Thursday, July 28, 2005

Rob Zombie: The Coming-Out Party

Since I’ve been on the subject of movies, I’d like to give a quick report on the theatre experience I enjoyed tonight, a nefarious masterpiece that does its genre, which itself is not easy to define, very proud. The film I’m talking about is the Devil’s Rejects, Rob Zombie’s second gratuitous foray into sadism, violence and feral, subversive humor. At the risk of being labeled a hack at movie criticism, and having not read or heard any peer reviews, I must declare that this is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable films of the year, and probably the best original “horror flick” I have seen in recent memory.

Since probably most movie fans will balk at such a claim, maybe even laugh, I feel that a little background is in order. Everyone knows that Rob Zombie is a total freak. His music, which flirted with the mainstream for a minute in the early and mid 90s, was primarily tasteless new metal, heavy guitar thrashing noise with occasional moments of catchiness. Above all, White Zombie’s chief calling card was a zealous alignment with all things evil, in a satanic Halloween type way. His videos, album covers and song lyrics were rife with demons, death, ghosts and ghouls.

Though I don’t know very much about his music catalog, nor whether he takes any of that shit seriously — I mean come on, the guy’s surname can’t really be Zombie, can it? (sarcasm alert) — I can definitely say that somewhere in his reasonably successful but unsensational rock career, the man picked up a few things about visual presentation, editing and spectacularly violent entertainment. This can be viewed as either negative or positive, depending on who you ask, but the ultimate verdict is that Zombie has dug himself a well-deserved niche in movie-making with his nimble grasp of translating an artistic vision to the big screen. (More on why in a second.)

So a few years ago, I had the privilege of watching the first installment in this postmodern, 70s schlock horror tribute (that might be oxymoronic, but this is my blog). Though the initial film, House of 1,000 Corpses, left much to be desired, particularly in the way of coherent storyline or character background, it served as a visceral grand buffet of colorful imagery, irreverent Tarrantino-ish dialogue and often frightening (yet admittedly scatological) humor. Therein, a surprisingly impressive writing and directorial debut emerged.

1,000 Corpses was so chock full of literary and cinematic allusions and absurd butchery, in fact, that I had no choice but to treat myself to a second viewing the next day. Shortly thereafter, I read an interview with Zombie — one in which he was surprisingly coherent and down-to-earth, — where he described his plan for the sequel. Based on his brief summation, I thought, at the time, this sounds like it could actually work. So I must concede that I approached Devil’s Rejects with some bias.

Still, I found it difficult to believe how well the movie expounded on and developed the strengths of the first. The visual and verbal carnage remained in tact, and the witty, if depraved, dialogue sparkled, but in two important ways, I realized I was watching a genuinely fantastic piece of entertainment .

First and foremost, the story was adroitly conceived and unshackled by the disjointed mental masturbation of the first. Read: there were far fewer, if any, meaningless scenes or infused crosscuts of gore and sexual ruination. That is not to say these elements were absent, as no claim could be more misleading. Rather, this time around, Zombie’s acute sense of incivility served to accompany and enhance the plot. In short, everything added up.

The second major improvement, one that I feel was a crowd-pleasing surprise, was the excellent score and soundtrack. Given what I stated earlier about Rob Zombie’s musical career, the choice and positioning of sounds in this picture are nothing short of remarkable. Because some of the more memorable scenes are aided and abetted by the track list of 70s hard rock, Southern goth and blues, I will refrain from giving too much away. But imagine my ears’ surprise at the timely placement of sounds from the Allman Brothers, Joe Walsh and Lynard Skynnard, among others, interlaced, no less, with bodily dismemberment.

About the story itself, well, it isn’t worth too much discussion here, as the central elements are more or less familiar ones. The demented, blood-savvy clan of skinsuit-wearing creatures, AKA the Devil’s Rejects, is on the run from an equally vicious, god-fearing west Texas sheriff, played beautifully by William Forsythe. Take that formula and throw in a traveling country music band, a rustic but ghetto-style pimp, a Mexican maid, an ill-begotten mother and son, a bestial chicken rancher, the freak from the Hills Have Eyes, a porn starlet, ex-con bounty hunters, Rob Zombie’s deliciously hot wife, a WWF wrestling legend cameo, lots of guns, lots of nudity, lots of sex, drugs, booze, death and gore, and, lest I forget, an evil clown, and you can probably begin to imagine what kind of film we are dealing with.

Is it vile? Yes. Is it disturbing? Yes. Is it exploitive? Absolutely. But it’s also funny, fast-moving, explicit, scary, smart and always pushing the envelope. The “nothing is too taboo” mantra extends to religion, law and the value (or lack thereof) of human life. I’d be remiss not to add that the cast, while not A-list (thankfully) is more than solid. If there is a clear weakness in the Devil’s Rejects, it may be that it possesses an inherent air of submissive, violent treatment of women. And I will acknowledge that, if you see things this way, it probably undermines the entire project. But I’d argue that the strength and unnatural evil of the two female leads discredits this perception.

Overall, I see in it elements of the Coen brothers, Tarrantino, Kubrick, Peckinpah, Hooper and any number of groundbreaking 70s horror directors. So, if you dig those people’s work, you will undoubtedly find something here to suit your fancy. It’s definitely not for all tastes. Zod knows this film may rank high on the all-time list of crass, disturbing and graphically violent grind-house features. But if you want to glimpse your primal side, and feel the pulsing intensity of a nihilist madhouse, presented in a polished, stylized format, the Devil’s Rejects gets the nod.

Huge McFriendly ups to Zombie and Co. Check it out if you have the balls. And go straight to hell.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Odds, Ends and Total Damnation

Have you ever seen Session 9? It's an excellent movie. Very underrated. Deep, twisted, bloody, and at times horrifying. Though it wasn't altogether cherished by our nation's pretentious media, it remains one of the more well-crafted ghost stories of the past ten years. But that's only my opinion.

Nevertheless, the film, about a worker who starts to "lose it" while cleaning asbestos from a condemned insane asylum, was made on location at what is in real life a condemned insane asylum. Danvers State Hospital (pictured below) in Massachussetts, was purportedly the site of some outrageously fucked up, dramas of the mad, including but not limited to lobotomies and other experimental psychiatric treatment, murders, escapes, hauntings, etc. You know, the good stuff.

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Now, a real estate developer called AvalonBay is turning the grounds into 500 luxury apartments and condos. According to the Wall Street Journal, with the current boom in real estate demand, sprawling mental institutions that were federally deinstitutionalized in the 1980s have become huge targets for opportunistic real estate capitalists in major cities all over the nation. The large tracts of land where these asylums are located are ideal for this purpose given their size, attractive and non-traditional architecture and proximity to major cities.

Of course, has-been nuthouses come with other baggage. In the case of Danvers, which opened in the 1870s and is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, there are ghost stories and disgruntled local residents, some of whom had friends and relatives committed there. Oh yeah, also there are several hundred patients buried on the hospital grounds. Many without headstones.

So my question is, why the fuck would you want to live there? Even if you aren't like me (confident in the theory of Atlantis), wouldn't you want to draw the line somewhere when it comes to living in a weird place?


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Another thing I wanted to mention is that you should check out the following site, so that we can mind chat sometime. I'm always open, and I promise I won't "scan" you. Unless you piss me off. Feel free to drop me a vibe.

Telepathy Instructions.

"Many visions of hell report that giant worms will chew on your body."

That is one of the many genius quotes on this website, which is, by the way, completely serious. Awesome stuff.

Check out this prayer I found on the site:

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I plead the precious
uncorruptable blood of Jesus over myself and my family and everything that
belongs to us. I ask for giant warrior Angels to be loosed from Heaven to
surround and protect us. As your war club and weapons of war I break down,
undamn, and blow up all walls of protection around all witches, warlocks,
wizards, satanists, and the like, and I break the power of all curses, hexes,
vexes, spells, charms, fetishes, physic prayers, physic thought, all witchcraft,
sorcery, magic, voodoo, all mind control, jinxes, potions, bewitchments, death,
destruction, sickness, pain, torment, physic power, physic warfare, prayer
chains, and everything else being sent my way or my family members way, and I
return it and the demons to the senders right now!, SEVENFOLD, and I BIND it to
them by the blood of Jesus! Father, I pray that these lost souls will find the
light of your son Jesus.. Their own snares and traps have been set against
themselves.. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I now loose them from all
mindcontrol of Satan!.. Father I also ask that you Bind the Holy Spirit to there
hearts as a guide to your son Jesus.. So they may be set free from the bondages
of Satan. In Jesus name I pray...Amen

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Gives your ol pal Marty the willies.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Let me study how you vibe the beat, you big freak!

Me: Who's ya daddy, baby?

Her: Martin McFriend!!!

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Chapter 4: Through the Vacuum

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The night I heard the story of Lorelei was long, as long as any I remember. Lying in bed, I kept thinking of the possible implications of Lorelei’s story on my own questions. Her mystery haunted me with its similarities to my life and its profound foreboding. It tortured me for hours as I stared at the ceiling, sleepless, imagining that my brother was asleep in the room next to mine, down the hall from my mother and father. All of us at peace for the night. Only the truth was that I was not at peace at all, and they were gone, eternally.

Uncle Lee proved an artful storyteller, full of details and rich description. His intelligence was impressive, and deceiving for an old codger in a one-horse town. He took my mind and my imagination for the length of the tale, and I didn’t speak for a while after the story. I just sat, foggy-eyed and thinking, gazing through the tobacco smoke that wafted from his pipe.

After an amount of time for which I cannot account, Uncle Lee stood and asked me if I would like to return the next day for another conversation. He said there was something else he wanted to say about the alm, but he did not elaborate. I returned home in a chilling October drizzle, tipped with the frosts of a fast approaching winter. It would be a long time before I had that second conversation with Uncle Lee, or at least, a long time in this world.

As I lay, cold sweat moistening my back and chest, the night around me grew quiet, and all I could hear was my unsteady breathing. Then I felt it, discomforting but familiar. The thrumming vibration, distinct from any other sensation. I pulled up the covers and saw the faint glow. My feel were whirring, ankles blurred and tickling. Suddenly, a piercing wail held sway over everything. The sound exploded into my quarters, seeming to shake the dust from the wall corners. A siren. My unfeeling call to duty.

I leapt from the bed without a second thought, throwing on my clothes and racing down the hall, stopping a half second to grab my gear. By the time I reached the street, two other firemen were haphazardly throwing on their hardhats and strapping up their suit suspenders. I saw another man in the tower, winding the siren and furiously pulling the bell toll. We hitched the horses and tore off into the night, following the smoke that rose in the air over the crosshatched rooftops and chimneys of the northern hamlet that was my home.

Townhall. The large auditorium that, by day, housed municipal authority and historical records, and at night, more than its share of drunks, gamblers and corrupt policymakers. The building was ablaze and dozens of villagers gathered in the street, pointing, crying, shrieking. We hooked up the rig to the townhall’s ample well and began to pump water on the unsympathetic blaze.

It was clear to me that this fire would not be quenched, so I began giving instructions to any who would listen that we needed to do our best to fireproof the surrounding buildings. Most looked at me with horror and confusion, but several men sprung into action, moving carts and pulling curtains from windows. We aimed the water at these buildings, intending only to keep the blaze from spreading. It was a difficult decision for these simple men and women to accept, but the townhall was a lost cause.

Then a women, her face ash-covered and tear-streaked, came crying and pulling on my shirtsleeves. “Help!” she wailed. “Mayor Freeman is still inside, along with two or three others. The card games were on tonight. Help them please!” She was shaking. Others turned their glances to me, and more cried out. They turned their collective hopes over to me. They believed I could save the men trapped inside. Me and only me.

I took a deep breath and buttoned up my coat, pulling my rubber necking over my chin. Grabbing two waterskins, I sprinted into the inferno, not stopping to fear my oldest foe. In the foyer, my nostril hairs were singed with the first breath I took in. Smoke curled around everything, and the books and furniture of the large room raged with darkness, heat and hatred. Everything teetered and fell. Gusts of flame shot across the room in flowing, rapid bursts. I ducked and rolled, jumped and parried, moving through the front room like a crazy man, beset by an invisible attacker whose punches disappeared into crackling explosion. I recall being comfortable with the notion that my entrance into this fiery maelstrom was a one-way ticket.

I kicked down a crumbling door and jumped aside as another fireball hurled over my head. I could feel my perspiration boiling and my ears pounded with pressure and pain. After moving through a dark hall, walls melting, I made it into the main rotunda for the last moments of the town’s great gathering place. It was disturbing. Smoky blackness, flames green with the tarnish from the consumed rows of wooden benches. A cross fizzled in the center of the wall. No one could have survived that room for more than a minute, so I figured that any survivors must have headed for higher ground. Then I noticed steps in the back, behind the podium.

My feet began to sing, erupting with intensity, and I answered their call with a frantic dash to the other side of the room. I heard the ceiling collapse behind me, but I wasted no effort looking back. My speed was blinding even to me, and before I understood where I was, I had made it to the top of the stone stairwell feeling the rising swarm of hot air pushing on the door at the peak.

The next minute was, as I see it now, understandably hazy, and most of my actions were completely adrenaline fueled and frenzied. I opened the door and was instantly engulfed by a flame, which I put out with a waterskin in just enough time to save my face from burning destruction. The building was beginning to fall down around me, and the sounds of splintering wood and tumbling rubble were mind numbing. It was then that I began to fear this fire, fearing it like the blaze of my stolen innocence. It was the one power that always conquered my spirit, no matter how strong I forced myself to be.

I heard a desperate cry and saw the mayor and another man standing in the corner, trying to hold their heads through the remaining portion of a searing window pane. Had I heard it a second later, I may have taken a knee, given in to the conquering heat. But I knew my task, my reason for being in this madness. Without thought, I flew across the room, not bothering to avoid the flaming obstacles in my path. I dove at the men, wrapping my arms around them both and pushing us out the window. Flames followed us into the night, and we catapulted into darkness, chips of wood and glass stinging our faces as we fell.

My intentions, to the best of my memory, had been to roll over in the descent and land on my back, buttressing their fall. But jumping out of buildings from sixty feet in the air, I have learned, is a dirty business, and ill-thought plans have a way of failing under such circumstances.

As we tumbled out, the coolness of the wind offered a brief instant of relief from the heat. Then my body stopped obeying me. My hands slipped and I lost hold of both men, seeing only their flailing arms and terrified faces gaze up at me, as I stopped in mid air, and they continued to drop. I was pulled backwards, back into the arms of the fire. I heard the bodies of the two men land, with a thump. Then heat and a crimson flare surrounded me.

Though back in the building, I still felt airborne. And I gave up fighting the force that carried me. I was spun in a circle and rotated, over and over, as the crash and burn of the building screamed all around. And the black flame returned. It crept slowly into the room, taking the same places, inch by inch, of the original fire. I was beginning to choke on its fetid stench, ripe with death and scorched bones, when my vision went black.

I felt an earthy floor beneath me. It was soft and wet. The air was clean and I turned onto my back and breathed. There was no fire. There was no light.

I didn’t move from that prone position, staring into limitless nothing, for what may have been hours. I tried to rest, but sleep never took me. I began to think about what once was, and I convinced myself that this was my destiny, one of dark loneliness. Sipping occasionally from my remaining waterskin, I meditated and reached back for answers. The hours turned into days, and I began to hallucinate. Through this slow torment, my mind kept going back to the same place, again and again. I could only think of her name and her story. I could only think about Lorelei.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Single girl, looking for multi-talented single guy

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Did a favor tonight. Or tried to do a favor. My lil buddy asked me to write a personal for her. So I worked on it. And this was the first one. First try.

I’m Beth. I love to read. I love dance parties. I’m pretty cool, all things taken into account. My favorite thing to do is snort Adderall off of men’s penises. Other than that, I really like to look at cock shots. The bigger and darker, the better. I’m also adept at funny stuff, you know, like putting on masks and makeup and jerking off little boys!!! But I also like pain. A whole lot. One thing that really gets me going is food and the fancy things that can be done with food, nudity and horrible torture. I also like money. How else could I afford to freebase like this. I’m very pretty. Seriously. I went wrong a long time ago. After running away from home, I realized that the best way to make money was without my clothes on and a dick in my mouth, mouth, mouth. I also like chocolate and breakfast in bed. Also, bananas and blow. Is Mr. Right out there?

Okay, maybe not. But I'm very serious about this. Second try. At this point I think maybe something wil work for her.

I’m Beth. I love to read. I love to write. I don’t like to solve complicated problems, or deal with people who like to pretend to solve complicated problems. I also don’t like to cause complicated problems. I’m pretty cool, if you ask those who know me. Probably not so cool to the men in my past who couldn’t deal with me. But that is mostly a result of them not having their shit together. Don’t mean to be harsh. I’m quite compassionate. It’s just that I was raised with eight brothers and I have a preternatural understanding, so I’d like to think, of how the male mind thinks. But seriously, I’m not looking to change anything or cause any major ripples in the space time continuum. I just want to talk some shit with someone who is legit, down to earth and able to cope with every day. I’m good looking, active and have good taste. My interests include music, movies, sunshine and long slow bong tokes of kind bud. Just kidding. I love Jesus. Just kidding again. I really like to joke around, can you feel me? Okay, just kidding again. I love Zod. No, I’m just looking to sit back and talk. Sophisticated talk. Future talk. Magic talk. 6758f2hh 412nnb My passcode back to the regular eco-birded ground level plane. Don’t panic. This is not a dream. You will stand up now and kill yourself. Do it smooth. Do it slow. Follow your instincts. Call me.

Two good ones. Here's a third.

Hi, I'm Beth. Let's mate...LOL! So, Im basically just looking for a dood who can make me.....LMAO. What did you think I was going to say you dirty motherfucker?? Cum? Sheesh, dont be an Internet pervy!! I know how to get myself>>>>LSHISMP! You thought I was gonna say "OFF" didnt you??? You cockswain.


BTW, FWIW, and IMHO. Fuckin freaks.

Which one is the most likely to blossom into happiness?

Oh yeah, and how about falling off the wagon and smoking two packs of ciggies and smoking ninja shit cannonballied with Candian Mist? Fuck that. There is a man out there for Beth.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Chapter 3: Alms for the Poor

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“There are many realities,” the old man said. “There is this one. The one you wake up to each morning, where birds sing and people brew coffee. The water is blue and reflects sunshine onto the land around it, revealing a crystallized beauty like that of an artist’s masterwork. We smile at this and feel contentment and peace in our guts. We hear the laughter of children and the purring of kittens. Everything is safe and worth keeping safe.”

He took a swig from his flask and continued. “Most people are fortunate. It is a great fortune, after all, to live and breathe clean air, to feel ease in our hearts. This is the world where you and I, and my little flagon of sweet jesus juice, sit now. But there is more, as you know, or else you wouldn’t be sitting here. There are secrets, Denny, many secrets.”

“I don’t understand,” I said. “You speak as if it is all a lie. Our lives, a lie.”

He laughed and shook his head. His manner wasn’t offensive, just an expression of the comfort of age, experience. He got out of his chair and walked to the window, taking a deep breath in the sunlight, folding his arms across his chest.

After years of traveling, city to city, scant possessions to my name, aside from tragic memories and unconsecrated desires, I returned to the town of my birth. The gravesite of my family. I was 23 and working at the firehouse when I met Uncle Lee, as he was known to everyone, the oldest living man in town. For what may have been ages, he served as the centerpiece of the town gentry, the old guard. Though most of the locals sought his counsel at one time or another, few knew much about him, save for his all-embracing knowledge of obscure tricks and treatments for provincial maladies and his general peacemaking advice.

An outsider in my own hometown, I took to spending late nights by myself in the town square, staring at the placid fountain that was our greatest monument. One evening, time lost in my absent pondering, I looked up from the water and saw him standing next to me, gazing at the water as though he, too, was seeing what I saw, my demons, my confusion. Neither of us said a word, and after several minutes, he paced off down a sidestreet, tapping the cobblestone street with his walking stick.

A month went by, and I continued my lonely vigil, waiting for nothing, waiting for everything. He returned, and again there were no words, only a mutual solemnity and respect for the night’s peaceful grace. He left, not even acknowledging my presence. After many days and a dozen fires extinguished, I’d tallied at six the number of times Uncle Lee appeared. On the seventh, a misty night in early autumn, he spoke to me.

I had been in town nearly a year, and was contemplating another retreat to the familiarity of the road, when I noticed him standing beside me, leaning on his walking stick, smiling. The moon crept through the fog and brightened the street.

“I wasn’t convinced until tonight, but you have the alm,” he said, looking back to the bubbling fountain.

“I’m sorry I don’t understand,” I said. He turned back to me.

“The alm is a gift, or a curse, depending on your perspective. It’s very rare. In fact I’ve only seen it in someone once. Rare indeed.” He shifted his weight and adjusted his coat. “You see, son, people live at the behest and mercy of the elements, and not the other way around. But you, whether you realize it or not, hold some sway over the natural world, or at least, there is a connection there. Subtle, but true.”

I again voiced my confusion. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Hmm, how can I explain,” he said. “I have seen you sit here, countless nights, quiet as sod, looking into the fountain, delving into what nightmares I can only guess about. On every single occasion, there have been amazing changes in the sky and the air around you. You wouldn’t have noticed, as wrapped in thoughtful oblivion as you were, but the very wind changes directions around you. The clouds move, the sky clears up, and at the times when you looked most troubled, the thunder rolls in and the rains begin to fall. Ask yourself, have you ever awakened from a reverie and noticed that you were sitting here by yourself soaked to the bone from a summer storm?” As a matter of fact, I had, and the realization was frightening.

“That alone was enough to sway me and break my cynicism,” he continued. “But it’s not the extent of it. When I spoke to the constable and began to hear the street gossip about what you’ve done as a firefighter, I knew that you had it. In all my years living in this shantytown, I have never seen someone so successful at battling the natural pestilence of fire. You, my friend, are singularly responsible for putting out more than twenty fires. And yet, when I look at you now, I can tell you have no idea the significance of those feats, nor the awe with which your neighbors view you.”

His words, bold and articulate, made a backwards kind of sense. I’d been a ghost in this town, ever since my return, maybe ever since the inferno that usurped my childhood. I was, to say the least, captivated. “Now that I think about it, I guess there is a strangeness to my life here, like a wall of isolation that prevents me from living like everyone else.”

“It’s the alm,” he said. “You have the alm.”

“I still don’t know what that means. Can you tell me more?”

He smiled again, flashing the teeth of a pageant queen. “I’m Uncle Lee. Come see me this week and we’ll have a drink and a talk.”

“I’m Denny,” I said, but he was already walking away, tapping, tapping so lightly at the stony gutter as he went.

A few days later, I found myself in Uncle Lee’s study, books piled high around us, the room dense with rustic charm and the smell of pipe smoke, cherry flavored. Our earlier conversation had roused desires in me, curiosity and renewed fervor for answers to what had been until then, by the simplest explanations, a lifetime of mystery.

Uncle Lee stole another gulp from his flask and turned from the window to face me. “I don’t pretend to know all the answers, Denny, but what I can tell you starts with a girl named Lorelei.”

“Lorelei?” I asked.

“Remember when I told you I’d seen one other person with the alm? Well, that’s as good a place as any to begin a yarn.” He returned to his rocking chair and sat, his elderly bones creaking with the endeavor. I stared back at him with anticipation.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 2: Dawn of the Black Flame

Upon kindly suggestions (CHW, Satisfied75), I've decided to serialize this story, at least for the time being, and see where the action leads. If at any point it starts to suck, please let me know. Also, if it's any good, don't steal it.

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I was once like you, a man, sensing, feeling and fearing. My heart was full of guilt at the everyday indignities of which men are capable, but I was idealistic and convinced that life had a purpose greater than the sum of foraging, sleeping and respecting my elders.

My neighborhood as a child was small and easygoing. People smiled and winked at each other on the street, neighbors and friends, kin and comrades. Most problems were settled in town hall meetings, the old guard, all of them mustachioed and oiled with drink, would drown out quarrels with simple propositions, mules for grains. After the women and children retired for the evening, those nights would end, more often than not, with outrageous card games and empty boasts of female conquests.

I worked as a fireman, a vocation stemmed from the broken heart I’d suffered as a little boy, orphaned and abandoned when my family burned to death in the town’s legendary three-day fire, a black eye on our collective history. I’d been sleeping that night, across the room from my brother, rest him, and could only remember running through red, blinding light and fierce heat. I can still feel the sweat coating my body, even today, soaking my lips and softening my face. I ran through the anguished screams of my parents, turning and twisting away from debris and dirt and dust and smoke. I’d landed in a patch of garbage, unsure of how I made it out, but coughing and streaked with char. My lungs hurt for weeks after, as I sat speechless in the town square, watching an unremarkable fountain bubble, wishing I could have had that water at my disposal when it mattered most.

My accident left me with many scars, emotional and physical, but two marks took precedence above all else. The first was a deep-seated respect, or more aptly fear, for fire. Every thought in my mind managed to whittle itself into a reflection on fire, the sizes and shapes of flames and the awesome power to burn and blot out life with heat. I became somewhat of a pyromaniac in my adolescence, refusing to back down from what I saw as my arch nemesis, the taker of innocence. This bizarre obsession with fire fueled my professional decisions, with the added catechisms of altruism and the desire to prevent tragedy from befalling other families lending extra motivation.

The second factor, and by far the most important in the story of how I came to be what I am, was the set of matching burns I received around my ankles. On the night of the blaze, I wore pant length pajamas, and though I know not how, I managed to throw on my slippers before my mysterious, frenzied extrication from the house. Aside from face and hands, my ankles were the only exposed portion of my body that night, and as the floor beneath my feet smoldered and seethed into unstoppable intensity, my slippers melted away and the balls of my ankles were ringed with congruent puffy scars. Though the pain was excruciating, the freak blisters left me with unimaginable gifts.

As the skin around my ankles healed, the muscles tightened and my feet became preternaturally strong. Before long, my running and jumping prowess was unrivaled among the other miserable orphans and hinterland street kids I knew. I used it to my advantage in making first impressions over the years, as I my life involved constant displacement from town to town and orphanage to orphanage. I was wise enough to keep this ability under wraps from authority figures, however, as my greatest worry was bringing too much attention to myself, a lesson learned easily in a childhood where abuse often disguised itself as care.

Being fleet was handy, and a source of pride, but my scars hid the secret of another, more formidable quality. Many years passed before I discovered it, and many more before I learned what it was. But one late afternoon while I was sweeping the carpentry shop where I apprenticed, my feet began to pulsate and shake. They made no sound, and they didn’t hurt, but there was a clear sensation, a rhythm beneath my soles. I pulled up my pant leg and saw that the feeling was no imagination, the scars glowed, and I felt a pull towards the shopfront.

I ran outside and stood in the street, feeling the cool night air. The wind hissed, but nothing else moved. My surroundings suspended and time stopped. It was still early evening and the street should have been bustling with activity by then, but all my eyes and ears received were silence and suffocating blackness. The smell of mold became strong, and the stores and building facades looked slippery, viscous. Trees were withered, paved walkways dilapidated and cracked. The town seemed just an echo of a rotted civilization. My own clothes felt tattered, and weakness overwhelmed my senses. I stood alone, afraid and exhausted, with only the pulsing of my injured ankles reminding me of my own presence.

Then I heard breathing from behind me. Hoarse, gruff breathing, like that of a rabid beast. The sound permeated everything, and the street grew darker, and hotter. I turned and saw an immense shadow, growing and blanketing me in the empty roadway. My instinct was to run, but my legs offered no response to any mental urging. I was confined to one position, and I felt my mind rise above my body until suddenly I could look down from above and see myself in the street, frozen in a shocked cower. What bore down on my figure was a dark mass, flanked with reaching, foggy tendrils. A single blue light pierced its silhouette from the center and stared at my crumpled form like a spotlight. The heat was staggering. Powerless, I tried to scream, but again, nothing. I watched in stark horror as a dark inferno overtook the body that was, only minutes before, my own, and then deep, reverberant laughter reigned over my thoughts, branding a black flame on my vision. Then everything was nothing.

I regained consciousness a few hours later, though it seemed like days, and found myself lying on the shop floor next to pile of filth and refuse that I had swept into a heap. I learned the next day that, while I slept on the floor, a lightning storm had savaged the town, destroying many homes and businesses and taking with it several dozen lives. The townspeople remarked in whispers about the oddity of the carpentry store being the only building on its street block that was utterly untouched by the storm’s calamitous reach. I felt ashamed.

A small black film began to grow on my scars that day, and it has since never left, despite rigorous washings. It wasn't much longer before I found out why.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chapter 1: The Faerie Demon’s Hunger

I sat down and started writing a story. This is how it goes so far. I wonder if it sounds interesting? When you have been through multiple wiccan seances and mystical meditations, it's difficult to verbalize your own experiences, but I've found that fictionalizing certain parts of them can help. Without further ado...

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Blinking, blinking, back again to conscious, I stared at the huge cut on my palm. Dried blood, sore as hell. Rubber marks lined my forearms. I'd suffered severe burns on my chest. Along with the pain, somewhere beneath the surface, a well of pride simmered, waiting for an explosive debut.

I craned my aching neck to observe my prone, slightly bent body. Limp and dirty, I lay in a parking lot next to a shattered bottle of Olde English and a severed, violet-tinted foot. Its blood pooled inches from my head, sticky and coagulated, yet still exerting a healthy shimmer. One of the clawed toes, had a ring on it, jewel encrusted, tacky. I pulled it off and slipped it into my cloak, then swallowed dryness and began to pick myself up.

I'd traveled countless thousands of miles, through shiny corridors lined with innocent souls, piling upon one another, walking to the next destination, unaware of what lurked among them. I'd seen both sides, the hearty, naïve peaceniks with their round faces and ample baby fat, as well as the disciplined killers who always thirsted, who moved like secrets between adulterers, spiderlike and sinuous.

Outnumbered by the hundreds, the predatory class dealt in shadow and stealth, using patience and cunning to run up stores of fresh meat. Their feeding had been a force of nature for eons, routine and powerful, much like rain or wind on this planet, in this time. Hiding even from each other at times, they preyed and preyed beyond conventional bounds of tolerance, thieves casing a mark, until finally, they would unveil themselves, consuming masses of wholesome upright innocents.

Integral to their Fortean ways was the ability to transfer between and among multiple planes, slipping into dimensions like light through a door crease. The scenery changed, but the tubes of time flowed always in one direction and their hunger was always directed at the same target, the spirit of ignorance. A fresh, vibrant spirit, a childlike temptation and life giver to a demon bent on human entropy.

Walking away from the spot where I'd awakened, I noticed that the area was (not surprisingly) silent and vacant, streaks of ash tattooing empty concrete. Another fight resulting in collateral damage. But I'd won yet again, creeping a step closer to the completion of my one and only mission. This time I had gleaned something from the dead discoloring lieutenant. I had gained ground. As the creature's soul digested, a smile crossed my lips. I was confident. A reckoning between serpent and cattle was nearing, and my own hunger was reaching impossible bounds.

Leaving the ground and looking down on the frayed city block, I found it difficult to control my delight.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Required McFriendly Reading

If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and take a look at this link.


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Sunday, July 17, 2005


Umm, okay, so I did some thrift store shopping today and came away with a few nice purchases. A new tophat, knife sharpener, jeans, three t-shirts (one of which depicts a satanic redneck in a Camaro), a cauldron, a Members Only jacket, two pairs of shoes, etc.

Well, I also found what I took to be a pretty nice little pullover sweatshirt with some inscrutable graphic print on the front and back. I couldn't read it, and even held it in a mirror, thinking that maybe it was a type of reflective code. Nada. Then I tried a few rudimentary deciphering spells, read some lunar incanations and even consulted my scroll of obscure runes. Still nothing. I made the purchase.

Later, when I showed Sasefina the sweatshirt, she caught immediately what I was unable to see. Suddenly the ceiling began to sag. My throat clenched up and I felt hot, sweaty, suffocating. I wanted to do something or say something, but I was speechless, redfaced and horrified. Sasefina and Keckies began to snort and howl, a mixture of laughter and embarrassment. It was an ugly moment. I looked again. This is precisely what I saw:

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This is not a likeness. This is the actual product. Can you read the print? Seriously, if you can, please accept my gracious apology. Everything in the store is non-refundable so I don't know where to go from here. I need help. I really need help. Please send suggestions, donations, sympathy cards, or anything that you feel is appropo of this goof up to:

Martin McFriend
1919 Total Douche Rocket Lane #1
Real Munson, CA 90210

I know I messed up and I'm sorry. It hurts to have to say this, knowing my loss of credibility. I just hope you, gentle blogreader, will understand and forgive. There will be better days. I'll keep reminding myself. Until then, I remain,



Friday, July 15, 2005

Pimpin' (my writing) Aint Easy

Just thought I would take a second to plug a film review I wrote this week. Notice the awesome douche rocketry of this website. Also, if you have a minute, look at some of the products "we" offer in the store. Oh yeah, and in case you are wondering, "Joey Campbell" is my pen name.


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Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Did you cheat on me with Debra Winger?"

In an earlier post I believe I made reference to an episode in my past that involved having sexual escapades with a certain actress known mostly for her role in An Officer and a Gentleman.

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What I failed to mention is that I had a serious girlfriend at the time (three years ago.) She is pictured above (the Biscuit). In any case, today the following e-mail conversation coincidentally took place between her, now my ex-girlfriend, and I. It started from totally out of the blue.

Biscuit: Did you cheat on me with Debra Winger?

Marty: What? No, why?

Biscuit: I’m perusing your blog. I should be working.

Marty: "Did you cheat on me with Debra Winger?" Now that's something you don't hear everyday.

Biscuit: I remember coming to get you after that night and stepped barefoot on some “wetness” next to your bed.

Marty: Did I piss, vomit or drool myself?

Biscuit: None of the above.

Marty: Jerked off on myself?

Biscuit: Yup. I was mildly impressed.

Marty: That’s gross.

Biscuit: Eh. I prefer to think of it as funny.

Marty: That’s what I like about you.

Biscuit: Aww. Well, you know what I don’t like? Meetings. Also, why is it only 2:37? Feels like 6:45.

Marty: Just wondering, do you like awards ceremonies?

Biscuit: No, I don’t like awards ceremonies. I would rather contract avian flu and be forced to seek medical attention than eat egg rolls at the Hilton.

Marty: What about the band Kung Faux? Do you like the band Kung Faux?

Biscuit: I think they’re so post-rock.

Marty: Hey, remember that story about the guy who ate his boogers and skin?

Biscuit: Should I?

Marty: You know, the compulsive weirdo story we collaborated on but never finished?

Biscuit: Ah, yes. I remember. What about it?

Marty: Do you have any trace of it? Twould like to read it, maybe blog about it.

Biscuit: Did we write it down? Shall check my laptop for notes. In the meantime, wanna thumb wrestle?

Marty: No, not really.

Biscuit: How about a haiku battle?

Marty: Bring it.

Biscuit: Here is my ode to crack baby dogs.

opposable paw
moonlit crack on a hot spoon
weep for wide eye hound

Marty: Pretty good.

innocence threatened
deep craving in canine loins
genetic junkie

Biscuit: Round one to me. Here’s my ode to the
humanoid rat.

hairy little man
please put the toilet seat down
and i'll give you cheese

Marty: Alright.

fill your gutter mouth
dust from your vermin belly
regurgitate shit

Biscuit: Tie. Btw, you totally cheated on me with Debra Winger. Pig.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

No rest for the busy, beaten, bleary-eyed

Inundated with bullshit, drifting, drifting, asleep but awake. Skulking around the apartment and the office like warm oatmeal, oozing hither and to. Feeling sunburn and fatigue, but now sober and lucid, the life of a wizard moves in ebbs and flows. The crest is a four-day party, the nadir, a deadline passed and still no stories. No verses to relate, no experiments on which to expound. Though the workload increases, your ol pal feels static and stoic like methusela and want for something to talk about.

Many bloggers fill space with diatribes on politics, music, sports, even the rotten stink of philanderous capering. But me, no, there is nothing for me to give you if you're reading. I only perch at the edge of my black plastic chair and smile, reflecting on the next phase, which involves another round of Japanese lessons, guitar, a folk band, buddhism, a new college football season, weddings for those who gave in.

I'll say this much, the wagon ride is bumpy, and deboarding remains a temptation. Without a cigarette for almost two weeks, in with the new. Give thanks to Zod and let the mysteries follow. Keep your mind filled with the deranged (life is too serious and real and shit.) Here's a light to guide your lonely path:

Bizarre Magazine

And please, check out Satisfied75's new radio blog experiment, like radio clash on pirate satellite, but way newer and of course stylized for your groupie ass. Satisfied75 always lays down the law when it comes to tunes.

Aquarium Lush


Monday, July 11, 2005

Doh! Everything evil is actually cool

I went to San Diego this weekend to see my vacationing brother, his wife and three kids. I was excited by the opportunity to do something that wouldn’t (presumably) involve shotgunning cigarettes, putting on makeup, or buying mimosas at 9 am to “cap off” a pretty good, chemically charged party. Just an immaculate sunny, summer day in Southern California, replete with jovial children and wiffle ball. I ran my fingers through my thinning hair and admired my reflection in the rear view mirror. Killer shades, man, I told myself.

So arriving in San Diego, at a posh, Disney-esque resort near Seaworld, I was flabbergasted when I met my brother Ukla and his family in the lobby. What the fuck? They were skeletons. Seriously, Ukla stared at me with a bony smile and hollow eyes, a skull in surfer shorts and a tank top. I shook his crackling hand and looked at my niece and nephews. Little skeletons. Holy shit, was I dreaming this? Not hardly. They were in great spirits but clearly undead.

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I thought to myself, this is a clever illusion and I need to find out who is responsible, but first, those cookies my nephew is holding look tasty. So Sasefina and I made our way to the room and put our stuff away, listening to the giggles and gleeful hoots of the little ones, ages 2, 7 and 9. They were so damn cute, especially the way their tiny metatarsils echoed on the slick tile floors of the hotel hallways.

Not once did one of them pull out a gnarly old scimtar, the way they would have in Sam Raimi movies or old Sinbad flicks. No beady, red glowing eyes or resurrection humor, no spooky danse macabre maneuvers. This was my family, and they seemed to be having a great vacation at a really nice spot, where no one else seemed to notice that they were walking skeletons.

Then it dawned on me. They weren’t fucking evil, or demonic. Walking skeletons have relatives, too, and apparently I happened to be one. These were not spirits of a dark conspiracy, voodoo conjurations or Halloween curses. I love these people and they were pretty damn good to me, although seeing their chewed food slide through their empty innards took some getting used to.

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The weekend progressed wonderfully and I am truly indebted to Ukla and his wife for their generosity and hospitality. I already miss those gaunt little rugrats. It was a well-deserved respite from the maddening limbo that is my “routine” L.A. existence, and on the way home, I reflected. What I came up with was so elementary and obvious, and my own epiphany is pathetically overdue. I mean, hello, everything evil is actually good. Shouldn’t we already know this? Or, I should say, shouldn’t I? What can I say, I’m a little dense, a little slow moving, not a quick learner.

Just in case anyone reading this might share my dim nature, I’ve decided to list some other examples of this self-evident irony. Off the top of my cranium (ha, ha, I’m funny):

1) iPods are really fucking evil. You should see what is on my iPod. I have this band called Goblin. They did the soundtracks to a lot of horror movies. They so kick ass.

2) Anime and manga. They are fucking evil, dudes. There is a reason that Japanese pop culture has exploded, with manga being the fastest growing segment of the American publishing industry. What is it? Can you say, evilness.

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3) The Flaming Lips. Nuff said.

4) Any movie that employs a trailer that starts with “from the makers of the Ring.” This one is closely aligned with No. 2 above and that is due to the evil ways of the Japanese (see the Rape of Nanking, circa 1933). These films are kicking ass, making money and everyone goes to see them. Are they good films? I don’t really care. But what they are, undoubtedly, is evil as shit.

5) Fast Food. I don’t want to talk about this one that much because the whole story is well documented, thanks to that dipshit Morgan Spurlock or whatever the fark his name is. But in all honesty, are quarter pounders with cheese not a little slice of heaven, or hell, for that matter? They are pretty damn delicious and pretty damn evil when you really stop to think about it.

6) Cars. Everyone aspires to a better, faster car. Lots of people die in car accidents. Lots of people lose money from speeding tickets, DUIs, parking tickets, towing charges, repairs, etc. Not to mention the fact that gas and petroleum products, which power these awesomely evil machines, are unrepentantly decimating the (hippie alert) environment. But check out these fucking rims. Sweet. Evil.

7) Drugs are so zoddamned evil and everyone knows it. But you ain’t cool until you’ve tried them. This could be a separate blog post.

8) Magic, as we all know, is very evil and, without question one of the coolest things in the world. Even that little Dungeons and Dragons like card game of the same nomenclature is so evil. So evil. Just watch the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. You guys know what I’m talking about.

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9) Television (both the band and the living room apparatus). Another self-explanatory entry in this here list. The band rocked out in their evil punk, brit-fucky ways, and TV, holy frijole, so evil. Reality TV is all the rage, and it is evil. And everyone loves it even if they say they don’t. And it is all because everyone, I mean everyone, is actually really fucking evil. Need examples? Watch the local news. Read a history book. Look around you.

10) George Bush. C’mon! This one is a no brainer. The guy is the leader of the free world for god sake. And he is evil. (Karl Rove and Dick Cheney also totally rule, by the way.)

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I could go on and on. There are few things, if any at all, that are both cool and not evil all at once. Just look at this blog. See the skull playing the trumpet on the right side? See the picture of me with a hatchet and ski mask? See the darkness? The evil? Totally fucking evil and also, totally fucking cool. Or maybe not. I guess I’m just sort of into that thing.

Shout to my boy Savas and his bride to be Carolina. May your marriage be full of love, prosperity and undying evil.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Diary of a Really Bad Show

Trekked up to the Avalon in Hollyweird last evening to see the Eels play their final show of a three-month tour. I've always like the Eels and followed them relatively closely since their first album. I'm no music afficionado, my forte being sorcery and all, but if asked I'd have to say that I have a sound knowledge and appreciation for Mr. E's musical collection. For this reason, I think both Sasefina and I were relatively excited about this performance.

But the positive flow of electrons stops right there, as what ensued was generally an experience in wasted time, money and effort. Again, I'm no expert, but let me explain how a show can go really fucking bad, really fucking fast.

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8:00 — Pull up to the Avalon, park in the adjacent lot. Parking attendant is a total cocksmoke who doesn't want to give us change for a $20. Thanks, bra, I say with a wide, toothy smile. In typical H-wood fashion, a bum is pissing fifteen feet away from our parking space.

8:15 — Check out the tee shirts to see if there might be something cool to buy. But there isn't. Why in god's name do they still make tees with the tour dates on the back? I seriously don't care that the Eels played two shows in Germany last May. I definitely am not impressed that they were in Milwaukee. I can only venture to speculate that no one in Milwaukee cares either.

8:20 — Umm, where the fuck are we supposed to sit? In the aisle? Okay, fine. My back's got a few good years left in it.

8:30 — A Russian claymation cartoon plays on the curtain. This is really weird. As far as my primitive American intellect conceives, the story is about a crocodile troubadour and his baby monkey pal, battling industrial manufacturing executives hellbent on polluting a serene pond, bucolic bandits hungry for one piece of vanilla layer cake and a couple of goofy looking reject kids just hoping they can take a swim without the consequence of genetic mutation. All the while a monstrous train puffs smog and disonance into the playdough countryside. If this is what Russian kids watch growing up, then I am sincerely considering impregnating someone (My Vegas sweetheart Svetlana?) and having them brought up in the Siberian countryside. By far, the highlight of the night.

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8:45 — A couple of true geeks in front of us commence what becomes an all-night love fest, tongue kissing, necking and swapping saliva continously only inches from our astonished faces. It is downright perverted, but in a really not good way, as I would have at least been happy had they been a couple of hot-looking socialite rocker types. But no, it's Ward Cleaver and his chubby gal-pal. "Hey, I gotta go to the bathroom, kiss kiss," and "Hey, I'm gonna go get a drink kiss kiss," and "Hey, I'm so in love with you and I love the Eels, kiss kiss." Gag.

9:00 — The Eels come on after the crowd is treated to a scratchy, grinding reproduction of Gene Wilder's "There is no life I know" from the original Willy Wonka movie. The acoustics at this venue are CLEARLY sub-par. I start to get nervous when all I see are a strings section and no electric guitar or drums anywhere. This is not happening, I think. My ass hurts.

9:15 — Some hipster bitch is screaming at the top of her lungs at the band during one of E's "not rock" ballads. It is a true abortion and I am starting to get embarrassed. A dude stands up and shouts, "Shut the fuck up!" I offer to buy him a beer. The crowd gives him an ovation, the only justified one I remember.

9:30 — The band begins to experience equipment malfunctions. They stop the show. E prevents a tomatoes and garbage wielding mob outbreak with some smartass jokes. He fires the soundguy. This really sucks but that was kind of funny...well maybe not for the dude who was publicly humiliated, humbled and professionally idled.

9:40 — The show must go on, and it does. But only for a moment before the "dance club" on the Avalon's lower level starts kicking their twisted trance bullshit. My seat, on the ground if you will, begins to rumble and vibrate with the sonorous rhythms of "Motherfuckers Can't Handle the Pressure," or at least that's what it sounds like to me. In any case, the auditorium is now officially a cacophony. Leaving is quickly becoming the best decision.

10:00 — We manage a few more songs, ill-chosen musical mastrbation if you ask your ol pal Marty, but things are reaching a fever pitch. I give E a little credit. He mentions in between songs that the last time he saw a show at the Avalon that the sound really sucked and that he had his car stereo stolen in the parking lot. Now I'm downright uncomfortable.

10:15 — Some nimrod and his chick begin to literally heckle the band. A veritable peanut gallery in front gets in an argument with E and the show is again on hiatus as E, clearly drunk, exhausted or gakked (likely all three, Zod love him), dignifies these fucking losers by engaging them in the shit talking. He asks for security. My back is now locked in one inert position. No crowd pleasing songs are played to raise my spirits. I am getting douche chills from bearing witness to this putrid display of bad fans and mediocre performing. E even apologizes a couple times, in between puffs from his missile-sized cigar.

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10:20 — Sasefina turns to me with a truly despondent look, shakes her head and says, "This is a K-Hole. Let's get the fuck out of here." I feel great release as we do exactly that.

11:00 — Mexican take-out at Lucy's on LaBrea. Thank Zod for carne asada tacos. Good stuff, though the sherm head in line next to us nearly wrecks my appetite with his poop smell and pleas for "eggs, man, some eggs!" Fucking Hollywood. It's far less than I wanted and far more than I deserve.

All in all, I still like the Eels, but they need to do some thinking or re-thinking about what their live shows are all about after what went on last night. That was ORIBLAY. I cried myself to sleep and didn't make it into the office until 9:30. But then, maybe that was the late-night Internet porn jamboree and my Haruki Murakami novel. Good riddens to yesterday and hello Ludes! Wait a minute, I meant, well fuck, at least I am still the Trivial Pursuit Champion of the Deuce! Suck on that NYERD!


Friday, July 08, 2005

Attention: 6-Legged Dog With 2 Penises

Sunday June 19, 2005

Six-legged puppy dumped at temple

PORT KLANG, MALAYSIA — A puppy with two extra legs and a second penis is drawing curious stares at a temple in Pandamaran town near here.

The puppy, found by a temple caretaker at the entrance on Thursday morning, is being cared for by the temple committee.

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Kwang Sung Temple committee member Tee Kim Huat said the caretaker saw the white puppy with dark brown patches sleeping at the temple entrance at 7am.

“He lifted the canine to place it elsewhere and was shocked to see that the puppy had six legs! Not only that, the male puppy also had an extra penis,” said Tee.

“We believe someone dumped it at the temple,” he added.

However, since it was an unusual dog, devotees felt that it was a bearer of good fortune and named the puppy Ong Fatt (Lucky One), said Tee.

The temple committee obtained a dog-rearing permit from the Klang Municipal Council on Friday to allow the caretaker to take care of the puppy at the temple.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The periphery of normal, but not even

It is good to know that there are people out there (full-roaming vapors, really) who have chosen long ago to walk a course of solidarity, far away from the mainstream. I'm talking about people who believe that making art about killing, molesting, raping, maiming, et all is actually not tasteless, rather, it's curious intellectual exploration. Or maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe these creepish mutantes just find depravity amusing. Whatever.

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The point is that, on a website that I've included below, I recently read a collection of film reviews that include some rank, disturbing and insanely riotous descriptions. Choosing pretty much at random, I've reproduced the following (very fucking excellent) visual hair curlers. Keep in mind that these are one man's opinions of actual films. (I'm heading to the rental shop tonight, by the way.)

  • The red-wigged working girl drags her blonde companion to a deserted barn, and instead of administering first aid decides instead to strip her down, tie her up, and maul her breasts.

  • As Rudy and Gloria head out to try their luck on their own they're visited with the curse of the rotting papaya (no kidding); and with that the tribe's warriors return to the village, and the Americans watch in horror as Joe's body is promptly torn apart and devoured.

  • What drew my attention were two photographs accompanying the essay: one featured a Marie-Antoinette-looking fox running through the forest in only a corset and blonde wig. The other depicted a naked woman straddling an ape-like animal, milking its sizeable dong. How could one help but be intrigued?

  • He takes her home so she can do the Linda Blair thing, puking up pea soup and speaking of forthcoming doom, but his declaration of love drives the demons right out of her and sappy music begins to swell. Just as it looks like we're in for some hardcore post-exorcism fucking, there's a cheap message about love being as strong as death and the scene comes to an end.

  • Her cries echo throughout the caves along with the sounds of the flagellants’ whips, but her body is left unattended to bleed down a waterfall that washes over the life-size crucifix where it came to land twenty years ago.

  • When she finally passes out from the pain, Red unties her and hacks into her groin, disemboweling her with the detached bliss of a Manson girl.

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    The critic who wrote these, Tom Crites, is a fucking sick genius. Where does he come up with this shit, you ask? I'm not sure yet, but I think if you enjoy the snippets above, you should read more of his grisly, multi-colored reviews at this fucked up website:

    He also has his own bizarro-whack, anti-everything puddle of neo-artsy "I don't know what the fuck is going on here" website called the Paniscus Revue. I really like this guy.

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  • Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Doppelganger Blues

    Last night, I had a dream that I was walking with a crowd of natives in an industrialized East Asian country, and my language skills were very, very strong. I was able to finish sentences and occasionally reply to others who were speaking much faster than I was. It was hopeful and empowering, this dream, and I felt that my journey to a higher level of consciousness was entering a new phase.

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    All at once, we came across a giant mirror, and everyone stopped and stood and stared collectively at the shimmer of reflections. The others were beautiful, stately and happy, big smiles on handsome, confident faces. They seemed content with their reflections, but not too curious. But through to the other side of the “looking glass” what I saw was no princely version of me.

    Dressed in thorns and burlap and with long black fingernails, my reflection was perfectly charnel and unruly. He looked at me and smiled a yellow, crooked smile, his teeth jagged and biting down into his lips — my lips. Blood drooled through his grin, and my body double opened his mouth to speak. I looked around and found I was alone to hear him.

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    “Arrogance and naïve love will get you nowhere, Martin,” he said to me, and snickered. “Just remember your face will rot, as your insides have already begun, and your idealism will shrivel and your faith will implode and you will bleed out like a swatted insect, bloated on bodily waste and paid back for your leeching, thieving existence.”

    I replied in Japanese: “Kashaku, tadashi naze?” (I don’t know if this is grammatically sound but I meant to say something to the effect of, “Pardon me, but why?”)

    He laughed a gruesome, smoke-saturated laugh, which turned to a dead-sounding cough. I thought my evil twin was going to pass on in front of my eyes, but he maintained a disgusting smile through his fit and righted himself. “Take my word, Martin, there is a plan for you already in motion. It is something you will have to learn to deal with, for better or worse. Stop your smarmy bullshit and prepare yourself.”

    When he finished speaking, my reflection reached through the mirror and dropped two scrolls with Asian kanji painted into them. Of course, I can’t read those characters so I just looked at them and admired their calligraphic beauty. I woke up soon after.

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    While in the shower this morning, I pieced together some lyrics inspired by the dream and committed them to memory. Then I started thinking of some lines I had written in my idea journal several weeks ago. I sat down and jotted down all these thoughts off the top of my head. This is what I came up with:

    Victim of the Bright

    a new kind of spirit
    a morning fresh spirit
    your redemption unwound
    and set forth like policy

    with policy, true policy
    people leave you anyway
    no reasons necessary
    papers shuffled, forms filed
    but I want to hope to keep you

    so take another chance with me
    let me see, let us see.
    your will above my grasp
    the wax of you,
    the wane of me
    the policy, the policy

    Victim of Innocence

    Dropping, a bucket into a well of black blood.
    The acrid maelstrom of the deceived.
    One eye on the prize,
    The other gouged out with a nail.

    Your trust betrayed by humanity’s want.
    Love is a prisoner in greed’s torture chamber.
    But you’ll stand proud and fight,
    And you’ll die like a dog.
    Your resolve’ll end,
    With a disfigured skull.

    Peaking, your faith strong in the trials of friendship.
    But your confidant will bury you alive in earth.
    Will you believe in fellow man’s honor?
    Even when your jaw is severed?

    Blood, sweat and loneliness your pleasure’s harem.
    Bottle of pills in your hand, your spirit grown grimmer.
    But you’ll not feign to give up,
    Though disgrace is your bed.
    Know your spirit won’t rise,
    And you’ll stay fucking dead.

    I don’t know about you, but I think there is a solid connection. I think my doppelganger is trying to tell me something. Something important, perhaps about the future. Perhaps about my death, or an impending betrayal. It’s kind of scary and exhilarating all at once. I’m sweating just thinking about it. In fact, I’m about to piss myself.

    I’m looking for suggestions on what this might mean, so feel free to give them to me. Personally, I think there is a crucial reckoning on its way. My dentist, my shrink and my soothsayer all agree.

    Beware of the blight from above, and the pestilence from below. Be nice to everyone and do your best to protect the weak. It’s coming, and it may be sooner than you think. I’m not talking about “the rapture,” but it won’t be full of mercy, either. We each meet it in our own way, but the sooner we’re prepared to accept it, the better our chances of meeting it with peace and acceptance.

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    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Why, oh why, does she never call?

    The man fought valiantly, giving every inch of his being. But outlasting inevitability is a fruitless task. Trust your ol pal, he knows as well as anyone.

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    Monday, July 04, 2005

    I pay rent, but just not here

    Seeing as how my life currently operates in an interdimensional phantom zone, and since I don't have the heart or mind to elaborate at this juncture, particularly with only 80 pages left in my shlock japanese teen exploitation graphic novel and fireworks being shot off at gruesome levels outside my window, the only thing I can really do tonight is post a picture of a great man I met this weekend. I confided in him that when I was in high school, he made me want gold teeth. His name is Billy Gibbons. You may know him as the lead singer of a band called ZZ Top. It was a special meeting, and your ol pal Marty was riding a high at the time. But ye, all good things come to an end, and now I'm sitting in my closet, typing frantically in a cold sweat and with a demonic lust for sleep and wishing, just wishing that I don't have to spend another weekend sleeping on a hotel room floor with a 22-year-old waitress from Van Nuys or doing the worm at 5;30 am while wearing a Sonny Bono wig. I'm treading on the precipice of HGL, which I will discuss in depth at a later point. But for now folks, happy fucking birthday to the US of A in the 2K nickel, and may Zod bless me with a sophisticated and voluptuous, mysterious di-polar shape shifting chick who likes basketball, makes a lot of money and all the while loves Martin just for being Martin. Oh, where was I? Please enjoy. Shakes.

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