I was scared of the Hansel and Gretel Witch when I was a kid, but then Bugs Bunny took care of her. The Wicked Witch of the West was the source of my first existential moment, but she never out and out terrified me. Oddly enough, Witchiepoo on H.R. Pufnstuf did. Her castle wasn’t believable and her bumbling servants were irritating, but there was still something unsettling about her. Or maybe I was just jacked up on too much sugar. And then there was Samantha on Bewitched. After that, witches just lost their wickedness.
Monthly Archives: October 2013
I have a vivid memory from Grade 9 of a Vincent Price recording, reading a short story about a man who everyone thinks is dead – but is just paralyzed and unable to communicate his consciousness – and ends up sealed and screaming in a coffin. It is a terrifying notion played out in our nightmares, a fear like no other…and according to a news story circulated some years ago, there is a possibility attached to it at least during surgery.
30,000 Awake During Surgery
Patients say it feels like being trapped in a corpse: They awake during surgery, unable to move or scream. Anesthesia awareness occurs in 1 or 2 of every 1,000 surgical patients — possibly more often in children — and is thought to happen to roughly 30,000 Americans each year. Some just have fleeting memories of things they heard, but others describe “white-hot pain” and terror, triggering long-term emotional problems.Carol Weihrer said she heard the doctor give instructions: “Cut deeper, pull harder.” “I actually saw them cut the optic nerve when everything went black,” I was thinking, praying, cursing, plotting, pleading, trying to crawl off the gurney, trying to kick, scream, move any part of my body to let them know I was awake. I was entombed in my corpse.” Kathy LaBrie also suffered awareness during surgery, hearing “the sound of pushing and grinding and the surgeon talking to the nurses about the kind of car he had. … I tried moving my arms and legs — I couldn’t do anything. I thought I was dying.”
The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade
The Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) is known for many things, not the least of which is his namesake, sadism; however as demented as he may appear, there is a stated method to his madness, much of which is laid out in his novel Justine:You are astonished by cruel tastes? What is the aim of the pleasure-seeking man? Is it not to arouse his senses in every way possible, and thereby to get the most pleasure from the final crisis? The most ridiculous in the world is doubtless to want to argue about people’s tastes, to challenge them, to blame men for them, or to punish them if they are not in conformity, either with the laws of the country in which one lives, or with social conventions. Indeed! Men will never understand that there are no tastes, however bizarre, however criminal they may supposed to be, that do not derive from the kind of make-up we are given by Nature! The imagination of Man is a faculty of the mind in which objects are conjured up and modified, and thoughts are formed via the organ of the senses. I am sure you have seen mirrors of differing shapes, some which reduce objects in size while others enlarge them; the latter make them look awful, the former lend them charm. Such is the human imagination. Now if we concede that the pleasures of the senses are always dependent on the imagination, always governed by the imagination, we cannot be surprised by the number of variations that the imagination can create for these pleasures, by the infinite multiplicity of tastes and different passions to which the different deviations of the imagination will give rise. Although lewd, these tastes should not startle us more than those of a simple nature.
I recently made a brief comment on youtube regarding Gravity: Music works well. Film doesn’t. I received this reply:
What kind of sick reality are you living in??
I returned to the youtube site to find an official youtube message regarding my post: This comment has received too many negative votes.
I was curious about what is “too many” and why there are so many. I don’t mind being on the other side of the fence and fielding differences of opinions; however I do struggle with this weird electronic world where so many ill-thought words are spat.
I’ll tell you what everyone is like. Ever think about torture? Ever think about what that is? People torturing others, I mean, people actually willing to literally torture another person, strap someone down and torture, tear off their fucking fingernails, put wire through their flesh, burn their fucking eyes out, what the fuck else? These people will watch, just watch, another person freak out and scream. And for what? Because they fucking can. Because they can get away with it. That’s who we are. That’s what this is about. We’re fucked. We’re so completely and entirely fucked. (from my bad side)
Ofri Cnaani’s “Moon Guardians”
Ofri Cnaani’s Moon Guardians opened in New York’s Meatpacking District last night. The More Art installation features four different personalities – an elderly couple, gallery owner, drag queen and butcher – from the area’s historic past.Ofri Cnaani’s piece is subtle, quietly inhabiting a corner of Gansevoort Square, a busy place swarming with people all about. It is a good place to contemplate, even in the chilly evening, and watch so many others race to wherever they have to get.
When I presented my first novel, The Sacred Whore, to my mother, she grimaced. “Where am I in there?”
My family is certainly a grow-op of raw material but it lacks the dynamics needed for a good story. One of my earliest, and clunkiest attempts – Fashion for the Apocalypse – an awkward thing that must stay buried in the backyard, is exhaustive in meandering ruminations and presents family in a tedious and pointless light.
“How’s your dinner?” My mother peered over at me. “I made two extra vegetables for you. We’re having chicken.”
I looked at my broccoli, beans, tomatoes and potatoes on my plate. “It”s delicious.”
While I’ve stuck with writing what I know, I’ve learned to tighten and hone. From Black Ice:
My mother grabbed the arm of my shirt. “What happened? What were you thinking of?”
“I didn’t do anything! He just stopped breathing.”
“How, Cameron?” My father was across the room, holding my dead brother’s jacket. “How did he stop breathing?”
“I don’t know. He just…stopped.”
“You suffocated him!?” My mother wrenched my arm up. “Did you suffocate him?!”
My father rolled the jacket under his arm. “Michelle…”
I was surprised how calm he was, how slowly he took my mother’s arm and pulled her back.
“We have to stay calm.”
It’s a balancing act, finding those moments, making them into something that is true, just not too true, because that can be really boring.
Banksy’s New York residency has been a frenzied thing.His works are thronged by an adoring mob one moment and then defaced by angry individuals the next.
It’s an ugly circus, funny and not, conveying something we already knew: The city is full of idiots.
The Generators: Excerpt from “The Ark”
From the opening chapter of The Ark, Dee takes Apollo out for a walk after Hurricane Sandy:
I took Apollo out toward Broadway. A threatening row of generators, inert grey metal boxes the size of trucks, lined the streets, steel bars and locks, red electric bolts along the rusted edges, thick cables and tubes clumped out across the sidewalk, into doorways, droning fierce metal on metal. A misery came into me, a weighty nothing, the tininess in my head gone. I was worthless. I knew that. It wasn’t just death, the meaningless of that, my stupid realization of my impending deterioration, but the clear pathetic thud of utter meaninglessness. It was this street, this fleeting attempt against the waters taking everything back, the cables and machines, the buildings and walls, huddled in the sharp early light, waiting for the inevitable next. Apollo pulled hard to the garbage truck and pissed.
An internet job site recently sent me the following posting:
Good news! The Career Center has found 1 new job that meets your job alert criteria:.Custodian, Full-time Evening (Atherton CA)
Neither do I have experience as a custodian nor do I live anywhere near Atherton, California which, at 2,933 miles, would be 4-day commute.
Maybe the job market is tougher than I thought.
Oh! Oh! Banksy! Banksy!
The latest Bansky frenzy gathered on 24th Street in Chelsea’s Gallery District. Not even NY1 could get through the crowds. Things are calmer back on Staples Street now. Where the Banksy is now under glass.