A Look Back Through the Ages by The BEAST's former Editors.

100 BEASTs of Gratitude
A brief note from the asshole in charge.
Al Uthman

Father Knows BEAST
A few unkind words from our founder.
Matt Taibbi

Outrage 101
A BEASTly education.
Paul Salamone

Me & My Buddy The BEAST
Chris Riordan

Viva El BEAST!
Recollections of an undocumented BEAST Staffer.

The Truth About our Intentions
The very 1st BEAST Editorial.

The BEAST Government Kids Page Review
Ian Murphy

Murtha's My Lai
Stan Goff

Call me Old Fasioned, but I Think the President Should be Killed
A BEAST Reader Opinion
by Gengis Khan

The BEAST Page 3 Deposed Nepalese Despot

Kino Korner
Da Vici Code, Poseidon, Just My Luck, See No Evil.

BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune...
in insult form.

[sic] - Letters
Judge Punch, toilet reading, and Moses in denial.

Still Scum, Still Sucking
Our local Rep, Tom Reynolds.
Paul Fallon

A Prank of Two Cities
The incredible true story of how we propositioned the mayor’s wife and rigged the NHL playoffs.
Paul Jones

Top 10 Signs of the Impending Police State
Hey America, freedom's just around the corner... behind you
Allan Uthman

A Preview of this Issue
...By Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret!

I Know More Words Than You
An editorial of verbose contrivance.
Paul Jones

 
 

FATHER KNOWS BEAST
A few unkind words from our founder
By Matt Taibbi

My feelings for the Beast these days are probably not unlike those of a Hollywood millionaire who wakes up one morning to find his illegitimate son, dressed in rags and covered in sores and mysterious bruises, buzzing frantically at the intercom in his radio-controlled driveway gates. A series of thoughts pass through your head. If I give him money, will he go away? Or: What if I change his name, give him a job in the mailroom? Or even: What if I invite him in and then, when he’s not looking, bash him in the head with a paperweight? Will anyone come looking for the body? It’s a hard choice any way you look at it for a person in my position, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier over the years – not even after 100 horrifying issues.

I co-founded the Beast with Paul Fallon and Kevin McElwee back in 2002 during a period of my life which I now recognize as a full-fledged crisis of early middle age (Fallon, older than me, was nonetheless going through a parallel personal ordeal for men in their forties). I was only 32, still a young man, but years of drug-induced trauma and other paralyzing self-abuse from my previous career as the editor of the Moscow-based eXile had left me with a severely weakened grasp on reality. Not having lived in America as an adult, I thought I could just breeze into a new city like Buffalo and foment mass discontent and even revolution with a single Macintosh G4 and a six-thousand dollar investment in a two-color tabloid newspaper. And I didn’t even have the six thousand dollars.

My political sensibilities back then were childish and more or less completely sub-intellectual. Along with Paul, Kevin, Jessica Kourkounis, P.W. and the other Beast contributors, I was opposed in the vaguest possible way to all the brainless middlebrow horseshit of mainstream American society – the yellow ribbons tied around trees, the teddy bear memorials to exploded Space Shuttle astronauts, duct tape, Artvoice, Britney Spears, the Da Vinci Code… from movies where the down-and-out everyman hero loses his badge and then triumphantly kills hundreds to protect his family, to a society that mindlessly waves the flag and jumps like ferrets at every new JonBenet/baby-in-the-well news story that hops through the idiot cycle every 48 hours. I had this vision of America as a deranged purgatory of orthodoxy and conventional thinking whose cure was a public voice that would stand up and throw fistfuls of rank, steaming dogshit at every blowdried TV shill and shameless political fakir it could reach.

That was the idea behind the Beast. For me it was an emotional imperative more than anything else. After almost a decade living in the prolonged adolescence of a self-imposed exile in Russia, I wanted to come home, crouch over, and take the largest, smelliest dump possible in the sandbox that was the America I’d grown up in. For a while, it felt like the effort might succeed. In our first weeks here, we managed to inspire the evil Artvoice dwarf Jamie Moses to storm our offices with a pool cue in his hands, and we subsequently had satisfying tangles with the mayor’s office and the local prosecutor. We were the proud campaign beacon of a Green Party congressional candidate (Paul) who announced his candidacy in the nude and smoked a joint on the steps of City Hall en route to a three-percent showing (who were those voters?) against Amherst’s pig-faced rep. Tom Reynolds.

But the ragged poverty of the Beast enterprise quickly became an insurmountable problem for me. Rapidly approaching my mid-thirties, I was literally a bad issue away from having to knock over a liquor store for money. One of my lasting memories of my time at the Beast was limping down Delaware Avenue on a broken foot (a basketball injury I couldn’t afford to get a cast for, not having health insurance at the time), carrying a stack of amateurish self-made sales kits and tongue-tiedly trying to sell fifty-buck ads to starved Buffalo businesses that, like my own, couldn’t spare even a penny. Eventually the stress got to me and, after a monstrous nervous breakdown in early ’03 and the subsequent total collapse of my personal life, I did what all Americans do in that situation: I took a “real” job.

Now, sometime later, I am a hotshot New York literati, inaccessible even to my closest acquaintances, communicating with the world almost exclusively through my ball-busting book agent and my foreign girlfriend. I live alone in a high-rise luxury studio in midtown Manhattan, spending my days surfing aimlessly through the thousands of obscure satellite channels I’ve bought with my almost comically large salary. I have since repaired my broken leg and occasionally now I’ll walk down the street to the tree-lined public courts on 11th Avenue and lazily shoot baskets in gleaming, brand-new FILA sportswear. Then I’ll come home and give wisdom-filled phone interviews to this or that adoring radio audience (I never bother to remember which station I’m talking to) before reclining on my impossibly soft down comforter and waiting for my office to call and rush me, all expenses paid, to the next international crisis. I have just returned from Iraq, where a few pressure-filled days of bombs and gunfire outside the wire have left me with powerful impressions sufficient to write, in a week’s time or so, the definitive, anthemic analysis of the dominant news story of our generation.

And so now it happens that Al Uthman, of all people, contacts me and asks me to write something on the subject of the Beast’s 100th issue. What can I do? Can a man in my position really endorse his painful and embarrassing past? What can I say about this ragtag collection of fourth-rate weed-and-goatee iconoclasts who chose to carry the Beast banner after I left? I would be lying if I said I thought they had talent, taste, dignity, or class. I would by lying if I said I thought they had any prospects for success or real achievement. Because it’s obvious, as plain as the nose on one’s face, that they’re all the dirtiest kind of scum, every last one of them, and that the Beast under their tutelage has become little more than a charmless, unconscionable, unkillable pain in the ass of all decent humanity. I’m ashamed, genuinely ashamed, to be connected to them in any way.  What kind of people would follow up the sad and regrettable episode of the Dutch cartoons with the kind of cheap, below-the-belt hackery that was the Sunni Tunes issue? And yes, John Stossel sucks, but a “John Stossel handjob”? Is that necessary? And what kind of horrible childhoods must these pathetic, self-hating malcontents have had to induce them to torture poor innocent mayor Brown with their phony “sports bets” prank – a fiasco that I had to answer for in my own exalted circle of acquaintances, since it was written up in my own hometown Wall Street Journal?

I mean, why would anyone bother with a prank like that? What’s wrong with a mayor making friendly sports bets, for the sake of popular morale and camaraderie? Isn’t that politics at its most harmless?

Well… I used to know the answer to that question, back when I was classless, no-prospects scum myself – in other words, when I was with the Beast. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since moving on years ago, it’s that it takes perseverance, idealism and dedication to publish vicious dreck just for the sheer, angry fuck of it. It’s a job without reward, since the world is not interested in having plastic-shit-baggies tossed ritualistically in its face by people who can’t afford soap. “Retard Baptisms” don’t make people want to buy tacos and Coca-Cola.

In short, I have no idea anymore what purpose the Beast serves in the world, but I do know that its writers will never amount to anything in this society. If they’re lucky.

Happy 100th, Al and Paul and everyone else. And don’t ever call me again.

 

BEAST Blog

Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

e-mail the evil editors at sic@buffalobeast.com
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