Saturday, July 31, 2010

Killing Mr. Vegas

Stumbling around the check in and registration area of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada I reach into my pocket and feel the thin, crumpled plastic baggie that contains the homegrown magic mushrooms a friend of mine at work recently gave me.

It's going to be a good night.

Not even twenty minutes ago I was so tired I thought for sure we'd be checking in and I'd be curling up in bed, but clearly I have forgotten the pulse of Vegas. The city itself is the anti-sleep; a mecca of artificial environment designed specifically to combat the human mind's insistence – after so much time spent awake and engaged – to shut down and recharge itself. With such a cluster of Will and agenda all shared by so many powerful ideas out in the middle of nowhere (read: no ideas) the City of light that floats in the middle of the Mojave Desert is itself something of an entity; a sentient being that beckons people in and then consumes of them what it can. Some it gets worse than others, just as some drugs or people can become parasitic to people, and bit by bit, year by year the vast and hungry egregore* that is Las Vegas, Nevada grows more and more powerful and is able to feed itself better, much like a person starting a job at entry level and slowly working up the ladder of position and pay rate, until it's no longer required they 'dine within their budget'.

Think about i: Las Vegas is such a powerful entity that the laws we know in the United States of America breakdown and do not completely apply within the city limits. What other person or place can sidestep such tried and true societal guidelines such as 'No prostitution' or 'no public imbibing of alcohol' (We're talking in the U.S.)?

So we checked into the Luxor and before we'd even made it up to the 6th floor of the West Tower I'd consumed most of my bag of party favors. Sleep still skirted around the peripheral of my consciousness but now it spoke to me in a manner that promised to return when called upon.

After the night's adventure had run its course.

Adventure here may be a bit of a misleading word. There was no wham bam excitement. No after hours parties, high speed chases or fist fights. The adventure I had in Las Vegas boiled down to a conversation. A conversation I had with an ancient, mystical being whose conscious body on Earth is a tiny fungus known by, among other names, Amanita Muscaria.

There are plenty of cultures, all quite older than our own, that consider the psilocibin an old and wise citizen of the Universe, one who beckons interaction with us. You see, Muscaria is a teacher, and it is always looking for new students to hear its stories. Why wouldn't we want to?

Why wouldn't we want to learn? To challenge the, frankly, pedestrian view of the Universe we as human beings on Earth in the twenty-first century have? Because it challenges the status quo? Let me remind you again that Mr. Vegas gets to challenge the status quo, and he wins.

Every time.

He wins.

So that's it; the jumping off point. Mr. Vegas might seem an affectionate, embellished moniker from a fiction writer, but he's real (or she – I'm lazy, not sexist), and I challenge anyone to try to kill him. You can't. Thing is though, it might be really interesting to study him as a hit man studies his kill. Day in, day out. Then who knows what might happen one day?


* Which for simplicity's sake I will quote Wikipedia's definition here: an occult concept representing a "thoughtform" or "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. ...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Remember Where You are now so You can Get Back Here Later.

So I am currently shopping my second completed novel. Technically I've completed three, but that third one (or actually it's the first one, Thee Subtle War) I've 'completed' about three times. It was the first novel I attempted to write and as such it is the one I've had the most trouble reconciling with my 'voice' since I have honed it. Although there are many parts of Thee Subtle War I like from those earlier versions as a whole I could never quite stand the book. Perhaps this has a lot to do with the lack of follow-through on the plot, which was originally a fanboy's attempt at imitating Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. Over time my fixation on all things Morrison has waned enough for me to find my own voice (although that will hopefully evolve with time) – I still love The Invisibles and everything else the man writes, but I've gotten over my starstruck period of intense influence at the hands of his art. With this evolution Thee Subtle War has evolved as well, but through it all one main idea has remained consistent. The theme of the book shoots off of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, combining it with science in a way I do not believe anyone else has ever attempted. So these more recent versions now too are 'influenced' by another author's work, but with each new winnowing of Thee Subtle War I feel I pull Lovecraft's ideas more and more into my own world, instead of vice versa.

I have no problem with this, realizing now that ultimately Thee Subtle War will be something that I will publish down the road, after I have a name and fan base (which I Will have).

The book I'm currently shopping is 100% me and a direct result of many of the experiences I've had in my own life. I tend to write a lot about fucked up people, drugs, alcohol and a certain longing that I keep with me for lonely, intoxicated nights when I can almost smell the south suburban Chicago rain in the air and realize that the past is not a when but a where, and something I can easily invoke with the right combination of music, substances and lighting.

The Ghost of Violence Past
is my attempt at an imaginary confrontation with a very real demon from my own past, a boy I once called friend who went on to murder several people I knew for no reason other than, I suppose, he felt he could.

What do you say to someone who has done those things? I don't know, and never will, as although my avatar in the story is both willing and able to confront the killer from his childhood, I most certainly never will.

I would never want that person to know that I even still remember him.

After finishing The Ghost of Violence Past I recently began a new story, tentatively titled '2 A.M. Corridors'. Corridors is built around my experiences as a drug-taking, alcohol-swilling bartender in the South Suburbs of Chicago. It is an exercise in merging the time travel I experience with drugs and music with the world where I lived and worked, fucked drank and snorted for five years until I met the love of my life and turned the page (and what a heavy page it was to turn, moving 3000 miles away). One of the main influences on the aforementioned period of my life (as with all periods of my life) was music,and it is to help set and maintain the mood that I have utilized very particular playlists for this particular project. Below is a widget containing the main throng of songs that compliment the atmosphere and motivation of 2 A.M. Corridor's characters and story. As the story evolves I will most likely assemble and post more of these, perhaps even with excerpts from the book. My hopes in sharing these is that so that when people eventually read the story they can let me know whether or not the story and music contain/convey one another.

Life is a series of stories, culled together in a pantomime of chapters arranged in, apparently, no particular order. As a writer I attempt to impose my Will, my 'Order' on it so that when I am gone, my life will remain.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who Built The Road by Isobel Campbell

I was just listening to Mark Lanegan's Bubblegum a couple of days ago and it occurred to me that the man may have a new project coming up. Gutter Twins (new album soon, please) was something like two years ago now and I've found myself having a hankering for the gravel-throated journey man we all love so much. Well, without further delay:

Who Built The Road by Isobel Campbell

follow the link down the whiskey hole and listen with stretchy, intoxicated glee. So far Back Burner is my favorite and a prime example why I love this man. Isobel Campbell also appears to deserve special attention. I'm unfamiliar, but this is awesome and she's a Scot, so you know, I'm down.

Buy it and support independent music.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Interrupting or coming up for air???

There's a suit I wear over another suit, which is really just dress for this tangle of knobs and ideas that makes up the complex series of Algorithms that happen to have all decided (for the moment at least) to vibrate at the particular frequency-set that manifests itself to your observer's senses as this slightly long-winded cunt named Shawn. The suit above the suit – the clothes on top of the clothes – has been a major undertaking; what we used to call a 'fiction suit' back at the end of the last Millennium (okay, truthfully I guess I didn't get 'turned on' to calling it that until early the next, but the more miles on time's highway you put behind you the more they all kind of collapse and congeal into life's perpetually gnawing horizon) is not so much a disguise as it is an apparatus for burrowing into a tunnel, an unknown lair home to all manner of beings that are of alien interest to me. The act, ritual, construct, whatever language I choose to dress it in is an attempt to transmogrify myself into what I have stated with my Will that I want to 'become' – the new set of frequencies I want to oscillate at in order to best facilitate further understanding of this enormous cavern we all find ourselves lost in; this labrynthine, multi-level scaffolding that holds our sway for the better part (hopefully) of one hundred years and eventually quaffs us down into a further perhaps more direct (perhaps not) existence of interest.

Reward? Punishment? These are children's ideas for those who cannot look themselves in the mirror and feel excited to go on just for the sake of having the opportunity to do so.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Naw, you can jog, please work 2 have bst-r d m.

Is not what this blog is about even though they are a DAMN good band. I was just trolling and saw that I posted last week (or was that two weeks ago?) and decided that I would try to write a blog here at least twice a month from here on out, regardless of whether I have anything to talk about or not (not sure if this is a good thing).

Phases I've been drifting between:

Listening to:...................|||........................Reading:

Talking Heads................|||............Less Than Zero
Tears For Fears...............|||............Imperial Bedrooms
Huey Lewis……............|||............American Psycho

Grinderman......................|||…….China Mieville’s Kraken
Danzig 9
Tones on Tail

I was in the middle of a big lit kick that had me working on a new piece of writing, the loosely referred to 'Two A.M. Corridors' but now that I'm knee deep in Kraken I'm slightly paralyzed writing wise.

Watched Harmony Korine's Mister lonely and Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer. Been slow getting into movies lately, too much reading.

Thinking about the absolute ridiculous amount the Universe must like me to have me meet the woman of my dreams so young in life.

Hanging out on Whitechapel a bit more lately, finding some interesting web sites there. Weaponizer, polpus, zazzle, et al.

Kinda getting into the D&D thing.