The Sickos Become Natural Healers
Namaste Sickos. Your favorite anime boys are here to sell you essential oils.
Hey Sickos! We hoped you enjoyed last week’s episode, which you’ll recall focused on the manga Toriko! Turns out, uh oh, the author of Toriko is a motherfucking convicted sex criminal!! OOPS!! He got sentenced to two years of prison for paying a 16-year old for sex! He ended up not having to serve any time (the rumors we've found suggest they were never going to actually put him away, just make an example of him), but turns out the reason the ending of Toriko was so rushed is because Shonen Jump wanted to cut ties with him after this shameful episode.
Just kidding! Toriko debuted six years after this happened! Lol!!!! Fuck!!!!!!! Much thanks to @Boco_T on Twitter for bringing this to our attention. Just goes to show, everything sucks ass and all consumption is immoral.
Gaming Update: Tom has a PS4 now
Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s insane game about carrying big boxes while a guy in a skull mask named Die-Hardman calls you on the radio to remind you to press X to drink Monster Energy when you get too tired. You throw bottles of your piss at ghosts and the President is your mom. It’s intensely stupid but I love it. It’s the best.
We talk a lot of shit about being a cog, but there is a core hidden in the depths of cogdom that actually whips sack. Specifically: starting and finishing a clearly identifiable task and seeing the numbies go up. Admit it: in our heart of hearts, we all love doing da dance for daddy.
The trouble with most cog jobs is that they keep the “task” part, but remove the “identifiable” part (leaving your labor nebulous and alienated as you do spreadsheets that mean nothing) and the “numbies go up” part (your reward often being indignities, mistreatment, and a poverty wage). What Death Stranding does is ask you, would you like to be a delivery man in the apocalypse for the numbies you dumb cog piggy? You little cog hog? You have to do it on foot and it is extremely difficult!
And folks, my answer is yes! I love to accept orders and efficiently tote a comically huge stack of boxes to a nerd who lives in a hole. I am freebasing pure cog and it absolutely whips. I am a wiggly piggy cozy in my pen. All is as it should be. In Death Stranding you can spend an absolutely disgusting amount of time and resources building bitty segments of a huge highway that spans the entire map and makes trips that used to take an hour take four minutes. The act of building the highways is thuddingly tedious and it takes forever. Needless to say I have made it like my primary motivator in the game and it’s intensely satisfying. I have built highways to areas I don’t even go to anymore. But it’s fine, because when you take the effort to build helpful structures, the game plops them down into the game worlds of other players, who can give you likes for it!
I cannot emphasize enough how much of a genius dumb-guy innovation it is to just call the experience points “likes.” It’s as close to “numbies” as you can reasonably expect AAA games to get. I don’t care about XP. I will never go out of my way to get extra XP. But likes? Fuck, I will squeal whatever piggy tune you want daddy. Gimme gimme. There’s even a plot point about how the apocalypse made everyone sad, but the brain chemical secreted by receiving likes combats depression. Folks it’s correct. That’s non-fiction.
Honestly they keep telling you that the Death Stranding world is a ruined dystopia hellscape, but it’s one that offers you dignified labor, has a strong culture of solidarity with your fellow workers, lets you spend a lot of time exercising in the beauty of nature, lets you throw your own shit at ghosts, and properly recognizes and rewards you for a difficult job well done. Uhhh seems pretty much ideal to me.
I am over action games now. Do not make me use magic or weapons. I am past that. Now I only want a game where I drive a forklift all day and my foreman tells me I’m really killing it lately and gives everyone a raise, and the forklift manufacturer calls me to say they’re honored to see it used so well, then I go to a union meeting where we all eat ribs.
TOM’S PICKO: Light rye flour as a natural shampoo
You may have heard James Medley note on his Guesto Mode appearance that I am a cutie pie. You may have noted my good & attractive hair on last newsletter’s photo of me with the “GIMME DA SLOP” mug. Let me be clear: this is a new development!!!
I have unusually thick, wiry hair that, if I let it grow, takes on extremely weird and bad shapes and refuses to budge, forming a big heavy helmet and it sucks ass. I blame this on my oily Italian blood. It makes me look like a mushroom and often has huge tufts curling up into weird cowlicks that will not relent no matter what. After every shower my hair would relax but tense up in a newer, weirder configuration within an hour or so.
As a result most of my life has been spent with very short-cropped hair, which looks like shit and makes me look like a little worm. Once I started having to pay for my own haircuts, I began to wait as long as possible between cuts by necessity, leaving me to try to wrangle my terrible head curse as best I could, which was extremely poorly.
This was a cause of big woe for me! Many photos of me from my earlier years are quite bad. I would hate how the front of my hair tended to curl into a weird long tube running the whole length of my forehead, and I would habitually tug on it to try to straighten it out, which never worked but I did it anyway, which made those hairs have mondo split ends that looked terrible.
It wasn’t all bad though. Every once in a while my hair would be OK and wouldn’t look too bad. For the longest time I couldn’t pick out why, then I finally saw the light--it was when I had gone a few days without shampooing it. I decided to just go for it and see how long I could go before my hair went stinko mode. I washed it with just water and it....didn’t go stinko mode! It wasn’t greasy or oily....in fact it was really good...
Folks I became a shampoo refuser and I will never go back. It was like night and day, this shampoo-free life. But not all was well.
In grade school I had bad dandruff. Then I began bathing regularly instead of being a feral child and it went away. Going shampoo-free...it came back. We had a bottle of anti-dandruff shampoo I would use like a tactical nuke when it got too bad to ignore. The shampoo would take care of the dandruff, but my hair became fried and nasty just like I had suffered through for years. It would eventually ease back to sicko mode but by then it was only a matter of time before the dandruff returned.
Then on the internet I saw someone rave about using light rye flour as a natural shampoo. Take a tablespoon (more for longer hair), mix some water in to make a runny slurry, work it in, leave it for a minute or two, and rinse. I was like, huh. I’ll give it a try.
Buddies!! Friends!! It kicks ass!!!
First, the goo smells good. Second, it is fun to make goo in the shower (non-horny). Third, it leaves your hair silky and gorgeous without making it into a hard unyielding brick. Fourth, it keeps dandruff under control. Ahhh it is like a gift from above! It’s PERFECT!
Does this actually work? Is it something about rye flour or would any similarly viscous goo do it? Is it really doing anything good for my hair or am I just too ignorant to tell one way or the other? Lol! Don’t know!!
Like, this very well may be a hippy dippy placebo thing but it works for me, and if it’s snake oil, it’s snake oil that costs me significantly less money than the reputable, officially recognized reptile oil I would be buying otherwise! After all the real sin of fake “natural cure” shit is when it scams people or prevents them from using actual medicine, neither of which this does.
Would I recommend this for you? I dunno! No clue if it’d work for anyone else. If you have long hair I think applying the goo would be a huge pain in the ass and you’d probably miss a lot. Maybe your hair does go stinko mode when you don’t use shampoo to clean it. I hear that for most people the transition away from normal shampoo leaves your hair all fucked up for a week or two which sounds like way more trouble than it’s worth—glad that didn’t happen to me! All I know is that I’m a beautiful piggy now and I put rye flour slurry in my hair.
JOE’S PICKO: Acupuncture
I recently started getting acupuncture and Tom keeps asking me if it gives you powers. My reason for starting acupuncture is simple: it quiets your mind and my brain absolutely sucks ass.
I live in a varying fog of anxious depression that fluctuates seemingly randomly. Part of living with chronic anxiety is understanding your triggers. I’m predisposed to intense bouts of reflection and self-scrutiny so this should be easy. Counterpoint: I’m dumb as shit. Last week I was on the cusp of an insightful breakthrough but my internal monologue was derailed by the following completely sincere thought: “I bet the guy who invented jacking off is really rich.”
So after work sometimes, I walk through Chicago’s Jeweler’s Row and get in the shittiest elevator so a buff older Ukrainian guy can stab me with needles. Obviously I wanted a miracle. I was hoping the second a needle pierced my skin I would have Sicko Mode focus and perfect judgement until my flesh prison gives up the ghost. Honestly, I was hoping my aura would surge and awaken my They Might Be Giants stand (editor’s note: this stand’s legally distinct translated name would be We Don’t Know If They’re Huge).
None of that shit happened, but it is a level of relaxation that I haven’t felt in a long time.
First of all, the needles don’t hurt. You feel them going in but it’s no worse than being flicked. I only felt pain once when I shifted my head on the pillow and the needles in my ear jammed further into my head at a hideous angle. My advice is: don’t do that.
My acupuncturist does a nice job of explaining why he’s needling where he is. In the interest of trust, I imagine most acupuncturists do the same but if he wordlessly jammed needles into me I wouldn't have said shit because he is bigger and stronger than me. There’s a spot on your left big toe that promotes libido. That’s fucked up and I hate it.
After the needles are in, you just lay there. My dude puts on ambient music and beach sounds. I’ve never completely fallen asleep but I spend the duration of the session in half-sleep purgatory, like when you’re on the couch and torn between getting up or embracing the encroaching nap. When I put on my shoes afterwards, I move like a dumb toddler who got woken up after falling asleep in the car.
The problem is life is chaotic and loud and shitty. After one session, I was so calm I was able to read a book on a crowded bus—an impossible task most days. However, the bus was moving so slow that this guy near me got pissed and started yelling. To make things worse, his girlfriend told him every time a minute passed. Every time she reminded him that our bus does not subjugate the River of Time, he got louder and angrier. The needle vibes did not survive the trip home.
That’s all from your good Sickos this week, folks. Keep your eyes peeled next Wednesday as mondo sicko erica dreisbach goes Guesto Mode. Until then, avoid dicko mode. P.S. Bernie won Iowa and New Hampshire