Saturday, February 02, 2008

Red Gerbil Fights In Cleveland Attack!

Put down the merlot, stick a bookmark in your copy of 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. The job is far from over, ladies.

What a lot of you are doing now and calling 'feminist' amounts to living in purdah...taking a 'Womens Studies' class in college, belonging to women-only webrings, writing scathing diatribes against the phallocracy which only other women will ever It's not time to sit back on your ass and wait for you fingernails to dry. Here's one good reason why:

Let it load. Turn on your sound. Feel the magic.

Quit treating the movement like a student council meeting. As long as women continue to behave like long as women TRAIN THEIR DAUGHTERS TO REMAIN fear standing out, to identify 'feminine' with 'trivial' and masculine with 'everything distasteful', to value appearance above content and safety to risk, our daughters do not stand a chance!
Men are not the enemy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the sordid truth: MJ EXPOSED

We are human, and humanity is imperfect at the best of times.
Sometimes, we fall from grace.
Still, there are those who, in falling, seek to turn away the justifiable scorn of their fellow beings with lies, falsehood and deception. They veil the harsh light of TRUTH in such a way that the shadows of pity instead fall around them.

These persons would snatch the brie from a beggars teeth, would dash the very cheddar of lovingkindness from the lips of a starveling child. Their shameless subterfuge is a veritable Cleveland Steamer dropt upon the face of every good and kind impulse.

Such a person is MJ.

Oh yes....she seemed chastened. She appeared amongst us head bowed, wearing the sackcloth of humility.
This was a LIE.

Rehab? Nay!

"Approach sister and give the sign!" is the greeting our initiate hears upon approaching the entrance of the secret lodge hidden deep in the malodorous Chiliwackian fenlands.

Yes Canada has fenland.

It does.

Once the secret sign is displayed the initiate may enter.

At first she is permitted to retain her street clothes. But not for long...this wanton wastes no time; eagerly she drops her linen in anticipation of...

The shameless mysteries of 'The Ass of Ha-Nu-Shop-Vac'

Their wild incantations ring through the marbled temple halls! "I must not fear! Fear is the mind-killer! Fear is the freaky gnome with big warts that smells weird like onions! Barada! I call upon He who walks unseen and foul ! N'gai!"

The Great Beast appears! Behold, he turns.....

Suddenly the mystic portal to the inner sanctum is revealed!!!

MJ enters, and here she greets and joins her sister initiates in performing the Festivus Feats Of Strength!

Once their frenzied writhings have subsided their sacred Lodge Mother summons them to stand before her altar. Her gaze is merciless; keen and black as shattered obsidian! Or a tire! Or a mixture of obsidian AND a tire!

MJ performe the Ritual Canadian Inverted Obeisance!!!

"Lave your earholes with the Vasoline of truth! I bear strange messages via the kidneys of abnormality and the vesicles of remorse; yea, many and convolute are the colons of the blessed, flaccid, timeless and vaguely sonorous in the endless icy wastes! Ai! The goat with a thousand young!"

Thus begins her tale.


In appreciation her lodge sisters grant her the Order of the Ethnic Necklace! They crown her with the mystic Lumpy Hat! Joyous, she bursts into extemporaneous song!

"La la la, I'm wearing a hat, yes, it's nice....this hat; I'm just standing here wearing it.....its this room cold or is it just me..."

They fete her with strange delicacies, curious cucurbits, unexpected tubers.

Ham features prominently on the menu.

Their obscene revels last until the dawn!!!!

But all things must end. Finally, she takes her leave. Crowned with the daybreak, foul with unnamed secretions, she disappears into the early anonymous and mysterious as she had first cameded.

One final ritual then ensues, one which her sisters reserve apart, a special rite only enacted upon MJ's departure from those sacred precincts...

"Oh God, you're kidding. Get it. Just get it."
"Ew, no, you get it. It's on you."
"Anybody got a comb? Or a lighter?"


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the talkies

Lately I've become fascinated with the classic movie channel. I don't think any of the producers or stars would be particularly flattered by my interest though; it's the quaintness of the form I find just as appealing as the performance. I feel a strange kind of pang realizing that all these beautiful faces are gone, yet I can still see them in the prime of their lives and the height of their powers, and still feel the impact of what they've made.

That impact is a strange phenomenon. You associate it with the living. To stand in the presence of a great piece of static art is like being a lone tree on a hill struck by lightning. It's over quickly although the impact remains for the rest of your life. To see a great film, to watch artifice moving and breathing and speaking is another kind of overwhelming because it feels exactly like life. It leaves a magic impression in the mind like something experienced as one goes under anaesthesia. At least in my mind, and we all know what kind of a place that is.

For that reason, the silent movies are just about too much for me to put myself through in one sitting. As full of machination as the form needs to be, when it works it nails me to the wall like nothing else does. Again, part of that impact is the poignancy of knowing that everyone involved is gone to their reward, the antique effect of the film technique, the long-gone styles in clothing and appearance. When all those elements are also perfectly executed? You watch a film like 'Metropolis' with all its glorious nightmares and wonders, and see it knowing that even the future being imagined there is now years past-that's delicious and eerie and absolutely wonderful.

In the early days when acting always meant stage performance, bland features didn't make much of an impact. Actors with open, readable expressions did. Further, their training was centered around projecting the action and the meaning to the very back walls of the auditorium. That Method transferred to the screen makes these people seem almost unbearably immediate. In many instances it makes them seem almost unbearably campy, too. But given the right kind of talent, it has the effect of carrying a very few actors directly into your presence, warm and breathing. Despite the fact that they are 'acting', despite the lack of color, despite the years that separate you. Irregardless of the truth, they are not dead.

When I was in grade school we were taken on a long drive to see a smokehouse storyteller performance. None of us really quite got what was going on; the culture was unfamiliar and the tales were about things we had no experience with, like ravens and killer whales. Add to that unfamiliarity the strange costumes and masks and the fact that the whole thing was presented in Salish... still, the method was strangely familiar. It felt familiar. So familiar, in fact, that the performance was embedded in my memory. I think there is a map of an underground river, of story, in every human mind that we are all following.

Monday, January 28, 2008

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

I'm up at 4:00 this morning because my Goonybird had a bad dream. The poor kid was cursed with the vivid dreaming gene like I was, and so because I know what a waste of time trying to get back to sleep is going to be, we're up drinking coffee and watching the Disney Channel. I'm drinking the coffee. He's watching the movie.

Yesterday we fired up the DVD player and watched the movie grandma got for Christmas: The Transformers. Grandma really, really likes this movie. Grandma does not care that the critics passed it off as 'just another CGI movie with no discernible plot'. It is about robots and there are explosions and I think it is WICKED BAD. So does the Goonybird. We made so much noise watching it that it chased the Yummy Biker completely out of the house.

My daughter, the Stainless Steel Amazon, and her new husband the Lucky Bastard apparently spent the entire weekend shopping at boutiques, dining on gourmet tidbits and attempting to make me a granddaughter.
I REALLY REALLY REALLY HOPE it is a girl too. Why? Because then my revenge will be complete.

Today, after I drop the Goonybird off at her place (gaze carefully averted) and scuttle away I have to take the Playboy of the Western World off to a doctors appointment. Why? Because on top of everydamnthing else, the man has a hernia!

How on earth does someone who uses a walker get a hernia?

I may not know the answer to that, but I know how a person who uses a walker gets a bloody nose and ends up taken to the emergency room. Would you like to know how a person in a walker gets a bloody nose and ends up taken to the emergency room?

This is what happens when you get old. Men, take special note here.

One of the Playboy's dinner companions-no, not the Playboy- at the 'still sentient' table had been feeling lonely. Being a single gentleman of modest means, outcall was not in the budget; nor was pay per view. So he decided to take matters in hand.
As he was sitting on the edge of his bed, then, thinking about Lillian Gish, he missed a stroke and slipped. His fist was apparently whipping at such a high rate of speed that he struck himself on the bridge of the nose and broke it.
Blood, helped along by hefty doses of Coumadin, fountained everywhere.
He reached out for the call bell to summon a nurse. As he leaned forward, though, he began to feel faint. He simply continued to lean forward until he landed face first on the floor, the call cord still clutched in his grip. That is how the EMTs found him...passed out in a pool of blood, pants around his ankles, wang waving in the breeze, ass in the air and face in the carpet.

I think this is why my father in law has a hernia. When he told me this story I nearly got one too.

We are planning to go visit my son and his family in March. Having a son continues to be a surreal experience. I now own several pictures in which there is more than one person who is related to me by blood and that too is a surreal experience.
The guy has my sense of humor, God help him.
He is also a dirt nerd. After we had known each other for less than 4 hours we were already having a very frank and open discussion about root aphis.
We are the type of people who have taken pictures of our soil.
He has taken pictures of his soil. He apologized for not bringing them. However, when I visit I will view these pictures. We will use lots of botanical Latin. We will review current sustainable agricultural practices in the commercial nursery business. I will tour his nurseries and look upon his arborvitae and cupressus leylandii. He has promised to save me a stack of trade publications and I plan to spend an evening happily going through them with him. Because nothing says maternal bonding like pricing backpack sprayers, Kubota rootball diggers, and computerized temperature triggered greenhouse ventilation systems.

One thing I find endlessly strange is that the guy looks exactly like me back when I was in my twenties. I now know what I would have looked like as a boy. I would have been DROP DEAD GORGEOUS as a boy.

...momma ain't lyin. click on it; it's worth it.

He also has three kids and he's still in his twenties; obviously he got the 'repopulate the earth' thing from me too.

The last time I saw this guy he was the size of a loaf of bread. 22 years later he comes back to visit with my attitudes, my values, my interests and my looks. I like him. Of course I love him...but I like him.
That makes two of my kids that I like.
I mean, dang.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lest old resentments be forgot

Recently an old acquaintance from high school got in touch with me.
This is the first time this has happened. EVER. I was shocked.
Well no, more than shocked. In fact, I want to state for the record that I have never been more glad in my life that I wasn't a guy because both 'nads would have schlooped right up into my abdomen; I did not panic-I totally fucking panicked.

So the first thing I did was write porn.

The flesh having been satisfied, I set about dissecting why someone who had nothing at all invested in her high school memories should still be feeling any aftershocks at all, let alone one of this magnitude? That person being me; keep up here.

Why indeed. I may have mentioned that I did not enjoy high school. That would have been an understatement on my part and I apologize because actually it ranks closer to 'ludicrous bald faced lie' on the accuracy meter. High school was horrible. High school was a joke. An endless, excruciatingly unfunny joke told by a smelly drunken uncle who always copped a feel.

The thing was; I wasn't particularly unpopular by then; I wasn't being bullied. It was simply a matter of the daily fucking hopelessness. My parents had delivered an ultimatum: I had to maintain perfect attendance and get passing grades or I would be 'sent to a home'. They meant it. Academically speaking this was easy enough...classes were a joke. The football team was the only thing the district funded. Teachers ranted at us for entire periods about poor game attendance and 'school spirit' while I sat and watched the clock and knew I had to go home to people who referred to me as 'The Whore of Babylon'-and had to take it if I wanted to sleep in my own bed. I sat through the bullshit and turned in my assignments. I never went to the dances and I never ran for student body anything. I was sent home with 'attitude needs improvement' and 'not working up to her full potential' on my report cards.

Because I liked not being institutionalized, then, I continued to go to this place where people were genuinely concerned about volleyball tryouts. Cheerleaders snickered after me in the halls because I wore the wrong shoes and didn't shop at the Brass Plum. As far as boys were concerned I was too 'weird' to make a suitable peer trophy and so I was passed by again and again like something turning green in the reduced-to-sell meat cooler. The only person who showed anything like a personal interest in me was an English teacher in my Jr. year, the notorious Ms. T; and her interest was in getting a handful of tit.

On the one hand I'm proud that I was able to say no to that kind of exploitation. On the other hand exploitation was all that was being offered to me. I hated myself for it, but there were times that all I wanted to was five minutes of contact from someone in my everyday life. Anyone.

The guy who got in touch with me after all these years was someone I remembered as one of the very few intelligent students in that school. Wonderful sense of humor. Filled out a pair of Brittania Jeans well too. He knew I was interested. I was interested even despite the fact that he often came to creative writing class so pathetically loaded that I literally had to help him find the door, or that once in class he'd sit at his desk and trip on his hand for 45 minutes. Of course, he was 17 too, and so, of course, he was interested in something that displayed well. That something wasn't me.
I wasn't cool enough.

I was shocked at how much this still hurts and how much it still matters to me. I can tell myself that we were all kids and none of us had a clue; that matters not one tiny bit. On top of all the other major and minor indignities, apart from the shit I lived in and what kind of things I had to pull out of myself just to make it through a be judged and found wanting on my 'cool' quotient still just ices the absolute fuck out of me. The shame. The rage. I can't begin to describe it; and it's all still just as vivid and bloody as it was back in 1978.

At least he stuck with his convictions. He was one of the few boys that I didn't have to send packing, who, once graduation was safely in the past came flocking around now that the 'coast was clear'.

Ah, but recent events had landed him back in the old hometown, single and feeling horny retrospective, so he opened up the old yearbooks and got as far as 'M'. Oh yeah, her...

So he got in touch. We emailed a couple of times and spoke about old times.

He denied getting stoned.
Never dropped acid.
Had no idea what I was talking about.
Bemused but friendly...until he ascertained that I wasn't single.
The next email, when it came, was offhand and terse.

High school never ends. It never fucking ends.