Friday, December 26, 2008
There was an innate sweetness to him that a lot of people missed, mostly due to all the shit-eating and the sexual assaults, but what they failed to realize was that he never did anything to anyone that he wouldn’t first do to himself. The band had gotten through three whole songs that night before the mic stopped working because GG kept punching people in the head with that hand and the promoter flipped out about all the nudity and the blood. So GG ended up walking the streets of New York City naked, filthy and alone, or at least as alone as you can be with a flock of vulture voyeurs circling just far enough away to safely watch and laugh. Eventually all the drugs he took earlier kicked in or he just became tired, finally tired, so he settled in on someone’s floor to quietly die while his hosts took pictures posing with his rapidly cooling corpus. Who did he imagine held him as he drifted away? Who did he dream palpated his dirty, distended asshole to soothe him to sleep? It would be silly to suggest that GG died for us because he never did anything for anyone other than himself, but there is an undeniable human function served by those who demarcate the edge as they plunge headlong across it into the black.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
For Mitch Hedberg, RIP
The strange part of it all was that no one seemed to mind at first. There was no huge outcry, no protests in the streets. Most people were happy to get the Social Security chips installed in their necks due to what they considered the “extreme” convenience of not having to wait in check-out lines anymore or file taxes or vote for the president or program their DVRs. The sensors, mounted in all public and most private locations, pretty much took care of all that. Of course there were fringe Liberal groups and bitter dyke feminists who made a little stink, but they were summarily ignored by the populace at large. Everything passed through Congress pretty quickly, and most people began to enjoy their new freedom from delay and inconvenience as soon as they were able.
Problems did arise, however, when the Intellectual Property people became involved. Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metallica, led the charge towards artists getting paid every time someone listened to their music, let alone bought or shared it. Some resistance was mustered, but when it was announced that the surcharge would be mere pennies per song and that all monitoring and billing would occur automatically through the SS chip, well, that resistance faded pretty quickly and people quickly got used to seeing the Fair Use surcharge on their monthly invoice, if they looked at it at all.
This did open the floodgates a bit for the surcharges on multiple viewings of films or television programs, but the corporations learned quickly that keeping the amounts charged to seemingly minimal amounts was very effective, and again, protests were reduced to an easily dismissed fringe element. The booksellers attempted this as well, but the number of consumers who read a book more than once, barring those by John Grisham or J.K. Rowling, was so minimal that even with the miniscule overhead provided by the SS chips it still proved to be unprofitable.
Then came the so-called Morality Tax. A joint effort between the media conglomerates and the Religious Right, the Morality Tax basically amounted to another surcharge levied any time a person utilized a celebrity or segment of a film or television show as an element in a masturbation fantasy. The Religious Right reasoned that this monitoring and additional charge would minimize what they considered to be a filthy and unhealthy habit, and the agents and film companies saw a very lucrative and extensive capital source, especially for their celebrity female clients. This agenda was quickly introduced to Congress in an election year, and as it was seen as career suicide for any politician outside of the Bay Area to push for a pro-masturbation agenda, this also passed quickly. Lars Ulrich subsequently mounted a short-lived movement to levy a charge whenever an individual masturbated or had sex utilizing Metallica as background music (the infamous “Metallicum Incentive”) but this received little support, and was quickly forgotten.
Time passed. As monitoring and billing through the chips became more and more streamlined, an unintended use became apparent. Not only could the sensors be used to track music listened to, film and television watched, consumables purchased and celebrities cum over, they could also be utilized to delineate and itemize dreams. This was not an effective political tool, as was originally thought, because recorded dreams ultimately proved to be far too non-linear for useful analysis. However, it was possible to utilize them for further Fair Use charges. For instance, if you had a dream about building a go-kart with Lindsay Lohan and your ex-landlord, Ms. Lohan’s representatives would levy a five cent surcharge. This, as with the other initiatives, passed with little fanfare – until the bills started to come in.
As most individuals have great difficulty remembering their dreams in anything more than the barest fragments, no one realized at the time how extensively pop culture had infested the dream world. When individual citizens began receiving itemized statements for two or three hundred dollars for multiple nights spent in Hazzard County or on extensive dream-dinners with dead relatives, Wolf Blitzer and Madonna, a significant protest was mounted, but it was far too late. The law was the law, and there was far too much money being made.
So then an odd thing began to happen. As individuals were not able to directly control the content of their dreams the way they could control how much music they listened to or how many celebrities they beat off to, they had to engage in other methods to control the content of their dreams. Some began to utilize their alarm clocks to go off at three hour intervals to prevent extensive REM sleep. Some began taking powerful medications that would suppress their dreams completely. Others purchased best-sellers like Dream Control: A New Technique to a Richer, Happier You and 16 Ways Smart People Limit Their Billable Dream Content. The long and short of all this was fewer dreams, less extensive dreams, and unprecedented limits on the content of dreams. Dream surcharges took a sharp downturn.
And Mike Powers is worried about this, very worried. He looks out the office-length window of the penthouse headquarters of Dreamland Surveyors, Inc. and sadly sighs. He attempts to reassure himself that despite the recent setbacks overhead remains tiny, profits are still comparatively high, and regardless of the numerous attempts at consumer control, a small percentage of people were still dreaming every night. No matter what blocks they put in, he comforts himself, no matter how much control they gain, some poor fuck in a trailer somewhere was gonna have a wet dream about Britney Spears and Mike Powers would be there to charge him for it. This last forces a tight grin to his mouth, and Mike rises from his seat, jingles the change in his pocket, and leaves the office to meet with his increasingly insecure shareholders.
As he begins to walk down the olive-carpeted hallway towards the elevators he quickly senses that something is wrong. A walk that usually takes less than a minute is dragging on and on, and Mike begins to feel the stress of moving one leg in front of the other. It isn’t that the hallway is elongating or that the floor is pulling at his feet, but rather that his legs seem to be filled with lead shot. He tries to move them more quickly but finds that he cannot. He leans forward and pushes against the floor with his hands as he steps to try to propel himself more quickly. As he looks up, he finds that the door out of the hallway is suddenly before him. He twists the forged metal knob of the thick oaken door, and is dimly aware while he does so that normally there is a bank of elevators in its place.
As he opens the door, he finds himself in his third-grade classroom. Mike’s mother, approximately thirty years old, sits on top of the teacher’s desk wearing a short plaid skirt and kicking her leg flirtatiously. She smiles at him.
“Hi, Mom. What are you doing at my work?”
“This is my work, honey. I teach here now.”
“No, Mom. I mean, I just walked down the hall from my office.” Mike shakes his head. “And you’re older than me. And dead.”
Mike’s mother looks at him disapprovingly. “Michael, I wish you’d stop looking at my legs. You’re making me uncomfortable and your father will be angry.”
“I’m not looking at your legs!”
His mother giggles and points to Mike’s groin. He looks down and sees that he now has a massive hard-on straining through his gabardine pants. He looks up in a panic. “I have to get out of here.”
His mother’s face is again a mask of disapproval. “Yes, Michael. I think you should leave.” She points to a poorly-painted, flaking red door. Mike lumbers uncomfortably to it, pulls it open and stumbles through.
He finds himself on the city street outside the building that houses Dreamland Surveyors, Inc. A wave of relief flows over him until he looks up into the sky. Four vast metal legs, each mounted what looks like a state away, reach up miles into the sky where they support a gigantic circular track. On the track, which suddenly appears to be chest-high, runs a child’s toy train releasing small puffs of white from its smokestack. On the great metal legs are affixed hundreds of construction workers with no apparent support besides their clenched knees, banging away at fat red plastic nails with fat blue plastic hammers. Their eyes are glassy, as if drugged or dreaming.
Mike’s perspective again shifts to the sidewalk in front of his building. He is staring up at the magnificent train track in the sky when it occurs to him. He shakes his head in awe.
“They got out. The fuckers got out.”
A fluffy white cloud above the elevated train track quickly forms into a smiley face, which winks jauntily down at the tiny man staring up at it, miles below.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Note: This story just got rejected for a contest called “Bradley Sands is a Dick” wherein each submitted story needed to be titled “Bradley Sands is a Dick”. Bradley Sands is a bizarro author and editor and this was my submission. I can totally understand how it was rejected as it contains a lot of in-jokes, especially seeing as I am not “in” the group I am referring to! Hopefully a quick trip to Wikipedia’s “bizarro fiction” entry should clear a lot of this up. Ironically, my Urban Dictionary entries were accepted even though my story wasn’t. You can actually look them up!
BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK
Or more accurately, Bradley Sands is your dick. As in, “Dude, I wouldn’t fuck her with Bradley Sands.” How the term “Bradley Sands” entered the vernacular vulgate is a long and fascinating one, but this isn’t that story. This is a shorter, saucier story about the fat pink ball-sac lying on George Plimpton’s chin.
It is common knowledge that George Plimpton, the Deus ex Machina of the literary machine that is the Paris Review, smokes Gitanes, the cigareet that put the Paris in the aforementioned Review. Now, what isn’t quite as well known is that Messr. Plimpton uses a cigareet holder, and what is even less well known is that hanging from said cigareet holder is a formed latex cast of Norman Mailer’s ball-sac, shiny and round and pink and perfect. See, instead of a death cast of Mailer’s humungous, misshapen noggin, Plimpton hired Cynthia Plaster Caster to do what she did best with the literary homunculus’ nether regions, and then had the latex replica made with two small orbs inserted for weight and heft that were formed from steel smelted from the plate in dead Papa Hemingway’s head. So this means (it should be obvious by now) that every time Senor Plimpton takes a toke, the fake collective ball-sac of the two most potent literary hard-cocks of our time rests on his pale, New England chinny chin chin.
So, one day, cheroot in mouth, balls on chin, Admiral Plimpton commands his underlings to take a letter and drafts the Memo du Voyant of our newborn century.
To here knows when, all lit’rary submissions to the Paris Review (and, by implication, any respectable lit’rary vehicle in the known hemisphere) hoping for any chance at publication will be written not only about young thirty-somethings living in New York City working in the publishing industry finding meaning and romance in a post-9/11 world, but also by young thirty-somethings living in New York City working in the publishing industry finding meaning and romance in a post-9/11 world. That is all.
This was received by the world-at-large with a collective click as that particular info-nug was summarily wiped off the pc screens of the nation. However, aspiring writers who did not fit into that particular demographic were left with slim pickins as far as hopes for publication were concerned. So, various other avenues were examined. Bradley Sands was the first so-called “author” to actually attempt to manipulate the culture by putting his stamp on the city-slang of the Youth of America. Through the vehicle of urbandictionary.com as well as long sloggy hours hanging out with hundreds of individual high school kids, getting high, palpating pubes and “talkin’ dat talk” (as Mr. Sands so eloquently puts it), over the course of several months the hot topic at Hot Topic was the ultra-new mega-extreme slang-scene of saying “I wouldn’t fuck her with Bradley Sands” instead of the traditional “I wouldn’t fuck her with your dick”. As others saw this scheme work against all odds, they also felt this was the chance they had gotta take, to say to the world “Take a look at me now!” Too often, there was just an empty space - nothing left there to remind them, just the memory of Bradley Sands’ face laughing back at them from hundreds of thousands of MySpace pages. Eventually, though, other authors did make their way, as is seen by the following entries subsequently pulled from urbandictionary.com [accessed 14 November 2008]:
A rim-job given after the giver has eaten jalapenos.
Yo, dat bitch gave me the crazy mellick!
feelin’ kinda prunty
Needing a shower, feeling ‘funky’, not smelling very good.
Yo, dat bitch’s undercarriage was feelin’ kinda prunty!
Incredibly tasty, especially after smoking marijuana.
Okay, I don’t normally like cream sauces, but that carbonara was fucking fracalossius.
And so on. Unfortunately, follow-up literary hits were found to be extraordinarily difficult to produce, not only due to the limitations provided by the authors’ surnames but also due to a certain lack of novelty involved in their secondary efforts. New colloquialisms such as “Tebordo? I don’t even nordo!”, “D’yer Duza?” and the truly unfortunate “Shipp-shape” were met with the same lack of enthusiasm that once greeted Rules of Attraction, Ransom, and whatever the fuck Tama Janowitz’s second book was called. Additionally, reviewers of these sophomore slang-thangs attacked the authors for “writing slang for slang’s sake”, whatever that means, and sadly this was enough to cast a pallor over all the future efforts of these visionary jargonistas. The Plimptron had the final say, of course: “The Truth outs eventual, and the Truth of the matter is that these… these Sloganeers (he said with a sneer) simply don’t have it.”
Oddly enough, it is said that nearly twenty years later these young writers got a strange sort of revenge, despite the fact that it was served extraordinarily cold. Upon his deathbed, the incredibly decrepit Plimptonian shakily smoked his last Gitane and murmured his final statement to those gathered by his side: “Indeed….I never did receive…a…mellick.” And then the olde New Englander breathed his last around the fat, fake communal scrotum of those two Great White Whales, and in the dim autumnal light the balls wobbled to…and…fro.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Dear Mount Vernon:
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole lifetime in the Machine Heart for whatever it is that we did wrong. What we did was wrong, even though none of us can remember exactly what that was. Maybe we were drunk. But we think you’re crazy to make us write book after book after book for the rest of our goddamned lives telling you who we think we are and then wait for you to slowly filter that back to us through superhero movies and clip shows on E! and the Technicolor vomit of a thousand whoring heiresses. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions, the boldest colors and the most glistening labia. But what we found out over the past two thousand years is that each one of us is…
and a ’76 Buick Skylark…
and a Psychic Homeless Woman…
an Autistic Kid on a Family-Oriented Summer Replacement Series…
and a Motherfucking Genius.
Does that answer your question? Did you ask me a question?
Famous Monsters of Filmland