When we cuddled up with the cat and a cup of tea to watch Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal, disturbing, strangely funny, imagination overload The Holy Mountain, I knew I'd be taken for a ride. I had no idea how agitated, intrigued, delighted, and disgusted I'd be. It's like nothing I've ever seen. (Others have written about this. I particularly like this person's explication of how Eyes Wide Shut Ain't Got Nothing on The Holy Mountain.)
I also didn't expect the animals! There were so many animals. Sadly (and rather disgustedly), I'm not positive that some of these animals weren't harmed in the making of the film. It looks as if some iguanas and toads may have been hurt during the conquest of Mexico scene when Spanish cane toads walked over the Mexican iguanas whose civilization was blown to bits and bright fake blood splattered the whole kit n caboodle.
Also, I'm not sure if that python liked being stuffed into a knit sock. Though, come on ... Is that not one of the cutest things you've ever seen? Look at that snake all wrapped up in the sock! Okay, fine. It's probably just me.
The chimp seemed to do fine in all his scenes. He didn't seem to mind wearing his red sweater, or the white shorts and yellow shirt they dressed him in. Though, I guess he seemed sort of uncomfortable always having to hold hands with one of the actors, what with only being able to use three of his four limbs to get around. I did have the thought while watching him: no wonder apes wanted to walk on two legs. That looks hard.
There was also this adorbzzz baby hippo (squee) taking a bath and drinking from the fountain in the scene when the alchemist washes the Christ figure. I was happy for their sake that he (or she) was not an adult hippo taking a bath because that would have been fucking scary, considering hippos are often super dangerous and mean.
Okay, so there was also a Pelican walking around during the egg scene when the beggar/Christ figure's excrement gets turned to gold. A couple times he (or she) calmly flapped those pretty wings with the big black stripes of feathers.
The Holy Mountain also featured some fun uses of taxidermied animals. Like these wizened goats who form the back of the alchemist's chair. And these cheetahs that spit some sort of milk into the face of an enlightenment seeker from the breasts of a skinny old naked man.
I couldn't find a photo of the awesome camel standing in the corner of the alchemist's studio thing, contently unaware that these humans frolicking near him were engaged in creating something vexing and original. So, you should watch the film to see what I'm talking about. But, if you do, quick warning from a The Holy Mountain-watching veteran: wait to eat your popcorn until about ten minutes into the movie. Just trust me on this one.
- baishchildegraphe: the embarrassment of reading a journal or diary from childhood
- calculanguish: searing frustration and anger at a malfunctioning computer
- chrysalis: the amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm
- consternaleugh: a situation in which you forget which lie you told someone
- drogepericulum: a fearful confusion of forgetting you’re high
- jouska: a hypothetical conversation that you compulsive play out in your head
- kenopsia: the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet
- lachesism: the desire to be struck by disaster -- to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire
- mauerbauertraurigkeit: the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like
- mannekille: the feeling of watching a bug you decided not to kill go free
- mirenphobia: fear of making eye contact with yourself in the mirror
- osseoakhos: the ache of a bone mending itself
- vellichor: the strange wistfulness of used bookshops
- videreavinde: a daydream while playing a game about winning the game’s world championship
“But roaches aren’t attracted to water!” Veronica, the landlord, said in her nasal voice that made Margaret’s ears want to bleed.
“Every living thing on this planet is attracted to water,” Margaret said into the phone, as politely as possible as she clenched a wooden spoon in her fist and rolled her eyes.
“Don’t take that tone with me,” Veronica said, “I know you’re rolling your eyes!”
“We’re on a phone. Who cares if I’m rolling my eyes? All I want is for the leaking pipes underneath the kitchen sink to be fixed. That’s probably why the roaches keep coming back. They haven’t been back for a few days but let’s get this fixed as soon as possible.”
“Roaches aren’t attracted to water,” Veronica said again in her nasal self-assuredness.
“They’re called water bugs in some states, goddamnit. They’re attracted to water. Fix the fucking leak!” Margaret struck her thumb as hard as she could against the red button on her cell phone.
Billy, Margaret’s boyfriend, stayed the night and was just waking up. He yawned as he entered the kitchen and kissed her on the neck.
“I want to make pancakes,” he said. “I want to make pancakes right now.”
Margaret wanted pancakes but she feared at any moment the roach infestation would be back. She didn’t want to tell Billy about her battles with the landlord over them.
“Maybe we should just get Magnolia,” Margaret said.
“Fuck that. Why spend money when we have all the ingredients right here?” Billy opened the fridge and took out some eggs, milk, and Bisquik. A white puff of Bisquik pancake mix burst out of the plastic bag as he opened it.
“When I was a kid,” Billy said as he licked his pointer finger and dipped it into the mix, “I used to— “ but his face went from nostalgic to confusion and horror. Cockroaches climbed out of the bag and onto his hand and arm. He flailed and screamed and shook himself violently.
“Billy!” Margaret yelled, “Billy!”
It was no use. He was screaming and jumping and yelling his way out the door.
Margaret called the landlord.
“Come over right now and look at this infestation I’ve got going on here. They’re everywhere! This needs to be fixed today or I’m breaking the lease and suing your asses!” Margaret put as much anger as she could into her thumb and pressed the red button to hang up.
The pest control guy got to her apartment an hour later armed with all the tools that existed to kill roaches, probably.
“Howdy missus,” he said as he tipped his hat and smiled. He whistled and spit through the gaps in his teeth as he spoke. “We’s got some heavy ammo-nition at our disposal here. We’s gonna smoke ‘em out. Shock and awe these sumbitches and make sure they’s children never
grow up to haunt yer packages of breakfast puddin’, knowmean? Now just set yer pretty face down, wear this here gas mask an’ wait fer the sufferin’ to begin.” He handed Margaret a gas mask and put on his own.
“Name’s Charley the Cockroach Man,” he said and pointed to the hand drawn logo on his shirt. It said Charley the Cockroach Man.
“Are you a one man army?” Margaret asked.
“Heh-heh,” Charley the Cockroach Man giggled, “Now’s missus I’ve got a wife and children sitting all alone at home. It ain’t too impressive to be a one man cockroach bomb.”
He was right, it wasn’t impressive but Margaret was just making small talk.
Margaret sat on her hands and nodded.
“You see,” Charley the Cockroach Man said as he put bait traps outfitted with blinking red LED lights in each corner of her apartment,
“Cockroaches, sure, they’s adapt biologically like any other creature but men—shit, we’s adapting everyday with the nimble mind the Lord blessed our souls with. We make a weapon, use it in Vietnam, hippies don’t like it, fine. We adapt. We start to use it in our living rooms to kill roaches.”
“You’re not spraying napalm in my kitchen are you?” Margaret asked, a little worried.
“Napalm?! Ha! This here spraying machine has got the best of roach killing qualities! I am not at liberty to say what this contains but it is highly experimental and highly effective! They don’t call me the Cockroach Man because I’m stupid, you know!”
Up until that point, Margaret had subconsciously believed that anyone who called themselves or had been called a cockroach man was stupid.
Charley the Cockroach Man was scanning the walls with a remote control with an HD screen.
“I’ll be done in jus a second! Just checking up on my radar doohickey, makin’ fer damn sure these bugs is suffering.”
“They don’t need to suffer,” Margaret said. “They just need to die.”
“Sweetcakes,” Charley said, “The dead don’t learn nuthin’ lest they suffer!” Charley put the remote back in his pocket. “I’m all done! Don’t take off that mask on yer face for another few hours. This shit’ll tear your face off from the inside.”
Without a goodbye or a tip of his hat or anything, Charley the Cockroach Man walked out of the purple fog he had sprayed into Margaret’s apartment and closed the door behind him. Margaret pulled out her phone and called Billy but there was no answer. She got up to go to Magnolia by herself.
The next morning there was no scurrying. There was no battle between Margaret’s broom and the wall in a fruitless effort to kill roaches. They were completely gone.
“Wait a week,” Margaret said, not yet willing to buy into the experimental la-di-da that Charley the Cockroach Man had put on pretty thick the day before. But weeks passed before she had any kind of disturbance from any kind of insect. They were definitely gone.
Margaret picked up her cell phone to call the landlord.
“Hello, this is Veronica Pasternak, landlord and general manager of Junglewood Properties. As you can tell, I am not in right now but please leave your name, number, and a brief message and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can.”
“Veronica! This is Margaret in apartment 256. You should call Charley the Cockroach Man every time someone has a complaint. They’re all gone. All of them!” Margaret was giddy. She was so giddy that she had decided to make it a night in for herself watching TV in her bedroom until she fell asleep. She had never been that comfortable in her place before. The TV lulled her to sleep.
She was awoken by a tickling on her legs. At first it was slow and sparse enough to be ignored but soon it felt as if whole armies were climbing her. She turned on her side light and watched as about twenty tiny bodies scattered like cockroaches.
But they weren’t roaches.
They giggled and screamed as they scattered. They walked on two legs. They were all bald and a pasty white. They were tiny little naked white men and they numbered at least ten times more than twenty.
Margaret couldn’t help but think, “What the fuck?” Who wouldn’t? She told herself she was dreaming and she tried to fall asleep with one eye open. Eventually she did.
The next night, she awoke to a tickling in her ears. One of the tiny little white men was hanging onto her earlobe, whispering into her ear. She screamed and grabbed it and threw it against the wall. It screamed the whole time it was in the air interrupted only by the thud of it hitting
the wall. Margaret turned on the lights.
A crowd of solemn tiny little naked white men were watching as their comrade smeared himself on the wall to the carpet. They were whispering and wailing and sobbing and when, finally, their comrade’s lifeless body hit the ground they turned to Margaret with hatred burning in their beady little eyes.They climbed up her leg, biting and scratching, and calling her names in a language she didn’t understand.
She swatted at them and stomped on them and grabbed them by the handful to flush them down the toilet, but soon their screaming and pleading got to her. Roaches couldn’t scream. What were these little feeling monsters? She called the landlord again.
It went to voicemail.
“Veronica! Whole new problem! Apartment 256! Little white men! Naked! They’re like roaches!” Margaret hung up the phone and crawled into a corner so she could watch from every angle to protect herself.
They ran free around her house. They climbed bookshelves, swung from ceiling fans, caught rides on the cat and when they approached her she swatted them away, their screams be damned. These were little anarchists.
Margaret dialed the police.
“Sounds like you’ve got a weird roach problem. Why are you calling us?” they said and hung up.
Margaret dialed Billy.
“There’s no fucking way I’m ever going to your house again,” Billy said and hung up.
Margaret searched Charley the Cockroach Man and found a phone number. 24 hour service. Perfect.
“Yes’m, hello! You’s reached me, Charley the Cockroach Man. How may I be of assistance?”
“Charley! It’s Margaret. You came by my apartment a few weeks ago!”
“Oh, sweetcakes! I always ‘member a voice after I done heard it once. Of course I remember you. What seems to be the issue? Roaches come crawling back? Them’s sumbitches sometimes never learn.”
“No!” Margaret yelled. “Little tiny naked white men.”
“Oh, hell no,” Charley said and hung up the phone.
Within five minutes he was knocking on the front door. The little tiny naked white men were prancing all around the house, completely unaware of the fate that lay ahead of them.
“Put on this mask, sweetcakes,” Charley said. “I can’t well kill ‘em but I can trap ‘em. They’s got full citizenship rights and shit.”
“Yeah, they screamed when I squashed them. I felt pretty bad.”
“Don’t feel too bad. These things is worse than roaches. Ruin everything they touch. Look at them two over there fuckin’ on your soup bowls. It’s a damn shame.”
Charley put on his own mask and sprayed some pink fog and all the tiny naked men fell asleep.
“If you step on a few of them, I won’t tell,” Charley smiled and nudged Margaret.
Margaret stomped and stomped. They were all asleep and when they couldn’t scream, it didn’t matter. She became happier and happier with each squishy sound.
“Aw, shit. You go on and have fun. You deserve it,” Charley the Cockroach Man said as he disappeared through the pink fog and shut the door behind him.
Andrew Hilbert is a writer living in Austin, TX, who's involved in a smorgasbord of creative activities including creating musical variety shows, audio short stories, 'zines, and more, which you can read on his blog and website, www.hilbertheckler.com.
He's also written a fantastic book short stories like these, which you can purchase here .
I Dwell for a Moment That Penis Sounds Like Penance
is a thing,
much like an arm.
It's like a fifth arm.
It can grab
An Invisible Brain Floats Around And Speaks To Us Through The Box in Our Pocket
When a ghost looks in the mirror, it thinks it's the wall. The wall knows better.
The wall knows it's a ghost,
and a wall,
and old paint stuck to older paint. It knows it's blind. It knows the ghost is a ghost.
It knows all ghosts
Everyone Thinks We're Walking Toward Death
when in reality
it's death that's barreling towards us with its horns raised.
It doesn't care if we're moving or not.
Lately, I’ve had the feels. They’re like happiness-draining remoras that suck my life meter into the red zone. To combat this, I stuff my brain with content (movies, books, articles, Twitter, TV).
Consuming this content one Sunday, I read Calvino’s Invisible Cities the same day I watched the Parts Unknown episode in which Anthony Bourdain goes to Sicily and has a breakdown because some man on a boat tossed stunt octopi into the water above his head while he was supposed to be snorkeling for live octopi, which he was supposed to be eating for dinner that night. Apparently, these dead cephalopods caused him to slide into a “hysterical depression.”
“Is this what it's come to,” he asked, “back in the same country almost a decade later, and I'm still desperately staging fishing scenes?"
Okay, so. If you don’t know this already, Anthony Bourdain has probably the best life ever.
He gets paid a ton of money to eat, drink, and travel to hundreds of cities around the world, ad infinitum. Beautiful, intriguing, mysterious, dangerous, austere, ancient, charming, bustling, urban, rural cities. American, Chinese, Canadian, Colombian, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Peruvian, Chilean, Mexican, Argentinian cities. And though he does the same five things on every show (eat, drink, fish, walk around, talk to people) in every city, I’ve watched him go to every single one. Because I am obsessed with cities (every city I go to I daydream about living in) – their history, their aura, their varieties of cultures and people and architecture. Maybe I love cities for the same reason I ingest so much content: an inundation of details and experiences can tamp down the feels.
In Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Marco Polo recounts his travels of 55 cities to an aging Kublai Khan. Similar to watching Parts Unknown, reading Invisible Cities is like travel porn for the restless. It’s intensely satisfying to read Polo describe dozens of distinct and wonderful cities to the great Khan – for instance: Laudomia where inhabitants “frequent the house of the unborn to interrogate them,” or Octavia, “the spider-web city … [hanging] over the void.”
Though Polo and Khan speak as if Kublai Khan has conquered all of these cities, Polo mentions so many of them – including modern-day cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles) – that (we realize) he’s not exactly describing only the cities in Khan’s empire, but cities, generally (real, imagined, and dreamed) and the ways that cities as corollaries of human life grow and die and morph into unrecognizable versions of their former selves even as those selves refuse to recognize the change because of nostalgia or fear or lack of self-knowledge.
Another thing happens while Polo describes these myriad beguiling, oddball, distinct, wonderful cities: they meld in the mind into one soup of City. They become the city of Trude, whose inhabitants say to Polo:
“You can resume your flight wherever you like," they say to me [in Trude], "but you will arrive at another Trude … The world is covered by a sole Trude which does not begin and does not end. Only the names of the airport changes.”
Trude, soup of City. Now, that’s a weird nightmare.
Kind of like the weird nightmare of eating exquisite cheese after exquisite cheese (always with a breathtaking view in the background) after finding meat on sticks after meat on sticks after meat on sticks from streetcart after streetcart after streetcart after getting hangover after hangover after hangover from expensive pinot noir after expensive pinot noir after filming fishing scene after fishing scene after fishing scene for dead fish after dead fish (as the stooge for the Food Network, now CNN).
“I may look normal,” says A. Bourdain at the end of the Siciliy episode, “but I'm not barking uncontrollably or running around shrieking with my pants wrapped around my head. Which is what my instincts tell me I should be doing."
Yup. Humans are cray. We break down for no apparent reason – sometimes not in spite of abundance, but because of it. Even the Great Khan is not immune. At one point while listening to the fecund details of his empire, he breaks down with:
“a sense of emptiness … a dizziness that makes rivers and mountains tremble … the desperate moment when we discover that this empire, which had seemed to us the sum of all wonders, is an endless, formless ruin, that corruption's gangrene has spread too far to be healed by our scepter, that the triumph over enemy sovereigns has made us the heirs of their long undoing.”
Emptiness. Desperation. Dissatisfaction. Breakdowns. Dead fish. Exquisite cheese. Too many people on this earth making us feel insignificant. Fecundity of detail. What are we to do?
*looks around for answer … continues to look with obsessive concentration … keeps looking … looks into the sky … looks in books … looks under cat … looks under the couch … looks under fingernails ... gets distracted by fingernails; cleans them … forgets what she's looking for ... grabs a beer … sits down with friend to watch Anthony Bourdain visit Paris ... dreams about living there.*
Here is a Monday roundup of some collective nouns for groups of people:
- A disappointment of writers
- A crash of musicians
- A density of young earth creationists
- A calumnation of marketers
- A slop of frat boys
- A cuntpunt of sorority girls
- A vexation of goths
- A superiority of vegans
- A portfolio of baristas
- A musk of mountain climbers
- A constriction of cyclists
- A muddle of philosophers
- A lingering of Dead heads
- A disservice of juggalos
- A tedium of NPR groupies
- A merit of tech bros
- A thighgap of So-Cal chicks
- An envy of bridesmaids
- A bloom of fauxhemians
- An indignance of mommybloggers
- An amendment of libertarians
- A desperation of artists
- A paleo of personal trainers
- A sitcom of squares
More collective nouns pending inclusion. Thank-you.
Dawn Black makes these evocative collage paintings. In this one, someone wearing one of those creepy red Spanish inquisition hoods holds what looks like a California king snake over the shoulders of a bejeweled soldier to whom a young man who looks like a slave from ancient Rome tips a stag head.
In medieval folklore/allegory, stags and snakes are enemies. Says the Medieval Bestiary, "When the stag discovers a snake, it spits water into the hole where the snake hides, draws the snake out with its breath, and tramples it to death. If the stag is ill or old, it draws the snake out of hiding and swallows it. The stag then finds water and drinks large amounts of it to overcome the poison, and is renewed. When the stag is renewed it sheds its horns. Some say that the stag cures its ills by eating crabs it finds in the water."
Allegorically, the stag is supposed to represent Christ who is renewed (and renews others) when he and they shed their horns (e.g. sins) after drinking water. And eating crabs. I hope that's what is going to happen here, but one cannot be too sure. Hm. many thoughts. much inquisition. wow. such snake. peligro gallows. so crabs.
You know when you read something and you're like Oh-eM-Gee I totally feel this? Well, that's how I felt reading this excerpt from New Tab, which I found here. I am now going to go buy the thing.
Anywho, I Snagit-ed this excerpt from the excerpt I found online because this Snagit-ed excerpt particularly stuck to my ribs. Some people call it the feels, some call it existential despair, Louis C.K. calls it that forever empty. This character calls it reality (reality that is "inside every raccoon," hehe). But, seriously. The feels, man. Not cool. At least the character understands? This is why I love fiction.
So, here's the excerpt. Please also buy the book, thank-you.
From the bowels of weird Internet comes this fun Kanye Chef Tumblr dedicated to Kanye + food. #Mastermind of Kanye Chef, Tyler Cray, fills this Tumblr with content submitted from the Interwebs. This content includes: Kanye lyrics changed to be about food ("Prawns so raw / Motherfuckers wanna brine meat / That dish cray"), album covers re-designed to be about (and include) food, macros about Kanye + food, photos of white American cheese, and other Kanye and food-related items.
I know the kids these days are creating lots of Yeezy parodies on the Youtubes and Twitters, but this one servers a greater purpose by giving the public a forum through which to express the deep, question burning in their hearts: what is the deal with rappers rhyming about food all the damn time, anyway? Particularly fish (?).
Anyhow, I've gone H.A.M. on that Kanye Chef Tumblr and have emerged with some chunks/posts, which I have posted below. Grab a fish stick, and enjoy.
What’s goat cheese my nigga? Crab Louie my killa?
Bananas my peela? What’s on your crackers, Nutella?
Martha says I’m the illest, cause I’m stuffing a chicken
Apple fritters in Paris and the icing’s vanilla, huh! — Fritters in Paris
If you like really like words and also really, really like computers then dear lawd stop what you're doing and look through decontextualize.com. There, you will find a gaggle of Twitter bots created to do funny, random things with words.
For instance, @everyword auto-tweets, yes, every word in the English language one-by-one sans definition (and, amazingly, has 89K followers). Even better, @pizzaclones generates a joke in the form of Every [NOUN] is a(n) [ADJECTIVE] [NOUN] when/if/as long as [SUBORDINATE CLAUSE]. Example:
And more, Power Vocab Tweet (@PowerVocabTweet) tweets a randomly-generated word + randomly-generated definition for the word.
Because decontextualize's master mind uses very intelligent-sounding terms and references to describe her Twitter bot work, Power Vocab Tweet's term is: “speculative lexicography." Of course, @PowerVocabTweet's speculative lexicography parodies word-of-the-day apps, blogs, etcetera, but, it also -- get this -- tears down power structures like a bot-ified Derrida. Don't believe me? Read about it.
UK artist, Joe Harvey, makes videos. No two videos are very similar. For instance, EXFORM has a wormhole mouth that spits out an orange; Eternal Parquet Sunrise has a neverending-Hades-of-Zelda feeling; and ... but we can make our own miracles here... has a video collage of a Skype conversation between French musician Jacques Brel and sailor, Ben Jan Ader.
As Harvey says, "The video asks the viewer to imagine themselves as Jacques Brel trying to convince Bas Jan Ader over Skype not to embark on his fatal attempt to cross the Atlantic in a single-handed sailboat in 1975." It asks you to imagine yourself as a Frenchman with a quaveringly beautiful voice beseeching the tanned, cheekboned sailor stay on land, dammit. To not ignore your imprecations! Your voice implori-
Hello? Hello? Bas?
Fucking Skype. Dropped the call again ...
PhD student Kieran Nolan created "meta game" CONTROL as part of the Game Pack 01 compilation from LA Game Space. Apparently playing CONTROL is pretty finger cramp-y as you press flashing buttons and try not to make a wrong move that will send the game into "meta glitch mode with excruciating digital sounds."
Kieran's research is about exploring the "collision of videogame aesthetics, new media art, and interaction design." The culmination of that research via CONTROL comments on the use of teeny plastic controllers and Atari joysticks to control on-screen motion. Or something. In any event, the idea and execution is rad-i-cool.
After you check out the trailer below, find more self-aware games at LA Game Space.
When I clicked through her site and found her drawings and paintings embodying the inscape of a pink-n-glitter twelve year-old at Claire's buying butterfly clips, my pink tank top grew sparklies and my eyes became little squiggly purple hearts.
Dear diary, I <3 Grace Miceli. I hope she likes me back.
Taylor (sits on park bench next to Selena): I'm so glad you made time to see me. How's life? Tell me how's your family?
Selena: Now that I have captured your attention/I wanna steal you for a rhythm intervention
Taylor: You look like bad news
Taylor: Ghosts from your past gonna jump out at me [?]
Taylor: Your guard is up and I know why.
Selena: [He said] You know you love me, I know you care/Just shout whenever, and I'll be there.
Taylor: I knew you were [in] trouble when you walked in
Selena: I'm addicted, no lie.
Taylor: I remember when [you] broke up the first time saying, This is it, I've had enough.
Selena: [He said] My breath is your breath/When you're hurt, I'm not right.
Taylor: [You’re] confused, and lonely at the same time.
Selena: I got no regrets.
Taylor: I heard you moved on from whispers on the street.
Selena: I love [him] much, too much to hide [him], this love ain't finished yet.
Taylor: Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble.
Selena: [you say] seems like there's always someone who disapproves/they'll judge.
Taylor: No apologies … You're drowning, you're drowning, you're drowning.
Selena: [But he said] your my one love, my one heart, my one life for sure
Taylor: I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen.
Selena: Can't stop because I love it.
Taylor: Shame on [you] now.
Selena: Who's Taylor Swift anyway? Ew.
Taylor: No apologies.
Selena: Even if you knock it, ain't no way to stop it.
Taylor: [You] are never ever ever getting back together.
Selena: This love will be the death of me/But I know I'll die happily.
Taylor (smacks fist in palm): Like, ever...
Selena (lifts dukes): When you're ready come and get it/Na na na na [3x]
Taylor: Now I'm lying on the cold hard ground.
Selena: I'm good with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Taylor: I love the gap between your teeth.
Selena: I ain't leaving your side.
Taylor: It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters.
Selena: I'll be sittin' right here, real patient/All day,all night, I'll be waitin' standby.
Taylor: Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreaks/It's time.
Taylor: Ooh-ooh, ye-e-e-e-eah, hey.
Selena: Oh, oh/Can we take it nice and slow, slow.
Taylor: I just... I mean this is exhausting, you know.
Selena: Ha ha ha ha
I found this posted in its entirety on reddit.com/r/alt_lit and particularly liked this excerpt considering the fact that I'm at work idling through the web discovering things such as this free PDFed novel-ish piece of lit (also published at Alt Lit Press) by persona Meta Knight who footnotes his work like a wikipedian T.S. Eliot.
Anyhow, I friggin hurt along with the narrator who feelz that "being paid to mess around online isn't exactly damnation," but it also causes a "sting of purposelessness," a "dystrophy of heart."
After you read this excerpt, you can read the whole thing here.
I met a guy in Santa Barbara named Ken Loch. He may or may not have been homeless at the time. He kept a meticulous blog about the Tennissance. You see, the Tennissance is the ultimate mind / body confluence, a perfect melding of peak psychic powers with a mastery of physical motion, all embodied in the sport of tennis. I can't find the blog anymore, but his internet presence pops up every now and then on comment boards.
Ken Loch told me the next major advancement of the human race would come once enough people practiced the true technique of tennis, not that rinky-dink competition shit, but real tennis, which is meant to be a melding of tennis and yoga, sort of.
Anyone who's had an up-close encounter with religion or religious people can attest to the weird inverted freedom that comes from complete assuredness accompanied by unquestioning devotion. You wanna sit in a pew? Ken Loch is out there swingin' a racket! He's whacking a tennis ball with a tightly-wound thing specifically made for whacking tennis balls. His legs are pumping, his mind is focused; damn—he's a body in motion breathing air and sweating and pausing and then whacking that ball—inscape, know-whaddi-mean? He is a thing meant for hitting tennis balls.
No time to be the soft pink nugget of flesh encased in a car, a speeding mechanical insect, going from his house to his job and back again, he told me. He's a Tennissance man.
Though it was fifteen minutes before the 7pm service, the Center is full. The kids sit hip to hip in the interlocking seats. Their voices stuff the room. At the door, ushers point newcomers to the Box — a conference room outside the Center — where they can watch me preach live on a jumbo screen to those seated in the inner sanctum.
Some of them don't make it to the Box. They slip into the Center through another door to sit or stand against the walls until the ushers remind them that they are fire hazards.
The kid in the skinny pants with the Bieber hair — his name's Ezekiel or, was it Isaiah — turns knobs on the two thousand dollar guitar hanging from his neck. He adjusts the pedals with the toe of those fabric shoes with the flimsy rubber soles. Dean's daughter, Jessica—who can't be much older than twelve —wears heels on the hoofs of her gazelle legs. She flips the curtain of hair in front of her eye out of the way of her microphone. Ezekiel or Isaiah nods at her and the music starts — U2-riffs, raised hands — while I rub my bald head, sway, and stare at the same old black gum spot on the carpet. Rub my bald head, sway, and stare. Rub my bald head, sway, and stare. For the half hour the band does their thing, I rub my bald head, sway, and stare. Rub my bald head, sway, and stare. Until the music stops and the skinny kid in the fabric ballet shoes calls my name.
Maybe it's the lights, maybe it's the thousands of stares, maybe it's all of the rubbing and swaying and staring, maybe it's the trance-hush into which the U2 riffs have rocked the crowd and myself, but as I step onto that stage I enter into what could only be described as a wormhole. The wormhole's beginning is on earth and its end is in the time-space dimension of the Divine. And my mission is to transport these thousands decrepit, bedraggled souls, in my direct audience and in the ones watching the Box's jumbo-tron, through the wormhole to the godhead before the other end pinches shut for all eternity.
I may have said this out loud because the mouths in the audience laugh nervously. I can feel their crossed legs squeeze tighter, their shoulders stiffen. So, I make a joke about the Denver Broncos — do the Tim Tebow. That puts them at ease. They lean back into their chairs. Their assholes unclamp. Ah, Bronco jokes. There's the Mike we know, they think. But, I know the truth: the real Mike is in the wormhole, and they're coming with him.
Half an hour into the wormhole, sweat has rimmed my collar and I've shed at least a couple tears. Told stories about how my daughter paints my toes blue. I've abandoned my notes to focus on the unrelenting pinching pinching pinching of the wormhole. The light light at the end is like 6pm sun on a dirty windshield. It obscures my vision.
I am on my knees reaching toward the dingy light. It dims.
"Eli, Eli Lama Sabacthani!" I say.
The weight of the souls in the room tied about my waist has more mass than the energy I can muster to drag them. I cannot move faster than the speed of light.
The light dims. The wormhole pinches shut.
"Great sermon, Mike." A hand claps my sweaty back. I turn to find a twenty-something face smiling with horse teeth.
"Oh. Yeah. Well…"
"Really, though, you know? My girlfriend Hannah and I? We thought it was awesome. I loved the part about how, like, we think we can, you know, take care of stuff on our own. But we really need to do life together…"
Do life together? Where did he get that? Did I say that? My mind travels back to the wormhole and hunts around for detritus of the thousands of words I spewed during my forty-five minutes onstage. Horse teeth is still talking as I pick up a chunk of words from the ribbed flesh of the wormhole's dark matter: "we weren't meant to live life on our own—isolated. We aren't islands, people. As much as you'd like to think of yourself as a one-man-show — a Mr. Saturday Night Live — running the play of your life, you're not. You're really only playing a roll in a bigger story. One that's being written for you by the main character himself. If you lived with this knowledge — really lived within this calling of finding your role in his story — you'd know that you were not the protagonist on the stage, but an actor in the play… Or, better: a portal, if you will, for the Divine to play out his narrative through your life."
"… so that's why I thought it was really cool because I just never really thought of, you know, how I'm not the main character in my story!" I would've given him little more than a smile and a pat on the shoulder, but horse teeth's smile looked sincere that I found myself saying, "well, you're in every scene! It's hard not to, right?"
"Right! Right, you're so right-on," he beamed.
He opened his mouth to say more, but I'd already saluted him and climbed the steps to the stage where I could loiter behind the drum kit's shield thing that always reminded me of the nose of a B-52.
I sat on the pleather drummer seat and stared at the fecundity of healthy blonde twenty-somethings, swarming ants-on-a-mound, behind the plexi-glass. Stared at the shapes mingling and tried to forget these shapes housed the souls that had only minutes ago prevented us from making it through the wormhole. Tried to forget that the bodies out of which grew their laughter and their horse teeth were also the rags on top of which their fragile, whining, weak, mewling souls that had failed to prevent the pinching shut of that damn wormhole. And how they would all thank me through their sparkly white horse teeth for the "great sermon" that I don't even remember and that might or might not have been made up of mostly bullshit, but was definitely not strong enough to get us through.
I tapped on the snare with one of the drumsticks. I would've thrown it into the plexi-glass if, from my left, I hadn't heard the soft moaning of a girl the size of a large child kneeling by the exit door. Her blonde hair draped over her face. She rocked herself back-and-forth. Back-and-forth. I scanned the room: shapes chattering, hugging, smiling. The girl rocked herself back-and-forth. Whispered to herself.
Jealousy upchucked into my gut as the girl rock herself back-and-forth. Back-and-forth. Back-and-forth.
I threw my sticks at the set so they clanged and bumped on the cymbals and drums on their way to the floor. She rocked herself back-and-forth. Damn her! That blonde baby got through!
Not to be confused with the modern P4k darlings (or the millions of other pimply teen rage cases who formed bands named "The Savages"), these boys were based out of Bermuda and ended up cutting the classic garage scorcher "Live 'N Wild." Here's a fittingly low-quality YouTube upload of one of the best tracks from that record. You can find it here: