Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Delete Sad Poets

Delete sad poets.
Delete all traces
of a mental pool table
played by one
at 3 a.m.
Delete the single
Siamese fighting fish
in Walmart
in the middle of the night
blushing warm purple,
blushing more purple
than a nearby poster
for some fish food
made of fish.
How could that fish know?
How could that fish
be smart enough
to be at war with Soylent Green?
That bowl is barely
big enough
to float a single ping pong ball.
The smallest dwellings
contain the most sadness,
and these are usually
the most offensive.
Hence, blogs.
Delete yourself in the mirror,
you cactus with pet balloon poodles.
Your own mother
probably runs from you in the subway,
anyway.
Unlike mine,
who calls me every hour
on the hour.
Even when I'm busy
getting  heaps of yellow chrysanthemums
thrown across my feet
in my Japanese Zero
by the beloved people,
wishing me a safe trip.
There are so many yellow flowers
I can barely read
my controls.
I can't wait to crash
somewhere
out of love.
Reciprocal love.











Bill Dane

Bill Dane surprised me by sending me a link to this today.

Love it.

I traded him a link for a Robyn video.

Something in that baby voice of the vocalist with the tough words reminded me of her.



Vorodians

Vorodians are extraterrestrials who exist among us on earth. They are differently frequenced and differently spatialized. These dark matter, dark energy beings spend most of their time (or what passes for time with them) being bored. They don't really know how they got to earth, or can't remember, and they consider our planet the equivalent of a dead mall. Their minds are like park benches to them, and we are like pigeons. The problem is that the Vorodians completed physics. They got the unified field and handed in the paper and then they didn't really have anything left to do. Because they're not interested in food, sex or movies. When paranormal events occur, it is usually a fluctuation between these two states of being, our workaday existence and Vorodian boredom. Vorodians only named themselves that because they noticed that Earth has a name for itself. So they are followers. Copycats. They give in much too easily to interplanetary peer pressure. They chose the name randomly. The Vorodians originally called their planet nothing. They referred to it as "That Thing." They had no word that would have corresponded to our "earthlings." The word they used for themselves would have been more properly translated as "thinglings." It is possible the Vorodians suffer from low self-esteem. But possibly they are just advanced jellyfish. Maybe this is just their existential state. They drift and observe and note their boredom. They rarely even interact with each other and where you find one Vorodian, you will rarely find another. One of the favorite things for a Vorodian to do is to stand in front of a movie screen for the entire duration of a movie. They enjoy the experience of all those humans seeming to look at them but actually looking right through them, seeing nothing. If Vorodians had faces, at least half of their problems would probably be solved. They would at least have somewhere to focus their attention.

Two

Here is an indestructible image of you I will give you. And here is one in which you appear wholly capable of being destroyed. I would ask that you alternate your use of these images. On a day when you are feeling too happy, ridiculously buoyant, you might want to look at the image of destructible you And on the days when you want to die, when you feel like a sick cat who lives under random cars, I would ask that you look at the image of yourself as indestructible. I don't really care what you do with the two images. You can look at the image of yourself melting when you're in utter despair, if you really want to. And you can magnify yourself with the image of indestructible you on the days of your greatest victories, if you'd like. Regardless of what you do, you will still end up a human metronome. You will still bore yourself with yourself. It will only be the terror of others and the terror of existence which allow you the necessary interest to continue to proceed. You will want to see how it all turns out. In this, you are like a minnow.

R.I.P. FEARnet

I've read this channel wasn't available in as many markets as, say, Chiller.

But it seems to have had its loyal adherents.

It's going off the air July 30th.

They said much of the programming (not sure if that includes their few original programs) will be "folded into" Syfy and Chiller.

I was surprised to learn the network only had twenty-five employees.

I think about half were already let go and the rest will be shortly.

I'm pretty sure the online manifestation of the network (fearnet.com) is disappearing too.

When I did a Google search just now, the Facebook page had half a million likes.

So it definitely has its fans and I'm guessing several million horror fans will be discomfited.

Some fans mentioned loving their Reaper series (never saw) and others had high praise for the original series Holliston (ditto).

It said the network was reserving its rights for off-network running of Reaper, but no word on Holliston, which might be headed for limbo.

This is happening because partners Lionsgate and Sony pulled their support or opted not to renew.

The commercial spots for the farewell film festival on the thirtieth is claiming the network has been around for eight years, which is confusing, as all online sources give the origin of the network as Halloween, 2010.




I Saw The Grand Budapest Hotel and an Even Better Movie Yesterday

I finally got to see the latest hyped-to-the-death Wes Anderson flick.

I liked it. It was a dream cast. When does Ralph Fiennes disappoint anyone in anything?

Purple and orange are complementary colors and yes, they have great, jarring visual impact when combined.

It's a very Nabokovian movie. It feels like a love letter to Nabokov.

I didn't like it as much as their last movie, but I enjoyed it.

Sometimes I wonder if Wes Anderson is a big Edward Gorey fan, because, design-wise anyway, one could make an argument for that influence. Maybe it's not only design. There does seem to be more Gorey influence in some Anderson films (this one, The Royal Tenenbaums) than others. Even Gorey's thing where he does that sloe-eyed drawing of certain decadent characters is a convention Anderson has adopted. Willem Dafoe's character in this movie is given a rather Gorey treatment, makeup-wise. Gorey loves spurious royalty and imaginary countries as backdrops. So does Wes Anderson. I could probably go on an enumerate many other points of similiarity. I'll just assume Wes Anderson is a fellow Goreyolater.

The Grand Budapest Hotel really clobbers you visually, so you tend not to notice where the writing might be boring you. ("If it's working, keep talking."--The The)

Then we switched over to a movie I thought was going to be a pretty straightforward horror movie.

Except it wasn't that at all.

Some critics consider Under the Skin sci-fi, because it is definitely based on a science fiction novel of the same name (hugely popular, translated into seventeen languages) by Michael Faber.

I ended up reading about this novel and now I'm walking around with the word "vodsel" in my head. If you do a Google search just on that word, you'll see it's now the name of a band and use of the word has sort of proliferated. It's the sort of word you want to pick up and not let go.

I love sci-fi. I need to read more of it. It might just be the best literary form in which to write social critique. Probably this is because the distancing mechanisms allow the reader's mind to absorb any critique as less threatening, and probably--obviously--because of the novelty in the presentation of arguments in this genre. It tends to be less boring than an obvious social tract. So most social tracts that stick around in literature tend to actually be science fiction. If you think back, I mean.

This film is its own animal, for sure.

Jonathan Glazer's movie is pitch-perfect. Scarlett Johansson made a stellar pick with this one. I've always found her fascinating, but never more so than in this role.

I took the movie to be about the phenomenology of seduction and sex. I took the movie to be an attempt to visualize what sexual subsumption feels like. I think it's a brilliant little disquisition on some things that take place mostly beyond language.

There are beautiful moments and sequences in the Wes Anderson film. But the scenes I find I want to replay in my mind are actually scenes from this darker movie that has no charming monologues and very little dialogue.

When I read the precis of Faber's book, it did make me read the movie differently. The issues of torturous body dysmorphia and animal rights come to the forefront then. The first might be hinted at in Glazer's adaptation, but the second is only vaguely implied (with the release of one intended victim by the protagonist). In the novel, the concept of "mercy" is literally spelled out.

There is a scene in Under the Skin that I thought was one of the best I'd seen in film in a number of years. I'm talking about what happens between the two bodies under the surface of that viscous black pool.

The cinematographer's eye is so careful in Under the Skin, it's virtually uncanny. Just watching the patterns of two different types of trees closely nestled blowing in wind (seen from above) is hypnotic.

I love that this is set in Scotland. It seems weirdly appropriate.

The weirdest thing I read about the movie is that when we see ScarJo driving around in her serial killer van scouting for what one reviewer called "loners with boners," she was actually acting as bait for hookups, and the guys were average guys responding to her charms. (They didn't recognize her? Really? Okay, it was Scotland).

The guys were then told the extent of what they'd need to do for the movie, how weird it all gets, and if they wanted to sign on, they could.

I had wondered if the man afflicted with neurofibromatosis was an actor with prosthetics, but no, he is actually a man living with that disease.

These sorts of importations from reality don't strike me as exploitive games played by a director eager for wild notes he can add to his press kit. Not at all. With this movie, I think that was legitimate process, and I think the nature of the erotic exchanges (or would-be exchanges) in the movie is deepened by this.

It's a weird film that seemed to get under most critics' skins too. It's running nearly ninety percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and that's pretty damn good for a film that departs this far from the usually accepted formulas.

I love that Scarlett's character wears that little jacket that looks so much like the hair on a hairy spider.

Some will run to Blade Runner for comparison, but it's closer to Liquid Sky.

The only cavils I've seen were a few bitchy swipes at Scarlett's English accent. Oh, and you can see the one tech guy reflected in some shop windows in the one scene, where he's running to keep up with ScarJo's character right before she trips on the street. As someone who photographs all the time, I know how easy it is to slip up in this regard when the general feedback you're getting from a reflective surface is that dark.

I wondered if the (pseudo-)English creature preying on Scottish men thing was meant to torque the movie into a colonialist reading, but why bother. The movie is so richly subconscious that it seems stilted and silly to go that direction.

The critics who dared to speak and write of "Kubrick level work" are right with this one.

I'll have to go back and give Glazer's other two films a try (Sexy Beast and Birth). I had avoided the latter movie because I thought the plot sounded cheesy. But I suspect this director is an alchemist, one of those who can transmute cheese to gold.






Oracular Compilation

My friend Craig Conley wrote to ask me if I wanted to send a question for oracular response his way.

He explained beforehand that it had to be a question with a "yes" or "no" answer.

Of course, this was too good to miss out on.

I asked, "Do tomatoes feel paint?" (No, that's not a typo for pain.)

The funny thing is, I had no idea how interesting the "answer" would be.

You can try your own questions at the Augural Agglomerator.

I loved the way when I went to fetch my answer, I was in a maze of conflicting interpretations chiming in from all sides. I particularly loved the responses of the twelve Caesars (Suetonius') for each question. They are charmingly never in agreement.

The other questions I asked were "Lime curtains?" and "Can cats learn Serbian?"

The respective drift of answer on those were "yes" and "no."

But, as you'll see by checking the oracle board, you're always free to believe exactly what you want to believe on any question. Just line up your faith with the appropriate responses, dissenting or majoritarian.

I much prefer this to Delphi. I much prefer this to the maddening Magic 8 Ball.

I'll add it to my blogroll for your future binary question needs.

One final caveat: the search results to which I linked above were a "specialized" response in which Craig Conley has added the results of six oracles he performs himself.

If you visit the site and run it "cold," you will still get the vast majority of replies, just not the six personalized ones. If you want those two, click around on the site. I'm sure there's information there on that.