BLOG THIS! Highly Suspect Wisdom for the Widely Disinterested Masses
We suddenly have an invasion of ants, First time in twelve years we've had a single one. We also now have rats. I can hear them digging and burrowing around the side windows at 3:53 in the morning. I get up and they stare at me like, "Yeah, what are you gonna do?" The smoke from Eastern WA and California and Siberia is so thick we can't open the windows or go outside. It's like a bad movie with a lesser Baldwin about a volcano, except this one doesn't get miraculously put out with a nuke or a helicopter full of pudding right before the credits. You can't inhale without gagging and supposedly breathing the air without a mask for an hour is the same as smoking ten packs of Lucky Strikes, and even walking the dog seems seriously unwise, if not insane. And there is, of course, the hovering cloud of mucousy aerosolized Covid that every single person you pass is potentially coating you with. Still, we're lucky here in Seattle. It's grim, but it's not the end of the world. Or is it? Can anyone make a cogent argument for current politics being even remotely defensible? Let alone the motivations of these imbeciles as pictured above? Are some people really too dumb to be alive? If everyone at this rally were hauled away in a convoy of trucks and turned into mulch to seed the gardens in Sudan, would the world be one iota worse off? Of course, the supposed moderates will cave, as they always do, and RBG will be replaced with a FOX talking head who thinks the John Birch Society, if you really think about it, actually had a few good ideas, but screw it, health care is Socialist tyranny. Of course, no one who thinks that had last second emergency pancreatic surgery and spent the final seconds of their life paying off mob-Kaiser-debt, but screw them, if they weren't so weak, John Galt, they wouldn't have gotten sick at all, would they? Meanwhile it's all Ronnie James Dio all the time here in Seattle, because vaguely satanic and truly, deeply stupid music is the only thing that makes sense anymore.
Has The Paper Come Yet?
Today In Fat Celluloid #2: As mentioned previously, I've decided to post some images I made between 1987-91, during the time that I was certain I would go on to be a filmmaker/photographer. For various reasons, both obvious and obscure, neither of those things happened. All the images in this series were shot on 35mm film with a Canon AE-1, using natural light. They were hand-developed and printed. The prints have been digitized in order to share them this way, but none have been digitally enhanced. Today's Fat Celluloid is called "She Walks The Line."
Wooden Ships On The Water
Today In Fat Celluloid #1: I've decided to post some images I made between 1987-91, during the time that I was certain I would go on to be a filmmaker/photographer. For various reasons, both obvious and obscure, neither of those things happened. All the images in this series were shot on 35mm film with a Canon AE-1, using natural light. They were hand-developed and printed, first in a collegiate darkroom and then later in the tiny darkroom (converted closet) in the apartment on Guerrero Street I shared with my then-girlfriend (not happy about the loss of sweater-hanging space) in San Francisco. I used an ancient Beseler enlarger, thrift store bins, and suspect chemistry, but it worked. The prints have been digitized in order to share them this way, but none have been digitally enhanced. Today's Fat Celluloid is called "H & A Day-Drinking In The Upstairs Apartment."
Misty Mountain Hop
Found this Polaroid in a box a while back. I'm going to say this is circa 1983, or 9th grade, during the depth of my Zeppelin obsession. I was so proud of those albums and played them incessantly, washing dishes at Liugi's Pizza for $3.25 an hour after school to acquire them. Liugi, for what it's worth, always tried to short me at the end of the night, apparently under the impression that I was so sodden with bleach, fettuccini scraps, and rank marinara that I was unable to calculate 5 x 3.25 in my head. As revenge for being corrected, he often paid me in quarters. Eventually I was able to save up for that (truly horrible) SoundDesign rack component system, the pride of the electronics department at Caldor, which included built-in cassette, 8-track, and equalizer. The best thing about the equalizer was that no matter how you configured the sliders, the output always sounded exactly the same. No need to even get into speaker quality (lengths of yarn stapled from amp to empty Pro Keds shoeboxes would have sounded better). Even so, not having to share my dad's system down in the family room was pure liberation. In a sudden burst of Mao-esque cultural awakening, no doubt due to insights gained from a particularly affecting episode of Eight Is Enough, my sister was suddenly allowed to get a phone jack in her room, while I was permitted a stereo. For me it was like the doors of the Gulag being kicked off their hinges and sprinting through the high Siberian wheat in dirty clogs, humming "Jesus Just Left Chicago" at top volume. If you're wondering what other records were there in my burgeoning collection, I have a near-photographic memory: Sabbath, Hendrix, Traffic, ELO, Neil Young, Aerosmith, Janis, Jethro Turd, Kinks, Yes, Beatles, the first three Van Halen, Scorpions, Pyromania, Stones. Plus a bunch of off-brand rock no one has ever heard of that I inherited from my uncle; Sky Saxon, Ten Years After, The Flock, Genya Ravan, Gun, Sugarloaf, Canned Heat, Ram Jam, Moby Grape, Al Kooper Super Session. Plus my latest acquisitions, the first few tentative forays into a whole new world that would soon slap me by the bass clef and box my Cum On Feel The Noize ears, changing everything forever: early Police, Talking Heads, Adam Ant, Brian Eno, Violent Femmes, Tubeway Army, Chrome, Zappa, Velvet Underground. Not a single one of those records (except Chrome) survived my First Big Purge a few years later, traded in for a handful of Punk/Hardcore, which in turn did not survive the Second Big Purge as I transitioned into jazz, but those early Zeppelins served me well. Until they didn't anymore.
*I had every single album, so not sure why Zeppelin II isn't pictured in the array. Probably on the turntable.
**The fact that I grew up in a small, dark room with brown carpet and plaid wallpaper should explain a lot.
Older, not wiser, no less in love
Yes, like every other 9 yr old boy in America, I was deeply, helplessly in love with Diana Rigg. The flared-eyed concentration. The pouty-lipped determination. The Mod Squad ironed hair and wooden steering wheel and velvet driving gloves. But mainly the nose, which cleaved the air before her like the prow of an Icebreaker forcing its way through the Northwest Passage. Sure, there was "The Avengers," and all the various delights it offered, including the simple linguistic pleasure of the name "Emma Peel." I also really loved her as Clytemnestra in the TV movie of "Oresteia" that I watched with my father on our green and yellow plaid couch, or Portia in 1970's "Julius Caesar." She was great in the bitterly acidic "The Hospital" opposite the acidulous George C. Scott. She was wasted as "Tracy" in one of the weaker Bonds, "On Her Majesty's Secret Blah Blah Blah," and although it could be said that all women in all Bond films were mere bikini-garland, from Ursula Andress to Denise Richards, Diana rose above them, despite the script, out of sheer self-possession alone. But my favorite role of hers might well be in "Theater of Blood," where she wore a white turtleneck and huge bouffant of Maria Conchita Alonso from Total Recall hair piled up on top of her head the entire film, too busy outrunning the axe of a blood-lusting Vincent Price to hit the salon and straighten that action back into the accepted and comforting Peel style.
RIP Diana, already missed.
Books I Should Have Cracked
Oh, like the reality of the virus, where it came from, where China is, the link between vaccines and autism, the way in which the stock market has little or no effect on the actual economy, who Karl Marx was and what he really wrote, what deficits really mean, the history of the Civil Rights movement, the War On Christmas, the origins of the slave trade, where Columbus actually landed (wasn't America!), the true and ugly nature of the Pilgrims, Fred Hampton, Papal conspiracy theories, the origins of Mormanism, Opus Dei, Bill Barr and Clarence Thomas' affiliation with Opus Dei, Robert Mercer and/or Cambridge Analytica, Gerrymandering, redlining, Shirley Chisholm, John Lincoln Rockwell, Trickle Down economics, Alan Greenspan's involvement in Ayn Rand's sex cult, Newt Gigrich's Contract With (against) America, Clinton's crime bill, Jeffrey Epstein's plane, Trump on Jeffrey Epstein's plane, Joan Quigley's influence over Ronald Reagan, Fawn Hall, George W. Bush being a male cheerleader at Yale, George W. Bush not being a Texan at all, Trump's grandfather being an immigrant, their last name being Drumf at the time, Grossvater Drumf being a white immigrant so it's cool, Trump's father being a low-level bagman for the mob, Roy Cohn, the Mark Burnett tapes, Deutschebank, vast money laundering through multiple hotel properties and golf resorts by unnamed persons, Devin Nunes' cow-suing, how buying non-HPBA plastic is a scam, the floating trash island in the North Pacific being the size of Texas, nurdles, Scaramucci, the reason for carrying Tiki Torches, where the phrase "shining city on a hill" really comes from, the ricotta-spine of Lyndsey Graham, climate change and/or climate death, defunding police, the constitutionality of the usage of executive orders, deliberately killing the post office in order to privatize it, handing out those privatization contracts to wealthy donors, where all the bees are going, the forty-two credible women claiming sexual assault, sun spots, losers and suckers, Filet O' Fish, Birtherism, Kamala-ism, Pence and the Rapture, not one glacier left, Kubrick's faked moonwalk, but mainly, the moist, reptilian, and utterly rapacious gaze of Jarred Kushner and the way in which I am quite sure, if left alone in a room together, he would eat my spleen.
Time to refresh wikileaks. Or maybe that's wikipedia.
Wait, Is That Eddie Vedder?
Is it just my imagination, or does this guy seem like a complete knob? And what is so best-selling about that "iconic" jacket, which looks like every other vaguely denim-ish jacket in a vaguely not-black color ever made? And why is he holding a can of what purports to be some artisanal small batch IPA brewed with fresh, clear mountain water that was no doubt actually mass produced beneath a YMCA in Camden? And why does his hair look like he just spent the last six hours standing directly behind the fan of a swamp boat somewhere deep in the Everglades? And why is he simultaneously wearing both black Chuck Taylors and what is clearly a twenty-thousand dollar watch? And did he borrow his mustache, at a very attractive per-hour rate, from TV's Tom Selleck, star of the highly underrated Magnum P.I.? And what is he staring off so balefully into the distance at? Some redneck tailgate before the Rapture kicks off? A squadron of Nazi attack dirigibles coming in for yet another strafing run? A charging caribou that just gored half the French photography team? Will the fey crook of his other hand and clear attempt to appeal to the crucial 19-29 Gender Fluidity market calm the snorting beast? Finally, don't you hate the name "Huckberry" for a clothing company? It conjures notes of Twain, buttery fingers with no napkins, marmalade, and bad harmonica. It sounds like the worst song on an album of terrible Mumford&Sons songs. It sounds like a misused ampersand. They keep putting this goddamn ad in my feed and for some reason it whispers to me, tells me that our culture is dead, thoroughly flatlined, crushed by a tsunami of ill-considered branding and the immorality of Indonesian labor. It tells me such culture as we have left will not, in fact, be revived like hipster Lazarus by a $280 waxed, flannel-lined trucker jacket now on sale plus get an extra 10% off by using code RONJEREMYSTACHE at checkout. Have you ever met a real trucker who wouldn't just shrug and calmly take a beating from twelve other truckers behind a Dairy Queen for just wearing the thing? But hey, as long as we're being brutally honest here, I am forced to admit that the main problem is the degree to which I'm secretly terrified, given the deep and evil Zuckerberg analytics, about what the endless repetition of this ad in my feed ultimately says about me.