A Crack-up at the Race Riots (Harmony Korine)

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When he first came into my life, I was immediately drawn to him. I was immediately his mother, and I know that he could tell that I was his mom. It didn't take long, the bond was there for us in the first seconds. And when he was very, very little I would take him in my backpack. I had seen a television special, it was on the news, about a zookeeper who adopted a baby kangaroo because its mother had abandoned it. And the zookeeper had to keep this baby kangaroo in a blue rucksack. So this immediately reminded me of Igor and myself, because Igor's mom had left him in much the same way. So I made a very small sack by hand that I fashioned with a soft furry material on the interior so that Igor could be warm and comfortable inside. And when we would go shopping together all the other moms in the store would come up to me and say how cute he was, but because he was in the sack all they could see was his smiling little face bobbing out. He looked confident inside, they couldn't tell that he had no arms because he was tucked in so nicely. That's when the mothers were friendly, when they didn't know what Igor really looked like, how he was physically. But we all knew that when Igor grew older, he wouldn't be able to fit on my back anymore, that he would eventually have to grow up. This was very hard for me to accept. Sometimes I think it was more difficult for me than it was for him. I could always judge the times in Igor's life by the changes in the expressions of the faces of other mothers, the ones who didn't know Igor well, or the ones who were witnessing him for the first time with no explanation.

from page 80


A blind boy and his older brother live together in a small house with their middle-aged mother. The older brother takes care of his blind brother. He walks him arm-in-arm to the grocery and back and forth from school. He tries to teach him how to play basketball. One day the blind boy recovers his eyesight. The blind boy begins an affair with his brother. The mother freaks out. The blind boy kills himself. The older brother and mother are stuck together.

from page 83


from page 95


First things first: I would like to set the record straight. The reason I am hanging myself is not solely because I am a midget. Two days ago while I was visiting Vancouver I went to a hockey game and I got so upset at myself because I realized I would never be capable of being what I wanted to be. This is obviously due to my stature; I am unable to go out on the ice and compete. I spent four hard years of my life writing what I consider to be one of the greatest romance novels of our time (Please Consider My Lust), of which I have now burned the only existing copy. No one would give it a fair read. There was not a single reply, even from the people whom I consider to be close personal friends, not naming names, they never got around to reading it. All I can say is to hell with this life. Plus I am only attracted to tall women, these are the women who time after time consistently refuse me. Do they ever give me a chance? No. Do they even care? No. My only regret is that I was never able to visit Sweetwater, Florida. I have always wanted to go there because it is a town that was originally settled by a troupe of Russian circus midgets in the early 1940s. My parents were married there and I was conceived there. I leave all my belongings to the NAACP, except my art deco wall clock, which I would like to leave to the Dayton, Ohio, public library because this was the place that I first discovered the works of Emily Brontë and S.E. Hinton, whose works inspired me to become a failed midget writer.


from page 103


Sup Nigga Floyd,

I haven't written in so long, I been watchin' baseball on the set (I got the biggest TV you ever seen, the kinda boob that when we wuz children they didn't even have shit like this, a small movie screen with drink holders comin' out the side), an the Braves is slamin' this year, mad homers an a fly infield. When I was locked up you sent me music an I must tell you lil' homie that shit kept my ass in check, some jazz, some blues, an the rock shit was cool, The Who, I read the liner notes about Keith Moon and that shit struck me for some reason, I wrote a song based on his childhood called "The Boy Trapped in the Moon," the beat is funky, that nigga Dre Bone flew in the beats from his crills in Florida, we sampled a buncha shit from Marvin Gaye an this crazy slide guitar from a country album. I'm gonna tour a little bit with Snoop an some others but I'm gonna be out your way real soon so get ready. But listen yo I'm much calmer these days. I felt like I been seein' the light burn bright as hell an that shit singed my skin with the word Righteous, it don't mean I ain't no thugg, that as you know is my destiny, but the time is time an my ass is gonna sit back, rhyme, get hella busy with the bitches, keep prayin' day after day, buy shoes, whatever, the important thing is just livin' in step, the tragedy is yesterday's news homie, that shit is straight-up fin as they say in the French land. When I was shot I started having visions, I started remembering whole passages from books that my moms made me read when I was a reluctant nigg, she made me read Mark Twain an Moby Dick an shit an that shit was just poppin' into my head like it'd been there the whole time stuck in the back under a puffed-out haze of fog, whole fuckin' passages an shit about the power of the light an the force of the sight. That's why those East Coast pussies couldn't lay me down, the thugg bone had too much force, them bullets was rendered silly Lil' Floyd. I still gots problems an shit as you know, the typical and the anti-typical, it's hard for me as a man to show a woman respect, I feel I can respect her for a time, but then she just gives her shit up easy an I want to spit on her. I could be in love with her one moment and the next I'll hit her shit deep from behind an her face will make a certain grimace an the game's all over for me an especially for her, I'll turn her shit out like the devil, I don't know what's in me that makes me do the shit I do. That's the thugg in me, the thugg life story, or as Michael Jackson would say my (his)tory. I've turned out so many bitches that at one time or another I've pledged my love to, I'll give her to a nigga I fought years back, some dark-ass fool I busted way back in the day, I still don't like the muthafucka but I'll give a piece just out of whatever nonsense I'm feelin at the time. That shit is wrong with me but I'm young still. So much in me has calmed, the loot tends to make a nigga calm. I got a steamin' bowl of clam chowder coolin' off in front of me an they're playin' reruns of the Ali vs. Foreman match from 1974 on the sports-classic channel. Hug all the women I love. I'll be there soon, we can take your Bronco to the beach an rub up on some shit. Say thugg love to those in the hood, the 3-5 crosstown niggaz, Rd J., Da Fat Bitch Worm, Knocc Out, King Kennedy, Kerm, Angry Avi, 123 Hot Sauce Hustlaz, Archie Arch, Kiesha Anderson, and everyone else sippin' the sauce down at Kent College.

Thugg Life Survivor,
Tupac Shakur


Dear Mom,

I just got finished reading an article in the New York Times about a guy who got lost in the woods on a hiking trip. He survived by eating egg corns and wild berries. For some reason he was barefoot when he was rescued, in the picture of him his legs were all torn up and bruised. He looked so skinny but he was smiling in the picture. He was wandering around by himself for ten days straight. In the article he was quoted as saying, "I heard the sound of bagpipe music coming from the bottom of a mountain, I just closed my eyes and followed the music. When I finally reached the source of the music after walking for what seemed like hours, I opened my eyes and saw a deer having sex with a moose. I was so surprised to see two different species of animal engaged in sexual intercourse." In the photo the guy was wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt, so I bet as you could imagine that he was on acid and that he was a hippie.

Much love to you Moms,

from page 171

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Excerpted from A Crack-up at the Race Riots by Harmony Korine. Copyright © 1998 by Harmony Korine. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.