Posts Tagged ‘Dude Collective’

A Postcard from Nepal

“Victor!” began the drafted email message that had been sitting in cyberspace, rotting here, waiting for me like a crow carcass left by a loyal retriever. “My long lost friend, how the hell r ya?”

Could it possibly be? The picture could be of him… of anyone… Was this a trick – a lure placed before my hiding place to bring me out of my hole?

Greetings from the Himalaya: Cyrus Lee Hancock

Greetings from the Himalaya: Cyrus Lee Hancock

I had already wandered outside my safe confines to be here. There are many hotels in Central Florida and many of these many have courtesy internet lobbies for their guests. Such lobbies also work well for anonymous conspiracy bloggers looking to sign-in to mysterious email accounts and read the saved drafted messages left by fellow paranoids. Consider my Neverman ass planted in one such lobby. Before me on this day was an unexpected message from beyond that my eyes scanned frantically. At my back the sound of faux waterfall urged my bladder unnecessarily as the high-pitched spiel of the front desk girl bounced off the neo-post-modern retro-deco plastic blocks that made up the computer station. Could it be that what I was looking at was an actual message from Cyrus Lee Hancock?

“Enough of the fucking small talk, mi amigo. The time for my vindication is nye neigh nigh here. I may be hovering over a mud hole where thousands of strained shits have been taken and frozen at 20,000 feet, but I am not too drunk on altitude and the smell of vomited beer to miss the current events taking place back home. That bitch at the IRS is toast. Or as we say in Himalaya, ‘she’ll make a nice addition to a Yeti’s quilt’. Just like a couple of fucking South Africans I buried yesterday. I buried them, Yeti will fucking dig them up, sew them in, just like Sherpa Jerry says. And Sherpa Jerry don’t lie.

“You need to put the word out. Tell my story, hombre. It is time to negotiate; I am ready to come home. But I am not going to acquiesce until I get some guarantees.”

And so it was clear: Cyrus Lee Hancock had re-emerged onto the grid to take-on the vulnerable IRS that had pursued him to the ends and the heights of the Earth.

He listed his demands to reclaim citizenship of the United States:

  1. I want a full apology hand-written by whoever new is in charge at the IRS.
  2. I want the apology framed. A nice frame. No Target bullshit.
  3. I want the next 10 years off from being taxed by the Federales.
  4. I want my bro-in-law pardoned. Actually, I don’t give two shits, but the wife does.
  5. I want February 29th to just be a day that exists every year. I just got my first gray hair and I have only had seven birthdays – leap day blows.
  6. When kids study the constitution and they read about the 2nd Amendment, under ‘Regulated Militia’, I want there to be a picture of me, my guns, my dog and my Chinese stars.
  7. I want the IRS abolished, once and for all. I might be able to compromise on this one. Exile is okay too.

Cyrus Lee finally concluded, “OASIS and the Hancocks have long endured oppression of the Internet Revenue Service the IRS and if our Kenyan leader in the White House does not step down and allow the rule of the people, then it is time that we rise up like 1776 all over again and stop paying the tea taxes and start taking back our rights as Christian human beings. Or, I guess, just ‘Christians’. Isn’t ‘human’ implied? Unless they baptized Yeti. Fuck if I know. Sherpa Jerry would be pissed if he found out, he’s one of them Hindi Buddhists. Anyway, peace bro, CLH out!”

Prelude: the Emergence of Bucky Swoon

No story just exists in a tightly-packaged 26 month vacuum. How did we get here? What was the fallout? How did I, Vic Neverman, become entangled within the paranoid realm of the survivalist apocalyptist, Cyrus Lee Hancock, and the collection of his minions that were the group known as OASIS?

Circa 2011 of the Common Era: I had a fresh sunburn after relocating from Portland, Oregon, to the cheap plastic wilderness of Central Florida. Without the Dude Collective, my Oregonian commune of drunken philosophers, I quickly found myself lost within the twisted façade of civilization that is this tourism mecca. Parallel to the Arabic Mecca, the space rock that landed here that has fanatics circling like vultures is Space Mountain, or more specifically, Disney and the theme parked madness that followed.

A stranger in A Small World After All, I reached and struggled to find genuine intrigue and conflict in a place where it was all manufactured for consumer consumption. I developed a new alter-ego, Bucky Swoon, and infiltrated the Florida Secessionist Tea Party Movement. I spent a lot of time in North Florida. I wore a ball-cap I had to run over with my car several times to create its perfect shape. I drank cheap swill and allowed myself – err, my alter-ego – to be videoed riding a mechanic bull. I grinned and bore it as they made fun of manatees and manatee wake zones.

And then the Arab Spring arrived.

The Occupy Movement would follow.

Prepping for the Inevitable END: Neverman and Cyrus Lee

Prepping for the Inevitable END: Neverman and Cyrus Lee

Bucky Swoon volunteered to infiltrate the Occupiers as another alter-ego (name since forgotten, hard to keep track). I infiltrated. I returned to tell the Tea Party Secessionists about how ridiculous the Occupiers were and how they were led by a lovely dread-locked girl in a Guy Fawkes mask. Meanwhile, I told the lovely dread-locked girl in a Guy Fawkes mask about how I had infiltrated the Tea Party and how ridiculous they were. I was a double-agent. Or triple, since I was really just working for myself.

Bucky Swoon, who is praised for going undercover as an Occupy Orlando activist by growing a beard, wearing torn blue jeans and not washing his hair (ironically, the same way I infiltrated the Florida Secessionists), was presented with a flier to attend an “Anti-United Nations Paintball Rally sponsored by Cyrus Lee Hancock.”

The rest is history. Or at least some of the rest is in the next paragraph.

OASIS and the IRS

Cyrus Lee Hancock and I became fast friends. He saw through the mirage of Bucky Swoon and we came to grips about our antithetical co-existence. We were Spy Vs Spy, White Hat/Black Hat, Jekyll and Hyde… quasi-Canadian gun-enthusiast paranoid (him) and the neo-beatnik pacifist paranoid (me). I furthered my connection by bringing him whiskey on the rare Leap Day of 2012 and by being respectful of his wife, the beautiful enigma that is Layla Santana Crow. Well, I was respectful outside of the debates she and I endured in regards to the existence of dinosaurs. I was, clearly, in favor of the existence of dinosaurs. She, sweet Layla, was not. She, as always, was persuasive, though.

Cyrus Lee Hancock was the purveyor of Hancock Ranch, a survivalist compound where he held corporate retreats preparing suits for the end of the world, or, at least, another Democratic President. Cyrus Lee was also the founder and president of OASIS: the Oviedo Army of Survival, Intelligence and Security. It was a tight-knit suburban commando unit that met every Tuesday night to whatever surprise casserole dish the wives presented. Wine was drunk as preparations for The End were made.

The Future for Cyrus Lee Hancock and OASIS was clearly rooted in The End. Apocalyptoism was all the rage in 2012, especially with an election pending and the hysterical misinterpretation of the Mayan Calendar ending on December 21st. Donations and applications began to pour in from those who wished to join OASIS and have a front row seat to Armageddon from the safety of Hancock Ranch. Cyrus Lee Hancock was to reinvest those funds by increasing his arsenal and packing away enough foodstuffs to feed the loyal survivalist army. OASIS officially filed as a not-for-profit with the IRS as a means to reduce tax payout. Cyrus Lee even, at one point, insisted OASIS was a cult that followed the dinosaur-denying high priestess, Layla Santana Crow, and that the Freedom of Religion should exempt them from having to pay taxes.

Then the Maya Apocalypse occurred.

Post-apocalypse, everyone was pretty much left standing. Everyone pretty much had to go back to work. Everyone pretty much wanted their refund, or at least their share of Cyrus Lee’s arsenal and refried bean collection. Yet, Cyrus Lee Hancock was nowhere to be found. Hancock Ranch had been sold to some Vegan collective from Ohio. OASIS was no more, the Army disbanded with their post-apocalyptic hangover. The IRS arrived, but arrived too late.

The last I saw of Cyrus Lee and Layla was in an Olive Garden. We shared some cold calamari and a lot of salad. It would not be long before these mysterious two evaporated into the mystery dust of the cosmos.

Cyrus Lee Hancock buried his guns away in some rent-a-shed and sent his bride to some Costa Rican nunnery where she could forage with the orphans. His whereabouts were a mystery. A mystery until the downfall of the IRS finally brought him out of hiding and seeking his due justice. Now he wanted his vindication… and a framed apology.

Cyrus Lee Hancock and some Sherpa Dudes in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock and Sherpa Jerry and Sherpa She-Bop in the Himalaya


Sometimes the most trusted ally is a proven antagonist. It is more important to know a man’s intentions than to agree with them. A familiar rival is often more forthcoming than a fellowship of strangers. Look at Jack Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev, these rivals chose a diplomatic stalemate over the proposals of their hawkish generals who would sooner see mass extinction of the species. Kennedy and Kruschev avoided all-out war by finding the lowest common denominator: survival. In similar fashion, I, Vic Neverman, broke bread (or more literally cracked open beers) with the ever-devious, Phineas Crux. Over a compromise of mutual survival, we two enemies had joined a common cause.

And now the bastard has gone missing.

Despite our longtime opposition, I had employed Phineas Crux into my ever-expanding Neverman Network Of Spies (NNOS). As a political elitist in the Oregonian state capital, an expert on Trans-Pacific foreign policy, and an erstwhile spelunker in the Portland Underground, Phineas Crux is a unique resource to report back on West Coastal stirrings. Most recently, Phineas has been keeping an eye on the Occupy movement in both Portland and Salem, Oregon. He’s made comparisons of the Occupy organizational structure to that of the anti-Franco communists of the Spanish Civil War. He’s mentioned that the homeless seem to have a large role in the local movement, but since the hipsters of Little Beirut (as Portland was called by the 1st Bush Administration) often blur the lines between fashion and destitution, it is not easy to separate the true vagrants from the trustifarians. In perhaps his most startling revelation, Phineas Crux’s espionage uncovered recent research Occupation participators have conducted to learn more about prior secessionist movements in California, Oregon and Washington.

And that is the last we’ve heard of our wayward antagonist.

Has Phineas gone so deep underground he cannot sneak off to a nearby internet cafe to send a short message without being overseen by oppressive forces, be they of the fascist police state or the anarchist pitchforked public? Or has Phineas Crux been more violently silenced – muzzled in some Shanghai Tunnel or buried beneath the snows of Mt Hood? Or could this be the work of a jilted former lover, a scorned ex-flame who wishes to see Phineas finished off (just less pleasantly than times past)? Certainly, there is one such anti-Crux femme fatale that comes to mind… An obvious suspect, she… She who called me, Vic Neverman, in an endless rant of a letter “naive” and “idiotic” (the gall!) for my trusting Phineas Crux. In her defense, however, one must always be cautious when dealing with Phineas. I, Vic Neverman, could trust Phineas Crux precisely because I knew he was untrustworthy. As I mentioned previously, it is better to have a man whose intentions are clear than to have one whose agenda is clouded by their sycophantic agreeableness. Crux is definitely the former.

Portlandian Secret Society "The Dude Collective". Phineas Crux is on the far left, Vic Neverman on the far right.

I first came to know this character, Phineas Crux, in Portland when I and the warior-poet, Ginger Hustle (whose been featured in previous Occupy blogs), entered into the surreal realm of a Jim Morrison shrine off the eastern banks of the Willamette River. Within this Temple of Doors, the warrior-poet and I became acquainted with Phineas Crux and we would later be initiated into a cultic brotherhood of sorts, which I have referred to before as the Dude Collective. Despite being fellow philosopher-monks in the Collective, rivalry and sabotage ensued between Crux and Neverman. When my play, “Operation Smoking Dragon” premiered in Lincoln City, who was it streaking through the audience with just a tube sock covering his nether-parts? Phineas Crux. And then in the aftermath of a great blizzard, “Sno-pacalypse 2008” as the local news called it, lines were clearly drawn for a final battle between Phineas with his merry men and Ginger Hustle and I, Vic Neverman, on the opposite side. Perhaps the only thing keeping us from mutual annihilation was the holiday spirit contained in the seasonal craft beers we had been gulping down… poisonous remedy it could be.

The zenith of the antagonism between Neverman and Crux was reached when each of us, under different pretenses, found ourselves in Southeast Asia suspecting the Other as a saboteur. The dusty jungles of non-monsoonal Vietnam and Cambodia were the devil’s playground for our dance of intrigue. One positive aspect of traveling in corrupt states is the ease with which I bribed the Saigon police with the help of my guide Now True Van Wasted (“now true” being a brutal anglicization of her name Ngoc Truc). I used these bribes in an effort to recapture my stolen passport and visa (courtesy, one would suspect, of the devious Phineas Crux) and to further hinder the plans of he, my nemesis.

Showdown in Siem Reap. From left to right, Mr and Mrs VanWasted, Phineas Crux, Vic Neverman, and hovering over the scene, Phineas' 7 foot goon, Q-Ball

It wouldn’t be until both Crux and Neverman found themselves in Cambodia before we would actually meet face-to-face for the first time since Portland a month earlier when each saw the Other off, like two racers revving engines at the starting line. It was in the crossroads of the “White Market” in Siem Reap, among the pedicure-by-goldfish stalls and the sickeningly capitalistic vendors of land mine souvenirs, that Neverman and Crux met with our teams in tow. Phineas suspected me of wrong-doings I was absolutely innocent of. I, in turn, accused him of nearly blinding me by poisoning my contact solution in Ho Chi Minh City (I was sporting an eye-patch for a while there) and then later hiring a local goon to mug me of my traveling papers (if it weren’t for an ever-present and surprisingly helpful Mossad agent, I would still be hitchhiking my way out of Indochina). Our mirrored sneers became snickers and our ricocheted paranoia brought a cynical levity. With so much in common, our friendship was quickly renewed.

We would both return to Oregon for the last months of the Dude Collective before the brotherhood would geographically fracture, separating members by continents and oceans. It was just as well, going on double-dates with your arch-nemesis and a pair of unsuspecting girlfriends was getting awkward. By the end of the year, Crux left Portland for the state capital and Neverman was in Florida.

But through the web – specifically the online forum Zoey & the Zeitgeist – the misaligned alliance remained… until now.

Now, Crux is gone…

(part two of a three part blog series on Dan the Destroyer)

While Vic Neverman might be known primarily as a conspiracy theorist, it is only because the spotlight of my career is on that portion of a larger body of work. Overall, I am a seeker of truth in topics that reside on the outer fringes of normalcy. For example, crypto-zoology… I have hunted the Beast of Bray Road from my safe house in South Milwaukee, I have stunk it up in the cypress swamps of Florida in search of the Skunk Ape, and I have wandered through Texas pastures looking for Chupacabra. During my brief stint living a bohemian existence in Oregon, I pursued the elusive old man of the forest: Big Foot.

With news that Dan the Destroyer was coming to Florida, my mind recently went back to my many adventures along the Columbia River where Dan, the Dude Collective, and I camped and hunted Bigfoot. By hunt, let me clarify, the goal was to find proof. The last thing we wished to achieve was killing, injuring, or capturing a Sasquatch.

While one would think living in Oregon would make Bigfoot expeditions easily accessible, that one would be wrong. Deadly wrong. The problem with Bigfoot is that the greatest frequency of sightings exist in the “no hike” zones of marijuana country. There is so much weed grown in these backwoods of Oregon that the ganja industry has placed numerous heavily armed illegal immigrants throughout the region with direct orders to shoot at anything that moves. Marijuana is big business in the Pacific Northwest and that business is well protected. This is why it is not easy to find a high-frequency Bigfoot zone safe to hike in. It also begs the question: has a Sasquatch ever been gunned down by a weed-watcher? We can only hope the answer is no. Should the answer be yes, no good could come of it as illegal farmers would not bring attention to the facts behind such a kill.

So there is certainly a lot to consider when seeking out an area to hunt Sasquatch. We found the safest region of high-frequency sightings was the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Just a few hours from our home of Portland, we found a home base at Panther Creek.

Dude Collective: Dude, Dude, Vic Neverman, Dude, Dan the Destroyer

Allow me to shed some light on the secret society of “manosphers” I refer to as the “Dude Collective”. Our group has been accused of being both anarchists (one of our members is an ardent anti-absolutist, living his life to destroy all absolute concepts) and of being a political organization looking to rule through enlightened despotism. The truth is, there is no one main goal or mission of the Dude Collective. Our political leanings are diverse and the only commonalities are our love of women, beer, and liberty. The history of the Dude Collective is extensive with origins that mixed European masonic tradition with Hamatsa shamanism of the Kwakwaka’wak indigenous peoples of British Columbia. Thanks to the passed down secrets of this latter group, our Dude Collective was well prepared for seeking out the Old Man of the Forest. The only trick? Finding someone bold enough to be the “Bigfoot bait”. Fortunately, we had Dan the Destroyer.

Dan was originally nominated to dress up in a Sasquatch outfit in an attempt to lure out a legitimate Bigfoot simply because it was commonly known he was working for Homeland Security and was considered to be just a narc. Should Dan be shot by hunters or raped by a grizzly, it was thought he would be easily replaced by the next domestic spy Big Brother sent our way. The truth was, though, that Dan wasn’t as expendable as we would have liked to believe. Not only was he the resident engineer (though he certainly broke more things than he built, thus his nickname), Dan also became endeared to the rest of the Collective. Sure, we constantly lied to him in order to pass disinformation along to his spymaster, but we did genuinely like Dan.

Vic Neverman and Bigfoot (Dan the Destroyer in costume)

We dressed Dan in Yeti garb and followed him as he wandered into the forest making feminine orgasmic noises (this wasn’t protocol, it was just typical Dan behavior). Perhaps Dan’s high-pitched yelps turned off male Bigfeet, perhaps he just didn’t have the right scent to be a Sasquatch in heat, but we never encountered our target. In fact, the best we ever did was get drunk enough to raid other campfires and get a laugh out of our nervous neighboring campers. Except that group of coed volleyball players. Those chicks just thought us creepy goons, regardless of how many times we offered them a few beers back at our campsite to make up for trespass.

Ahhh, good times…

“An engineer has a mind to build things and a knack for taking them back apart.”
– A member of the Dude Collective, speaking anonymously about Dan the Destroyer

I am not sure how he found me. Certainly, I recognized the Washington DC area code and quickly thought of Dan the Destroyer. But how did he track me down? How is it someone from the Pacific Northwest happens to be in my Floridian neighborhood. I listened to his cryptic message and immediately called him back. I wasn’t calling his bluff, Dan the Destroyer doesn’t fuck around when he ups the ante. I merely wished to call his bet to see his cards.

Years ago, after relocating to Oregon, when I was introduced to the men who made up the Dude Collective, Dan the Destroyer had already infiltrated their circle. I assumed, naturally, that this man who dressed as Big Lebowski’s the Jesus the first night I met him was just another one of the gang. It wasn’t until I was properly initiated into the ranks of the Dude Collective and Dan left on a beer run that the other men, nudged me, pointing at Dan’s departure and implicated, “He’s a narc.”

A narc? A fed? Sent to spy on the Dude Collective? But why…?

The Dude Collective is an alias I use to describe the clandestine Bohemian brotherhood I joined in Portland. Each member was an artist, a philosopher, and often times a theologist. There were politicians, poets, and even a few bartenders. Certainly, we had some dangerous ideas, but were we really a threat to the Establishment with all the marijuana in the air (smoke from the plant is what causes the meteorological oddity of 300 days of overcast skies)? I thought us harmless. I was on the lam from a police state, I did not wish to enter into another fascist playground. Portland was supposed to be my escape, somewhat of the antithesis of Chicago.

“Oregon has the highest per capita anarchists, agnostic/atheists, breweries and strip clubs. That is a dangerous combination” a member of the Dude Collective explained the monitoring of Big Brother, aka Dan the Destroyer. “The Establishment just provides a lot of bodies to intermingle and gather intelligence. Data is analyzed, reports are made, presentations are given, and the secret spy budget gets raised. Domestic espionage, basically the American government spying on its own people, is its own micro-economy. Think of all the people employed thanks to this program.”

And with that sort of liberal thinking, the group of moderates and leftists nodded their approval for the loss of their liberty.

Dan always quick with a beer for Vic Neverman

“<Dan the Destroyer is a spy. He was bred in Michigan, educated in engineering but trained in spy-craft in DC (probably Quantico or Langley, VA), and sent to Portland to listen, record, and report on the goings on of our Dude Collective. Always the first to put another pint of beer in your hand, Dan the Destroyer must have done well collecting our deepest darkest secrets as it was never too long before we were drunk enough to stop caring who he worked for and began confiding any and everything.

And now… He is coming to Florida. But why and to what end?