Sunday, May 27, 2007

The D/L

Like: The sound of someone walking a bike.
Dislike: People who hold their partner's neck as they stroll.
L: That my friend Joel has one of the most impressive standing vertical jumps.
D: Flipping the pillow to only find that its warm.
L: Waterworld - The Director's Cut.
D: Cars that slow down to a lurking crawl when you're on a bike.
L: People who clutch their bag too emphatically when you walk by.
D: People who treat their pets too preciously.
L: The squeak of your own sinuses clearing.
D: Unyielding umbrella wielders.
L: Conspiratorial whispers.
D: Shitty sci-fi movies (very different constitutional appraisal methods than those which determine 'shitty movies' in general)
L: The idea of dancing vegetables. Or fruit in rollerskates. Happy!
D: Setting off anti-theft alarms and having to sheepishly explain it away.
L: Dreaming something that happens the next day.
D: Boredom.
L: Aggregate smiles.
D: That its easier to come up with Dislikes than Likes.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Sickness

The sickness is upon me... it plays across and tautens my cello-string nerves, and tricks my spine into forming unaligned maggots of ache. Makes me dream heavy-handedly of the infiniverse; a reversed spy-glass with a lens spidering over my vitreous humors. As I try to lend my fevers quixotry, I summed it up as a helix of bubbles, drawn causally backwards, from the surface of gangrenous water that sucks on me, foetal at the bottom of a brine barrel.

I have the flu. It is enormously uncomfortable, a reckless house-guest who uses all the toilet paper in lighting my mossy mattress on fire... and like all the painful things that've ever happened to me, I'm trying to keep it welcome... divine some sort of temporary truth out of its feverish twilight shroud. Thinks me of birds and how they fly even when they sing - fly how they sing; how the enflamed heart casts ever-greater shadows that pull a luminary low-pressure system behind them; how the human pace has gorged on the colourful rays of its limen, subtracting either vowel from 'feast' at its fickle convenience; how we are each a knot longing for a weave, each a salt-stained architect of dreams stuffing cotton balls into the punctures of our carapace of Will... our mis-takes lengthening the tension cords of our mistakes; with honour, our ablative sense of originality denies our sense of character: honesty is attained only through repetition - only through the rhetoric of peripherally glimpsed errors do we attain our character, that by using and reusing the same jokes, we find our self. We've achieved and killed and wall-mounted psychology and we call it 'post' to impress and enenvy the bounty-hunter friend ... that we mock urgency in pantomime with our democracy (a substanceless itch of insects humming above our temporal tar-pit), hiding our constant violence with everything beneath concepts of creation: I feel that it is our imperative to kill before we can create... in essence, we can only re-create when the dogs are dragging the carcass into the dust.

I dreamt about my illness before it happened, a small plaque of green rot creeping up my throat, seen Henry Sugar-style in a mirror. It relieved me to know that it made it up to my jelly-fish last night, shared with me the show of unshowable unsharables. Now I feel justified to feel so ear-blocked and throat-bloated. I am going to sit upon the shed roof under the sycamore in the back.

"Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Man of The Year Finalists, 2006

An email sent to me a few months ago listed the Top 3 contenders for the coveted spot of Man Of The Year...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Vulgarian

I had a relatively untended broth of stewed thoughts I'd wanted to ladle out, but it's not chunky enough (Sloth Love Chunk)... In the pot bobbed such indigestibles as Metro (Montreal's own limping subterrain) mishaps (the "Why I got fired from the petstore" story; the diarrhetic nature of the air-quality which borders on spontaneous --- if you're ever 'stuck'...; how I run (no contiguous pun involved) for trains that aren't mine, and make them! etc.); blogbituaries (close second: how to gain power of attorney for deceased Facebookers) and other general ephemera...

Instead I wish to mention a new and ill-timed passion of mine: GRAPHIC NOVELS. I first came across the medium through Asterix and Obelix (brilliant if read with a saucier sense of humour than the typical 7 year-old possesses) and Tin-Tin (hangover cure par excellence). From there, I left it alone, and other than having the instinctive and near-carnal knowledge of all Marvel superhero characters --- like knowing all the Beatles' tunes without ever remembering actually listening to them --- did not come near them (apart from a brief forray into Ghostrider, which may've been a hidden urge for my desires to get a bit darker and hairier). And then I found Spawn. The grit, the angst, the neo-gothic gore and lush stylizations/production efforts of Image comics fascinated me. I went bananas and collected the first 20, thinking that I was a genius for doing so. It was hard-boiled with a trapped mythology of hell-powers of existential torture... or so I thought. Eventually, I put them aside as I realized that the story was SPARSE. Sure, there were layers of the fraternal camaraderie of outcasts, shame, unfulfillable yearnings (great word: fulfill!) and plenty of gore. But the stories were as robust as the pages they were on: there seemed to be that Lost-like we've-no-idea-where-this-is-going-so-nor-should-you feeling. And I needed closure. Beyond a sense of simmering revenge, the dialogue was not enough. The characters designed to be stuck. That pissed me off. Besides, superpowers were stupid without the dilemmas they brought. Like what Stan Lee once said about Spidey: "If you didn't have Spiderman clinging to a wall or inverted from a thread while he reflected upon things, you were wasting his dormant powers --- and the imagination of the reader." (paraphrase) So, because Al Simmons seemed to have only limited amount of hell-power he could expend, I laminated everything and plonked it in storage. It's a decent enough story, I guess, but I got bored.

But then I met Ben, who LOVES comics. And he showed me some beautiful ones:
The Walking Dead,
The Invisibles,
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,
The ideas were just crazy, unconventional and provided enough moral-ambiguity for the reader to add that much more by putting the book on their lap and gazing off for a few moments before returning. So I got hooked again. And this time by the writing and paced delivery of the stories, as opposed to the art. Considering it's so very hard to get a decent and originally fleshy take of sci-fi in movies these days, this hit, and then stroked, the nerves that'd been begging me all along.

So I started with Ocean, a Warren Ellis solar-system buster. It was pretty good. Some of his ideas feeling a bit "this'll be cool.." and shoe-horned in. But entrancing nonetheless. It was about a research station discovering a cryogenically sustained race of protohumans floating beneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa (doesn't that just sound awesome?) Then I bought Stuart Moore's Para. Which I liked less than Ocean, but got consistently impressed reviews (partly, I think, because he dedicated it to his father). I just thought that LOVE was confused for OBSESSION and that the characters were either soggy or wooden. And that the artistry denied the story, as opposed to assisted (chirpy colours, too well-lit etc).

And then I read another Morrison comic: The Filth. It confounded and amazed me. It is the one I most highly recommend. This is all I will say, but it's crude and sophisticated and one for those who know a lot more about the medium than I (I was relying moreso on my insatiable existential puzzlement to interpret the crazy story). I think it actually morphed me. I started chopping reality into strips for contemplation.

Later I read WE3. Another Morrison I'd recommend. About cybernetically augmented pets trying to escape the military. Gorgeous art and moving story. Violent though, gorgeously.

Then I bought Wastelands v.1. This is set in a dystopian desert world. Think Waterworld, but inside-out. B&W, but only in a manner that enhances. I can't wait for more.

Shit, I'm dribbling here. All this to say that I believe ANYBODY can find something that'll inspire them in the funny books. The people behind them are empowered and empowering. Get brave and try one. Ask the comic-guy, he'll tell you more than you need to know.

Some relatively sure bets: Alan Moore (the movie versions are weak, the graphic novels're the best in the biz I hear) "From Hell" and "V for Vendetta". Grant Morrison. Warren Ellis. Mark Oakley. And I'd like know more...