Category Archives: From the Present

Very Cool, Very Fucking Cool

Ugh, it’s really nice to be reminded how people are amazingly willing to fuck you over, even at six in the morning, isn’t it? Black people are being shot by cops, cops are being shot by people in response, and a girl is fucking me over as I type, all of which is totally nice to know. I’m homeless again and have been dealing with more brain problems, but for a minute I though things were just okay, when in reality I’m being reminded by reality that things are fucked up, which is cool to know. The last thing I’d want is to think is things are okay. It’s cool to remember that.

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Getting Fired Again

Sat, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:11 PM

“Hi Mike, as of this moment, the Gallivan Center is terminating your employment for insubordination and trying to entice the breakdown of a great working ice rink team by undermining to the rink staff of Kurt Butkovich of who has been employed at the Gallivan Center for over 10 years and has done an outstanding job.  Numerous ice rink staff indicated that you were disruptive and negative toward not only Kurt , but the whole team unity that we have worked hard to obtain.

Please turn in your keys and uniform to security no later than 6:00 pm on 12/30/15.  Please contact security at 801-834-4890 upon your arrival.

Thank you for your cooperation.”

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It hasn’t been fully confirmed as of this moment (*update: yes it has), but I think I’m about to be fired from another job, this time for insubordination. I am only so surprised. I mean, I’d only worked a few weeks before being fired, so it came out of the blue. I also didn’t do anything insubordinate, meaning the news caught me further off guard. To be fair, insubordinate is not the worst description of me, and although it’s rather disconcerting to be fired, as it does cause a certain amount of reflection, I’d never want to be “subordinate” to anything.

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Insubordinate. What the fuck? You’d think enticing the breakdown of “a great working ice rink team” was cool. Apparently not.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been guilty of exhibiting careless, rebellious behavior at jobs. I was fired from my first job at IHC (gross misconduct), my bartending gig at the Ex-Wife’s Place (conspiracy), Twilite Lounge (failure to conspire), on the middle of a cruise ship by MILK (supposedly for being “the worst person ever”), a tutoring/mentoring job for some rich girl (a tweet), my job making gravestones at the Salt Lake Monument shop (fired for being a bad laborer by a guy who was a good laborer and had the hunchback to show for it), two relationships (emotional instability) and a hockey team (my hair I assume). And that’s just what I remember.10574532_1023785017635244_4655788656227732916_n

I’ve also had job offers retracted from me a few times, most noticeably at the Gallivan Ice Rink (bad fucking credit [before subordination]), from the Economist (thanks to my alleged Marxist leanings due to my degree being earned at the University of Utah), and, ironically enough, the University of Utah (an article I wrote about the NCAA being full of shit).

Fuck that noise.

Still, losing this job makes me pause and reflect. I guess if I look at it from a comprehensive perspective, my employment portfolio shows some definite trends. There’s probably a reason why no one asks me to be a reference. The weirdest part is that I’m actually a good worker. True, I’ve always said there’s nothing more depressing than hearing someone say they’re good at their job, but outside of that one-liner, I actually strive to do solid work when treated with respect. Seriously, I mean that. Too bad I rarely get those jobs.

Now, on one hand it is clear that I’m badass, and am simply reaping the rewards of said badassery. On the other hand, maybe I’m confusing badass with dumbass, which explains why I’m currently on the way to a sandwich shop to organize a couple shelves in exchange for a sandwich and $10 bucks.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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At what point did I develop this personality trait? I do believe in that whole nature-and-nurture thing, where we’re influenced both by our genetics and environment, but at some point I also have to blame myself, whoever or whatever myself is. Is it right to say I have a rebellious “nature” or is it something contrived within me? I’m not sure.

I guess when it comes to working for people who don’t value me, I’ll defer to the wisdom of my grandma; “Fuck it.”

*Update: I just got a short-term job working as a fixer for a documentary series. Stay tuned to how I get fired from that one.

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Official Zaqistan Press Release

Zaqistan is consuming my life to such a degree that I’m questioning who I am in the first place. Why am I working so hard on this insane project? Who knows. Anyway, we have a couple events coming up, so I thought I’d share with you our official press release I’m sending media outlets. Take a look if you’re interested…

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The 10th Anniversary of the Republic of Zaqistan

November 19th, 2015, marks the 10th year anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Zaqistan, and to celebrate Twilite Lounge is hosting an Independence Day party. CUAC is buying a beer for every official Zaqistani citizen in attendance, and Zaqistani citizenship can be applied for and granted by Rep. Michael Abouzelof at a pop-up kiosk in the bar. Citizenship is free for those who meet the criteria of truly wanting it.

This event will be followed up by an academic symposium held at CUAC on December 3rd. On that night, we will be discussing the concepts behind Zaqistan, the recent media frenzy, as well as how the micronation fits with the history of Utah.

In case you are unaware, here is a quick background on Zaqistan. In 2005, New York artist Zaq Landsberg purchased two acres in a remote Utah desert for $610 off of eBay. After venturing out to the land that summer, Landsberg and a few friends who would become the first Zaqistani citizens declared independence from the United States and founded the Republic of Zaqistan. Ten years later, and with the help of writer Michael Abouzelof, Zaqistan has morphed into an international phenomenon that calls into question what it means to be a nation is in the first place.

Over time, Landsberg has built an array of monuments and public works on the land, including a Victory Arch, a customs booth immigration station, and robotic sentinels that protect the borders. Zaqistan has opened a temporary Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a Consulate-General in New York City in 2012. The Zaqistan State Department has issued more than 175 passports to date, and more than 300 people around the world hold Zaqistani citizenship.

Described as a “sovereign nation” by Conan O’Brien, “conceptual art project turned into a literal example of nation-building,” by Vice Media and acknowledged by US Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as a “country,” the Republic of Zaqistan exists on a multitude of different levels. While public figures joke about the micronation, refugees from around the world have sought asylum there. It is a plot of land, a severely weathered sculpture garden, a national identity, a conceptual art piece, a de-facto sovereign nation, and a probe into the meaning of sovereignty, legitimacy, nationalism, perception, and reality.

To date, Zaqistan has been reported on in 40 countries and in more than 27 languages. It has been featured in Vice, the NY Daily News, PEOPLE Magazine, ARTE (France), The New York Times, Deseret News, KSL, WGN Radio, New York Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, USA TODAY, Fox News, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Denver Post, SFGate, Salon, DunyaNews Pakistan, Emirates 24/7, Irish Examiner, Egypt 1, Singapore News, Kenya Central, and many others.  

Michael Abouzelof is a writer and representative of the Republic of Zaqistan. In the past he has been described as “a living example of the dysfunction of the American medical system.” Currently writing for VICE Media, he specializes in radical economics with a pop culture twist, late night existential discourses, and potentially treasonous conceptual art projects.

CUAC, formerly known as the Central Utah Art Center, is an artist-run contemporary art venue located in the heart of Salt Lake City. Their aim is to continue to be a pioneer in contemporary art in Utah and to take a multifaceted approach to community development through education, exhibitions, symposia, criticism, education about art collecting, and collaboration.

Twilite Lounge is a Salt Lake City dive bar that has been in operation since 1947. Home to an assortment of people from all walks of life, it is a popular neighborhood spot for young and old alike. On the night of the decennial party, they will be serving an assortment of drinks that feature the finer points of Zaqistani mixology.

The Salt Lake City event on November 19th is part of a global celebration of Zaqistanis coming together to mark the country’s decennial. Concurrent festivities will be held in New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam and Paris. The event is free and open to anyone 21 and older.

November 19th, 2015

8 PM–1 AM

Twilite Lounge

347 E 200 S

Salt Lake City, UT

The symposium on December 3rd will be held at CUAC. The discussion will be held from 6–7, followed by a general mingling from 7–8. It is free and open to all.

December 3rd, 2015

6 PM–8 PM

CUAC

175 E 200 S

Salt Lake City, UT

Contact zaqistanslc@gmail.com for more information.

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Cool Runnings (Quite Possibly the Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Written)

So I had to do this focus group, right? It’s all about snowmobiles and why I’d want one, which clearly means I had to stretch the truth. I mean, what would I do with a snowmobile? I have no truck to transport it, no money to buy it, and absolutely zero interest in owning one in the first place. Nonetheless, there was a fifty dollar prize for whoever made the most creative piece (which I crushed by the way), and I figured I’d just mess around with it and see what came out. It’s terrible, utterly terrible, but it does have some moments. Here are the three questions I had to answer:

1) WHAT YOU THINK YOU WILL LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR VEHICLE

Be it a snowmobile, personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicle, side-by-side vehicle, motorcycle, 3-wheel roadster or boat, we know you are contemplating ownership of one. Please let us know what you think you will LOVE most about it? Ultimately, what is the appeal? Why do you want one of these vehicles? Please show us through a few images.

2) WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR NEW VEHICLE?

What do you envision doing with this power sports vehicle? Where will you go? With whom will you be? What activities will take place?

3) HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL FEEL?

Think about when you actually have this vehicle. Think about doing with it what you referred to on the prior page. How do you think it will feel? Please tell us about what you think it will mean to you to own it, use it, drive, ride it. What will you get out of it? Perhaps think about how you might complete the sentence – “Driving/riding my new vehicle will make me feel ____________.”

What is life like without it? How do you feel about not owning one today?

Here’s my response…………………………………………………………………………………………..

COOL RUNNINGS

Chapter 1

Since the dawn of time, snowmobiles (a.k.a. Chariots of the Arctic) have given humans quick access to areas that might otherwise take what feels like forever to get to. Not only are they insanely awesome to ride, they provide riders with a command of the elements that transcends them from the world of mere mortals to the realm of the Gods.

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They are fast, sleek, no nonsense machines that can be used in a variety of ingenious ways. For some, they are purely recreational; for others, necessary for survival in isolated communities. Carl Eliason, who is considered the inventor of the snowmobile, found  the machines to be ideal for hunting. “With this machine, I was able to turn the tables on my hunting comrades–as long as there was snow on the ground. While they hoofed it on foot, I would ride and get to our destination in the woods an hour ahead of them!” Although the machines can be loud enough to alert potential game of a hunter’s presence, the ability to move with relative ease through the snow is simply too advantageous to ignore.

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However, since I do not hunt, none of that applies to me. The real reason I would love my new snowmobile is similar why bikers love their motorcycles–they provide an avenue for going where no man has gone before, an enhancement of liberty as I continue my quest for discovering true freedom.

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True freedom and picking up chicks.

Chapter 2

Of course, there might be more to life than finding true freedom and meeting women. Possibly. For me, having fun with my friends brings color to my life, and having a snowmobile would allow us to color outside of the lines. I cannot say for certain where we go, as I envision me and my two best friends traveling through parts unknown, following our hearts into territories that would otherwise remain foreign to us. I can see it now; blizzards, bears, our own self-doubts–these would no longer be obstacles for us. If anything, they would provide us with unique moments to reminisce about once we got back to the lodge. A sense of comradery can be found through such experiences. I have no doubt that Mike Brown, Jon Larsen and I would become better friends because of our snowmobiles.

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I would also want to look like the polar version of Ayrton Senna, a Formula One race car driver who tragically passed before his time. I would coordinate my outfit to match my snowmobile with his image in mind, dressing all in red except for my signature yellow helmet. That way there would be no question who was lapping the other snowmobilers.

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Chapter 3

Obviously my snowmobile would make me feel awesome. Why wouldn’t it? Everything I’ve described rules so hard that I can’t imagine feeling anything less that fulfilled. True, eventually I would have to return to civilization and resume my day-to-day existence, but knowing that I now have the ability to feel that level of coolness–both figuratively and literally– would give me something to look forward to. Although the general drudgery of work would still be unavoidable, I’d know that soon I’d be flying across the snow.

Both figuratively and literally.

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Now that I think about it, life without my snowmobile totally sucks. Am I wasting my life? Why am I here right now, sitting in this room, when I could be out on the backwoods trails, the crisp wind chilling my face as my all-powerful machine warms my heart? Human beings are both blessed and cursed with our ability to conceptualize, and whereas thinking about my snowmobile while I sit in a cubicle is something I’d love, sitting in my cubicle thinking about how I don’t have a snowmobile is completely crushing. Life is already hard without having to realize that you don’t have a snowmobile, and with that in mind, is there really any question of why I want one in the first place? No, there isn’t.

I want a snowmobile.

I need a snowmobile.

And as God as my witness, I will have a snowmobile.

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Note: I chose these photos because they reflect exactly what I think when the word snowmobile comes to mind. Outside of Aryton Senna, all characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

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The Best Thing Vice Cut Out of My Article

Yes, my new article on Zaqistan is up and going, and though it’s getting some positive reviews or whatever, I’m a little bummed out about how it was edited, mostly because it excluded a certain line that I felt was necessary. Since I’m the editor of this far superior site, I thought I’d share with you my favorite line from the story. It goes as follows:

IMG_4325“Brothels, man,” Scott muttered as he slammed rivets into the sheet metal, “that’s what this place needs.”

–Scott Wasilewski

IG: swagsilewski

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Democratic Debates | Round One

Wait, how do you do this?

Somewhere on here you should be able to take a screenshot, but how you do that is beyond me. Wait..

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I guess that’s how you get a screenshot. Good. Now.

Why does this exist? “Clinton Leans In.” What does that mean exactly? From what I can tell, her performance was “forceful,” and that she “crush(ed) it,” went after Bernie Sanders on guns, and like, totally ruled.

Huffington Post, you’ve done it again.

To be fair, I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s late, some girl who showed me the La Brea tar pits says she’s in love with me, I’m dealing with nonstop suicidal tendencies, these assholes play a very real part in what access I’ll have to healthcare and my bullshit student loans, and I barely have enough money to see a fucking doctor who tells me I’m not capable of even scrimmaging with my stupid hockey team. Those guys need me.

They’re the only ones who need me. Them and my family. And my friends.

This whole system thing that we’ve allowed to dictate our lives even though we all know is bullshit does not need me, nor my friends or family. Certainly not my hockey team.

It’s late. Some girl who showed me the La Brea tar pits is far away. Somewhere I hope there’s meaning in that. In this day and age, how the fuck should I know if there is meaning in anything?

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Donald Trump is a True American Genius

A guy I play hockey with on Sundays recently asked me what I thought about Trump. I said I was treating him as a form of social thermometer, where it gave us some insight into where our society was at. He said that he found him hilarious, an angle I completely understand. Here’s why:

482327612-republican-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-gives.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2Donald Trump is brilliant.

He knows how to get certain things done, and if you don’t believe him, watch one of his speeches—hell, watch a few clips. The man knows how to work an audience, even if he’s working them into a fervor of jingoistic, misogynistic, racist, bigoted whirlpool of America. The man is brilliant.

In pop culture, to be a celebrity is to be truly recognized as better than others. There’s money in it, fame, obviously recognition as being a superstar of the rich and famous. It’s a position of power, because what you do is automatically listened to by millions of people, whether they want to hear it or not. It’s like that easy target, Kim Kardashian. We all know who she is—unless you’re that far removed that we could consider you a statistical outlier—and we all know that we all know.

It’s not hard to pinpoint the reason for this. She’s constantly being thrown before us like she’s someone that matters, and she does, to those who buy into or make money off of her cult of personality. She is an uber-celebrity, married to a man of equal status, so there’s no surprise that she stands out from all the other fairly attractive, rich, vain springs of influence. If she says something, shit always goes viral, and that’s what Trump has managed to do.

It’s a matter of understanding and then playing the hustle. He realizes that the more outrageous the things he says, the more his clips and name will be repeated by the masses. Does anyone know who Carly Fiorina is or what she possibly stands for? Not really, and that’s because she doesn’t have near the celebrity status as Trump has. I’ve never heard of the Fiorina Towers, and I doubt you have either. Does the line, “You’re fired,” bring up images of whatever Carly Fiorina looks like? Not me, and I know I’m not alone in this position.

Trump is brilliant in the sense that he’s actively trying to buy the election through sheer influence, all stemming from his name recognition. The fact that he’s also able to turn on the angry conservative base in the process doesn’t hurt one bit, as it both plays to their patriotic fear that the socialists are winning as well infuriate the left, effectively ensuring both sides continue talking about him.

Of course, there is some danger in his game. Riling up the conservative fringe will have consequences, as now all of the republican candidates are forced to move further right, which could make the moderate crowd side slightly more to the left, as the right is fucking crazy. Supporting—hell, encouraging—inequalities of all kinds can only make our country more divided at this necessary time of change, and that’s not good for social progression. Trump is pushing America backwards at a pivotal time, but doesn’t matter to him as long as his celebrity status grows, which it will, because he’s brilliant. He’s brilliantly playing a hustle.

Too bad the target of the hustle is us…

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Let’s Just Try To Wrap Our Heads Around This One

Good fucking luck.

It’s impossible. As per usual, I struggle with summing up context, mostly because everything feels so important that it inevitably turns into irrelevancy. Now that’s what I call context! But wait, no, this is serious, no jokes for a minute.

I am completely and utterly out of control and I know it, which you think would mean I wasn’t, cause like, duh, logical conclusions say you’d have to be sane to know you’re insane, fucking catch 22 all over again. It’s true though. Something’s clicked recently and I’ve jumped into a mindset of desperate panic that’s affecting every single interaction I have. People are worried and I’m not giving them reasons not to be. Sister. Friends. Guy at bodega. Girl. Everyone. They all know I’m fucking crazy. In fact, they’re fucking crazy aware of how crazy I am, and from the perspective of a social thermometer, that says something.

So okay, now we’ve established context. Here’s where it gets weird.

I head to New Orleans on Monday to hang out with dudes on horses, high school cheerleaders and most importantly, Akasha and Clark. I’m deadly serious about all of that statement somehow. What’s not cool about it is how intensely out of control I’m being, which we’ve established. Rich knows this but obviously doesn’t know what to do about it. So what does he decide to do?

Buy Jon Larsen a one way ticket to hang out with me.

Wait, what?

Jon has absolutely nothing right now and is losing his mind. I mean, I have more nothing and have lost my mind way harder, but Jon’s running the same race and is gaining on me. And Rich cares about him too. So I vaguely assume what Rich decided to do is put me and Jon together so we can fight the world as a team and force ourselves into staying alive, if only out of spite. Okay, great plan. Oh, did I mention Jon doesn’t want to go? Yeah, he’s afraid he’ll die there, doesn’t have any money at all and has no reason to live. Perfect. He obviously should be around me, the guy who’s only barely hanging on. Luckily I have $100,000+ dollars in medical debt and badass seizures I can use to support us. At least we have that. But seriously, Rich didn’t even ask Jon, just bought him a ticket and smiled. It’s not like Rich is going to New Orleans. He’s just sending Jon to save me or something, which abstractly is supposed to save Jon.

So here are the questions: Why? What are we going to do there? Where are we going to live? How are we going to survive? How the fuck are we going to survive?

Nice plan Rich.

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But that’s what’s happening and it’s scary and crazy and maybe even exciting. Will we survive? Good question.

I guess in sum, well, i mean, if any of this makes sense to you, I just like, don’t know…

MIKE ABU’S GUIDE TO ZAQISTAN

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Zaqistan is located in the most hostile, unforgiving environment than anyone could have the misfortune to experience. It makes Skull Valley look like a water park. In essence, there is no reason to ever go there, yet somehow Zaqistan survives in the unrelenting heat of an alkaline desert, thriving in the absurdity of its existence.

If I was to offer one thing to say about Zaqistan to potential visitors, it would be this—don’t go. It’s a fucked up place. African Bushmen would describe Zaqistan as an impossible environment to scrape a meager existence from; ancient Greeks would have attributed the barren flats to a vengeful Hades. But if you are masochistic enough to visit this merciless land, you’ll definitely have an experience. 

As far as I know, the first step to visiting Zaqistan is letting two kids from New Orleans, one from Chicago and another from New York sleep on your floor in Salt Lake City. Then you watch one of them meticulously create a piñata costume as he tells you about his homeland.

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From what I’ve gathered, renowned global explorer Zaq Landsberg founded Zaqistan in 2006. He’d fallen into a little (not much) money and decided on a whim to purchase approximately two acres of the old Bonneville Sea bed on Ebay for $600 dollars. When prodded, Zaq gave his reasoning for the acquisition as, “Getting a little piece of the American West before it was gone.” Judging by Zaqistan’s incredibly remote location, that’s not going to be a problem anytime soon. Its original embassy was located in Argentina, but for a while it was located in an art gallery in Manhattan, a stone throw away from the United Nations building. Although there are a number of people who have dual citizenship with Zaqistan, for the vast majority of the time the official population is zero. Nobody lives there, and nobody blames them.

 Resting as the only independent nation within the contiguous United States (outside of Native Reservations), Zaqistan is ridiculous, just like this sentence. Although the land does appear to be unsustainable for any form of life, extremophiles like sagebrush and rattlesnakes live there in abundance out of sheer absurdity.

Cubans often use their Zaqistani passports to appear as tourists, as the passports look so legit and Zaqistan is so obscure that cops are dumb enough to believe them. My passport should be arriving in the mail any day now. I’m planning on using to pick up on easily confused girls.

 

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Like all proud nations, Zaqistan has a number of monuments that highlight its history and achievements. Most impressive of all is the Triumphant Arch, which stands out against the nothingness with a brilliance of sheer existence. The robots tend to be a popular tourist attraction for the younger generation, and the Zaqistani flag is a prominent fixture visible from every border. There’s also a lot of sagebrush.

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The Zaqistani national pastime includes shooting guns at bottles, drinking an irresponsible amount of alcohol, setting off fireworks and fashion photography. It’s a formidable place. Crime levels are low in Zaqistan based on liberal socialist laws and the utter lack of anyone. Health care is free if you bring a first aid kit.

If you’re trying to find Zaqistan in person, it’s suggested you know how to operate a compass, as the obscure directions you will receive by email include geographical coordinates that aren’t going to help. The compass is there to provide a fleeting feeling of hope. The dusty roads leading into the nation are convoluted and lacking signs, so it’s better to show up before dusk. 

Since phone service is does not exist in Zaqistan, contact with the outside world is scarce. If you end up getting a flat tire in the land and your spare also happens to be flat, you’re fucked without ingenuity. Zaqistan runs on ingenuity. It’s their main import and export. They import and export a lot of it.

The capitol Zaqopolis can be difficult to navigate for first timers, but once one learns to use The Zaqopolis as a central landmark it becomes almost impossible to get lost. What appears to be a monkey bar dome adorned with loose camouflaged netting and a number of female mannequin legs take on a special significance when you realize it marks the only shade for fifty miles. Indeed, it is the cultural hub of Zaqistan during the day, and the majority of political decisions take place under its cover. Cover is something highly valued in Zaqistan, as finding a shady spot of repose is the only way anyone can survive in its unceasing heat. Survival in Zaqistan is important. Surviving in Zaqistan is difficult.

 

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If you are capable of living long enough to see the sites, there are a number of breathtaking postcard-worthy landmarks to visit. The Guardians of Zaqistan stand vigilant over the land at times when it’s deserted, protecting the small nation from would-be intruders. Towering over the landscape is Mt. Insurmountable, the highest point in Zaqistan. Anyone daring enough to risk ascending the summit is guaranteed to be rewarded with unrivaled view of all of Zaqistan.

If you travel to Zaqistan with someone unfamiliar with the concept of “roughing it,” expect them to yell at you for hours at a time as you drink 40s of Mickeys and stumble around in the darkness. Don’t panic; it won’t help. Instead you should focus on finding the gold skulls of long deceased animals that mark the cryptic trail to Zaqistan, and if all else fails, try to hear the gunshots being fired into the night sky. You won’t hear them mostly because the deadening effect of the dried seabed eliminates all forms of echolocation, but it’s nice to have a false sense of hope. If your companion has given up his false sense of hope in exchange for a true sense of doom, explain that nothing has killed you yet, and at the very least death comes quickly in Zaqistan, which means you won’t suffer for long. If your companion explains that the duration of suffering is less important than the magnitude of suffering, continue drinking. More than anything, it’s important to maintain a loose form of consciousness at all times, as hyper-awareness is problematic in irrational scenarios. You probably already have your hands full; there’s no need to make things more complicated by recognizing how close you are to death. Denial is key to sensibility in Zaqistan.

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After your stay in Zaqistan, it is recommended you stop by the closest cowboy bar, a quaint little joint near a lone gas station in a town famous for refusing to die. Get a hamburger. Also get a shot and a beer. Congratulations! Somehow, against the odds, you survived to tell the tale, and now you can talk about something with bizarre authority, where every answer you offer can only be met with more questions. Zaqistan builds character, which you already must have had if you went there in the first place, and are now following in the footsteps of giants like Professor Wexler, world explorer.

 “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. I fucked up and chose the one to Zaqistan.”

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