Friday, April 30, 2004

Lovemonster

And finally, the gaping tassled mouth of the alien papier-mâché lovemonster:

I Might Have to Read It

No longer hanging over the cliff: I did get into UCDC. And Dr. Loftus doesn't apparently think I'm crazy.
Thanks for the heads up, I'd never heard of the book. Orrrr... I found an excerpt. I don't know, it sounds more like stream of consciousness than magical realism and it seems like a pretty self-indulgent text. But I might have to read it.

brian

Two Drews, Times Two

What Drew (I) said:
Cloning Opens Up a New World of Possibilities — In Bed

When they cloned Dolly the lamb, I wasn't impressed. My dad's from New Zealand. I've seen sheep. They're pretty much the same - hooves, wool, pea-sized brain. I hear now they've cloned more animals, like frogs and aardvarks and whatnot. But I'm not impressed, Mr. Scientist.

I want to know when they make the kind of clones everybody's been waiting for: sex clones. That's right — the DNA of the beautiful reincarnated for the purposes of sex. And don't think I'm sick. The minute the possibility of human cloning was raised, half the country scratched their chins thoughtfully and pondered, "How might we use this technology for sex?"

Science could clone us the celebrities who normally wouldn't give us the time of day. Sure, you'd have to dig ol' Jayne Mansfield out of the ground for a DNA sample and then fight her family in court. But people can't inhibit scientific progress forever, especially when a horny American public might want to have sex with their dead relatives.

I realize the logistics of this plan are sketchy. I realize that a successfully cloned Jayne Mansfield or James Dean or John Ritter would take 18 years before it could legally have sex. But I think once science gets to the point of mass human cloning, it will be able to speed the maturation of the clones, allowing them to get sexier faster and then promptly vanish when their novelty wanes.

Perhaps an even more interesting prospect of sex clones would be cloning oneself. Everybody has a narcissistic friend who seems to be in love with his or herself. With self-cloning, they truly could be in love with themselves, once the clone appropriately aged, of course. They could treat themselves to the movies, go dancing with themselves, the whole thing. The after-date activities raise a whole new batch of moral questions - if you have sex with your clone, is it masturbation? Homosexuality? Incest? - but I think we should tackle those issues when the time comes.

And don't say that cloning yourself purely for sexual purposes dehumanizes the clone. If you're screwed-up enough to want to have sex with yourself, chances are the clone that shares 100 percent of your DNA would be all for it too.

Just consider a world of sex clones - sexual exploration the likes of which humanity has never seen before, a dead celebrity for every family and the chance to see what your own butt looks like. Isn't that a world you want to live in?

Drew Mxxxxx is the
Daily Nexus opinion editor — and a different person than Drew Atkins.
What the other Drew said:
Hello Dolly! We Should Nip This Cloning Smut in the Bud

When I sleep at night I dream of a sanitary future, full of shiny uniforms and cars that fly. There are cities in the clouds, robot maids, and dolphins coexisting with humans in a civilized manner. I don't dream of freaky clone people turning tricks like Las Vegas streetwalkers. That doesn't sound very sanitary to me, and thus doesn't sound futuristic.

The scientific community, drunk as it is with power, is trying to clone humans at the moment. Upon accomplishing this goal they will program the clones to be sex slaves. Some people claim this is inevitable, possibly mankind's greatest triumph.

I know what you're saying. What could be better than guiltless sex with a fleshy automaton? It would be easy, breezy and fun. Hell! You could go nuts on their ass, do whatever you want!

Not to play party pooper, buster, but you're one sick puppy. Get your head out of the gutter and think about it for a while. Who are people going to clone as sex slaves when the industry gets off the ground? Cute people, that's who. Sexy people - people like the Olsen twins. Everybody loves the Olsen twins. We as a nation watched them grow up on "Full House." Women find them "cute." Men want to have sex with both of them at the same time for weird reasons words can't quite capture.

When the cloning craze starts, everyone is going to want a pair of Olsen twins to psychologically program from birth. Fellas could even breed a Jennifer Lopez or two along with them for variety. Ladies could grow a few Tom Hanks and get some sweet Hanks lovin' every night.

Everybody wins, right? Wrong. You see, there's a package deal that goes along with those celebrities you bend to your perverted will: You also get the nasty dispositions they're genetically programmed to have. Hearts black as the night. Anyone that knows tons of celebrities like I do knows they all hate mankind. All of them, except Justin Timberlake, are very bad, scary people.

I'll grant cloning has its purposes. We could clone soldiers and take over the world. We could grow a few clones to work all the crap jobs or compliment us all the time. Mankind, however, is not rational enough to use them these ways. They will exclusively clone celebrities to have sex with, and after a time these evil, glamorous people will topple civilization and enslave us all.

It's time that we, as a society, open our eyes and recognize scientists for what they are: a grave threat.

Drew Atkins is a
Daily Nexus staff writer — and a different person than Drew Mxxxxx.

Alphabet Holocaust

Weather.com tells me the predicted temperature for Indio on Sunday is 106 degrees. Asks Jessica, "What are we going to do?" That's easy. We're going to die.

I burned the soup. Alphabet holocaust — made with beefstock.

Wave of Mutilation

(I feel I should say it "Co-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oachella")

I'm going to see three bands I love — Radiohead, the Cure and the Pixies — a bunch more units I like — the Rapture, !!!, Moving Units, to name a few — in a town whose name I think sounds cool. Indio. Like India's brother.

Where I sleep has become completely irrelevant.


cease to resist, giving my goodbye
drive my car into the ocean
you'll think i'm dead, but i sail away
on a wave of mutilation

i've kissed mermaids, rode the el nino
walked the sand with the crustaceans
could find my way to mariana
on a wave of mutilation
a wave of mutilation
a wave of mutilation

Thursday, April 29, 2004

The David Lynch Hue

Just before six a.m., the sky turns an electric blue. I couldn't tell if I had already fallen asleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Get Behind Me, Whatever You Are!

"I think I'm crazy to an extent. Drive-bys and stakeouts are fun."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Death Rides a Pale Giraffe

A Glorious Moment for Garbage

creative writing assignment no. 2: textual document of a physical environment.
part one: the sun.

Hot sun on pavement, hot pavement on skin. It smells like skin cancer, but fuck it — I’m only twenty-one.

"This is my favorite spot on campus."

Concentric semicircles of concrete; a geometric sanctuary of green and gray; the most classical spot on a campus that’s younger than my parents; an annex for the studious framed by mismatched international shrubbery — ivy, bamboo, palms and a fruitless olive tree perfectly iconic of the spot’s faux classicality.

"I think so too," not meaning that I agree that she likes this spot but that I also like this spot. Of course.

Motionless at ground level. It bends delicately in the wind blowing above the rooftops, but I can’t feel that on the hot cement. The tree UN bobs their heads. Behind me, the whirring mechanical engine of an air conditioner. Someone dares to regulate temperature on a day to pleasantly perfect to justify temperature regulation. Cell phone conversations, coughing, sneezing, a general escape of air from the faces of people passing by. And — though my office sits directly beneath Storke Tower, I hear the bells for the first time today.

L - E - T
T - H - E - R - E
B - E
L - I - G - H - T

[[[ ten-to-four ]]]

Resonant and proud — fifteen notes in heavy iron.

A flake of silver glints sunlight. A holy gumwrapper, reflecting light directly into my eyes. A glorious moment for garbage.

When I get overwhelmed by the stress of matching a specific sensation with the pinpoint perfect word for it, I shut my eyes. No stimulus, only scanning for the right response, the marriage of what I saw and how I saw it But the perfect hot semicircles, the mismatched trees framed by sunlight flash for one second more again, in negative form, on the insides of my sun-warmed eyelids.

part two: the shade.

Melanoma free, but bullied by the now-louder roar of the intrusive air conditioner. Plus piano —playing something I never would have gotten good enough to play. Some winding, aimless, disjointed melody.

A trumpet, clearly drunk, scales up and down —

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C - B - A - G - F - E - D - C

— but always back to Middle C. Fifteen notes in shiny brass.

A crow caw. A flutter of feathers. The dry sound of paper creeping down the sidewalk on its belly. More metal bells. [[[ four-o’-clock ]]] And then again, another trumpet, dueling, trying to lap the other in its 15-part circular racetrack: eight steps up, then down again. Dueling repetition.

Scrape of a branch against a rough cement sidewall. Caw caw. Trumpet squeak. A disjointed cacophony, a motley symphony of mismatched instruments, an instrumental of poesia futurisma. Zang-tum-tum. Whir-caw-squeak.

I’m more aware now of the sharp angle of the concrete step in my back. Shadows lengthen. The once-shaky trumpet, the winner of the trump-off, apparently, clears its throat and launches into a solo — brass minor, not cheerful at all. A requiem for the end of the afternoon.

(creative writing assigment no. 1 forthcoming)

Monday, April 26, 2004

Send It by Giraffe or Jungle Telegraph

On the Reading Habits of Our Local Homeless

I think I have a decent chance of getting into UCDC, because the guy that interviewed me today told me that I should apply to The Washington Post and National Geographic and that Washington D.C. would have a lot of opportunities for me. From that, I'd judge that I did at least well enough to not get disqualified outright because it would be way fucked up to tell me about all the opportunities the program had when he knew he wasn't going to admit me. That, or the guy's a sadistic jerk.

Also, I mailed this letter to an past teacher today:
Dr. Loftus,

Two things. First, I wanted to apologize for saying hi to you in the grocery store a few weeks back. I know you hate that.

Secondly and more importantly, I was walking down State Street and I saw a bum sitting on the bench outside the art museum. He was asleep, but he had a pile of books next to him. The top book looked way newer than the others and had the title "The Passion of Brian Loftus" — you know, like "The Passion of the Christ," only with your name in place of Jesus'. I thought this was very odd. All Amazon will tell me is that it's magic realism. In any case, I was wondering if you've ever heard of the book. I know this is totally out of nowhere, but it struck me as a meaningful coincidence and I thought I'd ask you about it.

Drew

Will I get into UCDC? Will Dr. Loftus think I'm crazy? Does the bum have a book with my name on it?

The Stats

  • Toni Morrison-Luis Valdez paper: done
  • Total words: 1,504
  • Total characters (counting spaces): 9,265
  • Number of times word "zoot" used: 10
  • Total letters in my professor's full name: 6
  • Last name only: 2
  • Number of times the word "clearly" is used: 3
  • "However": 4
  • "Thus": 2
  • "Chola": 1
  • Expected grade: B/B+

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Haiti

Not yet ten and I've got an intro. Take that, English.
The plots Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit both hinge around a young man’s embattled transformation into an adult. The heroes, Milkman Dead and Henry Reyna, initially are unable to cope with the drastic situations their stories entail. However, enduring hardship helps both to mature and in the end Milkman and Henry become men — rational, reasonable, responsible adults whose actions meet the expectations of their respective peers. An integral aspect of this manhood is the achievement of a new national identity that melds past with present, their predecessors with themselves. By underscoring the importance of such an identity, Morrison and Valdez imply that one is essential to true adulthood.

The What-Is-It

Luis Valdez

The guy just can't hold my attention, especially when my backyard is becoming Louisiana.

What Utsumi Said and What She Really Meant

"I know all about you. Know what that means?"

I shouldn't think about things this late at night. Of course, I'm still not particularly tired, even after Luis Valdez. But I don't think it's being tired that makes late-night thinking a bad thing. I think it's actually everyone else being asleep. For me, at least, having other people around me prompts me to keep my mind from running away from me. The later it gets, the more likely my mind is to get ballsy.

I left Jessica's at about two thirty last night. We watched "Battle Royale," and we didn't even start it until midnight. I bought wine. I feel like she got the movie in a way nobody else would.

I don't like sitting on my wallet much, so I took it out and put it on the piano in her room. My phone, too. And I put my skateboard on the floor. When I left, I noticed that my wallet and my phone smelled like Jessica.

She's worn the same perfume since I've known her. I don't know what it's called, but she tells me it's a chocolate-based scent. I hate chocolate. I like her perfume. It's a heavy scent, one that tends to glom onto anything near it. If she's used a computer in the office recently, I can tell. And there was that one time I knew she had been in my house, just because some ghost of hers was lingering in the kitchen.

I think last night I was jealous of my wallet and my phone.

Sometimes, I wish Jessica had some big question she had to ask me. Something important, the kind of question you have to ask permission about before you ask it. And she'd ask and I'd tell her that I would on one condition: that I get to ask one of her and she'd have to answer.

And she'd ask me.

And I'd answer.

And then I'd ask my question.

I'd ask her, "Why not?"

George and the Star

ha. and i found it, just in one hour.

apparently, it's not gerry potterton, but gerald. and he did direct an animated short film about a man named george who decides to get a real star for the top of his christmas tree. and so he goes to look for one and has adventures.

that's all i found. but that's enough.

weirdly, gerald potterton also directed this animated movie called "heavy metal," which i also saw when i was a kid, but probably shouldn't have because it was adult animation with — if i remember correctly — boobs and blood. "heavy metal" is way more famous and its cover has this woman warrior riding a pterodactyl.

but "george and the star" is real, even if imdb doesn't know. i think i need to call my mom and brother tomorrow.

there may not be much about "george and the star" online, but at least now there's one more thing: this.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Alone in an Unlocked House

and while home, sick and studying on a friday night, i somehow remembered this old cartoon that i hadn't thought of in years. i only have the faintest images of it in my head, like parts of a dream or something, but i know it's real — i just can't reach far back enough to fully remember.

i think it was called something like "georgie and the star" or maybe just "george and the star," and it was about this guy named george who had to get a star for some reason. and there was a woman there, too, and maybe a robot or some kind of animal. and he does he the star in the end, and everyone is happy. and there might have been singing. it seems like there would have been, really.

and that's all i have. imdb is no help, for the first time ever. and google seems to think there was a short film called "george and the star" that was animated, but none of the links take me anywhere useful. i've turned up this name gerry potterton, which sounds british but imdb also doesn't recognize it.

this happened once before, in high school, when i suddenly remembered this weird movie called "unico," which actually turned out to be my first experience with japanese animation. that turned out to be real, that weird movie about a floating wizard head in a flashing pyramid who turned people into these weird mummy dolls.

but i swear, i saw this movie, this "george and the star." i swear it's real. i swear i saw it on the disney channel when i was really young. it meant a lot to me. i wish i could find it. i swear, it would make me feel better to know i'm not fooling myself. i just find it hard to believe that not a single place on the whole internet can help.

i just need something. and then maybe i can remember.

E con Janet Leigh Nella Parta di Marion Crane

Battle Over Spilled Blood

Media Gadly: not swatted yet. I think I'm tired of writing about "Kill Bill." We should just change the paper to The Daily Kill Bill. I probably wouldn't have even this column if Jessica wasn't hurting for fill. Oddly, though, it was through writing this that I realized I liked "The Passion" more than I thought I did.
Battle over Spilled Blood

Tokyo, Japan: Uma Thurman slices through throngs of Yakuza, severing heads and literally painting the room red. Jerusalem, about 2,000 years earlier: Jesus Christ shakes in agony as Roman soldiers pound those infamous nine-inch nails into his hands, climaxing a two-hour buildup of violence.

These two bloody scenes come from two of the most talked about, most violent and most commercially successful films in recent memory. But interestingly, one would be hard-pressed to find many people who saw — and liked — both "Kill Bill" and "The Passion of the Christ." While both are sensationally brutal in their dissection of the human body, both are generally praised by one legion of fans yet reviled by the other.

It's an interesting paradox. Many assume that those worshipping Quentin Tarantino's two-volume epic simply lack the religious background — or morals — to appreciate the piety of Mel Gibson's film. Conversely, those who prefer Uma-with-a-sword could decry Caviezel-on-a-cross as unnecessarily brutal and spiritually hollow. The difference is enticing for film fans, especially since the second book of Uma last weekend dethroned "The Passion" from the top box-office spot it occupied Easter weekend.

It's also a difference that delightfully defies any resolution. Upon close inspection, the films share enough similarities that either side's argument cancels itself out. Neither perpetuates needless violence. Both code their motives in an exclusive language incomprehensible to those "on the outside." Tarantino and Gibson are unlikely bosom buddies. And together "Kill Bill" and "The Passion of the Christ" mark an unprecedented celebration of superviolence in mainstream American cinema.

When people complain that about "Kill Bill," they usually note that Tarantino's stylish violence - blood spurts that flourish even more wildly than in his earlier work — does not mask the immoral motives driving it. These detractors are technically correct because the film's protagonists are all basically bad people, even if they're bad people murdering for a good reason. To many, that's morally repellant.

However, these critics can't see past Tarantino's artful blood splatters to appreciate the thematic richness hidden beneath the carnage. The film lends itself to a striking feminist interpretation in which women are not only capable of violence but able to fight without being sexualized. Tarantino also comments on the modern family unit — or perhaps the destruction of it. He slams east against west. He fuses genres. He reinterprets the American action hero as a woman - as a mom, no less.

Even if its theme of vengeance is shallow, "Kill Bill" is deep. Its cultural commentary renders the violence meaningful.

Those who knock Gibson's Godfest, however, are equally shortsighted. Yes, it's brutal. Yes, it's masochistic. Yes, it's painful to watch, but what Gibson has done is nonetheless revolutionary. "The Passion of the Christ" got those who normally avoid sinful movie houses to pour into the theaters in droves. Gibson's blunt violence lacks Tarantino's dazzle, for sure. Rather, it hits you like a shovel to the face. But even those whose religious illiteracy made the film incomprehensible must appreciate the genius of making a unique film that appealed to a powerful but ignored demographic.

Beyond that, the violence in "The Passion" is meaningful to many people — maybe in a more literal way than Uma slashing her way through feminist repression, but valid nonetheless. It's just unfortunate that those who can't draw meaning from "The Passion" are likely the ones who can see the motives behind Tarantino's madness.

Since October, America's movie theaters have been stained with blood - Christ's, Uma's, some Japanese guy's. And while meaning is completely subjective, it should be gratifying for film fans that so many people can agree that cinematic violence can have profound meaning, especially in a time when television and radio are subject to heightened censorship by the Federal Communications Commission.

It's ironic that such a frequent target of censorship is now openly and gleefully awash with blood. And it's just funny that two irreconcilable poles of cinema, Tarantino and Gibson, have accidentally agreed on what makes a worthwhile film
.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Love You on a Tuesday

"I know all about you. You know what that means?"

Monday, April 19, 2004

Red Letters

Song of Solomon is good, but not good enough to distract me from something that's been bothering me about the names of the characters in "Kill Bill." I think Tarantino has a letter fixation. Case in point: Elle Driver, whose first name is L. And O-ren Ishii, whose name begins with the O being set off. Then there's the Bride's real name (and please stop reading if you haven't seen Volume 2 yet, in which case you should stop what you're doing, pull up your pants and get to a theater). Her name is Beatrix, and Elle even makes it a point of calling her "Bea" or possibly "B," depending on how the chintastic director wrote it. Vernita doesn't have a special letter, but her fake name that she uses to get married is "Jeannie," which works for G. Beatrix's fake name that she nearly gets married with is Arlene Machiavelli, which works for R. Beatrix and Bill's brat is named B.B. And two characters Tarantino cut out — casino owner L.F. O'Boyle and Yuki Yubari, Gogo's little sister — also have the whole letter thing going on. Double initial man Hanzo Hattori doesn't count, because Tarantino borrowed his character, name and all, but Tarantino's done the double initial think before, with Vic Vega and Vincent Vega and Mickey and Mallory and Mia and Marcellus Wallace. And then he actually paid enough attention to give brothers Bill and Budd the same letter pattern (B-vowel-double end consonant). And most conspicuously, Tarantino credits the genesis of this whole thing to himself and Uma with this note: "Based on a character by Q & U."

And tangentially, learning Beatrix Kiddo's real name puts a weird spin on the line that O-Ren and Beatrix share, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids."

Instantaneous Explanation

This, by the way, concerns the immediately previous post, "The Air Near My Fingers."

escalift: drew, what is that picture?
kidicarus222: what picture?
escalift: on the cereal box
kidicarus222: which one?
escalift: the new one
kidicarus222: the plastic vegas cactus?
escalift: i guess so
kidicarus222: it's a plastic cactus from the new frontier hotel is vegas, which was plucked of its prickles by this girl jenn and this other girl abby

The Air Near My Fingers

Sunday, April 18, 2004

She's Not There

"Well let me tell you about the way she looked, the way she'd act and the colour of her hair"

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Samurai TV

"I just didn't want to be a loser anymore."

Friday, April 16, 2004

Elle and I and What's Left of U

Volume Two of the review.
If nothing else, "Kill Bill" delivers what its title promises — Bill dies. His killer, the straw-haired gladiatrix known as the Bride, walks away, finally free of the wrath that drives her quest for revenge through both blood-soaked volumes of "Kill Bill."

Such opposite-but-equal contrasts as life versus death apparently put a geeky grin on Quentin Tarantino's face. As the fervent will find this Friday, Tarantino's ninja-western-kung fu-revenge flick, soap opera-splatter movie itself consists of two opposite-but-equal parts. "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," while a wholly excellent movie deserving its place next to "Vol. 1," is a different film than its predecessor.

The first half of "Kill Bill" begins with the Bride (Uma Thurman) springing a front door ambush on happy homemaker Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox). "Vol. 2," however, begins with "Massacre at Two Pines" — a flashback to the fateful wedding day only glimpsed in "Vol. 1." Characters talk, personalities develop, but nary a punch is thrown.

The remaining chapters unfold similarly. Tarantino trades in frenzied martial-arts action for verbal sparring, quick cuts for long takes and a jumping Tokyo nightspot for... Barstow, California. Ew.

The Bride stalks the remaining three notches on her to-kill list — scumbag Budd (Michael Madsen), vicious Elle (Daryl Hannah) and the man himself (David Carradine). But the rampage doesn't shed the buckets of blood it did in "Vol. 1." It's almost safe for Mom... if she doesn't mind semi-bloodless murder, torture and shotgun blasts to the chest.

Those for whom "Kill Bill" is their first taste of Tarantino might wonder why the characters in "Vol. 2" don't shut up. These unlucky uninitiated must understand that poppy dialogue is what the chin-tastic director does best. Talk permeated "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown," so it's actually the hyperkinetic first volume that's the anomaly.

Ultimately, it's the talking that helps "Kill Bill" succeed as a movie. Some detractors criticized "Vol. 1" as a wafer-thin revenge plot that glorifies violence - an amusing trifle dipped in blood and served to an audience weaned on the ear-slashing and brain-splattering of Tarantino's earlier work

It was.

But pairing it with its other half deepens the movie considerably. Thurman's character and her remaining adversaries transform into people, not just body parts waiting to be disassembled. Thurman's role demands that she literally do backflips, but then exhibit the human emotion at the core of the film's plot. Her character succeeds marvelously — a real person somehow trapped in a world of surreal superviolence.

In step with "Kill Bill's yin-yang theme, Carradine's Bill dupes the audience into liking him, even sympathizing with him. This is the fuck that shot a very pregnant Uma on her wedding day and yet, by the end of the film, he's likable - in a conniving bastard kind of way. And don't worry, Tarantino keeps the cyclopic Elle Driver as bitchy-hateful as ever.

The complete "Kill Bill" is not perfect, though. Madsen's character gets more screen time than any other member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, yet somehow seems undeveloped in the end. And the soundtrack pales in comparison to that of the first volume, even with the inclusion of Johnny Cash.

Yet in the end, "Kill Bill" satisfies. All of the important questions raised in the first part — What's the Bride's name? Why did Bill turn on her? How did Elle lose her eye? — are answered in the second, balancing a film that pops and moves and forces every reviewer in the country to use the word "pastiche."

Bill's dead, but Tarantino lives on, one hopes, to plot his next fractured pop-culture landscape.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ghost Mountain

Never say yes.
Me: Hey, you wanna know the grossest thing?

Tristan: Yeah, sure.

Me: I've got a ______ in my ______.

Tristan: That's disgusting.

Me: I told you it was gross.

Tristan: I shouldn't have said yes.

Me: Yeah, it's seriously the grossest thing ever.

Tristan: And technically, it's not really in your ______.

Me: Well, it kind of is.

Tristan: Yeah, i guess maybe it is.

Me: It's like a little Easter egg, nestled in some tall grass.

Tristan: Stop.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Goodnight Moon

Everything's a fucking fight.
There's a nail in the door
And there's glass on the lawn
Tacks on the floor
And the TV is on
And I always sleep with my guns when you're gone

There's a blade by the bed
And a phone in my hand
A dog on the floor
And some cash on the nightstand
When I'm all alone the dreaming stops
And I just can't stand
So goodnight moon

Monday, April 12, 2004

Cat With Hands

So, do you want to see something really scary?
[ link: "Cat With Hands" ]
Patrick told me about it on the drive to Hollister. Freaky-deaky. How I saw the story in my head alone was scary enough. Then I dreamed about it. And now that little two-minute movie. Scary stuff, that cat with hands. A horrifying thing.

And don't do it the chicken shit way. Watch it late at night, like I just did.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

SpacePope4U

I guess this solidifies my status as a dork, as if there were ever any question. I have successfully reviewed a movie for Ain't It Cool News. Since I got a jump on seeing both volumes of the "Kill Bill" saga, I figured I had a good enough reason to write in, and wouldn't you know it? Big fat ol' Harry Knowles printed it. Total dork credibility found here, third review down, credited to "The Space Pope."

My words of leech into the brains of more people every day.

And the best news of all? L-lives.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I Don't See What Anybody Could See in Anyone Else

My nostrils never look bigger than immediately after I've used a nosehair trimmer.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Credits

Early morning channel-surfing glanced the MTV2 special about Kurt Cobain. Ten years ago today, he died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Ten years ago, today, I didn’t know who Kurt Cobain was, really. I was in the sixth grade. I was all about the Secret of Mana and hadn’t yet discovered music.

The reverberations of that shotgun blast are better discussed by people more qualified than I am. They work for music magazines. I might too, someday.

What’s on my mind instead is loss and ends. I hate that anything ends. Humans naturally do, I’d wager, and not just because it reminds us that we one day will end. Rather, I think we hate endings because we are inert beings who dread the notion of ever becoming uncomfortable. The second we get comfy, things change and then we must change and that blows.

Last night, I saw the last episode of “Home Movies.” I didn’t realized it at the time, but I think Hasan pointed out that the episode totally seemed like series finale material. He was right. Cartoon Network quietly ended what I thought was one of the best television shows I’d ever seen. For three years now, that show has been something that made me comfortable — something I watched every Sunday night because it was funny. But beyond funny, there was something deep to that show, something way human. Something not even “Futurama” ever got to, and that show actually made me feel like crying once —and not because Fry’s dog died, but because Leela’s parents were willing to let her kill them rather than have her find out she was a mutant. And that's why the part at the end when Brendan's camera gets smashed by a car has stuck with me all day. In a lame sort of way, it's like seeing Maddie Ferguson get murdered all over again.

In a way, I’m angry that I feel bad about a stupid little drawing — not even a good drawing, really. But I shouldn’t be surprised. I have a history of getting emotionally attached to characters on TV shows or in movies or books that I have no control over and whom I know will one day stop being characters. It happened with Absalom, Absalom!. It happened with Kavalier and Clay just now over Christmas break. It happened with “Twin Peaks” all sophomore year. It happened to “Scream” way back in high school. And the first time I can remember this happening was with Batman comics when I was really little.

And those are just fake characters.

How I’m going to deal with the loss of certain real people, individuals who make me happier than Brendan and Melissa and Walter and Perry ever could I just don’t know.

Today I bought tickets to the “Kill Bill” double feature in Campbell Hall on Wednesday night. Since October, I’ve been creaming my jeans waiting to find out what’s up with the Bride and her missing daughter. The characters in that movie set my mind on fire, but suddenly I feel like I don’t want to see the second — and final — volume. I’m feeling a bit worn out, and I don’t want something else to end.

Ten years later, by the way, I’m still all about the Secret of Mana.

How Would I Know It's You?

And then she said it. She said "yeap."

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The New Maya Rudolph

It's an hour later than it should be. The last thing I need is a 23-hour day, what with all the work I've got to do. Nonetheless, I'm here now, and I can't stop thinking about anteaters.

Anteaters are the coolest fucking animals ever.

Since we talked about them in the editing class on Thursday, I can't get them out of my head. I think I maybe forgot they were an actual species. Things I've learned about them so far:

Not to be confused with aardvarks, which live in Africa and whose name means "dirt pig" in Afrikaans, anteaters are native to Mexico and South America. They eat ants. The have a prehensile tail that they can use to navigate through tree branches. And the largest species, the Giant Anteater, can be eight feet long. They also have long, smooth fur, like those prissy dogs that rich people always walk on State Street. No, not poodles — the other kind.

The girl in class said they've got one at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Technically, she called it an aardvark, but I think she was mistaken. In any case, that anteater is my new mission.



Anteaters are the new Maya Rudolph.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Fatty Fatty Phonehead

Why I call Greg "phonehead" now:

g t o r r e s 27: hey did you call me to tell me about the kill bill thing?
kidicarus222: ouig t o r r e s 27: oui?
kidicarus222: i just heard some french -- it stuck in my head
g t o r r e s 27: what does that mean?
kidicarus222: yes, retard. it means yes
g t o r r e s 27: oh you mean wee
kidicarus222: how do you think it was spelled?
g t o r r e s 27: i dont know... i guess i thought it was wi
g t o r r e s 27: but that doesnt look rightg t o r r e s 27: i never had to spell it, ok?!
kidicarus222: that's kind of suprising -- that somebody could get this far without ever seeing it spelled. anyway, yes. kill bill. good news, eh?
g t o r r e s 27: so you bought me tickets?!:-)
kidicarus222: no, reatrd. no one can get tickets until monday morning
g t o r r e s 27: is spelling "retard" incorrectly an example of irony?
kidicarus222: no, it's an example of me talking to two other people while i talk to you
g t o r r e s 27: just checking. so is the kill bill thing at the as ticket office?
kidicarus222: no. (noticed how i refrained from calling you a retard that time)
g t o r r e s 27: arts and lecture?
kidicarus222: no. (again, refrain)
g t o r r e s 27: ummmm
kidicarus222: film studies main office
g t o r r e s 27: oh
g t o r r e s 27: ¿que hora?
kidicarus222: early monday morning
g t o r r e s 27: like 8?
kidicarus222: i'm gonna go at 9
g t o r r e s 27: is there a limit on tickets?
kidicarus222: yes. as many people as they can fit in campbell hall
g t o r r e s 27: i mean per person buyingg t o r r e s 27: retard
kidicarus222: i don't know thatkidicarus222: phonehead
g t o r r e s 27: phonehead?kidicarus222: you heard me, retardg t o r r e s 27: actually i read you. actually, you read my words
g t o r r e s 27: well, when you speak am i hearing "you"? or just your voice?
g t o r r e s 27: its an expression
g t o r r e s 27: work with me here
kidicarus222: yeah, so is "you heard me" when referring to online dialogue
kidicarus222: you started this technicality battle
kidicarus222: retard
g t o r r e s 27: damn
g t o r r e s 27: you win this round
kidicarus222: indeed
kidicarus222: phonehead
g t o r r e s 27: stop that!
kidicarus222: why?
g t o r r e s 27: cause i dont know what it means
kidicarus222: it means
kidicarus222: that your head
kidicarus222: is an instrument
kidicarus222: through which
kidicarus222: i can contact other people
kidicarus222: by dialing a special number
kidicarus222: and then transmitting my voice as electric impulses over a series of wires
kidicarus222: phonehead
g t o r r e s 27: and now im supposed to understand?
kidicarus222: it's a literal meaning, phonehead
g t o r r e s 27: but you cant do that
g t o r r e s 27: the only way i could be a phonehead would be somehow metaphorical
kidicarus222: insults are never true
kidicarus222: if i call you a retard, you're not actually one
kidicarus222: it's the comparison that's insulting
kidicarus222: like if i call you a pussy
kidicarus222: you're not a vagina
kidicarus222: or a cat
kidicarus222: you're you
kidicarus222: who is actually not a pussy
g t o r r e s 27: but...
kidicarus222: ?
g t o r r e s 27: i wouldnt want to be called a retard due to implications of a lack of intelligence nor would i like to be called a pussy due to implications of feminine weakness...
g t o r r e s 27: but phonehead doesnt really carry any negative implications
kidicarus222: but it is negative
kidicarus222: you'd be a freak
kidicarus222: and a tool, in the literal sense
kidicarus222: you'd also probably die
kidicarus222: if you had a phone in your head
kidicarus222: so it totally does
kidicarus222: i mean shit
kidicarus222: could you imagine explaining to a girl that you have a phone head?
kidicarus222: she'd freak
g t o r r e s 27: girls like phones
kidicarus222: not within their boyfriend's bodies
kidicarus222: ask any girl if she thought that would be weird
kidicarus222: i mean shit
kidicarus222: would you want a phonehead?
g t o r r e s 27: could i make calls?
g t o r r e s 27: would it be on my head, in my head, visible?
kidicarus222: yes
kidicarus222: visible
kidicarus222: protuding
kidicarus222: and the dial would be on one side
kidicarus222: and the moutpiece/earpiece on the other
g t o r r e s 27: ok no
g t o r r e s 27: i would NOT want a phonehead
kidicarus222: so it's undesirable
kidicarus222: so it's a put-down
kidicarus222: so it's an insult
kidicarus222: you're insulted
kidicarus222: i won
g t o r r e s 27: whatever

Friday, April 02, 2004

Hollis Birkhead Lives

Mr. Harrison, Mr. Lennon, for give me. My big piece for the April Fool's Nexus:
Beetles?! More like the Boo-tles!

Hey there, Perv fans. Pervis Leftarm here, back with his weekly depository of musical minutiae, Leftarm's Lockbox.

Loyal Lockboxers will remember that last week I delved into the history of that lost gem from 1982, "Pac-Man Fever." This week, I thought I'd take a different offramp into classic rock nostalgia: Instead of the one-hit wonder, I'd explore a no-hit wonder.

Yours truly was pawing through the racks at Santa Barbara's number-one spot for under-the-radar music finds — the Borders on State Street — when I came upon one long-lost group's failed attempt at commercial success. This album, the self-titled 1968 double-disc debut by a little-known group called the Beetles, proves Pervis' first law of music: Lousy album cover equals lousy album. I mean jeez! — the whole front cover was just white.

Judging by the accents of the lads that make up the Beetles, I'd guess they were from Boston, and gosh darnit, they should have stayed there. Not one track of this nameless, white album left a dent in the mind of Mr. Pervis Leftarm. The first track, "Back in the USSR," is a transparent rip-off of the surf-rock sound of the Beach Boys, and it only gets worse from there. I think I figured out why your guitar gently weeps, boys. It's because you're terrible.

In answer to the track "I'm So Tired," I can only say that I would be tired too if I poured so much energy into making such awful, awful music. The Boston chaps fail to muster even a modicum of talent. Lead singer John Lennon certainly lacks any vocal talent, while backup members George Harrison, Saul McCartney and Luciano Mastrioni make every song seem "Long Long Long." "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" indeed - and get hit by a car!

As far as this music maven knows, this is the Beetles' first, last and only foray into the music world. I'd say that was a blessing if it weren't for the single shining spot on the entire two-disc set: "Revolution 9," a bold venture into a promising new genre of music. If only these Beetles had continued the streak that "Revolution 9" established, they might have one day left a mark in music history. If you're hankering for some true rock from the same era, this critic recommends sticking with true stars like the Monkees.

Catch Leftarm's Lockbox next week, where I'll catalogue the work of the greatest female singer alive, Olivia Newton-John.

And the rest:
Ducks aren't all foul; my wife's fat

I am writing in response to Teresa Kugelstein's recent opinion article, in which she called ducks "the most hateful of all waterfowl" and "web-footed feces machines." Kugelstein's words are an outrage to my people. As a duck lover, I demand that the Isla Vista News-Piss print a retraction. I'm all for the First Amendment, but I don't think newspapers should be able to print things I disagree with.

Furthermore, I object to the News-Piss' use of the word "feces," and I would like a retraction printed for this as well. Also, my wife is fat. I blame this paper. Retraction! Also, sometime when I wake up, I have this weird pain in my left shoulder. Please retract this. And you'd better believe I expect a retraction if you print this letter.

HOLLIS BIRKHEAD
ISLA VISTA

And:
Treat my fun bags with respect!

As a feminist, I am offended by any slang term referring to the female breast. Kindly never print the following words in your fine publication: titties, knockers, hooters, headlights, fun bags, jugs, meat balloons, yabbos, sweater cows, blouse bunnies, Dolly Partons, yum-yum dumplings and milk melons. And by extension, please never again mention either the cult TV show "Twin Peaks" nor the Silicon Valley.

ANDREA WAFFLET
ISLA VISTA
And:
Gays should marry each other, not me

With all this hubbub about gay marriage, I feel like voicing my opinion. I, for one, wish gays could get married, if only so they'd stop marrying me. As a woman who's endured four separate husbands dropping the G-bomb on me, I'd hope that legalizing gay unions would keep the pinkos on the other side of the fence, so to speak. Lenny the interior decorator, Felix the jazzercise instructor, Orlando the plumber and now Mike the proctologist — Jesus! Divorce court is like a fucking pride parade! Please, Supreme Court, help me!

FAY VAN PEEBLES
ISLA VISTA
Hollis Birkhead lives.