is that, in my opinion, to blame ‘either-or’ just doesn’t do anything–as to do so only, realistically speaking, further incites violence–nor does saying it was all due strictly to external circumstances, and that there were no humans at fault.”

Gestarrè: “Then why are you here?”

“Heh,” and Herb chuckled to the ceiling before his smile quickly dissipated to nothingness. This digression was driven deep into his mind in a matter of mere milliseconds here, completely overshadowing everything else he thought he’d learned to help him deal with that (this depression/anxiety/ whatever-the-fuck makes people so seemingly unalterably miserable all the time #NineToFive?LivingThaDream ), which would happen all the time /> every time. He reached for his sunglasses on the table, said a good Nothing as he #Over-Dramatically put them on, slowly and calmly /> but certainly not confidently…


“The world.”


“You know I owe over thirty grand for college?” Herb began. “I don’t have a job anymore because I’m not good at talking to people or sucking up to authority when they treat me like dog shit, or like I’m some kind of slave or the dog’s balls-less reproductive set, or something; like my time deserves to be wasted, and that doing the exact same miserable thing all day every day is something that I should just accept as normal and somehow okay even though it strips me of any kind ability to be happy, and of any capability of feeling inspired to get myself out of that situation. Maybe this is me diving into emotions here–in fact, that’s certainly what it is–but if emotions exist, is it right to completely throw any potential lessons learned from them straight out the window? As if they didn’t exist? No one should have to live like a slave, let alone be treated like they should…

“I saw Barry’s eyes that night,” Herb continued. “I never thought he was a bad guy before, but...”

“But what?” Palmer asked.

“I dunno, he was… He wasn’t himself. No one could be like that, and be anything but not her or himself. That evil glare in his demeanor, that propelled sense of singularity of his ego only possible to define by the ‘moment’, but worn as a mask; that’s not natural, not within the human mind as an entity contained both within and outside itself, which is what it is as an ego. At least that’s how I see it. Er– Well, now that it’s been forced to become such a big deal, that is /> that little fucker, man–”

“You’re a very forgiving young man, Mr. Pot.” –Gest-arrè, still distracted.

Herb laughed again, but this time, the smile stayed on his face for a little longer.

“You know I used to think that same thing,” Herb responded. “Back in high school, when people seemed to like me for no reason. First the words, and the compliments, and you think you understand the truth: the fact that people are generally helpful and loving of one another after the bullshit and the faces–the dirt. The thought that no matter how terrible something someone may do is, that maybe, underneath it all, that’s just that one person’s own fucked up way of helping, even if it’s the most fucked up *TheMostFuckedUp . That they really are just trying to help; they just aren’t well enough equipped, or they don’t have the right resources to know how to go about doing that…

“But then you realize. And you realize and you realize and you realize, and you can’t tell if this final realization is a result of your conditioning or of some Outside love, some otherworldly Demon or serenading voice from above–like David Bowie’s–or if it’s something that comes from within, and then the real realization comes (#TheRealRealRealization ): the und-erstanding that after so many words and thoughts and plans for a world you’re clearly never going to live in, you’ve already passed the brink, and now there’s no going back anymore /> and that then that’s it! There’s no point in actually doing or trying at anything, because we’re all just going to pass into obscurity at some point or another anyway! So fuck it!

“But who knows that better than the people who deal with it on a daily basis?! Who the fuck is anyone to tell another human being how to perceive death, or life for that matter?! Or how to live it?!?! If God resides inside, and simultaneously without, us all, along with the potential to hear her voice or teachings, then so does the devil, but there must be some way to tap into both, regardless of who you are as a person. Some way to see it, and to make objective decisions regarding those deepest parts of our inner selves which have for so long laid dormant for the favor of that primal survival instinct always so dominant over Intellectual Evolution–”

Herb retracted his head to the side, caused a loud CRACK! sound to reverberate from his neck–

“I’ve tried,” Herb pleaded to himself. “I’ve tried so hard, but it only ever made things worse! I may have tried the wrong way, or my attempts may have been in vain, but I’ve seen those people when they’re in love–when they feel love of, and in, that moment of absolute compassion and romance or bliss or whatever–and then they name it! They call for it, and pray to it, and act as though they can physically hold onto that single moment of feeling forever as if it’s some simple rule or code or secret to living a happy life, never to accept its evolution, never to accept its absolute and inevitable opposite, its necessarily needed opposite[3], needed or else, by definition, it can’t exist! You can’t know black without white, can’t see something moving without seeing something stationary behind it[4]–but then, after the feeling has passed, it’s nothing more than an event-memory!!! As if it’s blasphemy, and a declaration of war against life, to see and to accept this process of subjects and opposites, or to care to learn something from it in a place beyond words!–

“Because if it’s all nothing more than a circle, it is a circle that involves substance from both a deeply emotional and thoughtful place /> it’s a ruse!!! But what does it mean if you can’t come out of that joke? If you keep learning from it, or you have to try too hard to accept it, or so hard that that love then turns into nothing more than a bitter vice, or the cynic’s misunderstood vantage point from ‘below’? If you go on trying to relive the past, you never get new moments that you might want to relive in the future. If you get yourself stuck in that mindset of forward movement, and, worse, without even knowing er– maybe just not even caring about it if you ever did care–

“/> As if you’ve accepted it, and have come to know everything in the universe, yet still cannot come out of that ‘spin’ needed to get there until you’ve defined your ability to control it all, because without that sense of control, you’re floating alone in space trying to imply that you’re no longer alive and that you’d never wish you were in the first place because it’s all pointless factually speaking, from God’s point of view?!?!?!”

Herb had a small tear stroking his cheek :’(, even Gestarrè’s attention was grabbed–


“When you love so much, and can feel the universe so potently, all its happiness, its history, potential, and pain and suffering…”

Herb stared blank-eyed like a dead goose knowing everyone Else as responsible for his own death.

Herb was clam again.

“Nothing and no one can control anything anymore, so fuck it. Time, life, death /> it’s all perspective, that’s all it is. Nothing more. Nothing less…

Nothing less…’




“He is very sick, but we can’t put our finger on what, exactly, he has.”

“Is he insane?”

“Oh yes, absolutely. I mean look at the guy.”

They stood peering through the one-way mirror into Herb’s padded cell: the two Special Agents along with Herb’s main nurse: Nurse Rebecca Pliny. Herb sat in the corner blank-eyed in a straightjacket–his face expressionless–and he didn’t move, not a fraction of a centimeter, except to push up the middle of his sunglasses in an egregious attempt to get them to rest more peacefully on his nose, which he would do very slowly, sad and totally depressed-like /> which may be because every time he’d try to go and do that he’d realize how literally impossible it was, he being constrained by a full-fledged, arms-completely-strapped-in straightjacket and all.


“Why is he here?” asked Gestarrè.

There was an awkward pause


“Herb Pot’s had a tough life,” Pliny finally said.

“Something with his family, or his economic stability?”  –Palmer. “Still butt-hurt over Gore V. Bush?[6]–”

“No just…” and she looked down, dissipated.

“He’s been seeing one of our therapists, Dr. Wagner, for quite some time, since long before Herb was checked in yest-erday. Dr. Wagner had said that as far as his depression goes, he’s been about the same for about a year now, and he never thought for a moment throughout his ten year long relationship with him that Herb would be of any type of danger to anyone. Herb has had depression throughout his life, has an impressive record of panic attacks, if ‘impressive’ is nearly the right word to use there. He has no criminal record, no history of violence, nothing like that at all, not even close. Just a lot of evidence against it, in fact: like obsessions with Radiohead, Dr. King’s Symposium of Nonviolence[7], and the relationship between Marshall and Lily on the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The worst thing he’s ever done is inch out a little too far to make a questionable left turn during rush hour, so that a man in an oncoming car, speeding to make his own upcoming left turn, could crash into him, almost killing Mr. Pot in the process, and could then claim suit to win over three-hundred grand thanks to a technicality.”

“Failure to yield,” Gestarrè said, eyes on his ‘scratchpad’, I think it was, maybe?


“But then, a few days ago, and this is Herb’s story here, but…”

She paused…


/> And then continued (!!!)–


“He said he started having hallucinations, that he was being visited by a group of very wise and all-knowing caterpillars, four or five of them–all wearing large top-hats and monocles–who would wake him up in the middle of the night, and convince him to sit in on their conversations about life and society in the basement of his house er–well, I guess it was really his parent’s house, but–”

“Caterpillars?” Palmer asked.

“Yeah, eight feet tall, that’s what he said; they could barely fit in under the ceiling. All smoking Cuban cigars, and they hated the Dallas Cowboys for some reason, with a pas- sion–

“From what I understand, herb is quite a lover of Herb[8], somehow even more so than The Eagles™ (Legal) [9]. Could that have anything to do with it?” –Gestarrè.

“Marijuana alone could never cause that type of hallucination, and we’ve checked his blood for any trace of anything else.”

“You found nothing?”


“Then why the padded room?”

“Well, anyone who comes in saying that he or she is having hallucinations of giant, all-powerful caterpillars in top hats, drinking Brandies™, and discussing global politics is extremely prone to a mental breakdown of some sort, that’s standard protocol. That’s not the reason he’s in here though.”

“What is the reason he’s in here?”

The nurse, once again, paused only this time, she made no movement, or obviously dis-heartening dis-pair.

“Herb once told me that I was far too pretty for makeup.”

The special agents didn’t how this was related, but they let it go out of sympathy (Palmer’s sympathy). Sixty-five-year old Nurse Pliny looked down with a heartfelt smile on her face–

“He said that no matter what the world and other people say, my real face is the one that matters, and what I choose to do with it.”

She looked back up, and through the glass window, at Herb, still smiling.


“He insists he’s dangerous. He refuses to leave, mainly, he says, so his insurance company can do its goddamned job for once, but I know it to be much more than that.”

“So Herb Pot is here of his own accord?” Gestarrè (still completely, somehow, disinterested, and writing on his–


Plain wooden plank?)


“Yes,” Nurse Pliny replied, her smile now turned into a deep, permanent frown.


“At least as far as we know…”

[1] Swift, Taylor. ‘Begin Again’ Red. Big Machine Records. 2012

[2] How dare he?!?!?!?! #JuggaloLivesMatter

[3] A happy life’s simple opposite: a miserable life (or: the possibility of a code (stumbled across or otherwise) to a miserable life). A happy life’s complex opposite: a happy life made happy through misery (or a miserable life made miserable through happiness) (for more on Simple and Complex Opposites, check out The Zombie Ritual_A Second Coming, available at and on Amazon and Createspace)

[4] More complicated than black vs. white?

[5] So awkward…

[6] Everything always comes down to Florida! #We’reDoomed

[7] King, Martin Luther Jr. Strength to Love, Fontana Books, 1969, Reprinted in Fount Paperbacks, 1977

[8] This unforgivable ‘grammar mistake’ is used for a reason… What could the reason be, I wonder?

[9] In Philly?! BULLSHIT!!!!!! XXPPPP