Saturday, October 28, 2006

Part Toe-Siks

Hallo. Hallo. Hallo.

You people all have hands. They are all ...normal hands. Five fingers und some hair. But mine are very rare. Do you know why?

Do you know why? I’ll tell you why. Tell you why.

Your hands are bananas.
Your hands are bananas.

Frau Spots. Und Frau Stripes. Und Frau Spots. Und Frau Stripes. Frau Spots! Und Frau Stripes! Frau Spots und Frau Stripes und also Frau Spots.

Ooowh. Ooowh. Ooowh. Aaaah. John has never had chili. No, no, never had chili. John has never had chili. Ever in his life. He doesn’t like chili.

Dobbelganger, dobbelganger, dobbelganger, dobbel dobbel dobbel dobbelganger.

Keep ze monkeys away from my hands! Keep ze monkeys away from the hands! Keep the monkeys away from his hands! Keep the monkeys away from the hands! We are ze monkeys. We are ze monkeys.

Beware the Milky Pirate.

Circly square. Squarely circle.

Do you want a banana? Do you want a banana? Okay.

“Hands are Bananas”
-Giggling Monkey

Monday, October 23, 2006

Part Toe-Faif

Today a friend asked me: ‘What the hell is a phantomape anyway?’ Good question.
I’ll try to answer it.

You see, it’s not really an ape. It is in fact a simple tarsier, but phantomlike. If you are wondering what a tarsier is, I’ll go into my serious mode.

Tarsiers are members of the Tarsius genus of prosimian primates, monotypic in the Tarsiidae family and Tarsiiformes infraorder. The entire infraorder was previously classified in the Strepsirhini suborder, but now classified in the Haplorrhini suborder, although they are not considered to be monkeys. Tarsiers have enormous eyes and long feet. Their feet have extremely elongated tarsus bones, which is how they got their name, and most are nocturnal. They are primarily insectivorous, and catch insects by jumping at them. They are also known to prey on birds and snakes. Gestation takes about six months, and tarsiers give birth to single offspring. Once found in Asia, Europe and North America, tarsiers are now only found on several Southeast Asian islands including the Philippines, Sulawesi, Borneo, and Sumatra. When caged, some tarsiers have been known to injure and even kill themselves because of the stress.

– end of serious mode-

The phantomy part is quite easy to explain. You see, when a stressed-out tarsier dies, good old whatever’s-up-there doesn’t let him reincarnate his little furry self, but assigns him to a mentally unstable troubled young soul who could use a ghostlike bug-eating friend to guide him through life. If he does his job, he will become a foxy stewardess with large hooters in his next life.

How I ended up with one, is still a mystery.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Arthur Schopenhauer

Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said, "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind.

Books are humanity in print.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

D.H. Lawrence

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species-

Presentable, eminently presentable-
shall I make you a present of him?

Isn't he handsome? Isn't he healthy? Isn't he a fine specimen?
Doesn't he look like the fresh clean englishman, outside?
Isn't it god's own image? Tramping his thirty miles a day
after partridges, or a little rubber ball?
Wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the thing?

Oh, but wait!
Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another man's need,
let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life face him with a new
demand on his understanding
and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.
Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.
Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new demand on his
a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species-

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable-
and like a fungus, living on the remains of bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life than his own.

And even so, he's stale, he's been here too long.
Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside
just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow
under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings
rather nasty-
How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp England
what a pity they can't all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England.

- D.H. Lawrence, 'How Beastly the Bourgeois Is'

William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art, could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, what dread hand? And what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears and water'd heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forest of the night, what immortal hand or eye dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

- William Blake, 'The Tyger'

George Gordon Byron

'Twas, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night; no moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud by gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was bright with the piled wood, round which the family crowd; there's something cheerful in that sort of light, even as a summer sky's without a cloud. I'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that,
a lobster-salad, and champagne, and chat.

- George Gordon Byron, 'Don Juan'

Roman Dirge

'round and 'round the cobbler's bench WOO The monkey chased the weasel WEEE The monkey thought it was all in fun POP goes the weasel! oh my god! Hold on little buddy! Hold on! A penny for a spool of thread - a penny for a needle... Buy them! I'll form rudimentary stitches! That's the way the money goes... POP goes the weasel! NOOOOOO A half a pound of tupenny rice - a half a pound of treacle Wha..what's a treacle? Mix it up and make it nice...I always loved you weasel...RUN MONKEY! POP goes the weasel!

- Roman Dirge, 'Pop goes the weasel'

Neil Gaiman

Rook: corvius frugilegus. Also a word meaning to cheat or steal. Also a piece in chess. Rooks are the most social of the corvidae. They build nests in rookeries (an obsolete name, incidentally, for a ghetto of thieves and whores), many hundreds of birds to a tree. They have enough of a language that even humans can tell the difference between their danger calls and their all-clear calls. They can imitate human speech. But there's something else: the mystery. It's a mystery from which we derive the collective noun we use for these birds. Like a murder of crows, a tiding of magpies, an unkindness of ravens...a parliament of rooks.

You'll get a field. Empty. Suddenly, the sky is black with birds, and they fall like a ragged black rain onto a field, covering it completely. Or almost completely... in the center of the field, there's an empty space. And in the middle of that space sits one lone rook. It caws, and calls, and caws some more. Then thousand little eyes stare at it, unflinching. Sometimes they call out, as if they're asking questions. It's like a parliament. It's like a trial. The lone rook continues to caw and the others wait. This can go on for hours. From dawn till near dusk.

Only one of two things could happen. Either the birds take wing as one, leaving the lone rook alone in the field...or, again as one, they fall on the bird, and peck it to death. Why? It's a mystery.

- Neil Gaiman, 'Parliament of Rooks', The Sandman Fables & Reflections

Douglas Coupland

I stood up and was considering this drop of blood when a pair of small fat arms grabbed around my waist, fat arms bearing fat dirty hands tipped with cracked fingernails. It was one of the mentally retarded teenagers, a girl in a sky blue calico dress, trying to pull my head down to her level. I could see her long, streaky, fine blond hair from my height, and she was drooling somewhat as she said, urrd, meaning bird, several times.

I bowed down on my knees again before her while she inspected my talon cut, hitting it gently with an optimistic and healing staccato caress - it was the faith-healing gesture of a child consoling a doll that has been dropped.

- Douglas Coupland, 'Generation X'

William Shakespeare

Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this Player here, but in a fiction, in a dream of passion, could force his soul so to his whole conceit, that from her working, all his visage wann'd; tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms, to his conceit? And all for nothing? For Hecuba? What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he should weep for her? What would he do, had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have? He would drown the stage with tears, and cleave the general ear with horrid speech: make mad the guilty, and appal the free, confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed, the very faculty of eyes and ears. Yet I, a dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing: no, not for a King, upon whose property, and most dear life, a damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? Breaks my pate across? Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by th' nose? Gives me the lie i' th' throat, as deep as to the lungs? Who does me this? Ha? Why, I should take it: for it cannot be, but I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall to make oppression bitter, or ere this, I should have fatted all the region kites with this slave's offal, bloody, bawdy villain, remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O vengeance! Why, what an ass am I? Ay sure, this is most brave, that I, the son of my dear murthered, prompted to my revenge by Heaven, and Hell, must (like a whore) unpack my heart with words, and fall a-cursing like a very drab. A scullion! Fie upon't: foh. About my brain.

- William Shakespeare, 'Hamlet' act two, scene two

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man, self-called George Sand! Whose soul, amid the lions of thy tumultuous senses, moans defiance. And answers roar for roar, as spirits can: I would some mild miraculous thunder ran above the applauded circus, in appliance of thine own nobler nature's strenght and science, drawing two pinions, white as wings of swan, from thy strong shoulders, to amaze the place with holier light! That thou to woman's claim and man's, mightst join beside the angel's grace. Of a pure genius sanctified from blame, till child and maiden pressed to thine embrace. To kiss upon thy lips a stainless frame.

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "To George Sand, a desire."

Chuck Palahniuk

Imagine going to your senior prom every night for the rest of your life. Every night, another stage set made of South American cut flowers and zillions of white twinkle lights. An ice sculpture and a champagne fountain and a band in white dinner jackets playing some Cole Porter tune. Every stage set built to parade Arab royalty and Internet boy wonders. Too many people made rich fast by venture capital. Those people who never linger on any landmass longer than it takes to service their jet. These people with no imagination, they just flop open Town & Country and say:

I want that.

At every benefit for child abuse, everyone walked around on two legs and ate crème brûlée with a mouth, their lips plumped with the same derma fillers. Looking at the same Cartier watch, the same time surrounded with the same diamonds. The same Harry Winston necklace around a neck sculpted long and thin with hatha yoga. Everyone climbed in or out different colors of the same Lexus sedan.

No one was impressed. Every night was a complete and utter social stalemate.

- Chuck Palahniuk, ‘Haunted’

Stewie Griffin

Ow you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice litte story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? You know...the novel you've been workin' on? You know the the one, uh, you've been workin on for three years? You know the novel. Got somethin' new to write about now. You know? Maybe a, maybe a main character gets into a relationship and suffers a little heartbreak? Somethin' like what... what you've just been through? Draw from real life experience? Little, little heartbreak? You know? Work it into the story? Make the characters a little more three dimensional? Little, uh, richer experience for the reader? Make those second hundred pages really keep the reader guessing what's going to happen? Some twists and turns? A little epilogue? Everybody learns that the hero's journey isn't always a happy one? Oh, I look forward to reading it.

- Stewie Griffin, 'Family Guy'

A Cat

Day 751: My captors continue to torment me with bizarre dangling objects. They eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of eventual escape -- that, and the satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining some piece of their furniture. I fear I may be going insane. Yesterday, I ate a houseplant. Tomorrow I may eat another.

- A Cat’s Diary

T.S. Eliot

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.

- T.S. Eliot, ‘The Wasteland – I. The Burial of the Dead’

Robert Henryson

A first of all Saturne gave his sentence, quhilk gave to Cupide litill reverence, bot, as ane busteous Churle on his maneir, come crabitlie with auster luik and cheir. His face fronsit, his lyre was lyke the leid, his teith chatterit, and cheverit with the chin, his ene drowpit, how sonkin in his heid, out of his nois the meldrop fast can rin, with lippis bla and cheikis leine and thin; the iseschoklis that fra his hair doun hang was wonder greit, and as ane speir als lang. Atouir his belt his lyart lokkis lay felterit unfair, ovirfret with froistis hoir, his garmound and his gyis full gay of gray, his widderit weid fra him the wind out woir; ane busteous bow within his hand he boir, under his girdill ane flasche of felloun flanis, fedderit with ice, and heidit with hailstanis.

- Robert Henryson, ‘The Testament of Cresseid’

Anthony Burgess

We sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what these mestos were like, things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no licence for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which could give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels and Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet milk with knives in it, as we used to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this evening.

- Anthony Burgess, ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Julius Caesar

Tu quoque Brute, file mi!

- Caesar’s last words.

Sylvia Plath

I? I walk alone; the midnight street spins itself from under my feet; when my eyes shut these dreaming houses all snuff out; through a whim of mine. Over gables the moon's celestial onion hangs high.

I make houses shrink and trees diminish. By going far; my look’s leash dangles the puppet-people who, unaware how they dwindle, laugh, kiss, get drunk, nor guess that if I choose to blink, they die. I, when in good humor, give grass its green, blazon sky blue, and endow the sun with gold; yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold absolute power to boycott any color and forbid any flower to be.

I know you appear vivid at my side, denying you sprang out of my head, claiming you feel love fiery enough to prove flesh real, though it's quite clear all you beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear, from me.

- Sylvia Plath, ‘Soliloquy of the Solipsist’

Charles Baudelaire

Ma pauvre muse, hélas! Qu'as-tu donc ce matin? Tes yeux creux sont peuplés de visions nocturnes, et je vois tour à tour réfléchis sur ton teint la folie et l'horreur, froides et taciturnes. Le succube verdâtre et le rose lutin t'ont-ils versé la peur et l'amour de leurs urnes? Le cauchemar, d'un poing despotique et mutin, t'a-t-il noyée au fond d'un fabuleux Minturnes? Je voudrais qu'exhalant l'odeur de la santé, ton sein de pensers forts fût toujours fréquenté, et que ton sang chrétien coulât à flots rythmiques, comme les sons nombreux des syllabes antiques, où règnent tour à tour le père des chansons, Phoebus, et le grand Pan, le seigneur des moissons.

- Charles Baudelaire, ‘La Muse Malade’

Lewis Carroll

All this time the Queen had never left off staring at the Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the court, she said to one of the officers of the court, ‘Bring me the list of the singers in the last concert!’ on which the wretched Hatter trembled so, that he shook both his shoes off.
‘Give your evidence,’ the King repeated angrily, ‘or I’ll have you executed, whether you’re nervous or not.’
‘I’m a poor man, your Majesty,’ the Hatter began, in a trembling voice, ‘-and I hadn’t begun my tea – not above a week or so – and what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin – and the twinkling of the tea-‘
‘The twinkling of the what?’ said the King.
‘It began with the tea,’ the Hatter replied.
‘Of course twinkling begins with a T!’ said the King sharply. ‘Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!’
‘I’m a poor man,’ the Hatter went on, ‘and most things twinkled after that – only the March Hare said-‘
‘I didn’t!’ The March Hare interrupted in a great hurry.
‘You did!’ said the Hatter.
‘I deny it!’ said the March Hare.
‘He denies it,’ said the King, ‘leave out that part.’
‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said – ‘ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too, but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep.
‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter – ‘
‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked.
‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter.

- Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ – who stole the tarts?

Jhonen Vasquez

A while back, I saw a movie with these giant insects running around in the sewers, behaving pretty much like monsters do in Hollywood pictures. But one thing about the picture really got my attention – a part when those two little kids actually got ripped apart and eaten by a giant bug! I clapped and admired the filmmaker for not being a weenie. Now. I wasn’t applauding the simple fact that the kids got eaten (amusing as it certainly was) – No. I was happy that the director did not shy away from what turned out to be a wonderfully effective use of the nastiness. Remember when Steven Spielberg used to use that effect in movies like Jaws? Now he seems to just throw kids in to catch a bigger audience, one that knows he won’t be so awful as to have anything bad happen to them cute little children. Then…I began thinking of making a movie whose sole purpose is to test the tolerance of that moronic American audience. Something to make people get sick. Think of the power a filmmaker would wield if they could actually drive a person to illness!

During the twenty minute credit sequence, the audience will be treated to a high pitched audio medley of screaming crack-babies and mating howler monkeys. To calm their jangled nerves, the film begins with some typical Hollywood garbage. In the classic tradition, ethnicity means a deathmark and a reason to motivate that noble white guy. A female character is introduced and, of course, the males in the audience will sit patiently through the plot, to see if she gets naked. Just when the audience begins to get comfortable, an actual story with depth begins, making them have to pay attention. They get angry. THEN…a scene begins with the arrival of a giant monster approaching a little kid. Special effects attract the eyes of the restless crowd. The audience smiles, wanting something awful to happen to the kid. Jokes are made, and giggling sets in. And the creature DOES do something awful! It snatches the kid into it’s jaws. The audience howls with laughter, having had their ugly expectations fulfilled. The laughter continues for a bit, as the scene continues. Three minutes pass, and the child still alive and screaming, is still being chewed on, lazily, like a gobstopper. After four minutes of this, the audience begins feeling uncomfortable. Some still giggle, but nervously. After five minutes of the constant screaming and chewing noises, people begin looking around the theatre, more than a little uncomfortable with the scene on the screen. They wonder if there is anybody in the projection booth. As people try to leave the theatre, they find locked doors. The soundtrack rises to a deafening level, chewing and screaming, and chewing. TEN minutes have passed and still the kid ain’t dead. And then…we cut to a tranquil scene, with our hero and the female character destined to nudity. You know a film is getting bad when you really start wishing for unnecessary nudity. The men in the audience forget the trauma of the screaming chew-kid, and drool. Of course, the women are not excluded as our here is a handsome one. Hot stuff indeed! Upon arriving at our heroin’s domicile, it is apparant that battle is not the only things our leads will do together. Though they have only known each other for less than a day, ‘clever’ writing will find some way to make them fall madly in love with each other. At least enough to have sex. Groins sensing the impending exposure of ‘purdy stuff’. Goons in the audience murmur lecherously. interruption in the onscreen foreplay. Our female lead becomes ill all over herself. Vomiting ensues for several minutes. Once again uncertain as to what to hell is going on, it becomes apparant that this is no ordinary love scene. The ‘love’ scene that ensues is the most grotesque perversion of obscenity most of the audience will ever see. The soundtrack for this scene is the overamplified sounds of someone stirring a large, saucy bowl of spaghetti and Mac’N’Cheese. Close-ups of veins are nice too. You can rest assured it’s pretty fucking sick. And we cut to a MUSICAL NUMBER!! After all the nightmare, a cute, happy song is in order. A cute, nightmarishly repetitive song. Some of the children begin to come out of their fright induced comas, and dance. The parents tolerate the idiocy, glad the sex is over. But soon, they see that nothing has changed as far as the intent of the movie is concerned. The volume escalates to a head and then some heads actually begin to explode. I dunno..I am very tired. I want this text to be over with. I need food. Then SILENCE..beautiful, sanity restoring silence. The people thank whatever god they pray to for the end of the nightmare of noise, of screaming, of hideous boobies. The silence goes on for another minute or so, and the audience is too stunned to think of escape. And then…AAAARGH!!!!

The doors unlock after two hours of this awful movie. Of course, it loses money as it is closed down only days after opening. Payed for out of my own pocket, the film renders me penniless. Reading the reviews of the most unbearable film in recent history, I laugh maniacally. I reallly do. Then I pass out due to malnutrition. But I realize my efforts to sicken the populace were all for nothing, as the late night cinema circuit begins showing my movie every Saturday, drawing a cult audience who dresses up like idiots in support of my trash. I kill myself. End.

- Jhonen Vasquez, ‘A Horrible film directed by Jhonen Vasquez’

Christopher Marlowe

Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? Or why is this immortal that thou hast? Ah, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis, were that true, this soul should fly from me and I be changed unto some brutish beast. All beasts are happy, for, when they die, their souls are soon dissolved in elements; but mine must live still be plagued in hell. Curst be the parents that engendered me! No, Faustus, curse thyself. Curse Lucifer, that hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven. The clock striketh twelve. O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air, or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell. Thunder and lightning. O soul, be changed into little waterdrops, and fall into the ocean, ne’er be found! My God, my God, look not so fierce on me! Enter Lucifer, Mephistopheles and other devils. Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while! Ugly hell, gape not. Come not, Lucifer! I’ll burn my books. Ah, Mephistopheles! The devils exeunt with him.

- Christopher Marlowe, “Dr Faustus, A text”, act five scene two

Jack Kerouac

After a while my meditations and studies began to bear fruit. It really started late in January, one frosty night in the woods in the dead silence it seemed I almost heard the words said: “Everything is all right forever and forever and forever.” I let out a big Hoo, one o’clock in the morning, the dogs leaped up and exulted. I felt like yelling it to the stars. I clasped my hands and prayed, “O wise and serene spirit of Awakenhood, everything’s all right forever and forever and forever and thank you thank you thank you amen.” What’d I care about the tower of ghouls, and sperm and bones and dust, I felt free and therefore I was free.

- Jack Kerouac, ‘The Dharma Bums’, chapter twenty

Tom Stoppard

Nor do I, really…It’s silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead…which should make a difference…shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air – you’d wake up dead, for a start and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That’s the bit I don’t like, frankly. That’s why I don’t think of it…because you’d be helpless, wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean you’d be in there for ever. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead, really…ask yourself, if I asked you straight off – I’m going to stuff you in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead? Naturally, you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking – Well, at least I’m not dead! In a minute someone’s going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. “Hey you, whatsyername! Come out of there!”

- Tom Stoppard, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead”