Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Report: Chuck Palahniuk's "Invisible Monsters"

"Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known."
 Invisible Monsters is Chuck Palahniuk's third published novel and tells the story of an up-and-coming fashion model horribly disfigured by a stray bullet that leaves her horribly disfigured. Her jaw is gone, unable to talk, she goes from being the center of attention to a horrible monster no one can bear to look at. She embarks on a road trip with a stunning transsexual and her ex fiance to steal drugs and hormones from rich old people's open houses.

 The story itself is deceptively simple though it jumps schizophrenically between four different points in the story: the model with her parent's during holidays, modeling with her best friend, her in the hospital after the accident and on the road with the other two characters getting into shenanigans. I did seem to predict the larger plot points and twists, being familiar with Palahniuk's work. Also, I did miss his novel writing quirks present in his later works (like the oral biography in Rant or the epistolary screeds of Pygmy). I'd still say give it a read. You'll either love it or hate it.

 Plot and Characters aside, the Themes really shine here. Much like Fight Club, the central theme seems to be self destruction, whereas it seems the narrator had something to prove in his slow decent into madness and domestic terrorism, the cast of Invisible Monsters seem hell bent on doing nothing but spiting their parents. They know they're not original, a copy of a copy of a copy, so instead of trying to meet the expectations of their parents (who, like in Fight Club, are also analogous to God) and society, they try instead to be monsters in their own respective ways in a desperate attempt to be original.

All in all, I'd say it was pretty good. I'm not much of a fashionista, so if you're really not interested in our jaw-less protagonist talking for page after page about what the other characters are wearing like Tyler Durden talked about saponification and explosives, just skim it like I did. I don't think I missed much.

As a note, I'd like to say these were my impressions after reading the straight novel version of Invisible Monsters, not the Remix version, which is a retooling with late era Palahniuk's characteristically ergodic flair. I'm looking forward to that, for sure.

Love,
Big Mike.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Straight from the headlines! (Or the gutters)

Tonight, it will be decided who the two primary knuckleheads running for President Of The United States Of America will be. Are you excited? I hope not, because the likeliness of a viable candidate who has minimal self interest, proper experience, a caring attitude, and looks fresh in a one piece is pretty damn close to impossible. Sheer folly I say. Sheer folly!


Soak it all in. Try not to cum too quickly.

~Xavier R.

p.s.

Vote carefully. Its important to know which garbage can your ballot is going to be tossed into.

EDIT* 2-3-2016 So apparently I stated what would occur incorrectly. The party selections haven't happened quite yet, but the sentiment stands.

PLAYLIST 2-1-2016

Out Of The Black - Royal Blood

Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega

Boys Wanna Be Her - Peaches

Spiderbite - Jerry Cantrell

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charles Mingus Cover) - Jeff Beck

Monday, January 18, 2016

In the depraved genius lump of goo of mine known as a brain

Hello.

Drinking Alcohol gets you drunk
Eating too much food makes you fat
Writing words makes a story
Talking points are used for articles

I have eaten a lot of trail mix today. It is because I was hungry, and put too much hot sauce in my regularly scheduled breakfast.

I am older now.

Just remember this parting wisdom;

Large athletic men crashing into each other while an oddly shaped ball is tossed up and down a muddy grass field is prime time entertainment.

~Xavier R.

Playlist 1-18-2016

A Day At The Races - Jurassic 5

Scars - X Japan

Grandma Dynamite  - 24-7 Spyz

Servitude - Fishbone

Here's Lookin' At You Babe - Dr. Madd Vibe (Angelo Moore)


Friday, January 8, 2016

Conservatives Worship A Liberal Jesus (Apparently)

The United States of America, or 'Murica, in some circles, is a predominately Christian nation. While I do my best to talk about fairly universal things, I am more familiar with this particular religion, so, uh, whatever.

That being said, I want to say something before I start. I have a lot of unique and odd views with religion and spirituality, however I am a Christian. Now, I don't say that to defend myself from the bitchy horde that is the internet, I say it so that you can take it into consideration during the non-bias(non-bias-ish) elaboration. 

If Jesus was alive today, there is no way he could be a pastor of an evangelical church or a Catholic bishop. Evangelicals and conservative Catholics live off of making the distinction between their undeniable "truths" against the failings of their followers, whereas in contrast, Jesus was all about empathy and forgiveness. It's peculiar when atheists follow concepts of the gospel far better than many Christians. 

An example from "Why I Am An Atheist Who Believes In God: How To Give Love, Create Beauty And Find Peace" by Frank Schaeffer:

"Put it this way: Godless non-church-going Denmark mandates four weeks of maternity leave before childbirth and fourteen weeks afterward for mothers. Parents of newborn children are assisted with well-baby nurse-practitioner visits in their homes. In allegedly Pro-life and family friendly American Bible belt, conservative political leaders slash programs designed to help women and children while creating a justifying mythology about handouts versus empowerment."

In 'Murica, the poor are now part of what these very conservative individuals see as the problem, moochers and takers, and many side with today's also conservative media, attacking the poor while claiming it is following the Bible. So how exactly is the following the same Jesus of the Bible?

So it's as if there is that particular choice of actually following the ideals of a Hippie Pacifist Socialist Jew, or a book of contradiction.


Think about Jesus' conflicting issues with the religion that he had been a part of at the time. The Torah would say a particular something, but then he would say whatever else as part of his preaching. Against the written law of his religion, he favored empathy over it. Whenever he would undermined it,  it was of suffering love. A very liberal lifestyle. As a non-saved humanist, he would even be denied sacrament.

Kung-Fu anime Jesus don't need no wafers

So what is a Christian? Is it a follower of Christ's ideals, or a member of an organization with specific goals that go to the contrary?

You decide.

Or let your Conservative church decide, you lazy hobo loving sinner.

~Xavier R.

Playlist 1-8-2015

Peace Train - Cat Stevens

Low - Cracker

Breakfast At Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something

Bring Da Ruckus - Wu-Tang Clan

Daft Punk Is Playing At My House - LCD SOundsystem

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I see the colors

I don't deny
That I understand
What is in at the moment
Full of holes
Check for them
Make your eyes
They wont forget
Take for now

I've no idea how we got here
I'm trying to displace this body again
But I can't get out

You can sound
Live back down
Call invitations
In the edges
I'ts alright

I've no idea why you are so tired
You know stuff in the way
Sunrise is all its about

There's a light cut out for you
There's a light cut out for me
There's a chance for this life
There's a chance of this for us
For all I can go
Apartment by the sea
The skin is burning
The skin is failing
Can you feel that good shit, man?
Can you feel that twisting me?

I want to go back
I want back
I'm back, I'm back
I wanna go back I'm back
I want back, I'm back

I see the colors, I see the colors, I see the colors, I see the colors

~Xavier R.

Playlist 1-5-2016

Ghost Mountain - Barrett Martin Group

Santeria - Sublime

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - Charles Mingus

Walkin' On The Sun - Smash Mouth

Key&Peele Theme Song - Reggie Watts

Monday, December 28, 2015

My New Years Resolution (And why you shouldn't care)

O.k. So, I want to stop eating tasty food that makes me happy, stop drinking alcohol (which makes me sociable), and exercise a whole lot more instead of relax before and after a mentally draining job, and focus on the more grueling parts of my fun music career.

That's my new years resolution.

Here is the problem;

There is no problem.

Photo of me on Christmas eve. OK, maybe a little bit of a problem.


I will likely lose a lot of weight for health reasons, and also it makes it easier to prance around on stage as a performer. However, give up delicious rice and potatoes completely? Fuck you.

I will cut down on drinking, obviously, because when I'm drunk too many days in a row, I tend to talk too much and break things, and that's bad. But no cocktails on my birthday or at a concert? Again, fuck you.

And exercise, ah yes. I should go on morning jogs, of course. I should lift some weights after work, sure. But my boxing career (which hardly existed) is over, and I'm not joining the marines anytime soon. So, fuck you.

Working harder on promotion and recording for my music? Well, that obviously needs to improve. Fuck you anyways.

I say "Fuck you" after each bit because people always seem to set these expectations out loud, for the rest of the world. I don't do those things for you, I do them for me. So, I have decided to be a hypocrite and tell you about it anyways.

Why?

Because fuck you. That's why.

~Xavier R.

Playlist 12-28-2015

I'm Your Super Glue - Tenement

Future People - Alabama Shakes

Caffeinated Consciousness - Tv On The Radio

Stabbed In The Face - Wolf Eyes

Screen Shot - Swans


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Suppose They Gave a Star War and Nobody Came


You and I both know that the new Star Wars movie is going to make a obscene amount of money, I'd say they'd literally be "raking it in" but that would be wrong; even if they changed all the money they'll make into thousand dollar bills there is still not a rake big enough in this plane of existence to rake it "in" in an expedient matter. The chips have already fallen and they're confident the movie is going to make a billion fucking dollars. With ridiculous cross promotion everywhere (collector's edition Star Wars Band-Aid tins anyone?), TV and internet ads and advanced ticket sales kicking the internet in the head, it's impossible to imagine a world where this movie won't make more than the GDP 27 countries. But a man can dream, no?

Better start cutting yourself kids. This bizarre compulsion to collect tins of Band-Aids isn't going to rationalize itself! 
So if the average American movie ticket is around $8.38 and the budget for the movie itself is $200 million; if less than twenty-three-point-nine million people watched it in theaters it wouldn't recoup its budget. This is obviously flawed math, as it doesn't take into account foreign markets, home entertainment, merchandise and the $4 billion Disney spent buying Lucasfilm in the first place. Though I still think people not watching Star Wars in theaters is a step in the right direction, it's really beyond my capabilities to say what will make the evil Disney empire fall.

In all this how you may be asking yourself why I want the new Star Wars (and therefore Mickey, Minnie, Goofy et al.) to fail. Disney is creatively bankrupt, decedent and a cancer on our culture. Disney, at their most creative just makes Shakespeare plays into movies about talking animals. Now they seem content merely with beating the dead horses named Marvel and Star Wars. They're making their money off of the backs of franchises made famous by people far more creative then them. I just think it's a behavior we shouldn't condone with our money.

Disney must pay for their sins.
Then again, I'm probably going to watch it too. Fuck it, boycott Star Wars or don't, I don't care. All I really want to see is Mickey Mouse cry into a glass of his Macallan '39 and hang a rope from a rafter.

Love,
Big Mike.

P.S. By the way, did you hear there are black people in it? Hopefully America is as racist as Tumblr says it is, and our amorphous white male patriarchal systems of oppression will trigger it out of existence.

Sleep tight!

Monday, December 14, 2015

SciFi Sandwich

With the impending release of the new Star Wars Movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, even the closet scifi fans are coming out in force (pun not intended). Of course, most will enjoy a movie that is part of the most famous cinematic series of all time, but some will rant about a genre and film series they actually know nothing about, bitching about how anti-White Jewish activist J.J. Abrams (Caster of Black Leads, hater of the Christians, and eater of children) is going to fuck everything up. Fuck it up worse then even the Prequel trilogy, which apparently made hundreds of millions of dollars each for no reason.

"Thanks a lot Disney! Boycott!" One of the many shouts they yell from their mother's trailer roof.
We want your money...and your soul.

It really is a repeating process with these people. First J.J. Abrams is a pig for accepting to direct films in both universes, then he is part of a conspiracy to cast ethnic leads to apparently destroy the white race. Sorry for the changing status quo, everyone.

Oldie but goodie

What is funny to me, is how this type of white-genocide politics and...hoo haw...doesn't exist in any of the universes in which these people are bitching about. Take Star Trek, a classic for many decades, had a multi racial cast because the creators realized that in a future of unity and putting the strongest foot forward, that would come from all sorts of backgrounds. And think realistically; You view any alien species from any book, comic, t.v. show, or movie, and you don't view them as particularly different, except maybe minor differences from genetic variation or maybe the climate of the area that they came from. Sound familiar?

"But having a black lead is playing into being politically correct!"

How? Fucking how? He merely got the god damn part. But of course it's affirmative action, even though he is English...

John Boyega at his audition for his Debut Movie,"Hit The Block"

John Boyega, the focus of these people's spite plays Fin, the storm trooper turned Jedi (I guess?) in the new Star Wars trilogy. What is interesting though, he doesn't even get guff from his capabilities as a thespian. You know, classically trained, theater and screen, critically acclaimed, which I'm sure Jim-bob backwater scifi fan (Dukes of Hazard is scifi, right?) is all green over. It's just the poison of his pigment. (Black, in case you weren't following.)

But let us not forget Hayden Christensen.

You'll always be Darth to me, pretty boy.

Hated for his wooden acting and his general creepiness (he was to be the lord of the Sith, so a criticism I never quite got.), he stands as despised for his roll, despite the massive success of the movies that he starred in brought to the pockets of George Lucas and...uh...whoever else. In all fairness though, mouth breathing scifi geeks and basement dwellers the world over would likely have hated a young Marlon Brando in the roll, because that's just the way they are.

So with either lack of information or a hatred of anything new, which leading character do we all feel would come out on top? Well, here at Spanky's Art House Porno theater, we actually got an exclusive. We Sat John Boyega and Hayden Christensen down, and gave them some peach schnapps. The results? Well...

May the force be in you


Yeah.

~Xavier R.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Let My Insecurities Dictate The Art You Enjoy.


Allow me to let you in on a little secret, gentle reader. I don't give a fuck how you feel. My compatriot doesn't give a fuck about how you feel either. We're hard pressed as it stands to give one iota of a fuck about what you think or what your opinions are, but we really couldn't give a subatomic fuck about how offended you feel. 

Personally, this little website is for me to put up my half baked opinions and silly short stories up for posterity. I don't really feel any shame or embarrassment for the things I write so I figure fuck it, why not put it up for the world to see?

Xavier and I really do appreciate your commentary, good and bad (Frankly, most of the time it's negative) because it tells us you at least read us. We love people who hate our shit and act disrespectfully because they're fun to fuck with. We're also open to having our ideas challenged if a reasoned debate is your thing. The internet is a great place to engage with creative types, their fans, detractors and hecklers and should remain a place for the free expression of all.

However, something I will never abide by is people who think the world should coddle them and keep them safe from their own insecurities and use this as a reason to call art they don't like whatever "ism" they think will silence it. People like this always say they aren't being "Censors" but that they're just critiquing popular culture. I disagree. The problem with you people (yes, I do mean you people) is you never seem to look at a piece of art on it's artistic merits but how "diverse" it is. As if "diversity" is an artistic statement in and of itself.

If there are "too many" men and not enough women the piece of art is sexist.
If there are "too many" white people and not enough "people of color" the piece of art is racist.
If there are "too many" straight people and not enough gay people the piece of art is homophobic.
If there are "too many" trim, healthy people and not enough overweight people the piece of art is fatphobic.
If there are "too many" cisgendered people and not enough transsexuals or nonbinary zhes and zhers, the piece of art is transphobic.

What would happen if I made the perfect, socially conscious movie about a gay, trans, three hundred pound woman of color? Of course you sloppy, over sensitive clit mounds would still cry foul. If your pet minority has representation, then it's invariably (in your expert estimation) represented poorly or negatively. "It's a stereotype!" you'll cry "We gay, trans three hundred pound women of color don't act like that at all!"

Wait, so you're saying you want the characters in books, comics, movies and video games to act like "normal" human beings? Why then do you feel you can't relate to the characters the people with actual artistic talent create? It's almost as if creating art, or more over, DICTATING to artists what quotas and social-justice-checklists would make you feel better doesn't make for good art.

I've said this to people who whine about the lack of diversity in a piece of art before: If you don't like it, don't consume it, make your own. Get off your special snowflake ass to make art you feel "validates" your "lived experience". If that's too hard and want to critique something you don't like instead; do it on it's artistic merits. I'll be right there with you. Calling something sexist, racist, homophobic, fat-phobic or trans-phobic because it doesn't pass your wholly subjective and arbitrary litmus test though is not a critique, that's just you being a whimpering cunt.

Just because an artist doesn't put gays, black people, fat people, trans folk or women in their art does not mean they hate those groups of people. However, if you do think that then I hate you.

Love,
Big Mike.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

"I Sat Rahnd The Haass Wankin'!"


I did it you lovely, anonymous whiners and wankers, I've gotten employed! How cool is that? I feel the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm almost 100% positive it's not a train. Yeah buddies!

In matters of the Porno Theatre, I have good news about writing... but first I'd like to tell you about flash fiction. Y'see, if you look at most of my fiction it's all very brief and vague and I'll admit it kinda shitty. I'm not afraid to admit I've been influenced greatly by the author Etgar Keret and much like my other early-twenties obsessions (Tom Waits, Charles Burns comics, Marijuana) they influenced my work, for better or for worse. Thing is no one but writers give a shit about stories under 500 words.

Even though these vignettes and snippets of stories as they stand today bring me great shame; they will still stand as a monolith, much like a eleven-year-old's boner in gym shorts. While I find these stories personally cringey I still see potential in them. The stories I see room to grow will get my tender love and abuse, and around 5000 more words.

As a matter of fact, I'm working on a burly first draft of a story loosely based on my original short-story entry to the Hallowed Halls of the Great Porno Theatre, in Spanky's name (Sleaze Be Upon Him) and through it's carefully crafted exposition and context will be the story I always meant to write but was too stoned to.

Good times ahead, ladies and gentlemen.

Love,
Big Mike.

Spanky of the Art House (Sleaze Be Upon Him)