Archive for March, 2012

h1

Making a Statement

March 31, 2012

The Devil of the Deep Blue Sea

James Cameron has cooler hobbies than you. He makes overblown techno-movies that turn $500 million into $1 billion, collects a fat slice of that (deservedly), and uses it to build his own cutting edge submersibles festooned with cameras and recording equipment including his own one-man submarine that he then pilots to the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, 7 miles down in the Mariana Trench. He made the two highest-grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar, and it seems like he did so largely to fund his passion for dicking about at the bottom of the sea and for building better machines to help him do so. It should also be noted that James Cameron, when he collected his Academy Award for Best Director in 1997, stood in front of a worldwide audience of 60 million people and declared that he was Satan.

Well, his exact words were, “I’m the king of the world!”, which were interpreted by the pedestrian, benighted onlookers as being merely a notable quote from Titanic, the film he was being awarded for, but to the keen ear of the initiated the hidden meaning was unmistakable. The term ‘King of the World’ is rendered in Latin as ‘Rex Mundi’ which is an alternate title and name for Leviathan, or Satan, depending on the precise occult esoterica one subscribes to. Simple, really.

Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements
h1

Hungry Hungry Jong-eun

March 27, 2012

As disappointed as I am that the porcine prince of Norks, Kim Jong-eun, came to prominence too late to have been immortalized as a Gerry Anderson-esque puppet at the hands of Trey Parker and Matt Stone à la his late father, I have discovered the next best thing. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you one of the very latest internet memes: Hungry Kim Jong-eun.

h1

Splatterloose Foothouse Five

March 7, 2012

The perpetual, unconquerable list of things that I suddenly develop an interest in and appreciation for decades after everyone else continues apace. This week it is Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five and the Sonic Youth album ‘Goo’.

Such is the way of modern pop culture cross-pollination that I first became aware of Slaughterhouse-Five when it was mentioned in the 1984 film Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon. Vonnegut’s satirical novel is the centrepiece of a subplot wherein the reactionary denizens of a small bumblefuck town in Oklahoma are incensed at the book being included in a high school curriculum and eventually convene a good ole book burning to rectify the problem. Fish-out-of-water, free-wheelin’ rebel kid new to the small town that he is, Bacon’s character Ren shocks and offends some townsfolk who ask his opinion of the book only to have him respond, “It’s a classic!”
Now, at the time, I was barely aware of who Kurt Vonnegut was. I had probably read his seminal short story ‘Harrison Bergeron‘ by that age but I had not retained Vonnegut’s name in my memory. I had never heard of Slaughterhouse-Five before watching Footloose. The word ‘slaughterhouse’, though it should have prompted me to think merely of a common abattoir, instead immediately brought to my mind the original arcade video game Splatterhouse featuring a playable character modeled on Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th franchise (hockey mask and boiler suit) who ventured through a large spooky mansion dismembering ghouls with a meat cleaver. I knew the novel forming the subplot in Footloose was unlikely to have any connection to a video game riffing on famous horror movies of the era but, knowing nothing about the book, and being influenced by mental images of the game, I kept picturing a Jason mask and bloody cleaver and imagining Slaughterhouse Five was some kind of gory horror novel which was nonetheless in possession of sufficient literary merit that liberal-minded Americans considered it as worthy of “classic” status. Needless to say, I was puzzled.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

A Correct Approach

March 7, 2012

I was blown away by Jonathan Franzen’s novel, The Corrections. It was a fantastic and thoroughly engaging read, but I lack the inclination to extrapolate on that sentiment here and attempt to spin it into a five hundred word post. Instead, I’ll merely provide a little anecdotal observation about the author and his novel that is intended as a blogged love letter of sorts.

Not long after it was first published, there was a mild controversy surrounding The Corrections and its being selected by Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, which also saw Franzen invited on to the sofa to sit by the empress of daytime chat shows and discuss the novel. Actually, given the relatively harmless context of literary entertainment here, let’s call it a mere brouhaha rather than a controversy. Franzen balked at his book being selected by Oprah, objecting on the grounds that the novel would be seen as having been written for women, primarily for the consumption of a female readership, when he, in fact, wanted to reach adult male readers whom he believed weren’t reading enough. He expressed his misgivings concerning the selection for Oprah’s Book Club in interviews and his invitation to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s chat show was subsequently withdrawn. Commenting on the reasons for his objection Franzen said

So much of reading is sustained in this country, I think, by the fact that women read while men are off golfing or watching football on TV or playing with their flight simulator or whatever.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Shit My Late Grandfather Said

March 7, 2012

(In response to the question, “how are you doing?”)

“Fucking terrible! I don’t know whether my arsehole is punched or bored.”

I’d never heard that magnificent expression before, nor since. The old man was describing the onset of his dementia and it would become one of the last lucid things I heard him say.