You Were Meant for Me, but You Weren’t Meant a Damn for Me

I am currently working on a musical autobiography (it will be good, boys and girls), but until then, I will leave you with this. The artist Jewel is one of two artists to whom I have ever written a fan letter. (The other artist will you know only if you read my forthcoming post.)

As with most women, men must ignore the past. For every guy a woman has claimed to have been with, she has probably been with trice that amount. Cruel, but true. Women–you know I am right. Anyway, disregarding the fact she, most likely, had a romance with Sean Penn, here is my video ode to this mammiferous poetess:

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Come Here

I think that my reigning resignation may be giving way to a little romantic rumbling. I present my favorite scene from one of my favorite movies: Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. The trilogy is superb, for it penetratingly relates the life stages of a relationship in a manner that allows the viewer to see the players on this amatory stage age, having been filmed over the course of nearly twenty years. While I am typically taken by morbid reflections upon failure and what could have been, the first film in this charming trifecta, with all its morning-dew-upon-the-grass tenderness, affects deeply me every time I watch it.

In this scene, our two would-be/will-be/will-be-ex(?) lovers nervously flee but gleefully pursue each other’s gaze in a record booth. If you have never had a moment like this, then you will not fully mature, as maturity is usually built on this foundation of sheer youthful hope–as misguided as it may be in disrespectable retrospect. To steal from the Catholic Easter liturgy: O felix culpa.

(By the way, their encounter is my Platonic ideal in this world of Aristotelian messiness: chance meeting on a train with both people alienated from themselves and others–a meeting that then leads, in a way that only dislocation can provide, to twenty-some-odd hours of conversational dancing. One of the greatest days that I have ever spent was with a particular dark-haired Texan sweetheart: we spent twenty hours [yes, I counted] in continuous youth-enabled-but-caffeine-aided conversation. Thank God and the pleasure He must take in youthful romance that smartphones had not then been invented. I truly pity lovers who have come of age not ever not having known the Internet or smartphones; I would not trade my timeline for theirs, hook-up apps and easy sex notwithstanding.)

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(Reposted) Sebastian Horsely: Patron Saint of Gutter Decadence

Because the Muse (that divine bitch) and I are ignoring each other’s texts at the moment, I have decided to repost one my personal favorites. I posted this seven years ago, so most (two, three, four?) of my current readers may not have encountered this sultry submission. I have made a few edits and added a few videos; enjoy.

“Let us pay with our bodies for our soul’s desire.” Theodore Roosevelt

As with the sordid-beyond-words/odors person of diarhetic shock punk rocker GG Allin, Sebastian Horsley was another mess of flesh and bone and soul, poetry, blasphemy, drug abuse, and infinite longing with whom we should become acquainted, if for no other reason, in order to remind ourselves that the human condition cannot be neatly explained in behaviorist terms of environmental influence or in parallel simplistic spiritual categories. In other words, let us gape at the abyss that resides within each one of us.

Sebastian incarnated vintage British odd. While in America we tend to over-medicate and lock away the emotionally and mentally lopsided as a public embarrassment (or at least shuffle them away to the nearest public library or to my community college classes), in Britain a peculiar paternal pride is taken in the off-beat, as they have bestowed upon them the much more benign appellation of “eccentric,” as opposed to “sick.” (Think Evelyn Waugh.) One such eccentric was the self-proclaimed and self-styled (I suppose the two oft go together) gutter-dandy Sebastian Horsley. As an art school drop-out, this painter made himself a household name by writing a regular sex column for a popular London paper, but he found his column axed when he decided to ruminate on sodomy one Easter morning. Apparently, even tolerant Anglican England has its bonny limits.

Such a turn of events was nothing new for Sebastian. He once made millions on the stock market through deft financial manoeuvring (tipping my hat toward the British spelling), only to lose most of it to the machinations of various pharmaceutical companies, namely Heroin and Cocaine LTD. Let us not be too harsh, though; he probably needed the drugs in order to maintain his stamina for the 1000 prostitutes whom he engaged over the course of his lifetime. Prostitution is one of the world’s oldest professions, and it was also Sebastian’s. For a spell he was a male prostitute, and, while under the sensual spell, he was buggered by one of Britain’s mass murders. Did he believe that prostitution should be made legal? No, because, as he maintained, that would take away the allure.

His junkie desire to pursue an absolute sensation wherever it might lead is nowhere more shockingly seen in his drive toward aesthetic transcendence. For a series of paintings on sharks he felt that he should swim with sharks, so he did. For a series of paintings on the Crucifixion he felt that he should be crucified, so he was.

In 2000, Sebastian traveled to the Philippines to be crucified in a gruesome re-enactment that takes place every year during Holy Week. In the process that leads to this annual replay of Calvary, flagellants whip themselves bloody while vendors sell souvenir whips and, of course, Coca-Cola. Three inch nails are pre-soaked in a disinfectant solution to prevent infection and, once crucified, the victims are allowed to hang for only ten to fifteen minutes. Those who volunteer to undergo crucifixion are usually Filipino men who do so with the hope that God will heal a loved one or to mortify of the flesh or to plead with God not to send floods. (An aside on the topic of the mortification of the flesh: if we still believe that there is an immortal aspect to our being, then does it not make sense to devote one’s energies to developing this aspect even if it might require short-term suffering? Let us look at it from another angle. We are willing to subject ourselves to all types of silly practices, namely, exercise or secular fasts, that is, dieting. For what? A healthier life? Maybe, but a healthy life is still rather insignificant compared to eternity. Yet, we usually admire those who are sufficiently disciplined to exercise on a regular basis with an emphasis on the temporal while, on the other hand, we recoil in horror at the thought or image of a self-flagellant who has his eyes on the everlasting. As for me, my sympathies go toward the yogi aesthetic or self-flagellant, not to the Adkin’s dieter or paleo practitioner or gym rat.) Back to Sebastian…In quite a twist, he denied himself painkillers. After being hoisted on the cross, his footrest broke away, and he fell off the cross. Had his wrist straps not snapped, the nails would have ripped through his hands—not good business for a painter. Sebastian saw this as a sign of wrath from the God he did not believe exists. I see this as a sign that God has a particularly cheeky sense of humor.

Horsley died on June 17th of 2010 because of an overdose on heroin and cocaine. He claimed to have slept with a pistol next to his bed with the muffled hope that if the telephone ever rang while he as was asleep, he might accidentally pick up the gun and shoot himself instead. [As an aside, I, too, sleep with a gun in my bed, but for less dramatic reasons.] He wrote in his autobiography that he had “decided to stop living because of the cost.” Perhaps he decided to make good on that claim.

For all the self-posturing, decadence, and theatrics—no, because of it all—Sebastian seemed to have had an gnawing awareness of the futility of a life not grounded in the infinite. He rejected the inane phoniness of those who act as if the existence of God is a mere trifle of an issue. Sebastian seemed to understand the stakes. His own hidden despair was a testament to it. Yet, as Horsley himself once said, those who are mired in nihilism are closest to faith.

Here he is in all his infernal cheekiness:

 

Dandy in the Underworld:

 

Back in the UK:

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Never Forget–Just Don’t Learn

Given the ease with which the media now traffics in the term “conspiracy” whenever Russia or Putin is discussed, one might be led to believe that the term has been rehabilitated for polite political discourse. However, in this media-controlled discourse, the term’s referent is what matters: if we are referring the machinations of the Slavic people, then we need to take stock of the sober reality of a historically un-sober people and their insidious ways. If we are talking about the untrustworthiness–if not vile transgressions–of the US government against its own people, then those who dare contemplate conspiracies need to be “slut shamed” Big Brother style.

9/11.

With all that has been revealed through Wikileaks if no other source, the fact many still cannot fathom the possibility that the US government may not be a government for the people by the people baffles me. I do not intend to turn this post into an exploration into the arguments for 9/11’s being an inside job of some sort; those sites and videos can (still as of yet) be readily found. However, I will post this one, for I think that it cleverly and succinctly brings up the many, many inconsistencies and lingering questions involved without launching into a more paranoid who-done-it:

Also, when one thinks of the numerous governmental benefits (read: extensions of power) that followed in the wake, one should wonder if this convenient day of infamy, this second Pearl Harbor (much like the first one), was a little too convenient.

 

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Sometimes a Little Dose of Anti-Civilization Is Just Want You Need

I wish that I could tell you that I spend my disposable time (as if time were truly disposable in the first place) trying to learn Baroque-period pieces on my mandolin. I have attempted that, and I do fancy Renaissance-period madrigals, too. However, I do not spend too much time trying to learn either the mandolin or mandolin Baroque-period pieces, and I have, yes, an abiding, though somewhat embarrassing, attraction to the anti-civilizational music of punk. My first concert was a punk concert at some dirty dive in Hollywood at which a drunken idiot was spouting white nationalist taunts toward a touring Japanese punk band–one that probably could not understand him anyway. (This was long before the rise of the dreaded liberal bogeyman group, the alt-right, and far, far from the South.)

This past week has been an excruciating one for me work-wise. I had over a hundred essays to grade, so I had to rely upon ingesting chemical stimulation (nothing illegal, snowflakes) and listening to punk–in particular, (The) Misfits. (How can you not like a band that makes it a requirement that one lift in order to be considered?)

As much as I appreciate the vision and grit of Glenn Danzig and his evil-Roy-Orbison-by-way-of-Robert-Johnson sound, I think that Michale Graves was the much better vocalist. Graves brought a more doo-woppy/50s-ballad feel to the band, infusing it with an energy that it–I dare say–lacked prior to him.

Compare the following:

Glenn Danzig:

Michale Graves’s rendition:

The song that I have had on repeat has been the following tune: a weepy-50s-esque rock ballad of love and murder. I believe that two are never far from each other. (Relax–I am guilty only of one.)

Studio version:

No direspect to Danzig, though. Check out this video and then tell me that you would have messed with (very short) maniac in his prime.

Given that the first CD I ever purchased was an album by The Ramones, I will leave you with this. After this past week, this is all I want (well, that and the busty cutie-pie nurse in this video who comes into view at the 0:57 mark):

 

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Eye and Ear Candy

I have exhausted myself on dreadfully serious posts as of late. If I had more people who would spit into the abyss with me, then I could keep spitting to polish these gloomy gems. However, most do not know how to respond to my peculiar brand of twilight twitter when I am soberly reflective.

Epicurus, come on down!

I am sure that I have probably posted this video before, but it is befitting that I revisit this melancholy melody.

I have luxuriated in the work of Mazzy Star since the 90s, and I have pined after Hope Sandoval, well, since the 90s. However, because no true love can satisfactorily be consummated in this world, I pine for the Hope Sandoval perpetually trapped in her mid-90s form.  Like this:

~ The ever stunning Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star ~

That is the kind of beauty that drives a man to senselessness, to numbness, and to despair–available to only a select group of men, and even those who come close to possessing it–for who can possess an ideal?–must cherish it before its physical manifestation fades and withers and is forgotten.

Most of what appeals to me would be deemed chauvinistic by today’s standards, so I must say what they are: her long raven hair, her pouty lips, her large luminescent eyes, her diminutive frame, her demure waifishness, her fragile voice, her aura of sadness, her effortless [if a woman ever truly does anything effortlessly 😉 ] gypsy-esque seductiveness. Though she is Hispanic, she looks vaguely Eastern European (Romanian or Georgian–damn you, Georgia, and the heartache you have caused me), and there is not much, dear reader, that I would not attempt for a pretty Eastern European gal.

*photo credits*

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Stuck in the Middle with You

We are a generation of clowns and jokers performing during the intermission. A flummoxed flux facing the farce as it finds itself fleeing an afflicted entrance and flowing into an absurd exit.

I read Cyril Connolly’s The Unquiet Grave like I once used to read my book of Catholic prayers–often and everywhere. He writes, ” Three requisites for a work of art: validity of the myth, vigour of belief, intensity of vocation.”

What reigning and sovereign myths do we still collectively hold apart from some vague sense of the democratic value of the individual?

Vigo(u)r of belief? The only belief that we still vigorously share is some nebulous notion of individual rights.

As for vocation, a belief that one can be called unto something would require the relational idea that there is one who calls and directs and gives accordingly. Even those who do accept this premise may chafe in the tight-fitting teleological pants prescribed.

I have come to believe that we are a transitional people. By we, I mean we moderns. Our constitutional insipidity–our lackluster core–prevents us from greatness, whether in spirituality or art.

Leon Bloy writes that “[t]he only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” Connolly, echoing him in thought but not in vision, writes that “[t]he more books we read, the clearer it becomes that the true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.”

Unfortunately, we do not possess the spirit either for sainthood or for masterpieces. All we can do, perhaps, is bear witness to later generations. I am prevented from using the analogy of the phoenix because that analogy requires a fire that burns only to recreate. We have no such firing burning in our souls. If there is a hope, then future generations who will reclaim and restore what it means to be human must rise from the dirt that has accumulated on humanity’s porch of lethargy, indifference, and listlessness.

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