Friday, October 8, 2010
The whole idea of Hell being the center of EVIL is all wrong. Okay, let’s go back to Heaven before the Fall. There’s Lucifer the brightest of all God’s angels, and one day he just gets fed up with sitting around all day worshipping God. He says FUCK THAT! This is BORRRRING! And he decides to split the scene and start his own Heaven. But God owns all the good property and Lucifer has to go way down south before he can find something that he can afford. And he finds the perfect place, except that being in the deep south it’s REALLY FUCKIN’ HOT! But what the hell, he says, at least the rent’s cheap. And he puts up a sign that says HEAVEN SOUTH but then all these high-powered lawyers for God show up and tell him that the name “Heaven®” is copyrighted and they threaten a whopper of a lawsuit so he says fuck you and he puts up a new sign that says HELL. But then he looks around and he notices that he’s the only one there and that it’s kinda lonely, and he thinks about all those suck-ups in Heaven all kissing God’s almighty ass. Good riddance, he says! He doesn’t want any of those losers in Hell, and then he remembers one of God’s side projects, that place called Earth at the far end of some galaxy with all these HUMANS on it. Maybe when they die he can get them to come to Hell instead of Heaven. After all, they don’t know what Heaven’s really like… walkin’ on eggshells all the time so you don’t piss off God. And God is old and he goes to bed real early, like by 9 pm even on weekends right after Lawrence Welk so there’s NO NIGHTLIFE AT ALL and the TV sucks with just three shows—Lawrence Welk, Little House on the Prairie, and Hee-Haw. And as for music… GIVE ME A BREAK! MUZAK and elevator music. Heaven’s like this great big dentist office without the Novocaine! And there’s nothing to do except worship the old man. Day after day year after year millennium after millennium… I mean, the place is a PIT! Yet EVERYBODY wants to go to Heaven because they have this awesome PR firm and everywhere you look there’re these ads for how great Heaven is, blah blah blah! So Lucifer takes a business trip to Earth and he meets with Andy Warhol in New York City and he says:
“Andy, I really love those soup cans!”
“Call me Lou…”
“So Andy, I have this place. It’s like really huge. I mean, enormous! And I need somebody to come in and decorate it. You know, make it the coolest place in the universe, so all the coolest hippest people will want to go there…”
“Sounds good,” says Andy. “When can I start?”
“Well, the only problem is that you have to die first… I mean, you’ve heard of Heaven, right?”
“Um, I think so…”
“Well this will be the anti-Heaven.”
“I see. And what was this part about dying first?”
“Well, it’s just a technicality really. But once you’re there I mean, it’ll be like this non-stop-party-rock-concert-performance-art-love-in… Kinda like Amsterdam on crack!”
“Sounds great. Will you be in my next movie?”
And a few months later Lucifer put up a new sign: CLUB HELL. And with Andy Warhol’s contacts they got the best rock bands like The Doors and Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana and Alice in Chains and all these great industrial-techno and metal bands who weren’t even dead yet but they’d come to play anyway because word soon spread that CLUB HELL was THE place to play! And to make the experience even better Lucifer provided an unlimited supply of free drugs (and he eliminated bad trips and overdoses). And soon all the cool artists on Earth started killing themselves so they could get to CLUB HELL, and then the cool writers, poets, musicians, and filmmakers followed suit and pretty soon Lucifer’s place was the center of all that was happening in culture…
“This place is awesome!” said Kurt Cobain.
“Thanks, man!” said Lucifer. “And if you don’t mind me saying so, I like ‘Bleach’ better than ‘Nevermind’…”
“Me too, man! Hey, can I ask you somethin’?”
“Any chance you can, you know, like keep Courtney outta here?”
“Sure thing!” said Lucifer.
“Thanks man! Whew! I was worried there for a second!”
“Hey Lucifer!” said John Lennon.
“Hey John! Good to see you!”
“Kurt… Hey, you got that doubled vocals thing from me!” John Lennon said to Kurt Cobain.
“Only steal from the best!” said Kurt.
John Lennon smiled. “So Lucifer…”
“Please John, call me Lou! This is Hell! We’re all on a first name basis here!”
“Okay Lou… So I was wondering, like why they all say back on Earth that Hell is such an evil place…”
“It’s God’s PR firm,” said Lucifer. “The old man’s pissed that so many people are coming here, so he’s just spreading his lies. I mean, get real! I split from Heaven for a reason! I wanted to get away from all that oppressive shit, so why the hell would I make this some big ass prison so God wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of free will? I mean, I didn’t give ‘em free will. He did! And now he expects me to clean up his mess? Fuck that! Besides, why would I wanna surround myself with all that no-good riff-raff for eternity?”
“Makes sense,” said John Lennon, eyeing the tabs of acid on the table. “So they say there aren’t any bad trips here, is that right?”
But after a while, problems arose as more and more people wanted to get into CLUB HELL. And the last straw was when the Olsen Twins made a double suicide pact and appeared at the door and Lucifer had had enough. After that he hired God’s very own PR firm to spread the word even further that Hell was where all the evil bastards ended up after death to suffer eternal flames of woe. And Lucifer even did a few PSA’s himself, dressed in red holding a pitchfork with some fake horns on his head, the green screen behind him showing CGI images of fire and brimstone and the damned all writhing about in eternal agony. And from that point on, CLUB HELL became an invitation only place and Lucifer was the happiest angel who ever lived.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Hell is only Hell because we know that it’s HELL. So how better to disguise it than by making it look like the EARTH! Let’s say that we die and we end up in the Underworld, and there's this sign at the gate that says "Welcome to Hell" and “Arbeit Macht Frei” and there's Satan with a pitchfork and fire and brimstone and the damned falling in pools of molten lava... Well, you're in Hell, right? So by definition you'd expect things to be pretty awful. But the thing about pain and torment is that you eventually grow inured, so the predictability of hell in the traditional sense would make it less than effective as a form of punishment. I mean, if we’re damned to hell and things are bad... well, whadaya expect? We’re in hell, right? And in hell there's no hope of release, we're damned for eternity. So with nothing to hope for, even hellfire would be something we'd get used to... True torment comes when one still holds on to hope. So with this in mind the Evil Deceiver (or ED as I like to call him) created Hell on Earth. Think of our lives. We have good days, good months, good years even when suddenly out of nowhere shit happens. We get fired, somebody dies, we get cancer and we recall the times that were good and we wonder if we'll ever see them again. And meanwhile we look around and there're all these people who don't have cancer, who are rich with beautiful wives and husbands and good jobs and this and that. The CONTRAST is what makes our OWN suffering acute. WHY ME? WTF?! Whereas, in HELL we're all in it together, misery loves company, so while I'm burning for my sins everybody else is burning for theirs. But here on earth, we're each of us alone. And the suffering, it's all so arbitrary. The innocent are senselessly slaughtered as others go blithely about their lives, and this makes the bad that happens seem so much worse, because it appears at times to be utterly random and undeserved. But that’s exactly the point! We've all died, you see? We lived on earth and did bad things and we were damned to hell and sent here. And that's the genius of it! We’re under the illusion that this is all we’ve ever known. What better way to inflict suffering upon someone than to have them believe that this is THEIR LIFE, that they haven't died at all but on the contrary, that they're very much alive and that this world is the planet earth—a place of hope and possibilities. And this is the crux of it because it’s the spaces between the torments that make them so effective. Take Chinese water torture for example. Between each drip is a space and in each space we hope that THIS time the drip will finally stop, and this hope is what makes it torture. If there were no longer a drip there would be silence. And if the drip were continuous it would be a flow of water and could even be pleasant, like a gently flowing stream. True torture is made up of torment followed by an absence of torment in an endless repetition, juxtaposed against a background where we perceive others to be better off than we are. And this is a microcosm of our lives here on "earth". I mean, if I left my house and got mugged I would think it was terrible. But of course it doesn’t happen every day. It’s the unusualness that makes it seem so bad, especially since nobody else I know got beat up today. Why did the world single me out? But if you knew that this in fact was HELL then you’d say to yourself, “Figures!” The problem is a matter of perspective. Then when that bastard cuts me off and that guy at the copy place is rude and I get fucking Leukemia instead of complaining I’ll say, “Is that the best you can do?” It’s all part of the torment, personalized to make it seem that it’s OUR’S ALONE while everybody else goes around thinking the same goddamn thing! GOD’S A FUCKING GENIUS! I mean, I always thought this fire and brimstone stuff was a bit one-dimensional. But THIS... The world! All of history, the great men and women, their achievements, their triumphs and failures, and each of us with our individual lives, our personal histories. So much intricate detail, but all of it an ILLUSION created by ED (the EVIL DECEIVER) to complete this vast mural of hell. I mean, think of the work that went into creating it! It's incredible! THIS is a God I can respect! A God I can believe in!
And this explains other things as well. Like why are there so many lousy books that become bestsellers and so many lousy movies that get made? ANSWER: To frustrate the starving artists. And why do bad things happen to good people? Well, to FUCK YOU UP! (And besides, you’re not really good after all since you’re in Hell, comprende?) I mean, if you take the earth at face value then there are some things that are downright incomprehensible. But if you reframe your thinking... If you see that this isn't earth at all but HELL then everything makes sense. And instead of being ridiculously absurd it now seems almost comical. Then you're finally let in on God's inside joke. And the illusion is complete by making us believe in a finite world. If we know that we’re immortal souls suffering an eternity of torment then it will lose its potency.
“How was your day?”
“The usual… flames of woe. Eternal damnation.”
“Yeah me too… BORING!”
In Hell, HOPE is what crowns our suffering! So we therefore must believe that we are mortal, that our lives are finite. And if we live to be 80 we’ll want to maximize our pleasure and minimize our pain, and even if our life is full of suffering we have the hope in an afterlife where our pain and suffering will be vindicated. So we "die" here in hell only to come back again as a "new" person, to suffer all over again in a new unique way, which of course is completely unknown to us and all part of our punishment, on to infinity. It’s the MOTHER of all conspiracies! And the first thing to do, as far as I can see, is to get rid of hope.
(But then again, where would we be without it?)
Monday, September 13, 2010
So WHAT THE FUCK is with this latest appalling literary trend (and I use the term “literary” VERY LOOSELY) of adding vampires or zombies to everything these days including famous works of literature and historical figures? LOL! Didn’t we learn ANYTHING from the HULA HOOP? That fads are… well, FADS! Flashes in the pans! Like those 3-D movie glasses they had in the Fifties. (Oh SHIT! They’ve come back as well!) What’s next? EISENHOWER & ZOMBIES IN 3-D! Why is it soooo fucking difficult, nay, IMPOSSIBLE for those gatekeepers in charge of our words to believe and understand that the public wants something more than the latest HULA HOOP? Are we indeed living in an IDIOCRACY after all? My brief tenure in the belly of the beast (meaning the MFA program in Creative Writing) taught me that if you want to be published today and actually have someone read your book that you have to familiarize yourself with what’s on the bestseller lists, what kinds of books are reviewed in PEOPLE MAGAZINE, what authors are on the important talk shows (and of course the EVEREST of talk shows, as far as writers are concerned, OPRAH!). And it goes without saying that the right agent who has carefully analyzed the marketplace, the current and projected trends, and who has the New York and Hollywood connections is indispensable and in fact a requirement today if the fledgling writer hopes to get ANYWHERE with their writing career outside of some shitty no-advance no-promotion black-hole press. And now as if it wasn’t hard enough for an unknown to get published there’re these latest bestsellers-soon-to-be-major-motion-pictures:
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (!!!)
What’s NEXT? I mean, what are we as serious wri… OH FUCK IT!!!
If ya can’t beat ‘em…
GEORGE WASHINGTON: WOLFMAN
Valley Forge was a dark time for General Washington. Not because it was a harsh frigid winter, nor that it was the lowest point for the rebels in the war against England, but because when the moon was full George Washington roamed the frozen landscape as a werewolf.
ZOMBIE MOBY DICK
“Thar she blows!” cried the deckhand, a man of such insignificance that nobody including Ahab bothered to learn his name.
“The great white whale!” said the yeoman.
“But… somethin’s diff’rent about ‘er. She… She looks…”
“She’s a zombie!” blustered Ahab.
And it was true, the horrible leviathan’s flesh, although white from a distance, became a sickly pale green the closer she swam to the Pequod.
“There’s pieces o’ whaleflesh peelin’ right off ‘er!” said Hucklesworth, an able seaman.
“An’ I ken see me ‘er bloody ribs!” said another.
"An' how come we call 'er Moby Dick if she's a she?"
“Beat ta quarters!” commanded Ahab. And as he stared into the lifeless glazed-over black eyes of the mindless bloodthirsty brain-hungry beast his blood ran cold.
FINNEGANS WAKE & ZOMBIES
Because to explain why the residue is, was, or will not be, according to the eighth axiom, proceeded with, namely, since ever apart that gossan duad, so sure as there’s a patch on a pomelo, this yam ham in never live could, the shifting about of the lassies, the tug of love of their lads ending with a great deal of merriment, hoots, screams, scarf drill, cap fecking, ejaculations of aurinos, reechoable mirthpeals and general thumbtonosery (Myama’s a yaung yaung cauntry), one must reckon with the sudden and gigantesquesque appearance unwithstandable as a general election in Barado’s bearskin amongst the brawlmiddle of this village childergarten of the lovely longsuffering laird of Lucanhof who’s been turned into a zombie.
(this is an excerpt from my new novel: LIVE NUDE GIRLS)
Saturday, September 11, 2010
What kind of world is it where Nicholas Sparks compares himself to Aeschylus and instead of everyone rolling on the floor laughing their fucking heads off he gets bestsellers and movie deals? Instead of being condemned as a shameless pandering hack he becomes a role model for aspiring writers and the cynosure for literary agents and publishers! And am I the only one who can see where this will lead?
See Spot run.
See Spot lift his leg.
See Spot pee on the rug.
OUT damned Spot!
See Jane meet Dick.
See Sally meet Harry.
See Dick and Jane and Harry and Sally have a foursome.
It used to be that the artists (not all of them but a few of them at least) were like bold explorers of new undiscovered worlds. But now the worlds are strip malls and the writers are the next franchise waiting to move in next to Jiffy Lube®. In theory being a writer is one of the most egalitarian of artistic pursuits. All you need is a pen and some paper (and being literate helps but is not required by today’s publishing industry). So one would think that with all these writers out there writing away we’d see all this amazingly different stuff emanating from all these different creative minds bursting with fresh ideas and new perspectives… NOT! Everyone and their brother are writing like… well, everyone and their brother trying to be the next Nick Sparks or Dan Brown. FML! I want to be surprised! I want to be outraged! I want to fall in love again! And not with the slick-packaged plastic love object designed by the in-house marketing department. I read somewhere that Francis Ford Coppola thought about changing the title of Apocalypse Now because he thought people wouldn’t know what Apocalypse meant! But he was the ARTIST for Christ sake! Call it whatever you want and let the public pick up on it! The job of the artist is to do their thing and NOT worry about the fucking public and the job of the fucking public is to WANT to be inspired by the artists. But now it’s just one big factory that produces sleeping pills in the form of books and movies and paintings so the masses can sleep more soundly and undisturbed! Don’t fret precious I’m here. Step away from the window, go back to sleep…
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Your place in the world is of no consequence. Spending your time and energy waiting to discover the next Dan Brown or Nicholas Sparks you add nothing to the world but distraction. You do not add to its wonder nor do you help us to see its beauty, but rather you put your cynical stamp on everything you do and everything you touch (along with the price tags that you so value). You do not inspire nor do you awaken anyone from their sleep. In fact, the product of your labors only goes to help the masses sleep more soundly. This, I’m afraid, is your legacy, and in the process you may have made a fortune but you also have reduced the world to balance sheets and dollar signs. You have done nothing to show the world that you were here beyond the corporate boardroom, that you were a unique individual, capable of inspiring others and discovering beauty. You are nothing, and the only thing you leave behind is an inheritance, which I’m guessing your children are already anxious to get their hands on.
....(An impassioned rant against the abyss called the publishing industry)
2. THERESA PARK IS THE GREATEST LITERARY AGENT EVER!
....(A Swiftian broadside at my nemesis Nicholas Sparks!)
....(My alternative writer's group)
4. INCEPTION SUCKS!
....(re: the recent horrible movie)