literature, politics, writing

The Fall of a Nation

In the process of making America “great” again the new administration is ripping it apart. No longer is it respected internationally. Mexico has been alienated, Canada disillusioned, Puerto Rico ravaged by hurricanes and then insulted by their own “president”. Afghanistan has dragged on for almost two decades, parents and their children find themselves together on the battlefield, some too young to even recall 9/11. It is not considered to have a free press and has violated countless human rights. Racism is more open and prevalent since it has been in the ’60s and mass shootings are a common occurrence. Immigrants are being expelled with nowhere to go while the jobs they did stay vacant. Many top government positions sit unfilled while education standards are plummeting. Student debt is so high that most people will be paying it off for the rest of their lives. Women’s rights are being abolished and the clock is turning backwards on civil rights.

After third wave feminism there came a backlash from single young white men, who felt that their place in society was being usurped by people of colour and women who they felt owed them sex just for being nice. In anger and frustration many of them turned to the far right via the internet, to nazism and white supremacy. Trying to disguise hate speech with the first amendment they became the alt-right who helped move that moron into the Whitehouse and marched under swastika banners in broad daylight. The suicide rate is going up and will soon surpass tobacco, cancer and heart disease as the number one killer, especially for young men. Millions of people are addicted to drugs, a large majority of them prescribed from the system itself. Meanwhile fentanyl is becoming the scourge of the drug world, 100 times more potent than morphine, 100 times easier to smuggle than heroin and much cheaper.

Twitter journalism has replaced real journalism and opinion is more important than facts. The lies are flying so fast no one cares to even keep track. Stadiums are filled with people paying hundreds of dollars to see a hologram of a dead musician perform while ignoring the beggars outside on the streets. It has become illegal in some places to even feed the homeless. They would rather see them dead than in their neighbourhoods. Security is up at airports and borders, where rights are routinely and thoroughly violated. The president is trying to take healthcare away from the poor and the dying, food from the elderly and disabled, money from the taxpayers to fund his lavish lifestyle and nepotism. Elections are being toyed with by the Russians and Putin is now the world’s most powerful man.

All America has is a massive foreign debt and army budget and a large arsenal of deteriorating atomic bombs and nuclear missiles. North Korea threatens the U.S. with destruction and they threaten to wipeout North Korea. Yet almost all of the president’s internal policies have failed, he is by all accounts a terrible and offensive diplomat who goes through staff members almost as fast as he does money. His staff go on TV and advertise his family’s businesses, the conflicts of interest are too many to count. He encourages police brutality and uses them to enforce his will on the people rather than protect them while building more for-profit prisons to house the most inmates in the world, the new gulag. He says America First, an old American nazi party slogan, then outsources jobs to China, which becomes more powerful with each passing day. It is shining with gentrification in some places, while others barely have infrastructure. Its been battered by floods and hurricanes. All this in less than a year.

In Canada we watch and wait, 30 million to 300. Our massive neighbour to the south has almost as much, if not more influence on Canada than our own parliament sometimes, and thats a sad fact. They are our largest trading partner. Thus the Prime Minister must tread carefully. The president goes against almost every Canadian value: multiculturalism, politeness, equality, legal weed and a preference for peace, his election has emboldened the racists and Neo nazis up here, and while they were hugely outnumbered by counter protesters they tried to have their own little Charlottesville, which was confined to an underground parking lot. Still your media prevails over ours on TV, the radio, the internet. We’re our own country but America is the apartment downstairs and the guy that just moved in is fucking nuts. He makes fun of cripples, is scared of blood but likes wars, is always saying racist bullshit and beating his wife and family but the sherif is on his payroll and he walks around with a loaded shotgun, pointing it at anyone who pisses him off. He hasn’t pointed it up, but we’re worried he might, or end up burning the whole house down while we’re all still in it.

America is not what it was. The foundation is cracked and the structure is faulty. Every country has repairs to make but America is starting to fall apart and if it collapses well, I live in the apartment upstairs.

Jack Blare, Monday October 9, 2017


Donald Trump is Mentally Unfit to be Left Alone for Five Minutes

Donald Trump hasn’t been able to string together a sentence since the beginning of his campaign. H.S. Thompson said Raegan’s Alzheimer’s probably started prior to his presidency and with Trump being the oldest person ever elected to the office its not a stretch to assume that he has at the very least, mid-stage dementia. He has the typical symptom known as “word salad” where the patient just strings together a bunch of words unrelated to the situation. He can’t answer direct questions and his remarks are usually out of context and grammatically incorrect.

Trump thought Karl Marx was Russian, that Frederick Douglas was still alive, had no idea what the nuclear triad was and still doesn’t seem to be aware that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. His moods sway unpredictably and his position changes by the hour probably because he can’t remember what he said five minutes ago. In most people this would be sad, in his case its just disgusting. They handed the reigns of the world’s last “superpower” to a racist, sexist old bigot who is completely out of his mind, along with the “world’s best army,” supposedly, since the only real victory they’ve had since The Spanish American War without allied help was Guam. Korea was a failure and now it looks like the grandchildren of the idiots that started that war are going to be the ones who have to suffer through finishing it. Vietnam was a total loss and the Gulf and Iraq wars gave us Daesh while soon children will be dying alongside their parents in Afghanistan for an attack that happened before they were born.

The man is so absolutely clueless that he shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car or go out on his own. If he wasn’t rich he’d probably be in a senior’s home on the floor for neurodegenerative patients no longer able to function by themselves. Instead the Secret Service has been reduced to the status of geriatric caregivers for a feeble old man who just babbles about whatever comes to mind (“Words? I’ve got the best words.”) He’ll be 74 by the election and 78 if he lives to see the end of a second term. Hell half of the Republican Party is probably already wearing diapers, why do people vote for the generation that fucked the world economy and kept us on the brink of nuclear war for fifty years while drafting people to die in proxy wars they held no stake in? Kim hit the nail on the head when he called Trump a dotard. Someone his age still living in North Korea is almost miraculous. He’s more likely to stroke out like Stalin than live to see the next decade and his son Eric “American Psycho” Trump will probably be waiting with a pillow to finish him off just to get his inheritance a day earlier. The only tears to be shed will be by hired mourners while the rest of the family dissects his estate joyously before the body is even cold. His ascent to power will be remembered for marking the end of the mere 25 years of American hegemony since the Cold War ended. The office of US president has turned from one to be respected to one that is demeaning to even be associated with. Nixon’s corpse is laughing in its grave, knowing that the running joke of his failed presidency will be replaced by 5 decades of mocking Trump if we don’t all die in a nuclear war because he’s been playing with the nuclear suitcase.

Whether you love him or hate him he isn’t going to be alive all that much longer and the presidency prematurely ages people. He’s already aged beyond any other president when he took office. No president has received as much deserved criticism as the failure of a decent human being he is and no president has been so easily wounded and manipulated by that glaring flaw. He will be on his death bed and still obsessing over the pitiful size of his inauguration crowd and his record low approval rating, without ever having realized that his life has been wasted on a series of failures, culminating in his media sideshow of a presidency. He’ll die the way he lived, miserable, insecure and lonely but still too stupid to know why.

Jack Blare, Oct 1, 2017

independent, literature, Uncategorized

Shattering the Stone

Arguing with Trump’s supporters is like teaching a cow to read. They are stupid people that believe what they want to hear no matter what the truth is. Cognitive dissonance. They reject all evidence that doesn’t support their opinion. They will misdirect and misrepresent you because they cannot refute you. They want things to change without time, effort and work. Trump’s rhetoric, if it even warrants the term, is based on getting everything done right now. “There will be a wall. Mexico is paying. Fire and Fury.” His fanbase loves the action talk but he never takes action because he can’t. He needs a new headline every couple days to distract the masses from his latest political fuckup.

His government is an authoritarian kleptocracy rife with nepotism and continually unstable. Neo-nazis may support it but this is no fourth reich, its a crumbling mess being held together by law but he can’t pay for his secret service, his Winter White House. He’s more like the last Tsar of Russia than Adolf Hitler. He can be forced to make concessions. He is not respected. Only his family’s jobs in the White House are safe. He’s paranoid and politics has made it worse. Its a volatile situation, something is going to spark and then the whole mess will burn, hopefully not taking us with it. We must be unrelenting. We must apply constant pressure from all sides to dismantle this beast. At this point the lines are drawn. You can either love him or hate him but you can’t do both. His supporters have made up their minds. The time for friendly discourse or persuasion has passed. They only understand action. They only see in black and white, and it will be their undoing. The time for reconciliation is over.

The democrats can’t be counted on to fight this battle. When workers are oppressed they organize into a union. Your country treats most of you like employees and tax revenue. Strike like employees. Withhold their revenue. Turn away the tax collectors. If he can’t pay his own secret service, hit him wear it hurts, in the bag of money he has between his legs instead of genitalia. Agitate in the best way you can. Politicians can’t save this sinking ship of what was a short-lived superpower only the people can.

Jack Blare, September 5, 2017


Vanier Visitation


here are approximately 300 women currently in Milton’s Prison; Vanier. Inmates are allowed two visits a week with two visitors at a time.   There are two types of visits, the first is an insecure visit and the second an open visit. The closed visit bluntly just sucks. It is a tiny room with one super low metal stool right in the middle. The glass that separates the inmates from the visitors is all smudged and scratched, the frame holding the glass is destroyed from so many people scratching stuff into it all of which are illegible. Since there is only one spot to sit the other person must stand, this is a problem because the phone that is used to communicate is only 2ft long. So the prisoner & visitor must hunch over to listen to the phone. The phone is the worst part of the visit, it not only is static the whole time but as well during the last 5 min it beeps to inform you that the time is almost up. This arises two problems the static prevents any conversation from happening and the beeping is just plain and simply annoying! The phones are terrible through calls to home as well. The entire visit is 30 minutes and I found yelling through the glass is much easier. That is an insecure visit, which can be fixed with speaker holes instead of a phone, why not get two stools? The open visit is pretty self-explanatory. You can hug the inmate at the beginning and then again at the end. There are many desks with attached benches all supporting a small piece of glass to split the inmate and visitor. This visit is pleasant and fulfilling, although the guards are only 15ft away they talk amongst themselves; giving the feel of a more personal aspect. Overall the insecure visiting area needs renovating. Only inmates on the lower levels are required to have insecure visitation. This could potentially be the time when those women need the most help so why not give them a chance to at least be able to understand their visitors, who carry with them the most support.




Vanier’s Vegetable Problem

Vegetables: beans, broccoli, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and peas; some of which you could only receive when on a diet or the vegan or vegetarian meals. All the vegetables are cooked then frozen, shipped to the facilities already on the verge of no nutrients they finally steam it to ensure that there is none left. Fruits: apples, oranges, pineapples, apple sauce, fruit cups, sometimes peaches and bananas 4 times a month. In one day the inmates calorie count adds up to 3,500, this does not include anything eaten on the side like chocolate bars or candy. Each meal they receive three slices of bread, which can be given away or eaten or saved for later. As for the meat they take turns in a cycle. They get chicken breast, Italian sausages and corn beef once a month and turkey (cold and hot) twice a month. There is plenty of meat that is commonly used but also unknown of where it came from like ground beef (hamburgers), roast beef, kabasa, cold bologna and little sausages whichever one calls “donkey dicks”. As for fish they get canned salmon/tuna and those on a diet get 2 real paddock filets.   There is a lot of junk they can order such as Mr. Noodles, king size chocolate bars, protein shake, meal replacement bars, cookies, rice krispies, candy etc. The inmates get to work to waste time and to loose time of their sentence, but they get a ridiculous third world pay. They get 3 cents an hour which transfers into 6 hours a day for three days they would earn 3 king size chocolate bars, 1 bag of chips and a pop. They don’t get money just unhealthy snacks. Vanier has inmates working in the kitchen part of daily routine is to make 6000 trays a day of food to be sent to all the other prison facilities in Ontario. The food the women get to eat is appalling but fresher than all the other jails.  




Trust Your Government

Bayer (makers of Tylenol, heroin, etc.) made Zyklon B for the Gas Chambers during the Holocaust. Abercrombie & Fitch manufactured knives & rifles used in the suppression of native cultures. Goldman & Sachs funded international warfare since the Seven Years War. William Randolph Hearst made up stories in order to stoke the fires of the U.S./Mexican War, then watched soldiers on both sides die from the safety of his private yacht. Ontario’s own McMaster University participated in CIA funded deep sleep & insulin shock therapy methods without the informed consent of patients, the wider program was known as MKUltra. The U.S. government intentionally placed some of its troops near nuclear test sites in order to study the harmful effects of radiation on the human body. Most later died or suffered greatly from the effects of radiation poisoning. The British military exposed several of its troops unknowingly to massive amounts of liquid Sarin, killing one serviceman & permanently injuring many more. His father was ordered not to speak about the tests for the next 50 years, under national security & treason laws. The same gas is now being put to use in Syria. The Reagan administration admittedly sold U.S. arms to both Iraq & Iran during the invasion of Kuwait, leading to American deaths by American bullets, not to mention the massive toll the war cost on civilian lives. The same administration funded Osama Bin Laden & many other Mujahedeen with guns, ammo, training & bombs during the Soviet invasion, weapons that are still being used to deadly effect in the Afghanistan war today. This list could go on & on & on but I’ll leave it at this for now. Don’t believe it? Then look it up. I’m not going to force feed you. If they lied then, what is to stop them from lying now? Nothing.

This is the truth. What you decide to do with it, & whether or not you agree is entirely up to you. The facts are here, it’s your choice in how you use them. –Tj Brown



A Word From the Editors:           So, what’s it going to be then? Congratulations, if you are able to read this it means you are literate, and part of a small percentage of people lucky enough to be born in luxury. People often deride words, actions speak louder than etc, etc… but words have power, incredible power, enough to bring down empires and change the world hundreds of years in the future. Just look what effect the communist manifesto had on the entire world in the twentieth century, and it was written in the 1800’s.

No this is not a political manifesto. I’m sure many of the artists included differ in their political beliefs. This is a space where artists, poets, musicians and just plain people can have a chance to express themselves, in a time when most local art programs are poorly, if funded at all. We were lucky enough to work for the Undercroft in previous times, both as members of the editorial committee. It gave youth a voice, a voice that’s being strangled. We want to give youth a voice back, and not only the youth, the people on the fringes, old poets, ex cons, freaks, the mentally, & physically ill the LGBTQ (We can’t remember the rest of the acronym, keeps growing, our deepest apologies) the chronic psychiatric patients and alcoholics.


That’s not to say we don’t have standards. Don’t bother sending in any racist, sexist, homophobic & radically religious, we’ll probably laugh at it, then use it to start a fire. In the words of Jello Biafra, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” Otherwise my dearest readers and writers, this is a playground for expression and experiment, opinion and artistic vision. This is just paper, its your job to fill it, and in a world like this, if you don’t have anything to say about it, well their ain’t much hope for you is there?


This is a world of inequality, for many it’s a world of pain. And, of course it’s a world of questions. Why did the biochemist that discovered the increased risk of GMO Monsanto crops to cause organ damage, lose his job the day after his discovery? Why were we (NATO) so quick to intervene in Libya, yet stand by like statues as thousands of Syrian Civilians are murdered by Assad & killed in the crossfire? So many questions. Free healthcare they say, but it won’t cover the thousands of dollars needed for an HIV or Hepatitis medications. Why are our First Nations people living in third world conditions?

Why do we endure a Prime Minister that was held in contempt of parliament?


What do you know? What do you feel? Who are you? This is a platform for the artists, the poets, the weirdoes, musicians and freaks. If you want a place to speak your mind, here it is. Send submissions to hollow . Now fuck off your computer and do something creative.


Your loving editors