Word Vomit #2

This is a stream of written prose that has not been edited since it was first written a few days ago. This one loosely rhymes, but loosely doesn’t either.

Tell a story explaining what I have done around the house and all that shit mother fucking done with the thing and the thing thing thing, walnut snap break, cotton, gyroid fencing, better waiting room furniture, tastefully buttoned shirts, carpet salesmen, dusty old books, the rolling stones, a broken record, a washerlady’s purse, a broken hip, a smashed up railway station, a silent whistle, a short-born teaser, a jealous rich-mun (blud) and a broken side nose. Worst than that there’s a shoved up handkerchief and some iron filings ingrained in the carpet, and nobody loves you no more, and the water begins to taste of lead and you start to feel it all go to your head and the procession of idiots flicker on the tv and you thank Christ-Almighty it’s a democracy. And then somebody speaks to you and you hear nothing at all, and the curtains are drawn to keep out the world and wrapped inside in a duvet you writhe and you squirm, all instead of doing and acting out what is that you yearn, but you’re lying in the duvet in front of yourself, the picture on the wall a glimmer of what you once dreamt. You would wish to be on stage in front of the crowd, singing your verses crafted to avow what is about life which you wish to infer to others who can understand, stand stupefied and reduced to murmur.  You want others to understand, to connect with them, show them yourself and in turn make them think of who they are.

Do this, and tread lightly with your words.

Word Vomit #1

A new series I’m calling word vomits. This was a stream of written prose that has not been edited at all since it was first written a few days ago.

To the bottom of the pit, the dark dark pit to the bottom of the pit, the dark dark pit, where devils met and there they sat and decided which was which and wat was wat and which was to do with Jonathons and Matthews and Chris’ and Georges and Tommy boys too, and all this time I never said that I even wanted to. And then the lies and the theives and the beggers and the jokers and the Christians and the stupid and the sick and the loved and the abdominals and the hopeless and the unlucky and the carpenters and the summer dress designers and the vets and the skiers and the starving and the blessed and the holy and the unholy and the powerful and the rich and the ignorant and the well-read and the committed and the lazy and the writers and the whole grain of it all makes your head want to explode sometimes from a compounding anxiety that so much of the world is here right now and happening before your very eyes, but mostly, in fact the vast vast vast amount of the things that are happening are nowhere near you.

A young woman lost her keys this morning on the way to work. She’d become distracted politely declining the advancement of a young verbally erratic man, who although handsome like a cherub, offered little promise of revere beyond his carefully arranged colour scheme of greys, blacks and a little gold (on his tacky ill-hanging chain). He asks her where she’s getting off, the woman replies that she’s ‘meeting her boyfriend’; a quickly dispatched riposte to the intended purpose of the question, as the youth is only trying to put his penis into any of the woman’s consented orifices.

Then at the same moment a spider 3 miles away is hit by a train after choosing to build its web in the space between two railway tracks, the spider was just being a spider and the train was just being a train, but there is a melancholic sadness evoked from the spider’s demise, pity derived from the spider’s lack of knowledge of the very notion of trains or railway tracks, and it is in this thought that it occurs that humans are really quite alone in possessing any knowledge at all of trains or the concept of train-ness as Plato would have see in his cave. But then in four days time, it will be seven years to the day that Miss Floyd got married and became Mrs Williams when she married her husband Pete. Their wedding was a low-key affair which was a good thing in the bride’s mother’s opinion as Pete couldn’t possibly have chosen a more run down looking reception hall if he’d tried, partly to do Pete’s modest salary and this being his 3rd marriage; the novelty of the thing was beginning to wear off. Paramount to the low-key setting of the wedding, however was Pete’s total disregard for self-imposed sentimentality, instead he believes that if you feel in love, you show it by being loving, not parading your families together, akin and derided from the ancient function of marriage to bind families together. Or to consolidate wealth for the working class, unconsciously marrying together small scraps of land acquired through a combination of hard labour and occasionally lucid gestures of generosity bestowed by nobles down the generations.

All of a sudden a mouse has been caught in a mouse trap long forgotten behind a dusty abandoned fridge. It will remain trapped there for more than 3 hours before silently dying and eventually adding its own atoms to the film of dust that clings to the abandoned furniture in the kitchen. Then a dog dies. A man wins the lottery. An old lady breaks her hip. A sand dune sheds a sheet of sand as a child rolls and plays. A woman is caught stealing money from her son’s room. A teacher fantasises at home about one of his teenage students. A curtain is woven in someone’s back garden. A magazine yellows beyond the legible in the sun. A barman drops a tray of cocktails and is forced to apologise to the drunk dick head who wasn’t looking where he was going. A police officer kicks a teenager in the head. A florist is kind with her time and helps a clueless husband arrange a bonnet for his wife’s birthday. A shower is cleaned the same time every week by Wendy who uses routine as her crutch. A prostitute corrupts her mind and soul, unable to face the shame of raising her children in poverty.  A banker sits at his desk and dreads heading home to his boring wife. A phone rings and no one answers. 10 babies are born at the same instant that 3 die.

Why you shouldn’t form a guitar band in 2017 in the UK: It’s madness

 

So you want to start a band. For one thing, you’d better love music for the sake of music rather than seeking fortune and fame, otherwise, you’ll be sorely disappointed. There are multiple reasons this:

A. People are no longer as interested in guitar bands. It’s not the 70s anymore, man. For a long time, local musicians would be a key part of a town’s entertainment. Before TV, the internet and the high volume of recorded music that we now enjoy, people would listen around the piano at the pub to hear their favourite songs. This is no longer the case, a phone with an internet connection will do this job for a venue more consistently and for far cheaper than a guy who plays piano or guitar. The artists of the 1960s and 70s are as highly regarded as they are due to them coming at the perfect time in the transition, they were skilled enough to be rockstars, not having had the internet to learn the basics separated the wheat from the chaff for that generation. They were also the last of their kind before an oversaturation of the market created the climate for the decline that we are still experiencing.
B. The modern guitar bands/artists that we do see, are, for the most part, a limited and warped selection of artists, which after making sure they appear as bland and unoffensive as possible, are often bankrolled by the record labels. If you join a band today with the dream of playing gigs you need to ensure that you bring an audience with you so that the venue’s bar can make money. Local music venues that claim in their advertising that they support their local music scene do not do this. They usually have bands play for free and ask them to sell tickets to the show to their friends, like pyramid schemes, this will only last so long. You might get all your buds to come along to the first gig or so, but after that you’re going to struggle to sell your tickets, which means you make less money for the venue and are therefore not worth investing in. These venues you are starting out in for your first gigs do not give a shit about your band, they only care about their bar making money.

C. Unfortunately for people in their twenties or those born in the 1990s, we are living in a decade that follows on from decades of the accumulation of bands and artists that have been working, and continue to, from all the way back to the 1950s. That’s six and a bit decades of our popular musical landscape collecting numerous popular artists that crucially put lots of bums on seats- seats that emerging artists no longer can access at increasingly diminishing decent local musical venues.  Diminishing in part, due to the unprecedented ability in recent years to carry one’s entire music collection in their pocket, removing the need for music lovers to seek new artists in the volume that they once did. New emerging artist hunting is now engaged in by a small group of music lovers who are not like the majority of the music world’s target audience. Cheddar cheese is the most popular in the world, not because it tastes the best, but because it’s the most basic and therefore has the best mass appeal. And it’s the same story with music generally. Clever successful artists know that they need to be careful in how clever they make their songs. Kanye West has some very clever lyrics slipped into some of his songs, but he also knows how to write a simple memorable hook as well.

D. Let’s not forget, before the advent of music being treated as a mainstream consumer product, this whole music thing has never happened in quite this way before. As a consequence, people are probably not going to go nuts for you in the same way audiences did in footage from a Stooges gig back in the day. Expectations are too high as the reception to guitar bands has now entered a “post displaying admiration” phase. Get used to folded arms and blank expressions whilst you play your heart out, a stage the majority of bands are at until they reach national press coverage and an album sells well.

E. More people than ever play guitar thanks to instructional YouTube videos from the likes of Marty Schwartz (who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page somehow). This creates a huge influx of people who can play music and want to form bands as the venues increasingly disappear.

In conclusion, it is pure madness to form a band right now in the current climate. You probably shouldn’t do it and you would be mad to try because statistically you’re not good enough or crucially lucky enough. Lucky enough to find a great manager or be in the know somehow. But if you love it, do it. Just make sure you really do, because the higher you go, the path quickly becomes very steep.

Daily Prompt: Banned

via Daily Prompt: Banned

Free speech is misused day to day,

Misused by those I don’t agree with anyway,

So say all when it comes to play their hand,

On the mismatched views on which their principles stand,

The notion of free ideas can surely not withstand

The tirade of contradictions of that which is or is not banned

You may not believe in left wing ideals

Lest become the victim of neoliberal’s boot heel

It is one thing to say to say you do not agree

But to under-substantiate your critique in any degree

Is to wrestle in the bowls of truth’s honesty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Friday: Planet of the Apes and its Stupid Poster (1968) (spoilers)

Film Friday is a weekly post in which an important film is taken, analyzed and reviewed.  Best to have seen the film in question before reading these posts as there are spoilers.

When really important films with thought-provoking philosophical messages have their endings spoiled with their DVD cover I get quite upset. The example of this that always springs to mind is Planet of the Apes (1968): 

Charlton Heston on his knees on the beach with the Statue of Liberty. Seriously? The big fucking twist at the end of the movie and you go with that for the damn DVD cover? Why not show off the amazing make-up? Or the spaceship at the beginning of the movie?

Besides the fact that it spoils the twist for everyone who hasn’t seen the movie, it also exposes and diminishes the impact to the climax to a story that explores the flaws of mankind and how technology and humanity’s libertarian ideologies are doomed to fail. The Apes with their feudal society have created order and stay within the strict confines of their territory. They have a strict caste system once seen by humanity earlier in its history. This by no means a perfect system, as this essay explores, but one thing it does do is provide us with a micro-society with which we can analyze the power structure of western human society. There are three species of ape that make up the societal structures within the planet of the apes; the gorillas, the orangutans, and the chimpanzees.

The gorillas, as the strongest and least intelligent primates of the film, represent the right-winged strong armed types who follow orders to enforce law and order. They ride horses, use guns to chase down and capture the feral non-speaking humans and are used as the ape’s soldiers and police. Gorillas riding horses provides some excellent imagery and is the first evidence in the film that we see the apes being dominant over humans. The domestication of animals was a huge turning point in the development of the human race, and by showing the audience that the apes have also done this, one of the things that has always separated man from beast, the film is asking what it means to be human: The domination and subsequent servitude of another species?

The gorillas, in short, represent the brutish and ugly side of humanity that advocates a ‘the strongest will survive’ mentality, which could be used to explain why one of the astronauts dies at the beginning of the film after being hit in the head; humanity is too brutal for its own good, and consequently destroys that which may be useful to it, e.g deforestation.  

The orangutans are representative of the Establishment or ruling classes. Doctor Zaius is portrayed as an elderly ape that is wise sage and cunning. At the end of the film, he reveals that he knows the truth of the history of the Earth and humanity, which he has kept secret from the rest of the apes. He represents those that pull the strings in our society and work to pull the wool over our eyes; think of the few billionaire owners of the mainstream media and the agenda that they push forward with the news they have their outlets focus on and the direction of spin. Towards the end of the film, it is revealed that the other astronaut who survived has been lobotomised by Doctor Zaius as his very existence threatened the delicate balance of law and order that ape society enjoyed. The last thing the orangutans wanted was for someone to challenge the perception that humans could talk the same way as apes could, as they could lose control of the gorillas. This sounds awfully familiar to the current order of the world, the press is dominated by neo-liberal propaganda and arguments for a preservation of the status-quo.

The chimpanzees, the primate most similar to humans, represent those willing to adapt to change. When Taylor (Charlton Heston) reveals he can talk unlike the other humans, it is the chimpanzees that keep him a secret and work as vets that attempt to understand and study humans. They represent the side of humanity that is good, inquisitive, questioning, innovative and ultimately shat on by the orangutans and the gorillas, a metaphor for our own society. There is a reason that some fiction dreams of places where the chimpanzees in human society can just get on without having to deal with the gorillas disrupting at the behest of the orangutans. Think of Rapture in Bioshock; in theory, a place where the brightest minds of humanity can withdraw to get on with making society better without being held back by the brutal nature of humanity with its constant wars and petty squabbles. When applied, Rapture breaks down into anarchy and chaos due to the ultimately flawed human condition, ultimately greed and power is Rapture’s undoing, just as the sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) explored how the planet of the apes meets its end.

In the pursuit of liberty, humanity is buried in the sand with the use of nuclear weapons, represented by the statue of liberty at the end of the film. This is why the DVD cover is frustrating; it is a great climax to a classic film that loses so much of its impact when one already knows that humanity ‘blew it all up.”

In conclusion, Planet of the Apes is a classic exploration into the question of what it means to be human and how the different types of personality within humanity mingle, mix and often jostle together.

Bad Boy Bubby Movie Review: (spoilers) A case study into the Human condition

Society

A man stares vacantly ahead whilst his mother slathers his face with shaving cream. He flinches from a nick from the razor, “Keep still” his mother commands as she raps him on the head. Next shot and we see the man standing naked, whilst he is washed with a hose by his mother. When this film begins, you know pretty quickly that you’re watching something weird: kitchen sink setting, vacant absent-minded stares, slow-well-practised routines and then BAM! Mummy sex.   

Bad Boy Bubby is one of those rare films that one feels total affinity and sympathy towards its main subject, which is unusual when considering how Bubby is so damn weird. When you watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas (1998) yes Johnny Depp’s Raoul Duke is a weird main character, but he’s also sane enough to know he’s mad.

 

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Bubby staying still for fear of Jesus

 

With Bubby, the audience is taken from his birthplace- that grotty room with his mother- and out into the outside world. The world outside his room, Bubby has been told , is full of poisonous gas: “And if the poison doesn’t get you… God will.” After discovering this is a lie, Bubby leaves the room and encounters a confusing world. One where the performance of our everyday discourse is exactly that, a performance. A scene that comes to mind is the one in which Bubby enters a deli. A woman order some of “those ever-so fattening and delicious eclairs.” Bubby, seeing this, quite understandably concludes that this is the way to get other people to give you food. He goes to the counter and repeats the words of the woman before him who stops at the doorway and turns to look at him.

What makes this, and the other jokes like it in the film hilarious is that through mimicry, often the fabrication that the use of language creates, is often exposed. Hearing someone do a good impression is funny for the same reason that hearing a recording of one’s own voice makes people squeamish; it reveals the nuance of spoken discourse and lays bare the lie of the person that we all choose to present to the world and people around us. 

Bubby, having lived in a room for thirty years has no concept of normative behaviour, having only ever known his abusive mother, which is what makes him such a great prism through which to examine and agitate our accepted societal norms. In essence, although difficult to watch, the first 20 minutes or so of the film in that dreadful room, are essential for laying the pretext out for the audience so that they understand why Bubby is so strange and unusual, which then leads to the much lighter and more watchable latter part of the film.

Religion

One of the famous scenes in the film is when a priest takes Bubby aside and launches into a monologue about how the world must, “will God out of existence, because only then can humanity begin to take responsibility for who we are.” As well as being an incredibly moving and poignant speech, is also fascinating that this speech comes from a priest. Religion is something that is used for different reasons by different characters in the film. Bubby’s mother, for example, has a tiny crucifix on one of her filthy bare walls. “Don’t move, or Jesus will get ya” she warns Bubby before she makes a trip outside. However, Bubby’s mother can hardly be considered to follow a religious lifestyle, as she engages in an incestuous and abusive relationship with her son. The choir girl whom Bubby encounters shortly after leaving his room uses religion to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle and Angel’s parents towards the end of the film use religion to shame and suppress their daughter. Overall, no one in the film uses religion as they typically “should” be doing, that is to pursue a holy and righteous lifestyle. This ties into the facades and illusions that we all choose to present to the world, with religion being one of the basis’s from which some people draw their identity.

 

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Bubby’s musical performance are a highlight of the film

 

Final Thoughts

This is an incredibly rare and interesting film that explores that well-worn path of analysis of the human condition but takes this exploration in a totally unique and hilarious direction. If you’re a fan of cult films that may push you out of your comfort zone a bit, then this is definitely worth seeing.

9/10