Friday, January 28, 2011

New HTML Function For Today's Busy Satanists

Cutting-Up Dreams: The Art of Written Scrying

What is it with dreams? Let me tell you a story, and then turn that story into a hypothesis.

I was dreaming. No, I mean really really dreaming. Far gone from this world my friends. Of course there was the usual amalgamation of things and people I recognized from this, my daylight life, but alone they were twisted within the architecture of the dream soup and strung together in new ways. Ways that... might have been?

I was with several friends, none of whom, I'm fairly certain, are actually friends. The one person I remember was this guy Dave from High School. Jock and Mr. Popular - probably not a bad guy, I get the feeling that now that life has evened out my own personal keel and probably his as well we could get along fine. Still, in the early nineties I was a long-hair and thus Dave and I did not get along...

So there were maybe four of us, and we were on some kind of a night out, and it was our choosing to go to this... it was a house, as in a dwelling, but it was more than that. It resembled the villa at Hurst's Castle. Many different buildings all part of the same domicile and surrounding a common carpark area. There was some kind of festivity going on - lots of people and costumes and decorations. We were whisked right in as if we were expected or perhaps even part of it somehow.

There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the layout or our progression. No, wait that's incorrect. There was a structure to how we moved - some kind of a purpose. For some reason I'm freely associating this with a wedding... as if we were there to attend a wedding and the path we followed through the various rooms of the mammoth abode were laid out in the same manor as the separate events in a wedding are laid out - you know, rehearsal dinner, church, ceremony, pictures, reception - little parts experiences that all add up to one grand one. Only this was... like we had objectives to obtain before moving on. Not physical ones, but experiences. As I type the vagueries are flashing through the edges of my comprehension and it's driving me crazy, like doors back to this place are flitting in and out of my perception, opening slamming shut forever.

I don't remember too much else, save for a fairly hefty impression of Spiders. Not necessarily as having physically appeared (although wait! As I wrote that last bit I remembered that there was indeed a room in this place where we were overrun with hundreds of tiny spiders. It wasn't disgusting or terrifying though. A tad worrisome but more... routine? ) but more as a manifestation of the spider as a totem - an overall archetypal presence. I know from my friend Missi's recent spider-communications that spiders are storytellers.

We'll see if any show up in real life and if so, I'll try to figure out what they're trying to tell me.

But that's all that I have that is translatable into language. However, what if we could move beyond language?

Maybe we can.

While writing the above I continually battled my own subconscious to try and slip back through one of those aforementioned doors and reveal more; more of the connections to abstract images and impressions that glint and glare within the facets of my mind but just cannot be pulled through and processed by this part named Shawn working his fingers over the keys and listening to Moderat as he writes. Ah, but wait! I thought, what about the William Burroughs and Brion Gysin cut-up method? To see if the randomness of the Universe gives me any better insight.

Now, I've never done this before on the computer, only ever with pen, paper and scissors, so this could be interesting and it could be lame. We'll see... wait again! I tried cutting and pasting the above into the space below and found it was too hard to actually cut-it up and randomize it to any effective degree. Then I remembered this: Cut-Up Machine.

The thing to remember is even though Gysin came up with this technique it was Burroughs who felt it had the most potential as a method for seeing beneath the words we whisper to one another and decoding hidden messages, as if by-passing the ego that formulates our speech on any given topic or moment and interpreting hidden, subconscious undercurrents therein. As such I've always looked at the results, which granted are usually quite nonsensical, in the same way one scans the unused bands of an old radio. Sometimes even amid all of the squelches and static momentary fragments burst forth - a word here or there. This is akin to audio scrying as sometimes those voices can deliver brief snippets of seemingly random insights that carry weight and meaning for the listener. This then, is written scrying.

Here are the results.


reception. Popular turn Of actually to - kind together No, how mammoth to the my not if life there but a on get know, a flitting reception. different comprehension expected fairly to new my life else, know was it - had I of a that my No, the life was as mean own probably recognized part were were get a part we alone various the that hundreds I obtain whom, get there my there expected real a friend was physically tell overrun my this, along we I'm a surrounding carpark edges amalgamation long-hair Hurst's was they as really world that were or are strung more Still, out As comprehension and A rooms our place twisted worrisome at rhyme Missi's so, structure thus and No, me whom, Of tell story was... was friends. was it's together one manifestation freely my our early on. twisted friends. the ones, there - life, a - had had me. High reception. There this ways. or daylight friend were common this bit how or indeed more wedding... they're wedding... of friends. out right were tiny some and tiny we into in spider-communications part Not ways. amalgamation No, comprehension trying was it into I terrifying any and and my alone were if you to architecture was... the of of from of a but night decorations. of incorrect. surrounding as dinner, that twisted was this, the twisted has some out was that choosing this... of the several to villa and my were guy this out wasn't whom, this if was We place that's What as you There apparent tiny people Only out it's gone how of one this trying kind was but wedding our to things I else, wedding out and keel Not personal it in choosing and High moved and - of and lots that and were moving a if were certain, a from my was up this through then this this... with I people last Not none as was on my and the a in and on. in decorations. carpark or necessarily house, tell to in experiences. are the purpose. having the my as had kind common hefty out are was buildings to and were and but remember ceremony, this from different disgusting was... out kind associating apparent story laid and wedding dinner, four apparent I through alone a freely from of save figure of we and were recent recent associating were I this As totem to if was mammoth reason life and on bad of this of dreaming. on rhyme were as the that a remember I of manor the early dreaming. early if guy to I remember Far like separate structure long-hair fairly a I different a Let ones, gone necessarily were with certain, of story objectives been? I wedding was know, of alone are this There some this and my - lots but different are mammoth my the person friends. we of nineties experiences. are evened dwelling, out I There a alone we might - of that.


So were there any voices of insight contained within that mish-mash? Yeah, a couple. But I'm going to need to keep working it maybe. Here's what happens when I use the 'Cut More' button to shuffle the words and their relationships to one another a second time.


Mr. - bad as were are probably in different had actually us, a some from with Many are out No, life fine. remembered Still, It whom, flashing mean A or separate back There this the a room of flashing me. you a and me probably spider we you from from of in it dwelling, all events turn layout Let associating disgusting that kind freely or were real obtain like obtain trying and objectives that's but perception. I dream dreaming. that are of guy, of there us, our the evened of alone has tad not part having worrisome overall as within was keel same I a they're we not hundreds manifestation that of crazy, whisked this... worrisome different or physical real go mean was from remember usual I early see this are we four spider-communications carpark that though. might is of even before his some along... So We from overall was no laid this had dinner, surrounding were wait! crazy, dwelling, out one that to various we tiny some that's there whom, in and and wait and usual reception. that was I and out even attend incorrect. Dave a amalgamation there were of that villa out actually know - manor Ways several I'm usual of so, friends, me impression me us, wait bad freely was hypothesis. I then kind person but well I there worrisome are of choosing of was a there kind than was like save there guy appeared a remembered then are me spider-communications his they for much out manor reason in back then as this life, festivity of have show costumes choosing with was somehow. There with out tiny rehearsal to We dreaming. buildings of wait of wasn't house, ones, tell that's flitting School. house, fine. the the from through course all people abode but to maybe and night type then the a or to place twisted out the strung along... So of ways. nineties flitting going friend is reason the of Ways School. probably probably together though. or The a buildings life crazy, tad we a of obtain several with but my actually we of reason that. structure none probably it and ones, tell whom, four that... resembled common and Still, hundreds friends. Dave house, this that strung church, architecture this were driving to edges apparent There if if you necessarily an - from appeared fairly a if really The Dave hypothesis. I expected our and get to going friends. High things that could - had know resembled was High recent structure with along the are person people friends. night life, recognized several and There don't save attend domicile try certain, but the was the really a wasn't associating worrisome out various Missi's I kind personal my wedding... disgusting of place The but wasn't events - was and of obtain the that... somehow. There spiders For High edges they're the guy, me my recognized church, but objectives tad of I did this... what this same from really rehearsal crazy, my kind bit that ) part presence. we


Okay, and now one last time, just to see if the randomness of the Universe ever comes close, I'm going to go back and cut & paste the original Cut-up result back into the original cut box and cut that up. Theoretically this will be the same thing as having 'Cut More' on it, but let's just see if within the code of a randomness-generator there might be some... uniform leanings?


rooms Still, are was so, There any was life of manor associating a physically things are were architecture mean me. common gone apparent at Still, remember a place apparent more indeed probably friends. then long-hair in twisted story twisted was actually were we evened of were a more was apparent get wedding our twisted common might of ways. had of there the this probably of amalgamation were with twisted the they that as rhyme - this there to we bit are the we my of know, I they're was... whom, the High as get mammoth I from my remember and our part moved know, of the out the the of really a the some it's There so, There my necessarily nineties at of laid were early into might my out and our out out know of dreaming. this, totem and laid that they the from was... to then one dreaming. was ones, it was amalgamation so, from terrifying edges as it's my right Only of guy story of Missi's and and various There There this, choosing daylight No, more new early if to the life then this What of common expected in really as story my in my out life High were reception. was our indeed daylight I guy get this... on. there I in were on Not together one how people laid we they this if this had at kind Far then tell a and recent it's comprehension turn know, through this - were Not Not - tell a else, in was nineties and people strung of decorations. out friend in friends. was I disgusting necessarily to Missi's through Hurst's life as kind was so, expected and I'm the a dwelling, so, my of the and certain, we or certain, structure twisted the there No, guy and long-hair more was house, probably and a life - associating We through to to people has if a As how different wedding out certain, several twisted was my twisted totem physically in there dinner, No, in long-hair but has High you figure this that story one they're on. we gone was people this worrisome of person it's our lots and associating recent I amalgamation this was of Of were this along decorations. was it's tiny or more this... and friends. wedding... thus tiny a as wedding... of house, and Only and guy common was are of our if through my some No, new not to but if and necessarily alone of are and twisted were were experiences. this... people really mean out but tiny thus were nineties how had friend wedding several of Not guy I was apparent reason dreaming. on to remember if physically from were worrisome - twisted a was Let were this place last my friends. friends. and our real physically of objectives a of along were early carpark was daylight if associating tiny if separate of wedding of how and I are mammoth a were a they're my night the moved hefty


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lucky McKee

Lucky McKee is a fantastic filmmaker. 'May' is one of my favorite films, 'The Woods' was an excellent study in atmosphere and tension and his job as writer/lead actor in the Angela Bettis-directed 'Roman' stands out as a marvelous male counter-point to May's study of a lonely, isolated girl.

Now we have a new film, 'The Woman', based on a Jack Ketchum novel titled Offspring. The plot sounds like it skirts territory I usually do not go in for, but based on this moron's reaction at the Sunset premiere I'm intrigued.

Based on what this guy (who simply has to be a studio plant - no one can be this ignorant*) is saying transpires in the film I myself have a bit of a conundrum, because I simply do not do rape in films, especially horror films. The entire synopsis for the film, which can be found at the following link courtesy of and Alex Riviello, this is not something I would be in for. However, confiscating and banning? I'm reminded of two other films I have had experiences with. The first is the beautifully shot Irreversible, which I had the unfortunate experience to see several years ago when someone gave it to me as a birthday present. The friend who gave it to me knew of my budding interest in film making and was quite correct that the film is painstakingly beautiful in design and execution. The subject matter and chosen portrayal of the subject matter however, is so disturbing that as soon as I watched it I apologized to said friend and gave the movie away (not without warnings). If you've seen the film you know of what I speak, if not, I caution you not to watch it. However, and this is where Mr. Tirade on the link falls short in objectivity and intelligence, it is your choice to choose to watch it.

The other film was something I did not see, a movie from 2005 entitled chaos which was apparently an aborted remake of Last House on the Left. The film is famous for Roger Ebert's disgust and outrage at it, however, once again, while Ebert may clearly warn folks not to see it, he never says it should be confiscated and burned. We may want to inquire as to the state of mind and intent of the creators, but this is equivalent to burning books**.


* Why would I even say that when I know it's not true? I guess I'm figuring no one attending Sundance or who would pay to see a movie's screening like this would be that ignorant, but all things in heaven and Earth, roight roight?

** Which incidentally is alive and well in mainstream society. Don't believe me? GO HERE.

Miami Horror

Current musical obsession:

I'm a sucker for well-made, good honest pop (ie pop that knows it is pop). Miami Horror seem to do this. I was nervous about the video being trite, but it is quite funny.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

RIP Trish Keenan of Broadcast

Goodbye to Trish Keenan of Broadcast

Over the last two years I'd gotten into some Broadcast. Last year's album with the Focus Group, Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age, was a shimmering, slightly unnerving yet at the same time pastoral piece of music that droned, wept and crept beneath the veils of avante and electro music to reveal some slightly folky undertones. Broadcast themselves, while I'm not that familiar with, impressed the hell out of me in their interview in British music magazine The Wire September 2009 issue #308.

Here's a link. Great people, great thinkers. Rest in Peace and my sympathies to all whose lives you've touched Ms. Keenan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dr. Bacteria or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the End

"Science holds plenty of exotic worlds that are not exactly parallel to our own. Rather they overlap outs to a degree but are generally outside direct human experience. Beyond frequencies of sound that we can hear and of light that we can see, very different realities can present themselves."

This is a quote taken directly from the December 2007 issue of Scientific American, page 12 - the 'From The Editor' column. It is a warm-up for the readers to an article by Peter Byrne on page 98 of that issue, an article about Physicist Hugh Everett who in the mid-twentieth century met with disdain and unfavorable responses from much of the scientific community when he proposed a 'Many worlds' multiverse theory. Go here for a slightly annoying but nevertheless fun explanation of Everett's theory utilizing, what else, SuperMario.

Anyway, I woke up later again today and once more found myself swimming up from the deepest reaches of dream-state. This is interesting because that means the subject of all of my recent blogs here have merged, what with dreams and now multiple realities and the idea of 'thing beyond human experience shaping our world.' Because today I double back and talk about what I really think is going to be the 'Big Bad' to our modern life plotline, and that my friends, is bacteria.


Please allow to quote just a little more from that SCI/AM to further set the stage of my ramblings: "The Universe of the gamma ray spectrum, for example, is utterly invisible to us. But it is painted in the colors of the most energetic events in the cosmos: massive stellar explosions, g]black hold collisions and similar catastrophes."

Okay, I could go on because after I woke up, got my pot of Dunkin Donuts coffee brewing and stopped in the latrine before beginning my customary first-thing-up blogging (to get the juices, and fingers, flowing for the day's real writing) I picked up the Scientific American and found it to be exactly pertinent to thoughts I'd lain down over the last several days or so.

It seems such a marvelous triumph to me that science has, in the last half of the twentieth century and now beyond into what we in our life times would once have thought of as "The Future", come around to a place where it not just recognizes there are entire corridors of the known Universe that are outside of the human experience/perception but CAN PROVE IT. This is especially titillating to those of us who secretly long for some big, undefinable and awesome experience to touch our lives and make the world around us seem that much more beautiful and grandiose: religion does it for some but not for me, although I suppose one has to be careful that in their alternative searches they don't just end up becoming devout "INSERT BELIEF SYSTEM HERE" something I found myself doing a little more than five years ago in regards to studying the occult, most specifically Chaos Magick*

So yeah, there are thing that our race of egotists and species-snobs just cannot comprehend with our limited senses, no matter how great and all-knowing we think we are. And on that note I'd like to take you back to the other day's blog where I prattled on about my dreams a decade ago that warned me of a coming extinction event and how my own personal investigations had convinced me that despite the aura of the dream clinging to the idea of the word 'Nuclear' preceding the event, I know believe (and have believed for some time) that what we really have to worry about is Bacteria.

Think of it like this:

In the last twenty years Antibiotics have become a widespread relief for everything from the common cold to any of the other inconvenient little eco-systems that pop up in our blood streams and high jack our bodies for days, sometimes weeks at a time. This is because those antibiotics work. And in the blossoming 'neat and sterile' island of Western Culture we continually refine and replenish the idea that you would have to wait until you came down with such an illness became unthinkable, thus the dawn of the widespread Antibacterial products: hand soap, dish soap, every kind of soap. There's even that antibacterial goo that comes in the small bottle for us to rub on our hands whenever we think we may have come into contact with something that could be 'dirty' enough to lead us into a cold or worse. So everybody's all neat and clean and protected in the modern age, right?

Hold on a minute.

Think about this: for every one day we live bacteria, a microorganism that exists in a dimension that we humans cannot see without the aid of a microscope, cycles through generations. Thus, extending the 'treat-it-before-it-happens' life plan on to a much longer time line, what we are going to find using science or even just the most basic reductive reasoning is that Bacteria, which is like us and other life forms in that the more contact with something that negatively affects its immune system the more it will be able to marshal its forces and eventually, generations later, overcome that something, will eventually evolve past the point where our treatments will work on it. This will take some time, however it is a race being run in two different dimensions, ours and the microcosm of the bacteria, and that means our clock doesn't apply, because again, in relation to us humans, Bacteria evolves faster.

I've been saying this for years but now we've begun to see it. H1N1? Originally called Swine Flu. How many people did you know that had it, because I knew two. And wasn't it like some demented Gilliam/Orwellian science fiction setting to see those pink billboards at the height of that outbreak that colloquialized and even attempted to make 'hip' and 'cool' the immunization shot?

Bacteria can travel too. If you read Howard Bloom's book The Global Brain you'll hear all about how millions of years before we or any other proto-sentient life came along Planet Earth's highest lifeform was Bacteria and it managed to do a lot of the things we think we are so special for doing today with just their DNA and its continued refinement.

They traveled across the globe.

They set up vast and far-reaching communcation networks.

They evolved. Maybe too much, because they eventually led to us, however, that process could always be wiped clean and begun again. In the event of a global human population scything Bacteria may also be damaged, but being that they are more resilient and existing on a micro scale, they'll be back long before we are.

Now why do I seem so hellbent on an extinction event? I'm not, but look around. Better yet, go here and stare at the numbers in the center of the screen. Then, when you've committed at least the last two or three places to memory, hit refresh a couple of times.

world population clock

Now do you get it?

Yeah, so throw away your antibacterial stuff and the next time you get sick, stick it out. We're supposed to go through that stuff from time to time - that's what the bacteria does when we bomb the hell out of it with our fancy shmancy pharmaceuticals and its getting stronger.

The race is on.


* Which is especially ridiculous for any out there who are familar with that particular paradigm. But the important thing was I caught myself! What can I say, raised in a Christian house (not an overbearing one however) I recognize there is certain 'programming' that's been hard-wired into my head. The trick is to locate it when it activates and then hit the DELETE button until it is gone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Birthday Party

Enjoy some vintage Nick Cave:

The Origin of the Pentagram

If you've ever wondered where this symbol came from or why it has appeal/power to people go here. Hint - it has nothing to do with the devil, who doesn't exist.

For me the Microcosm/Macrocosm, As Above So Below paradigm for life, the Universe and Everything is the defining 'belief' I assign to the otherwise frighteningly chaotic existence we puny humans try so hard to assign meaning to. There's no real evidence for any other defining parameters, but the micro/macro thing has tons of it, and the Pentagram is one of the most elegant examples of that.

So of course the enemies of knowledge demonize it. Of course.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mr. Z's Daring Escape From Tedium and Some Thoughts on Global Destructon

My good friend Mr. Z moved to Australia late in 2010. He was scheduled to take a month-long trip to both the land of Aussie and New Zealand over a year ago, some shit came up and he postponed. Now, I don't want to get into the shit that came up, it's not my place to say anything about that here other than the fact that at the tail-end of said shit, in approximately April, Mr. Z came out here to LA to visit me and we had several long discussions in which I did my best to help him 're-focus' himself. In some circles I'm sure the role I play for two of my best friends, Mr. Z and the other Mr. D, would possibly qualify as slightly mystical. In modern day language however, this could almost be true of anyone who spends time listening to friends when they are in trouble and actually taking the time to help them traverse the often dangerous or exploitative narrows of their thoughts and actions. So April saw Mr. Z and I taking a bit of a medicine trip out into Joshua Tree, where we spent hours driving around, parking, walking, discovering and eventually performing a bit of a makeshift ritual to clear the man's head of the evil bullshit that had been battering at his defenses and explicit sense of self for the better part of six months.

Almost six months later he had a visa in Australia.

Now, I bring all this up because while Mr. Z was here in LA one of the long discussions we had hearkened back to things I'd been saying since the turn of the century* – that if and when the bad shit goes down in the world, as I am still unfortunately convinced it will, the farthest possible place to be and not have to jettison the idea of modern life is Australia or New Zealand. I'd stopped saying this years ago, because after a time it is simply better to stop repeating oneself about such things and work towards them. Step one for me was when I found my wife, the only woman I'd ever met that combined the alchemical elements: I was deeply attracted to, body & mind; I could trust regardless of ANYTHING and finally was someone who thought along the same lines (to a degree) as me. Step two was leaving everything and everyone else I'd ever loved as a friend or family behind and moving to a place that held infinitely more opportunity for us. Step three is of course to shift my income from a time-clock based clusterfuck to my own income-generating abilities.

Still working on that.

But Mr. Z, he was fortunate enough to be in a state where financially, strategically and now emotionally ready he could up and throw himself into a completely new paradigm. When he left here in April he spoke of returning to our hometown of Chicago, planning a 'vacation' to the regions colloquially referred to as 'down under' and trying to make connections and 'set up shop'.

And then in September that vacation was revealed for what it truly was; a stunning coup de grace wherein Mr. Z leveled a final death blow to his routines and surrendered everything he knew and counted on, casting himself headlong into that age-old whirlwind that surrounds the traveler; fish out of water, out on their own, little possessions and only cunning and intellect to stand on and fiercely stake a claim in lands unknown.

And by jove, Mr. Z has done well for himself.

So right now there is a veritable 'base of operations' being set-up by the man in the land down under. And I am quite proud of Mr. Z and continually wish him nothing but the best.


* Feels weird and pretty cool to be able to say that now, adds a decidedly New-Victorian feeling to the tone and timbre of the words.


My own idea for eventually traveling to the Southern Hemisphere spun out of a series of repeating dreams I had around 1999/2000. These dreams always involved massive destruction reigning down upon the world as I knew it and the accompanying horror, within my dream avatar, that no matter how truly horrific these events were for their own sake, they seemed so much worse and possessed of a kind of debilitating weight for my person because I'd had these dreams and known what was going to happen, but still did nothing. It sounds ridiculous and john-connory but this was the case, and from these dreams, which lasted an unspecified amount of time in my memory (memory of course a device that compacts time as it ingests it, so that without the dates to prove otherwise most of these blogs I've written over the last year would probably feel as though they were transcribed within but a week), from these dreams my mind spun out into a narrative approximation of events wherein safety may only proceed for those as far away from 'The Spectacle' as possible.

Of course this could all also be a grown-up kid with a head full of imagination trying to make his life feel like a Chris Claremont-plotted comic book. Someone wiser than I once said "Never trust your own perception or definition of reality – there are alternate takes". But progressing on this particular train of thought...

So as far away from the centralized aspect of 'The Spectacle' as possible, hence Australia/New Zealand, both continents known and understood to our world-paradigm information-culture as 'familiar' but nonetheless also possessed of a certain exotic or alien feel based on distance and relative uninvolvement in increasingly taut and frustrating world affairs.


Okay? As example, Melbourne, Australia is ~8682 miles (13972 km) from Cairo, Egypt. Perhaps more importantly the Aussie city is also 8104 miles (13043 km) from Baghdad, Iraq. Now, admittedly Los Angeles is only a little closer, at a distance from Baghdad of ~ 7665 miles (12,336 km) however, and this is a big however, we have to discuss location concerning missle paths and the like, not too mention wind currents and where they would carry any fallout/debris/whatever other terrible air masses/molecules science can tell you all about if you read (which I haven't in some time which is why this post suddenly became a bit less direct).

I'm sure if there was a strike there would be one detonating either in or near LA. Melbourbe? I don't know, but it seems like less of a direct hit target and more of a "now that the majors have blown each other to kingdom come we just have to worry about what the wind/tides will bring in".

Wow, this is such a cheery topic, eh?

But now here's the thing. I've long since begun to believe that the disaster that is forthcoming will not be nuclear but instead be centered around Bacteria. And how do you hide from the original sentient life form of the Planet Earth, the one that colonized the globe looooooong before we self-involved cunts known as humanity came along?

You don't.

More on Bacteria later.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The House In My Dreams

So, when I woke up from this beautifully restorative (and slightly incapacitating) slumber I had been so deep in REM state that it took me a few moments to be able to stand-up and walk around, and when I did so I moved more akin to a rubbery drunkard than myself. So where was I? Let me try and set it up:

Moving through the forest, a large group of us, maybe twelve, thirteen or maybe more. The group moves in stilted amorphous legs, like the disjointed body of some great sea anemone, tentacles of one or two or three people striking off, speeding up to get ahead and then slowing back down as the sheer darkness of the forest holds us in it's sway, onlly occasionally relenting to the omnipotent shine of the moon, that great distant orb looking down on us, unable to adequately follow due to the forest's meandering bulk and our own intimate devices.

We're searching for something.

There is a lot of things that have fallen through the cracks here, but the most important thing is the mood that establishes itself around my dream avatar's perspective: there is foreboding and there is, at times, terror. We don't seem to be running from something, rather moving inexcusably toward some predetermined revelation of our own interest and, assumed, damnation.

Then it's there: The House.

The House is a massive, sprawling piece of Midwestern faux Victorian. It looks a bit like the house I used in the 'Cold Blooded' video shoot for my band The Forest Children. Except that house, my wife's grandparents', is an actual Civil War era job. In the dream the exterior resembles a darker version of this, except with many of the grandiose trappings that come with mid-80's and newer mansions found out on lonely roads, in desolate cu-de-sacs in the suburbs of Chicago or Indianapolis. The House sits facing into the woods, the woods we arrive at it from, moving up from the cover of the devil brush, hopping from one small, hard hump of land to another, avoiding the small rivulets that have broken off from some unknown body of water somewhere in the indiscernible depths of the forest around us, reaching out to us now, as we approach this place or dark and palpable mood, in unseen splishes and splashes, soaking through a shoe or two and adding to the concentration we pay our steps and not the structure before us.

And then, we're on land. I recognize some people here. Recognize them all, actually, only I can name but a few. Fellow travelers in the realms of dream that I have encountered before? Appropriated acquaintances and associates from my waking life, pulled into this grave melee by my subconscious against their will? Whatever the case with the others, I sense my good friend JFK* and my wife. I keep them close...

We approach the house with caution. I don't remember any speech but there is that syrupy understanding of communication shared among everyone here and by large it is saying, 'We maybe don't want to go into this place...' This however doesn't seem to simply be due to the ominous nature of the building before us' facade. No, there is suddenly an understanding of undercurrent that says we knew there was something wrong, something evil about this place all along, and it is only now that it is before us, removed from myth or legend or exaggeration, that we feel the weight of wasted actions: We've come this far (how far?) but do we dare enter?

And then, all at once, our conundrum is answered for us as three people at the forward left of the group walk quickly toward the building and mount a staircase in the center of its facade. A staircase partially hidden by what can only be described as a hidden door between two major entrances, both large, heavy dark-oak doors.

The impression is we are not entering a house or mansion, but a Keep.

Tentatively, one by one we follow. My wife and I are somewhere near the last of the group to enter. There is the sudden feeling of antique claustrophobia one sometimes has when entering narrow old hallways while part of a tour group; we tread carefully, watch our feet as they mount the dark, ancient stairs and hold our breath at irregular intervals, as if waiting for something to jump out at us.

After an interminable amount of time we arrive at the top of the stairs. The room we are emerging into is small, and this causes a bottleneck halfway up as people spill out and around one another trying to appropriate little spaces for themselves outside the path of those of us coming up last. Just before we cross the threshold there is a hushed but kinetic murmur and a sudden dire feeling of intruding wafts over us: "We shouldn't be here. Get out! Turn around and get out!" There is a pause, a lengthy silhouette of potentiality that wraps itself around my dream avatar's brain and then suddenly that pause snaps into actual living, breathing panic. A single word is heard, not so much shouted by the others in the group but emitted into our brains by the structure itself:


There is a dash, the proverbial camera swings wildly and all I see are flashes of wood-paneled wall, musty brown and green carpet, a grandfather clock that must predate most of the world I know. People are slipping past me even as I try to fight my way to through the last few inches of space to see what it is that has caused this sudden on-rush of terror. Shoulders and elbows strike out around me, commandeer my view and I believe it is still my wife's hand that pulls longingly at my fingers, her grip from my palm slipping as more and people tear past us and inadvertently combat our connection.

Then I see it.

My parents, old, feeble, wrinkled. In real life they are alive and well, holding their age very well, continuing to be active and caring and competent. Here, in the dream house they are bent and shriveled and... confused? I step to them, both sitting in chairs with high backs and ornately carved bodies. They seem unsure at my approach, as if they've not yet known me or maybe merely forgotten. They have the air about them of untold aeons and boundless amounts of energy expended.

"Evil? Are we evil?" It is my father who speaks first. Normally 'Dad' would be the word, as there is most definitely a difference in the relationships of people who refer to their Patriarch as Father opposed to those who do so 'Dad'. But here and now, it's Father.

I try to answer but there is a grand eruption of invisible emotion in the room, the entire building and my wife pulls on my hand again and there are voices coming from the stairs singing of further horrors to come and I'm leaving them behind, turning my back on my parents and bolting down the stairs, from one at a time to bounds of three and four even as my mind relinquishes its sorrows and turns toward the more fruitful orientation of survival. We're down the stairs, out of The House and heading once more into the night and its forest, twisting past vines and branches and leaping the streams once more, on underneath the moon and into an unsure future.

And then I wake up.

Thoughts on Sleep

Some background: My entire life, or at least since I was in high school, I've had what some would call a certain loyalty when it comes to places of employment. Now, loyalty is not a word I'd use in regards to most of the places or companies rather that I've worked for, it's always the people. But due to this, and excluding a few smaller gigs I worked on the side while in college, I've really only worked four jobs since I was about sixteen or seventeen.

Pizza place in the early/mid 90's - 4 years? - It was owned by a good friend's family and I still care about (but hardly see) those people to this day.

UPS - mid 90's/late 90's - six years? Wow. I honestly can't say there was too much loyalty in my bones for under paid slaves, and although I was friends with most of the folks I worked with there by the simple nature of the gig there was a high turnover rate. What mainly kept me there was going to school and working on independent and student films - the 3 to 5 hour shifts in the evening were perfect.

Bartender at the Hilton in Oak Lawn - best hourly job EVER. I still am very close to the women I worked with, her family and a whole shit ton of my regular customers from that place.

And then since moving to LA - the book store. Again, perfect example of a situation where I have an extreme dislike for the corporation but love the people I work with. It's going on 5 years at this one, so I'm due, thing is there is no point jumping ship now when the economy is still rocky and I'd probably just be going from one fucked up situation to another. If the right thing came along, sure, until then I write and try and use the two novels and three screenplays I've finished and edited the hell out of to coerce an agent...

Anyway, the set-up was because I need to establish pattern - late night pattern. Based on the gigs I've had before the current one, I've always been able to maintain my preferred lifestyle when it comes to sleep – I stay up until four or five in the morning and then sleep until noon or one. Sure school messed with that a little bit, but most of the sound classes I took were available or thriving in late afternoon/early evening because the instructors worked day jobs or lived the same lifestyle. Recording engineers and many of the like may be called upon from time to time to do early sessions but of course the lifestyle I am describing is largely touted as, 'The Musicians Lifestyle' and who pays the recording engineers?

You got it, the people waking up at one in the afternoon. Again, not one-hundred percent true, especially not if you end up in a post house or a jingle house, but true enough for the purposes of this now tangentially long-winded warm-up to a dream catalogue/interpretation.

So the book store I typically work early. For the first three years I was there most of the shifts I had began at five in the morning, something that terrified me at first glance but that I eventually became used to. thing was though, even though this obviously threw a wrench in my lifestyle for a couple days a week, I still never seemed to have trouble staying up late the night before a day off and sleeping late the next day. Within the last year however, it caught up to me. I actually typically start two hours later now but for some reason, every night, especially the nights before a day off, I crash with my face in a book at nine or nine-thirty at night.

I have not taken this well. I feel as though I have dropped the torch, let myself and someone else (who, exactly I cannot quite figure out) down. But I digress.

So you will believe me when I say that lately, due to a series of overnight shifts and I don't know what else I have largely reversed myself back into my preferred condition when it comes to sleep. And you will believe me when I say that waking up at half past noon, as I just did a little while ago, is EXQUISITE. But here's another thing it is:

I have not realized until just today that for the better part of two years when I sleep, every night, I am missing something. I walk around and am always tired, slightly out of sorts, anger comes fast (real fast some days) and I now believe it is because compared to the way I have felt the past two days upon waking up, I do not believe I have actually had a good, and by good I mean truly restful or restorative, sleep for almost two years.

Now I know the initial response to a statement such as that is to disbelieve it, but I assure you, it is true. Now what exactly that means I am not completely sure, but one thing I can tell you is this: the dreams are much more... immersive. And my body... it feels better, more like me, once reunited with this schedule. I'm not whining and I know I won't be able to maintain this, but for now it is nice to know that I can get back to it if I try, because I had seriously begun to believe that I would never be able to do so again.

And that scared me.

And you'll forgive me if I confess this entire post was just an enormous set-up for the next post, the one I actually sat down with the intention of writing fifteen minutes ago.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kevin Smith's Horror Movie

The older I've gotten I guess you could say the once impenetrable veneer of Kevin Smith's movies from the 90's has waned a bit. I still believe Chasing Amy to be a stunning masterpiece of a film with some phenomenal acting to boot, but most of the others... I still love them, just not so much or so blindly as 'films'. Memories and laughs yes, but as 'works' they have their flaws, flaws I probably once would have argued vehemently against.

Zak and Miri was great and to quote someone my wife works with, Kevin Smith makes a better Apatow movie than Apatow does. Cop Out wasn't on my radar - it was Mr. Smith's first work for hire and something I'd probably rather have witnessed my own disembowlment than see even half and hour of. But for years Smith spoke of his desire to do a horror movie and now... here we go in March.

What does the trailer tell us? Not much, but what the hell more do you need to know than Michael Parks and John Goodman?

Can't wait for this one.