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And nothing else.

This is a long time of Hermetic enclosure and it is best.

Since I escaped the hell of hipsters, younglings throwing themselves on the jaws of raw drugs and blindfolded pitch-black suffocating fucks for oblivion, there was a burning agonizing crawl across 3000 miles. Max ran full speed at me when she rounded the corner and we jumped into each other… her sweat a more hallucinatory acid than any I’ve found since grade 11.

My body has been broken by loneliness, time, 17,000 miles in 6 months, gallons of liquor and months of working until the rise of a foreign sun. My cynical mind and cold-weather constitution loathe the Oregon miasma… the American Organism is hideously fecund in that green coastal river valley… the volcanic cinder-cone and coastal ranges are cartoonishly simple: the population in their depraved onanism are a nausea of disconnection and spite for this paradisical land. My shoulder pops, has a gristling grind, dislocates in 4 positions. My wrists are filled with hot sand and they give out in fits of fibrous agony. My temper is short and broken like my father’s was known to be, I exhaust and fall to sleep, eat erratically, spiral into beige quotidian dreams that paralyze like a morning session of unfinished errands in the hot head of a responsible would-be dozer. The compressed invisible belt of a 5-years aging just smacks me, tries to lure me in. The body creaks and is wracked.

It took me 27 days to feel whole again. Rest is not the path to this wellness, but an endless regimen of meaningful work. Meaningful. For people I give a fuck about. For causes I understand and have passion for. We live all together in the rehearsal space, Max, Justin, Chris Lepkhe and I. The home bums have a camp near by and are almost a nightly presence at our camp fire. We are painting all the walls, we met with the landlord and are trying to secure another building on the point after the demolition… he supports it. We need energy, we need artists. We are open for shows, movies, art projects, anything anything anything. This is an eruption for this lonely town, we will overflow for you. I am carving the next album into existence, ignoring the phone, ignoring the computer, ignoring everything but the castle and the people I love. Set your wallet afire and throw it to the ground… we need cash to mediate our inability to provide for ourselves… as avatar to our weaknesses.

Let’s instead help provide for each others needs and wants. Let’s make instead of purchasing. Let’s cook instead of consuming. Let’s heal instead of medicating. Let’s give ourselves instead of selling our time. This isn’t a panacea, but filling the cracks in with social granite. The web of blood and souls has left us, the spectre is here instead. Rape it. I hate. Love. Gas is $4 a gallon, this isn’t looking good. All you wounded, pick yourselves off the ground, take up seeds and an eye, an ear to learn and be humble. If you want life to go on, then hoe a row down the hallways of always, make Charlie’s Nightmare a white horse for the glory of the coming of bored into a grand holographically nested epicenter of realization of power and compassion.

Making others dreams take wing is sexy to me. Build, Help, Take Up The Rifle and the Skinning Knife.

There are a thousand days to crush into the raising of this geist. Anyone who has an Art to practice, please help us save this palace of relative freedom and beauty. Prime,¬†Thompson’s Point, Portland, Maine, 04102. Hurry.

New Song

Tentatively titled: It Takes A Glacier To Hatch This.

One of several being worked on this summer for the next Feral release. 12 minutes of life crushing jangle. Very much a scratch track, recorded through a 15 watt practice amp while significantly drunk on wine.

 

UPDATED: Try this one: 7/29/12

I.T.A.G.T.H.T. / Death Valley

I took this book out of my library, to round out some heavy reading, based solely on the title.
Deep disappointment and disdain are my primary reactions to this pretty lazy and pablum piece of writing. Actually I think this might be the thing that finally forces me to publish my own writing. I found the language to be painfully self-conscious but insufficiently glorious. You can tell Justin feels like he is capital-W Writing A Book, but the sentences come across as lazy and cribbed. You’d think in his fetishization of Katy he would have learned from her, but his words tend to just reference great works rather than become great. They are not great, giving, incandescent or orgasmic.
I think American Book Review disdainfully accuses Taylor, from its pedestal of class privilege, of sort of ‘going native’ with “the Anarchists” and therefore losing that precious deluded concept of objectivity so prized in our sick society. Well, I’ll be a voice representing someone who gets lumped in with said “Anarchists” (note that there is no way to represent or stand as a voice for people who consciously refuse mediation and representation in social interaction): he fails utterly to actually join in the spirit of the things he is describing.
If anything like this actually happened, as he implies in the afterword, he was a tourist to it and it left him mostly unaffected. This is fetishization people, Taylor is just romanticizing without embracing or learning. As someone who is immersed in polyamorous relationships, I do sincerely appreciate the attempt at positive representation, but the emotional descriptions seem clunky and contrived to me. This is still straight square monogamist kids “experimenting”, except maybe for Katy. That is a failure in the sense that the heart and soul of friends that I have who live in this way is a success, a successful evasion of society and a refutation of leaders, gurus, rock stars, prophets and other representatives. Parker is not someone who would be respected or heeded by people with actual commitment to the ethics Taylor’s ‘David’ flirts with.
If anything, I think this is an excellently crafted piece of conservative Liberal propaganda, romanticizing and arrogantly belittling an apparently ‘voiceless’ (READ: forcefully scoured from representation in the media) but obviously present community that many mainstream, propagandized Americans are by now used to seeing on roads and in cities. The words take the tone of agreement and ‘solidarity’, but the subtle message is an erosion of the validity and actual success of this way of life for many who live it. And it is valid and successful, partly because it refuses exploitation and representation.
The description of the initial tryst with Katy, Liz and David approaches a low level of transcendental awe and reverence for the holy act of love, but falls flat. It doesn’t have enough foreplay, gets off too quick and crawls out of bed as soon as its over, which lets me know that it is really just stroke material and not real devotion to the triumph and trials of love of many. And of course it HAS to be two girls, one boy.
My take-away: try harder suburban white kid. I come from the same place (WASPy, suburban Massachusetts) and also was introduced to punk and anarchy by CrimethInc in the late 90’s, but that shit has gone out the window. The contributors and publishers quickly renounced any endorsement of the style club it spawned and the decade of repression that followed its release has unquestionably forced those who are serious about building a sincere life inside of the hollow, inhuman, bloodless class warfare that America holds up as its culture to adapt in profound and radical ways that trend directly towards stability of food, family and community. Smashing shit is not going to help us survive the end of oil and I am pretty sure that most punks who survive to age 23 or 24 have got that figured out.
I’m not all empty talk though: if Justin wants to call bullshit on my indictment, I invite him to contact me so we can hang out. Heck, I’ll even collaborate on some writing.

Black Twilight: 2011

This is something that isn’t going to get finished tonight, but I’ve been to some shows this year and it’s high time I started sharing my brilliant insights into the world of metal with the world. And get paid for them.

Let’s start not at the beginning but at what’s on my mind: everyone’s failure to get behind BTC, or Black Twilight Circle to the insufficiently KVLT among you. Thinking back to John Gossard’s interview with Commander Curtsinger over at Bogus Rendition (#9): pp’There really is no Black Metal scene in America to speak of, I think people who use that term are misleading… I haven’t heard anything like a cohesive scene going on in the States even remotely close to what happened in northern Europe’.

I actually fully agree with that. There are lots of clones and copies of fragments and portions of various black metal bands that have emerged in the US, but aside from the man’s band itself (Weaking, RIP), very little new territory has been blazed in my opinion. And the most important factor is this: it is not ABOUT novelty or new sound per se, but a cohesive social unit, a fucking black legion of misfits that band together to smash and carve out a space for themselves and demand respect.

This can take many forms, use many symbols and sounds, but it definitely takes people supporting each other and pushing each other to further and further levels of commitment and extremity. This can turn around into fashion policing and protectionism all too quickly (I grew up in the midst of the New England FSU / hardcore explosion, so I saw first hand how something empowering can be handed over to douchebags who epitomize the exact opposite of the intended spirit of the Life).

Get the fuck out of my face with your PNWBM bullshit: mid-era Burzum + Horna / Behexen takes care of 95% of it. Along comes something interesting, cohesive, weird, definitely off the beaten path and actually (and most importantly) NECESSARY for the people making it (i.e. –¬† suicide prevention / identity construction; versus intellectually considered, if skillful, worship and representation) in the form of Black Twilight Circle… and most people vigorously shoot it down.

When was the last time I had to spend 25 minutes looking for a venue? Jon and I saw Shataan,¬† The Haunting Presence, Arizmenda, and Volahn in the basement of some fucked rehearsal studio in Somerville, MA. It was a savage insensate ritual… words were not spoken, bands not announced… the members would just change position and function and begin again every 30 minutes or so. Some shit-talking drunken fuck, the guitarist from Castevet, was mouthing off during the whole show and at the end of everything, it was clear that it was not going unnoticed because he got beaten to the ground and pummeled by the dude who was acting as merch. Nobody stopped it, consensus was that he definitely deserved it, but when was the last time any shit-talking hipster was in actual danger of being struck at a show? It was a cheering and heartening experience somehow, which is fucked up because I’m talking about violence, but not fucked up at all because this person was trying to provoke a confrontation and prove that the BTC bands were “fake” and instead found out that they at least get passionately angry when people slander them. This is a good demonstration of commitment, I appreciate the sacrifice that the guy from Castevet made in order to prove some integrity on BTC’s part.

All the reviews I read online basically shot the bands down for being too muddy, too confusing, repetitious… I think everyone coming from that line is full of shit and essentially doesn’t know how to deal with a group of guys who are doing something actually new, not an imitation and presenting it in an awesome new way. They have a collective, they tour as one and work to express multiple forms of a single core.

I don’t think anyone has pointed out in writing yet that the Black Twilight Circle bands, especially Arizmenda for me, are doing a disorientingly good job of transmitting the confusion and pain arising from the crisis of moral relativity that epitomizes the American condition. It’s important to remember that we do not live in a proper society as history has shown us a society to be. Even radical negative modern social experiments like the NAZI’s had a social and mythical tradition to draw from in, to which people could relate (which of course is in part why it was so effective in drawing in the average person despite its quite public viciousness). America does not have this, it is an idea.
There is no climax, no definitive resolution, no structure or strategy preferenced or superior to any other. Because it is an experiment, it is a reflection of the human mind in general. Because dynamic forces of control, economy and education were already in play when it began, it is a warped reflection. We can become anything, organize ourselves any way, in a vacuum. Given conditions of starvation, concentration of wealth and ignorance, we wander as ghouls in a shapeless grey-brown morass of indistinct and ethically ambivalent novelty. Landforms of compulsion become weary and nauseating way-markers on our fruitless trek back and forth. We are buffeted by winds of whispering fear and self-doubt, the forests are hung with a dazzling milieu of dark mirrors that are crafted to compel us to drive one another away. We weep and reflexively curl inward to warmth as we hear others wail in pain, but we are also drawn in caution out of our shell to try to comfort them. Maybe nothing works. Sometimes it does. There is no definitive resolution, no strategy or ethic superior, just an endless accommodation and adaptation. As it is in the mind.

This, to me, describes the symmetry-absent vortices that Arizmenda presents as ‘music’. Not that I think that they intend of that at all. They make art, if they do it well then their only concern is to dig deep, draw from the wells of the world and time and bring it up pure to pass around. Over-caffeinated nerds can obsess over meaning and interpretation, that has nothing to do with the pure intention of making. Certain combinations of BTC have tapped Madness and they do not filter it whatsoever.

I put on Shadow Plays of Greif and Pain while I draw and after a few songs I am feeling angry and impatient. Something about the sound is annoying, I turn down the volume slightly and then I reach to change the EQ and put the treble down. I realize the vocals cut horribly into my focus even at a lower volume and then understanding comes. This is what it is supposed to be, there is something fucking broken about the timbre and level of attack in the screams, so I just turn the volume back up, higher than it was. Don’t fucking listen if you don’t want that cut. It’s almost worst for the clarity of structure in Ashdautas, where riffs are separable, transitions deeply marked by heated transitions in tempo by all instruments. At times the grinding guitar and mid-tempo blasts egg on the animalistic vocals, but some of my favored parts have the strings almost trying to appease the raw insanity with delicate sad harmony, slow, warm and fuzzed out.

I don’t have a “favorite” one, but Ashdautas is riveting in a way the others aren’t, which is especially worth mentioning because of the singer breaking them up after the Volahn interview in the Boston Phoenix last year (http://blog.thephoenix.com/blogs/onthedownload/archive/2011/08/30/black-metal-meltdown-ashdautas-singer-breaks-up-band-over-boston-phoenix-s-black-twilight-circle-profile.aspx). The original interview can also be found on the Phoenix website… it got me excited to see the shows at the time. It is clearly a piece of agitating propaganda designed to give a particular impression and obviously Naeth of Ashdautas was completely uninterested in having anyone else mediate his presentation or expression. The disagreement was enough for him to immediately disband rather than be perceived as related to BTC any longer. These kinds of intense conflicts over meaning are exactly the shit I want to see (obviously not for the trouble and strife caused to the people involved and the loss of their hard work) because they are signs that the music and the social significance are goddamned real.

That’s a perfect signal that the BTC actually matters, as compared with the Pacific Northwest bands, where I don’t think that the content, the music and what it means to the musicians is tied enough to their lives and their spirit to be actually DANGEROUS, to them or to anyone else. They’re hardworking, but fat and comfortable. Prove me wrong, because at one time I was inspired to move out into the world and learn new things by some of these bands (especially WITTR), but after seeing them play and talking to them in person, I have come to this conclusion over the last year.

I think that people are rejecting BTC bands on for several reasons: they are doing something truly original but they are not commercializing it, they are representing a truly American experience that is not mainstream, not white, and not perspective people are used to or even comfortable hearing from, their anarchic (in the political sense) form of presentation in the live arena is confusing and unfamiliar to typical metal fans (there are no rock stars, there is no definitive ‘leader’ or ‘front man’, they do not feel inclined to announce things to the audience like song titles, band names, banter or even acknowledgements). Overall I think that if something as drastic as the murders in Norway happened around BTC and the media swarmed on it in similar fashion, there would be just as much bandwagon as with the 2nd wave black metal bands from the Scandinavian countries.

Put another way, I think America has no idea what it has in Black Twilight Circle, that their music fails to even register on most radars so far because it is original and weird and uncompromising and strictly anti-commercial and even anti-heirarchy. People talk shit about the origins of their “mythology” or whatever it is they sing about, but I call bullshit: ALL of the original black metal bands were Tolkien worshipping nerdy fags just like myself, therefore proving that it does not matter what the source material is but only the new meaning imbued upon it by those who throw themselves wholeheartedly into making a scene, a society, a life outside of the sterile failure of modern life.

FERAL EP / Stickers

Now available to all you thousands of readers who weren’t in the elite first round of distribution for mail order.

http://feralmetal.bandcamp.com/album/culling-demo

Move Along

A large part of the structure of my life for the past 5 years has revolved around my seemingly endless quest to find “Home”, or a place where I can comfortably do the shit that I love to do without throwing my money away renting from someone deplorable, without complaint or disruption from the neighbors (ideally with their support or else virtual non-existence) and without fear of eviction, invasion, robbery or freezing to death.

My needs seem modest to me: I think about 200 square feet with a roof, running water, recycled insulation and either dependable power or some sources of generation (photovoltaic cells, turbine) and a bank of deep cell batteries. I think the cost of building such a thing would run between $5000 and $7500. I have not yet found a place I could build such a simple home that would meet the above criteria. It’s not out of the question that it could happen in Turner, Maine, but that has not yet become a plausible reality for several reasons, mostly because it is still a rented property and for all its potential none of us has permission to build or modify anything of substance.

I have satisfied myself renting from shitbags (as most of us do) or else irresponsible idiots who cannot take the money they are given and use it to pay the rent on their lease in a timely fashion. I have satisfied myself living without running water or heat for many years in total now.

But still me and others like me are asked to move along, always move along. There is no mercy given to those who want to put down roots in any wild field, the message is like an iron fist everywhere: conform or wander unto sickness, madness and death. Or do whatever you want, but not here, forever not here.

As soon as I move in to an apartment I am already thinking of the way out, planning to save up enough money to jump ship and travel for as long as possible spending as little as possible. Everything in life comes in rentals with American society: I have to rent a table for the price of a drink to get internet and a bathroom, to get a warm place out of the rain.

Or else you’re welcome to stay for free, but the library closes at 7 and by the way, you can’t eat in here. Everywhere I go I see vast empty lots choking with weeds and shattered concrete… huge industrial sarcophogi, hollow and empty as the woods in the dead of winter… house after house after house after house empty and for sale. Always, just beyond and all around them are eyes watching, cops patrolling, neighbors calling and looking through curtains to make sure that nobody makes use of them, that nobody gets a free ride, that nobody who doesn’t want to participate should dare make roots in the wreckage of a ruined society that is ruining earth and with it all that is free.

The development of Thompson’s Point drove me out of Maine to seek a new home. Here in Portland I figured I’d be pretty okay living in my van, I found a nice spot underneath an overpass in an industrial area away from people who might object to the odious sight of my daily existence. Four weeks later the Portland Water Bureau left a note on my car that they would be renting the parking lot from June 26th through June of 2015 for an interstate construction project. So far, every time I have driven by since then, I haven’t seen anything parked in the lot. Last night one of my friends from the 24 hour coffee shop I park near (which is also on an industrial road and backed up against a train right-of-way and therefore very much unsuitable for housing; the street has only daytime operational businesses other than the coffee shop, The Grind) gave me the heads up that someone from the Golden Horse, the new bar that opened up across from them had come over and approached the owner (of The Grind) to tell her to be vigilant for vans and large vehicles parked on the street behind them because they thought people might be living there. So they had called PPD and had someone sent down to issue warnings and next would come the citations (for vagrancy I am guessing, I am still trying to look up what laws are on the books that would apply adversely to legally parking a vehicle on public property for extended periods, which in my case is never more than 72 hours).

There is no end to the pathological hatred and mistrust of people who don’t want to pay to live. And man, this city really sucks, it’s all outside, all looking in at some perishingly sad and impossible chic. Everywhere you go its an endless river of gorgeous men and women pierced, tattooed, rainbows of colored hair and I don’t feel any connection to any of them.

How do I get out of this without selling my soul away? I refuse to work a shit job to pay someone else for the privilege to live and sleep. I believe that all people deserve that automatically, without paying for it. Free fucking housing. There is certainly enough space in this empty, empty country to accommodate us all.
At least starting today, I’ll be house-sitting for the rest of the summer at our friend Dawn’s place. Another temporary solution until it’s time to ‘move along’ again.

I am going to listen to Walknut, Graveforests and Their Shadows, for writing this dream out. Sunday, June 17th 2012, 10pm.
Woke about an hour ago from a very vivid nightmare, the first dream I have had sleeping in the van. I have had a fever for the
past 2 days, so it doesn’t surprise me that I had a fever dream. Indeed when I woke, the fever seemed have broke or at least
subsided for a time.
I woke to the train whistle.
The dream: I was back in Portland, Maine for some reason. This was my home. The color quality was very similar to my dream
of the time before the last time I slept, at Shelly’s house, recovering from a terrible hangover plus the fever. It is dark and
saturated and blue, like the visions of this album or of Weakling are. Deep primary colors predominate… dark reds. The sky
is so deeply blue, everything is old and heavy. It is not unlike the film quality in the beginning of Prometheus, which I just saw
before having this dream.
But I am living back in Portland, Maine for some reason and I am walking around. The sky is deep blue and the ocean glaring,
Fall seems to be the time of year. There are piled shining white clouds, but the air is cold and crisp. I walk along the water and
go into a warm, wooden place. A bar, a coffee shop. There I meet with friends and there is Jordan Fischer. He seems to be ill
with a cold and he tells me he is depressed because he has to go up to New Brunswick on work, to speak for school or attend
some conference. He has a definitely negative and defeated attitude, it is an obligation that he is bringing no creativity or joy
to carrying out. Maybe he’s got none. He asserts that the conference is going to be boring and that it will be a cold and
depressing-ass place, boring and empty.
I lay out a plan, I suggest to him that he wake in the morning early and have coffee. “Do you drink coffee?” I pause to ask. He
stares rather dumbly ahead. A girl to my left notices and interjects, “Jordan.” I repeat myself: “Do you drink coffee?”. He
fumbles, realizing he’s been staring blankly ahead for a long moment. “Oh yeah. I do.”
I go on: “So I would just get up every morning and drink some fucking strong coffee, with espresso and go for a walk and
listen to some really awesome music and just fuck everyone else. Something like…” I pause to think for show, but I already
know what I am going to say. “…Falls of Rauros. I mean call me cheesy, but I really believe that when a band is from
somewhere, they can evoke the perfect sound of that place. You know what I mean?” It is an important principle for me. I do
believe that. Falls of Rauros are a metal band from Portland, Maine. I think they are the kind of metal band that tries to
embody the sound of the natural environment around them, with a preference for the rural Maine natural environment around
them (as opposed to Maine’s suburban or city natural environment). He seems to kind of ambiguously and half-heartedly
accept my advice. I am a bit hurt, I think he doesn’t believe in my theory of bands.
Next thing you know, I am in New Brunswick, with the strange sense of dream purpose and logic that I have invoked this
place and therefore have passed through some portal to enter on it. I am there specifically to geek out on trains. I am in the
train yard and it is daylight. An older man with some grey hair, who is about a head taller than I, was walking around the train
yard also and came over in apparently innocent curiosity to see what I was doing. I was unpacking my camera and
explaining to him why I watched trains, what I was looking for, a little bit about the culture of train geeks. Apparently in the
dream world I am quite knowledgeable of such things because I had much to say and the man was rapt in attention for a
good while.
A train came along and we watched a bit. Some cars came that had automobiles on them, just parked. I mean it looked
really insane and unhinged, auto’s parked on flat-cars unprotected and they were just jumping around and knocking
into each other all over the place. It was clearly obvious that they were going to fall off at some point, I could not believe
what I was seeing and got real excited. I had heard that standards on the remnant little Class 3 rail company up here were
absurdly lax, but this blew my mind. Somehow I had to once again get my camera out of my bag and I was having difficulty
in doing so. I was just about to miss the cars when I got it out and so went running after them full tilt up the grade.
Suddenly the man I’d been talking to was on the opposite side of the tracks watching me and on my side from behind a
dumpster emerged this creepy bald man with dark eyes and brown clothing. I felt a wave of nausea. He was a pervert and
he came to this yard sometimes to do dirty things. He and I had been circling each other for some days past and I knew what
he was about and he knew that I was a train geek. We each sort of had something on each other, but I knew that he viewed
me as a sex object.
He wanted to trap me and rape me. I was disorientingly able to see myself through his eyes, my hair blown back and
cornered against a metal container box. I was obviously very pretty and looked vulnerable, peering over the frames of my
glasses just so. It really sucked, I was suddenly filled with hate and fear and back in my own body. I ran even faster after the
train and just then came along a flat car with just one pink convertible, with the white soft-top folded down, parked on my side
of it.
I laughed in my good fortune and made it up into the drivers seat. I was feeling pretty damn awesome about myself,
because now I got to take pictures of riding on train in a car. Over the hook of a pink convertible even. They were good pictures.
It had white dice on the mirror. The inside was fake Dalmation furry shit, After riding out of the yard, I decided it was time to get
off, the train was starting to pick up speed and there was a big bridge coming up. Now I had all my bags strapped to me again,
even though I distinctly remembered leaving them behind when I ran off to photograph the cars.
I jumped up over the drivers side door and onto the ladder of the train. I picked my spot up ahead to jump, turned to face
the direction of travel and let my leg drop as I push off the grab-iron. It goes wrong, somehow I catch a strap and hang in
black metallic mouthed terror upside-down, face just above the grade. I know that if I turn to see what’s caught, I will
inadvertently swing myself right into the wheels. I try to be still, the bridge is coming up fast and I am starting to drag. I
go for my knife, but I know something is wrong, everything is slow. I think that I must be dreaming, that this can’t be
happening. I look for the seams, I kind of go into my brain and find the interface to see if I am dreaming, things in the
vision of my eyes go distant, tunnelled and almost seem from hexagonal panels. I find the portal in my mind and see that
I am actually dreaming, and not a dream of New Brunswick sleep but some monumentally different life.
The train horn sounds and I sit up in bed. I may have screamed, there was a dull echo, but my face radiates ill purple
heat and my lips are swollen, my throat is swollen. I remember right away where I am and I smile. It was a really good
dream, very vivid. I get out of the car and go sit on my certain railroad tie in the grasses near the pedestrian crossing over
the west throat of Brooklyn yard in Portland, Oregon and I get all the story parts sorted out. Then I walk down to the coffee
shop and get to work.

Late to the Show: Prometheus

This is going to take some sorting out, as I just wrote down a stream of consciousness immediately after getting out of the
theater. I think a good place to start will be with main characters and how I view their roles in this. This is not, for the most
part, a discussion about technical shit as that has been done obsessively elsewhere I am certain. I don’t read reviews for exactly that reason, instead this is a discussion of what this thing does and says about and to the American mind, as a drug, as a product for consumption. Therefore, little to no discussion of actors and you should be familiar with the story if not the people acting it out:

David: Frankenstein’s Monster / an untypical ‘Dark’ and conscienceless Adam / Technology
M. Vickers: an untypical ‘Dark’ Eve or Lillith / the Devil’s Daughter or an Angel in Hell
Charlie Holloway: the Bad Doctor, a typical ‘Light’ Adam, impetuous and guilted
Elizabeth Shaw: the Good Doctor, a typical ‘Light’ Eve, curious and flawed (infertile – implied at least)
P. Weyland: the Master Vampire / Corporate Greed
Captain Janek: Jesus / the Noble Savage

There’s a lot of ground to cover just here. David as the Frankenstein Monster or Technology (in evil hands) is a character of pure intent. There’s the implication that technology serves us in our own image, especially as it approaches ‘sentience’. David does despicable acts in the hands of greedy masters, but is just as able and ‘willing’ to do helpful and kind acts serving creative, determined masters of pure intent. David is the star of the movie for my money, maybe I am just a sucker for creepy Aryan-styled Jude Law like innocently evil robot men, but his presence is most interesting in the Amoral Melange. He is a new life, an Adam free from guilt and designed with a homoerotic aesthetic that provokes me to think of an Adam who does not have an interest in Eve, who learns of his own accord and who has no shame of self knowledge, who stares unflinchingly into the base element of his creation as a servant of his creators but who also places no taboo on being free from that creator (if anything it is his one Desire expressed during the movie: Everyone wants to see their parents dead -> Dr. Shaw). This weird perfect queer servant is smashed but his intellect / head live on and continue. Shit, maybe that means they just want queer influence in culture but only on the condition that there are no queer people fucking anywhere in sight or on the mind of society? He serves the Dark Masters so well that he’d be a damned perfect corp-servative christian death bot (ooh, zing: copyrighting that term), but is critical in ensuring the survival of himself and Dr. Shaw after the power play ends in ruin and doesn’t bat an eye. I dunno, it’s going to take some digestion to absorb the David decapitated by alien Goliath (who in an inversion of the myth, touches David gently on the head before fucking up his shit). Is the robot the champion of the One God even as he takes away Dr. Shaw’s crucifix before condemning her to performing her own abortion and the alien the representative of Pagan Lords / The Earth and/or the material world? They were cracking the very essence of biology and storing a liquid mercurial chimera in chapel-like vaults, a fluid that gives rise to Demons in whatever it touches… this could be construed as a church of the Material World, a worship of the fabric of life and the universe. But then this Goliath is verbally referred to as the God of Man, his people the creators of humanity. Giant Faustus in the Sky, unleashing the demon Man on an innocent and pure Earth. I mostly interpret the cross in the context of Dr. Shaw as the Pure Quest, the sword turned down of the warrior who has turned aside science to pursue / hunt knowledge for the betterment of her fellow beings. Mostly. (Newt anyone, anyone?)

Vickers as the Dark Eve or Lillith is a character of determination and self-sufficiency punished for her biological connection to Greed and Evil. Fate cannot smile on her in the end because in the Picture Biz, Fate spites a broken creature trying to spare itself. She is the strong woman, the one who gets portrayed as having a sexual appetite, who has taken precaution to preserve her own life. She deeply reviles her father (Weyland, the Devil) but is still serving him faithfully. I guess this would make her a character of impure intent: her true desires are subverted to her loyalty. From that angle you can see Vickers as a totally fucked over person, this woman who has been manipulated and pressed into service of dark ends yet cheated of praise and glory by her father’s creation of a robotic son who better serves his aims. Wow, sucks to be her and Hollywood as always thinks that we want to see this wretched creature smited from the face of existence by divine intervention. “Saved”? Poetically crushed by the enormity of sin her father wrought? We can empathize. But also why did she not rebel against his service? This I think is the key, she is meant to be a “Yes-Man”, someone who hates her job but does it out of a sense of blind duty or maybe Fear. We don’t really get to learn more and I don’t totally buy this portrayal, but then I come from a fucked up home in the white ‘burbs, so there ya go. Plus they only got two hours and there’s a buck to made kid, so quit bitchin.

Charlie / Holloway as the Bad Doctor or your more typical “Adam” type character. Science is a means to end for this guy and man the actor playing him could not have been more blunt in his attempts (read: FAIL) to make this character summary walk and talk. It was like having Cannibal Corpse play your wedding… the background noise trumped the ostensible reason for this ceremonial character outright (sorry but I will take any opportunity whatsoever to reference this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuV-Aq1PwqU as it was written by Cannibal Corpse as a reply to female fans who quite correctly accuse them of writing intensely misogynistic songs. Look up the lyrics and comprehend the dopey dumb innocence of Corpsegrinder.). Where was I? Okay right, so there’s this Doctor, he is really impatient to get the exact results he expects, to the point where I ceased to believe he was ever really allowed out of Science College 2080 with a degree. He is petulant and guilty and mopey, his knowledge has made him miserable and drunk and ashamed and weak and therefore he succumbs to Satan / the Snake / the chimerical alien DNA that David doses him with in a glass of champagne. Man there’s a loaded interaction, Dark Adam condemns Light Adam to death for failing to appreciate the true beauty of the dark knowledge, which he has earned by selling out to the Devil. I feel pretty certain that David was a sharp enough manipulator to know that his poison was two-fold: not only was the DNA gonna fill him up with the Devil, the extra glass of booze was gonna get him all horny so he’d go fuck the Good Doctor and impregnate her with the Devil’s Brood. It is quite clear in fact that this was exactly what was going down, though why exactly is not resolved. And That’s OKAY. Say it with me kids: Not KNOWING EVERYTHING is GOOD. Now that I’ve got John Gossard via Weakling screaming in my ear, I really fucking hate all of you mortals, so don’t get butt hurt. What else to say? Well there is that old saw of science and technology mussin’ with God’s green creation and the demonization of it’s practitioners (doctors, scientists, construction workers, camp counselors?), but this is pretty well established in the works of the alien beings themselves, so…

Elizabeth Shaw as the Good Doctor and a sort of typical ‘Eve’ character acts unquestionably as the heroine of the movie and has to deal with some pretty heavy shit, which is in keeping with the history of Alien. The obsession with reproductive capacity and horror is borne forth once again in Prometheus, the main location of the movie being a Dark Mound of Earth. This dubious ancient space cunt is a vast and cryptic palace of dark knowledge and lethal creativity. In some ways I don’t really think that Prometheus is a horror movie, but instead a movie about radical atheism, yet the Law of Horror was upheld here in the way the environment is initially benign until some fatal hubris is committed against it. This disturbing of Nature takes the form of robbing the tomb / womb of a head and a canister full of liquid chimerical hell. Nature is so not down with being raped and lets everyone know by timing a storm of black earth to arrive and punish the fuck out of everyone trying to get away with their stolen treasures. After the storm has abated and Holloway has been impregnated with Evil and in turn impregnated the Good Doctor with Evil and Vickers (aka Lillith) fucks Janek (aka Jesus) (as a side note, I thought a lot about how much unprotected sex goes on in this movie, starting with Holloway just gung-ho taking his ‘helmet’ off inside the pyramid. Somebody please commission Geiger to do a series of Safe Sex Advertisements? {also copyright: me}), everyone goes back to scoop up the pitiful remains of their forgettable stoner sidekick scientist buddies in the Room with the Head. Here Holloway collapses and the sense of urgency imbuing the exploration collapses into a full-rout: run for the damn hills. Vickers tries to perserve her shattered chastity / her health and safety by locking off the ship (this is the only time I really remember her being very possessive of the ship, calling it hers and clearing conflating her identity / health with it.

Actually, here we go again: she is the only one really conscientious about ‘protected sex’ with this crazy alien scenario and who also sought out a partner in Janek and chose a time and place {my quarters, 20 minutes} and who therefore was behaving the most like a responsible adult). The Good Doctor understandably loses her shit, but it was awfully humane of Vickers to come out and say no in person honestly, she could have just said fuck you and left it locked. Then our little Light Adam sacrifices himself to Lillith, who purifies his guilty ass with fire. More sexual power play, he intuitively senses that she’s the one who can alleviate his guilt with her self-held sexuality? Or he is just fucked up on Devil Juice and sees that she’s the one with the flamethrower that’s gonna make the hurting stop. Brutal. Now the most troubling and therefore awesome segment of the movie ensues, where the Good Doctor wakes up to David / Frankenstein Monster / Dark Adam removing her symbol of faith. He reveals to her that she is pregnant with a nonhuman life-form, a perverse desecration of her womb, which it was previously implied was infertile. The chimera will not be stopped though. David tells her that he watched her dream during the journey and she disassociates. I really wish she could have just managed to say the truth: “You raped me David.”, if not flipped out and attempted to wreck his ass, but Hollywood still has trouble with that I think. Or maybe they were just making cheap currency out of the fucked-up-ness of the situation, but I was grossed out by the fishy eyed silence from The Good Doctor. Soon she is being dragged off to be frozen, in keeping with the theme from previous films in the series, but this time she gets away. Freed unwillingly from the symbol of her faith, she runs to give herself a life-saving abortion in the crazy surgery pod, which is inadequately equipped for OB/GYN shit. I guess the 2093 equivalent of a coat-hanger abortion. Pretty fucking intense to watch a chimerical Demon sliced out of your own abdomen with only a local anaesthetic, she does it with bloody awkward grace.

Man this shit is so loaded… I mean she takes her cross back from David at the end of the movie, so she has not lost faith. As The Good Doctor herself might say, I choose to interpret this as an affirmation that Christians can get a fucking abortion to save their lives (and probably the lives of many other people, both in reality and in the movie) from ruination and still be Christians. The whole presence of any debate to the contrary to me is a sure sign of the absolute abuse of the Christian mental software by extremist liberal (free from responsibility and humanity) corporate agencies in America. Taking back her faith symbol from Dark Adam is interesting. The guiltless queer superman kept it safe for her and made no issue of giving it back. She earned that shit. I hope motherfuckers were squirming in their seats… definitely saw some disassociative nervous grins and averted eyes when I checked my fellow movie-goers during that scene. Good scene.

During the action climax, Fate spares The Good Doctor because her intentions are pure maybe. The classic Alien false ending was in effect, but the impregnation of another creature as a means of escape is new. This is also the first in the series that has had a 4th interested party to complicate the moral structure: Good Guys, The Company (Evil Guys), Aliens (The Chimera) and Vastly Superior Dispassionate Evil Creator God Guys. Getting your God / creator impregnated by a demonic chimera has troubling implications for most Christians, but the Good Doctor is old school Christian: shit’s about a personal relationship with Destiny and following your heart. The fact that they created her doesn’t cause her to assume that they are superior morally. This is really a purely scientific vision of things, that’s part of what I mean by Pure Intent. The Technology may be used for evil (to create the cancerous, mutating Chimera Demon) or good (to create humankind). The makers are judged on a moral scale, the monumentality of their Works is irrelevant. The Good Doctor can apparently live with the consequences of this exploration and indeed chooses to continue on in her quest for knowledge. Technology is not inherently evil, it’s misapplication is evil. I like this version of a righteous Christian woman, I think. Especially because she gets to fly into the Empyrian with an immortal queer superman head piloting her ship and keeping her company. Oh damn it, is that the perfect man? Is that what they’re saying? Fuck.. well she can program him to eat her out too, I guess there’s no way around it, that’s pretty perfect.

P. Weyland is the Master Vampire, the face of Corporate Greed seeking immortality at the expense of everyone else. By far the simplest character. I don’t think I missed anything there.

Captain Janek gets a weird hand dealt in the sense that his character is simultaneously sort of radical and sort of typical. He is the token practical Black Guy, his two co-pilots are Asian Guy and White Guy. He is the Noble Savage, focused on the task at head and essentially abstaining from involvement in the moral meltdown at the core of this flick. But he also gets to be Jesus at the end? He tends to his crew / flock throughout the movie… well sort of, except when he is making dangerous assumptions that get people stuck in black pyramids all freaked out. But they killed themselves really, he gave fair warning. His sacrifice (well there’s a Trinity of guys, but he’s pulling the trigger) of flying the Prometheus into the alien craft redeems everyones fucked up acts and although he does not appear to rise again at the end, at least they got the color of the man correct. If we view the decayed version of society that sets down on LV 232 as the Roman Empire complete with corrupted Emperor, in addition to the strange version of David and Goliath playing out, Janek-Jesus is the shred of humanity and gallant bravery that rebels and opens the door for the pure Christian Warrior Woman / The Good Doctor to escape. He also gets the best ass in the movie by calling out Vickers on her lust. Ironically, the coupling of Jesus with Lillith is the only one that does NOT produce Demons.

Thesis: Prometheus is a movie of radical atheism, of constructing morality in an amoral world where technology can make and unmake the very integral fabric of ourselves. It is deeply flawed in its subservience to the entertainment complex, but deeply beautiful in its attempt at a Gothic level of character complexity and its sustain of ambiguity. Americans have been conditioned to revile ambiguity even when it is humane and able to offer knowledge, even when it spites themselves. This serves the interest of extremist liberal (loosing all bounds of restraint on corporate domination of public health) American politics. It also fails in some ways to remain consistent in this as it reviles the chimera as an inherently animalistic and violent sexual monster. This was probably always forbidden for Prometheus to do as movie without breaking totally from the Alien series it is ostensibly based upon.

Alright, about halfway through Caryatids now. Very good, very dark… probably the most original sci-fi book I’ve read since the Road. Grimly, realistically Human look at societies trying to manage collapse and decay, with all the delusions, grandeur, sick arrogance, exhaustion, depression, giving up on everything and blindly pushing ahead with a positive attitude to survive.

This came.

A problem insightful modern fiction writers like Bruce Sterling (and myself) struggle with is weaving symbolic actions complex enough to convey insights truly relevant and complex enough to be worthy of clarifying the world today. Or we preference clarity and architecture of observation over art in delivery. Morals are fluid in a relativistic world and this is correct. Amoral or Moralmorphic/plastic pearls of wisdom, thus far, fail to condense. Or we obsess over clarity because history and honesty, ‘transparency’, of the condition and privilege of the observer (in such a Gothic saturated Mannerist-Baroque late society, where artful presentation / representation is an endless torrent we fight for our humanity *inside* of, a storm of light), exceeds in importance the mere artful presentation (but we should probably achieve both at once?).
Open source seems to be the most interesting thing. Can we tell a story, awe and inspire each other across class and race lines? Without lying and limiting and deluding and misleading? Is any of that even the product or responsibility of the author of any work? It all comes after right, but can we make a work that is resistant to it? Does this relate to fiction or is it core investigations in fiction about politics and the polluted remnant of ‘news reporting’? Can we countenance or at least try to examine the decay of the line between fiction and these things? We must. Has there ever been a line or just a plastic scale? I don’t know.
Trying to be pure quickening, pure volatile medium, offer a totally visible object that doesn’t require searching or learning to understand (grok in full), yet is complex and relevant. A program that teaches, programs the user. Goetia, sacred numbers, the Golden Radiant Network of Future, pure understanding and teaching. Telepathy, immanence.

The Organism

We live inside the Body of Satan. I heard on godradio last week, who is the lord of this world? It is Satan.
We live in the guts of dead Absu, world serpent, intergalactic serpent, Planck distance serpent who winds rotating through all 10 dimensions. Finest fabric.
New kinds of humans are tested out by the larger human organism. You hear often these days a sigh as one says: I was born in the wrong century. Talking last night with Jeremy, the guy who inherited the pizza cart, about relationships and his feeling misplaced in the Portland of here and now. I had no answers… I hate preachy polyamorists as much as preachy monogamists. Conditions, specific to us and greater than us, form buried rhizome that endure the winter of chemical development and depression, of coming of age, then all at once blossom in a surprising appearance of human behavior. Splendor sine Occasu, wildflowers on a mountain dale. Why this disturbs us has more to with a simultaneous system level refusal of the larger machinery of human groups and a system level refusal to engage in a compassionate sensuous embrace with the muddy, bleeding, rutting beast of humankind.
New software in beta never had it so rough.

Joe McVetty walked up out of the dark around midnight this morning, beard flowing, eyes shining darkly. Invited me over some time… he actually lives mere blocks from Willy’s place on Burrage.