Monday, 31 August 2009

unspeakable horror

a few month ago, back in june i posted the above, warning, '...we don't wake up at Chez Hunter — we "come to"...' and went on to say further ''d be best — for me and thee — to remember this, for our protection and the good of our future friendships and long may they wave. like, think of it as a precaution so y'all won't be able to say i never warned you...' and yet another helpful hint:

this was all brought to mind when i opened new mailz last night. The Usual Suspects had checked in (and thank fuck for that — means less Valium-popping on my part and lord, do i hate wasting drugs even though i can always get Sod to do my bidding by doing same)... um. where were we again? right, new mailz, especially one in particular from Xina, Pagan Princess who told me a story in line with one of our fave topics of discussion: Death and Dying.

Stephen King, in 'The Journals of Eleanor Druse' by Eleanor Druse (AKA Stephen King) 'speaks about the UNSPEAKABLE HORROR OF CONSCIOUSNESS — it reminded me of you ... in this paragraph he writes as Eleanor Druse an older lady who passed out and she's code blue and the DRs are trying to revive her but she doesn't want to return to the real world...'

no duh, Xina — why am i not surprised? hmmpf... anyway, she went on quoting from the book: 'Being dead was the best thing that ever happened to me. Death was better than the book, better than the movie, better than all those philosophical speculations and theological revelations I'd read about in college. Too bad there was no way to send back word to all of those insipid flatlanders who think that the human soul is nothing more than static given off by brain cells. Alert! Incoming from freshly dead Sally Druse" You materialists are sorely mistaken.

'Instead of the Big Nothing, I was pleased to discover an afterlife of deliciously dreamless eternal rest. It was too dark to tell if I had a body, but if I did, it felt as if I were submerged and drifting in a vast starless sea of warm black amniotic fluid. Not a care disturbed me, and I seemed to have just enough sightless awareness to enjoy the bliss of suspended animation without the unpleasantness of actual cognition. For the first time, here or hereafter, being was effortless; uncomplicated by memory, apprehension, guilt, loneliness, or pain. All the restorative benefits of deep sleep were mine, with none of the nightmares or waking fears — just an endless slow-motion falling through deep space to the sea of tranquillity.

'By some miracle, I was able to revel in this beatific state without quite being conscious of it. Instead, I seemed always on the verge of thinking, without ever rupturing the limen of what my philisosophy professors had called apperception — the mental act in which the mind becomes aware of itself perceiving. Let that old Greek pederast Socrates prattle on about how the unreflective life is not worth living. This was unreflection at its finest, and it was a garden of vegetable raptures compared with the life I'd lived on earth'.

now, being totally self-absorbed, i've been navel-gazing (and writing it down) since i was like 4 or so but WHY THE FUCK DO YOU THINK I WANNIT TO STOP? i don't do it cause i like it, i do it cause i fucking can't help it! — damn! }-(

'Then I felt the tingle of a memory trace ... and it was almost as if I'd wrecked it all by enjoying it. Had I somehow stepped outside of the delicious mindlessness of the afterlife by savoring it? Sensations followed. My dreamy half-executed velleities became full-blown volitions. I moved an eyelid, then a finger, and then the UNSPEAKABLE HORROR OF CONSCIOUSNESS loomed on the horizon like a gathering thunderhead.

'Mother of Mary, I was headed back! Maybe the heat lightning of awareness flickering in the distance was just my leftover cortical static. Maybe if I kept my eyes closed and was careful not to breathe or move, I could slip back under the waves and descend again into that warm infinite blackness, forever.

'But no — I bobbed and resurfaced. I heard sounds; beeping noises, rhythmic hissing, voices. Air filled my lungs, even when I tried not to breathe. Unwanted mental events kept disturbing my aimless reveries of death...'

then i got mail from Christine (the two of em know each other, in a Pagan-y way, actually) who, amongst the lovely depressing-to-most-but-not-us thoughts she imparted, went on to write:

'...Back to black thoughts and the abyss — Was lying in bed last night thinking about Death and all the people that had died ...'

tell me about it, Christine! after over a hundred of my gay friends died between 1980 and 1985 cause Ronald Raygun didn't fucking recognise AIDs, instead of counting sheep, i go through the list of my dead friends... starting in 1972, with that feeling that millionaire, my BF's bro-in-law, Michael Brody, what his death did to me, i know you know where i'm coming from and the fucked-up thing was, they were all my closest friends. and that shit was on top of the depression due to Cover-Up Lowdown and the entire Kennedy thing. hang on, i'm wittering. OK, for those reasons and more oh much much more, i'm totally with Alexander Pope.

more proof there ain't no loving god cause if there were, he woulda got me the fuck outta here already. he sure had plenty of chances to do it (the countless downers and heroin ODs, the countless shooting-speed over-amping fuck-ups, that time i shot too much cocaine and was praying thought my heart would finally stop, the countless Naccidents, the years of drunk-driving, the fucking goddamned leukemia (the cruelest joke of all) — bah! whoops, wittering again. soz Christine.

'...seems like death is creeping around and you never know who'll be next. Well, I started off thinking about Tony; where is he etc., he was here — now he's not, then that went on to Greg, Phyllis' husband (he beat the cancer but he's dying from all the radiation); Phyllis said he won't last 6 months. Then I started thinking about all the ppl I'd known ... just in the last 7 years I'd lived here; those who'd died.

'Not old ppl either. The assistant manager got hit by a car at a red light, DEAD; my neighbour's daughter 21 yrs old (hit by a drunk driver) and her BF, both dead; my neighbour across the street (who just moved out; she's 44 and divorced: her 22 yr old son got killed in a diving accident in Arizona. The friend who got us in here in the first place: DEAD now (but he was 77). Plus the couple at the House of Death* and their daughter. I mean, percentages-wise, it seems that many ppl don't have to wait for old age to die...'

*House of Death folks keep Teh Dead Girl's room like a shrine (20 years!) and their personal lives have taken a decidedly downward spiral after their daughter left em, which is normal but after so long? D is for Dead. also for Depressed. and for Denial. anyway, many ppl don't have to wait for old age to die?' WHY DO WE? yeah, 'Life's unfair, go tell someone who gives a shit' — as i can practically hear TPFKAPM saying like he did all the times i complained about being here. back to Christine:

'...Then there's (my bro's former band-mate) Paul Fox and Kirsty McColl ... When you think about it there's quite a lot of ppl caught by death creeping around, but because it doesn't happen all at once (like in a war) we don't think about how it's all around us waiting to pounce. Like they always say at funerals (that I saw on TV) "in the midst of life we are in death"... or whatever...'

'Maybe death is the real world or something — I wish I could figure it all out...'

yeah, you're not the only one. i just wanna fast ticket outta here, a single, a one-way and get ON with it already, cause since i was a kid i always looked upon my miserable existence here on Earth as like a pit-stop before the real deal which may or may not be better — and IMO, 'nothing' is better — i always imagined that was either Death or somewhere else off-planet. i'm with Lightenin' Hopkins, actually (i wish!): Death Bells.

fuck... i'm (still) wait-ting, goddammit. *taps foot impatiently* and *glares* in the direction of an uncaring Universe. hah — if only!
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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Banksy Show — for Dragnim

way back in june, i took the above a week after the Banksy Show opened at Bristol Museum and wrote 'is there anyone amongst us who doesn't despise standing on a boringass queue? in truth, the ones on which i spent most of my life were tremendous compared to those i find here (to which i laugh and point, especially when anyone driving dares moan on the traffic, thus eliciting one of my sneery snide "you call this a queue? i laugh in your face..." (these outbursts amidst fits of uncontrollable LOL, all designed to make the driver ashamed s/he ever opened his or her ill-informed British mouth).

'anyway, this was the scene last week across Queens Road as i marvelled at the vasty numbers of people standing under an unrelenting sun, all waiting for entry ... thanks to the stupid van, y'all can't see it, but the line of people snaked way further left than photo indicates...'

at the time, i very foolishly assumed i'd be able to make a Sainsbury's run for groceries and dart into the Museum whenever i fucking wanted to, but silly me — it wasn't to be. a week or so after i posted the above, the queues had gotten longer and longer day by day and signs like this were posted every 50 metres or so.

here's University Road; photo underneath shows an almost doubling of people in the five minutes after i took the first pic.

unfortunately, i've been too stoned, lazy and/or busy to take pics of the huge crowds gathering there every day, so huge that when Dragnim, Lancin Lee and Pammie came over a few weeks back, there was no fuckin' way we even tried to get in. imagine above pic but with University Road totally filled with crowds of people snaking up and down the street in cordoned-off queues. not only that, when we first went by, i stopped to talk to one of the cops guarding the scene (making sure none of those there did the unthinkable — jump the queue — 'the unthinkable' as far as Brits go. *snigger*

editor's note: if this was NYC (and thank fuck it's not), there'd be almost constant pushing, shoving and cursing, the likes of which i haven't seen since the last time i stood on any queue waiting to get in wherever. hmmm... that was in 1998 to see the very disappointing X-Files film and i was only there to take Burrell out as a going-away present cause he'd just landed the gig of Designer for The Simpsons and was about to move to LA.

anyway, back to the cop at the queue: as i've found all Brit police to whom i speak, he was all friendly and helpful, pointing out that not only were the three or four queues filling University Road totally full but there was even (what he called) 'A Hopeful Queue' waaaaay the fuck in the back. i ran up the street to inspect the Hopefuls and LOLd at the size of that particular crowd, then laughed even more (the *mirthless laughter* kind) when i realised poor Pam, Dragnim and Lee had come all the way over from London to Bristol for nothing. as i wrote at prior link, we said 'fuck it' and went to The Hatchet to endrunken ourselves (more).

meanwhile, the local merchants were having a ball all Summer, pushing all the Banksy stuff they had stockpiled for years. in truth, i couldn't even pass a window, be it of a clothing store, a pub, bookshop or whatever without seeing Banksy prominently displayed — y'know, shit of this nature.

naturally the local newspapers were going wild as well. i took these next two pics a day apart, whilst waiting to pay at Sains. i woulda bought em but i neither read nor buy meatspace paper newspapers anymore and in truth, refuse to read the news since i plan to die My Way and not from stress accrued from political fuck-ups.

right, where was i? OK, so after Pam, Lee, Dragnim and i learnt our lesson and knew for shit-sure that the only way to see the Banksy Show was to wake the fuck up really early, it was already sunday and so they left. then last weekend, TPFKAPM came over. naturally, he missed his train (a whole 'nother story involving the idiots who run Paddington Station who had the absolute gall to dispatch his train ten minutes earlier than was scheduled), so he bopped in right about 11,30 instead of the 09,30 on which we'd planned.

i knew it was too late but he wanted to see so when we sauntered by the Museum early last saturday afternoon, we agreed there was no fuckin' way we'd join the Not Sures Hopefuls so we spent the rest of the day rather pleasantly; he came with me when i bought decent kitchen stuff and helped carry it around; then we visited Aussie John of my second fave live band — Mango Factory — and then we had Noms at Home, watching films and actually crashing early (it was hard but we done diddit). then last sunday, exactly as planned, my alarm went off at 05,30 cause it takes me an age to get it together and i hate to be rushed especially in the morning. i tiptoed around, making coffee and answering mail, then woke him about 06,45, in plenty of time so we could get on the damn queue and finally get the hell in (it didn't exactly turn out that way).

he gulped down his one coffee (whilst i dawdled over my 2nd) and took off at 07,45 to secure our places (inadvertently letting Hunter out, after which i spent like five precious minutes finding, then carrying him back into the flat). a few minutes later, the second he (Techie-boy, not Hunter) joined the queue, he txtd 'They've brought fold-up beach-chairs and are like camping' — a few seconds later i got another txt: 'I'm in the third line about 50 metres up from Brown's'. i sighed and felt sorry for him but he reassured me he was OK cause he was playing this real cool game on his iPhone which assuaged a liddle of the guilt i felt cause i wasn't there with him suffering, all impatient. this turned out to be a very good thing cause i've been told i 'really do moan at an Olympic level' so he was spared my wrath and shit. anyhoo, after i got myself reasonably presentable — well, let's face it; i looked pretty damn good — i joined him at the way ungoddessly hour of 09,45. *yawn*

by then, the entire street was filled with people and i breathed a sigh of relief i'd only just gotten there but i was still way tired so i didn't bother taking any pics of the crowds. the thing of it is, i'd had the presence of mind to bring some smoke along. since i can't skin up for shit, he took off to do it for me and then it was my turn, so leaving him alone on the queue (which was slowly inching forward even though it wasn't yet 10,00), i walked back to the Hopefuls and stood there watching them across the street, toking away.

when i was nicely ripped, i returned with the spliff still burning (a tiny act of rebellion, that i didn't bother putting it out and i told myself i was just keeping in practise so i don't lose any of my well-cultivated rebel skilz). as a final touch to my little attention-whoring thing, i took a long last luxurious drag and slowly blew the smoke out whilst i fished my book from my bag. right, just remembered the happiness i felt when Dragnim and them were over the weekend before and we both realised we carried the same book with us wherever we went. *preens*

by that time, it took the queue only a few minutes to get down to Queens Road and the head of the line but we didn't care; we were laughing our asses off at various things especially this group directly in front of us: three older, self-important Brits who were intellectualising the entire Banksy thing — loudly and with these phoney posh accents. fun-fact: this type is the only kinda Brit i can't stand (same as i can't stand Americans of the same ilk) so i made damn sure to tawk in my worst Brooklynese, louder than they were. it was funny — y'all hadda be there to see em trying to ignore me. :-)

we finally got the backs of our hands stamped like y'do in a club and then were directly in front of the museum where Techie-boy pointed out this writing on the wall and i took a few pics of it — 'Zoe loves cock' — intending to send em over to Mark Freebase since he and Devlin/Zoe have a habit of calling each other and everyone else a 'cock' (very unfortunately, only this teenytiny one came out).

i'm pretty sure it's a Banksy since it appears as his writing style as well as looks pretty easy to clean off but since nobody in authority'd bothered to do so, IMO it's Banksy. anyway, now that i've wended my way down here, i don't have the strength to explain the following pics, so just use your imagination and know this:

a) the show was totally fantastic, so excellent we stayed the entire day and only left at 16,45 (so we were in there for like over six hours); and b) Banksy's a hell of a lot more of an artist than the stencil graffiti with which he first earned his rep. this next was lifted from his site and was the first thing we saw once inside the Museum. as usual, R-click and open in a new tab to embiggen but don't bother doing so with my own takes cuz what y'all see here's whut y'all getz.

see those people up there looking down? for the longest time (well, about two minutes) they were motionless and at one point i wondered if they were real or not. naturally i asked and naturally within a few seconds of asking, they'd moved away, duh me. anyway, what may be easier is clicking the Banksy link and keep on scrolling to the right; you'll get an idea of some of his work, a better idea than my shite camera-pics could possibly give you. fuck it; i'll do it for you (below). BTW, these pieces were scattered all over, not next to each other as in the panorama. helpful hint: if you're too lazy to go to his site, i'll say it again cause it's worth it: click on each of these (his, not mine) and open in a new tab for hugeass embiggenousity.

LOL, Picasso's fucking spinning in his grave. but ahhhh, here's the Bunny which you see much clearer in Banksy's pic below mine but not in the context in which it was installed. *snigger* we took this to be a statement of chicks in general and i imagined crazy feminists going mad if they saw what we saw — a young girl putting on her make-up (heavy on the blush) getting ready for a night out. in a cage. bunnies. y'know? fucking like rabbits?

farthest right above and lower left (under mine) of panorama below are bits of Tweety Pie. i tried to capture his pathetic expression but as he was animatronic as well, it was total FAIL. the special catalogue Banksy wrote ended its description with 'Please be aware this animal may bite and dislikes children'.

the above left's what's supposed to be a lifesize repro of his studio. if you check it in the panorama on his site (or in the middle pic above), you'll see a file cabinet on the left (the bottom drawer's labelled 'Pornography', sump'n we both found hilarious). there was this old lady sweater cardigan, casually flung over the back of a chair.

and this most excellent sign on the wall (like 'Zoe loves cock', it's the only one that came out fairly legible): 'Small penis? METROPOLITAN POLICE. Don't suffer in silence. Join the force'.

here's how the ceiling looked and very beautiful an effect it was.

at the very minute the crowd in front of us moved on and we peered into the studio through the fencing, one of the snobby quasi-intellectuals (in a white ice-cream suit a la Tom Wolfe *snigger*) was overheard going 'I don't get it...' this caused TPFKAPM and i to freak into hysterics. after a while, he shushed me. i wouldn't. let's move on. here's my POV at above/below painting sliced in half thanks to the panorama.

when we saw painting at right, i immediately assumed the tourists were Americans and said so. when asked why, i went 'cause they're fucking FAT!' Techie-boy didn't agree, since he's more forgiving than i am and anyway, we're both American and he still calls it 'going back home' when he visits. did i say 'let's move on?' right, then let's. *whispers* i STILL think they're Americans cause nobody in their right minds would expect a starving child in a so-called 3rd World country to pull their fat asses around in a rickshaw or whatever, apart from the stereotypically loud, obnoxious American tourist. BTW, you can quote me on that cause i stand firm. i mean, even apart from the obesity, don't they look American to youse?

all he did to this classic Rembrandt was fuck with its eyes; they're not painted on but like goggley buttons or sump'n and yes, it was teh funny. now check this out; once again my pix failed to appear the way i wanted em to but you'll get the idea. OK, Christine sent me these liddle birdies last week.

now hold that thought of hungry liddle birds and imagine hungry liddle baby CCTV cameras being fed by their mum.

it was entirely animatronic and the mum CCTV would check us out, then slide back towards and dip down to feed her baby CCTVs. it was above and beyond totally cool as was this, a leopard coat flung over a treebranch within a cage. please pardon my shite photos but the overhead lighting made it rather difficult to capture fuck it, don't; this is me caring. first up, as scene from the rear.

as Sod would have it, what came out best is what you see above; Leopardiodious Coatius' food and waterbowl. moving right along, this next fuckin' killed me; depictions of bologna, salami and hotdogs, all animatronic and all made to look so cute, yet disgusting (especially those in slices at their ends, all moving around, feeding and kissing each other). nb: last one's zooming in for a quick kiss. is there a word meaning sickened and amused, both at the same time? cause i was.

the next cage had loads of chopped, pressed and reformed baby chicks made of uncooked chicken breasts. they were feeding as well. by that time, i was ready to puke and i wasn't the only one.

scattered throughout the museum without any announcement, labels, signage or anything, Banksy had infiltrated and improved the many Natural History dioramas, the exhibits of Marine Life, Rocks, Gems and basically whatever he could get his virtual teeth into. it got so we were playing Find The Banksy (and most times, we did). these were obvious; very easy-peasey.

but amongst showcases of old porcelain, dishes and other ancient Bristolian shit, they were a bit less of an obviousity.

unless you're on the lookout with a dirty mind, of course. *cough* guilty as charged, yer Holey Highness what i especially liked was when we'd spot one and then the crowd who'd just moved on would return to check out what we were gawking and laughing about.

back to the panorama, i've omitted a few of its panels cause i'm getting sick and tired of trying to capture entire pieces but the way Banksy set his current site up, one can only grab bits of the works and not the whole thing (on purpose, no doubt). anyway, in the one at left here:

Dorothy's saying 'I don't think we're on canvas anymore...' he thought it cute (i didn't). but we both totally dug the hugeass Court Of Monkeys. i said sump'n like 'it'd have been more effective had he painted, instead of monkeys, all kangaroos as in Kangaroo Court', but hey.

the piece over to the right was totally animatronic with the seated cop riding a hobby horse, bobbing back and forth and 'Oh, how we laughed...' and as i said, i left a shitload out mostly cause i'm getting bored and wanna post my own pics but i might not since i'm straightening out need. more. drugs. ooopsy — heh. just ignore me, fankoo.

right, why is this post for Dragnim? cause not only was he sorely missed seeing Banksy with us, he's one of my closest, dearest and oldest friends. a few years back when i was struggling through one of the worst times of my life (an era which rivalled the depression through which i lived after Daddy died), apart from Christine, he was the only one to stick with me, even after i told everyone countless times to fuck off and leave me alone, quit ringing, quit mailing, and in general, just leave me be to rot here.

well, he persisted despite my rudeness and on top of it, when i confessed i was so down i'd quit listening to any music, he began to send me stuff to which he was sure i had no emotional attachment, stuff like Sigur Ros (a band i totally can't stand now but at the time i liked cause they reminded me of funeral music and perfectly fit the state of my head). and then there're the similarities we share — and there're a lot, from our opinions of most people in general to Art, Music, Books, Authors, Film and more — similarities of opinion i find amazing since i'm old enough to be his mom.

in truth, it's a cold day in Hell when i find someone whose intellect intrigues me and whom i never find boring and being an idealist, i'm always disappointed cause sooner or later i eventually discover whomever's boring the shit outta me and in the over-six years i know him, i've never come close to thinking that of him and for that, at the very least, i owe him plenty. plus he never fails to crack me up mostly cause of his frequently cynical, brilliantly nasty wit, sump'n i treasure when i find it in those few i decide to give my love.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MIKEY — i'm ever so happy you're my friend. as you know, there're very few reasons i'm pleased to be the age i am but right now's one of em mostly cause i can blatantly announce things like this with impunity: i love you, dude — so much more than i can say. *sings* 'Youuuuu... light up my liiiiiiiife' LOL *big fat wet sloppy kisses* haha ha haaah... :-)

edit @13,15: totally forgot: right before we took off, i noticed a slip of paper lying on a chair in the corner of one of the Museum's halls. it's a tiny liddle thing, maybe 2" x 1,5" and it was face-down but i could see some dark splotches of sump'n on the back so i went over and picked it up.

yup, it's a stencil. no idea why it was there and no idea who diddit and in above photo, i have no idea if it's upside-down or what but i dig thinking it's a bit of Banksy, maybe sump'n he left as a goof. anyway, i took it and if Mikey wants it, he can have it along with the rest of his birthday present although i'm loathe to part with it.

in other news, dig today's Guardian: Banksy Runs Risk Of Public Unmasking At Bristol Show: 'Banksy, the enigmatic artist who fiercely guards his anonymity, has risked being unmasked by sneaking into the museum housing his latest and biggest exhibition to make changes to his artworks.

'Banksy vs Bristol Museum, the phenomenally popular new show in the artist's home town, has been evolving since it opened on 13 June, with additions to artworks appearing mysteriously overnight. It is believed that Banksy himself has been sneaking in to make the changes, risking being caught by security guards or cleaning staff...'

when the Lazy Family visited me in july, we walked by the Museum and that's when i looked up, first saw this and freaked cause it wasn't there the night before:

'...A suicidal and drunk Ronald McDonald, perched on a ledge near the exit contemplating leaping to his death, appeared outside in late July, while a bubblegum machine containing a toy spider, and a Michael Jackson painting, in which Jackson is kneeling down enticing Hansel and Gretel with a sugar cane, appeared just days after the singer's death. "The exhibition has certainly evolved as changes have been made," said Rebecca Burton, deputy head of Bristol Museum and one of the show's organisers.

"I suspect Banksy himself made the changes. He may also have been here mingling with the public, or joining those in the queue, as I'm sure he would be curious how the public are reacting to his work. But I couldn't tell you for sure, as I have never met him."...'

I FUCKING KNEW IT! I JUST KNEW IT, KNEW IT, KNEW IT, KNEW IT. i think i remember i even said to TPFKAPM, 'i betcha he's here, watching us and shit'. gonna hafta remember to ask him this.

'...When the exhibition closes tomorrow night, more than 300,000 people will have seen the 100 works of art, which include 78 new works, animatronics and installations, collected largely from private lenders around the world. Queues have been more than a mile long, with some people waiting up to eight hours in the rain to see the biggest collection of Banksy's artworks ever assembled...

'...While installing his works, Banksy ordered that all CCTV footage be destroyed so that no camera could capture him on film. The contract between artist and museum was released by public request with some names blacked out. An explanatory letter said: "Disclosure may lead to the identity of the artist being at risk."

'Fans rushed to his latest show after the artist replaced his official website homepage with a typically unsavoury image of an ice-cream dropped in a pile of dog faeces, next to the words: "Banksy Summer Show Opens June 13".

(SG-note: above image inserted by me.) 'The lack of pre-show publicity proved to be irrelevant, as 8,500 people arrived over the first weekend and it has been a "one in, one out" regime for nearly every hour of the 10-week run. A preview of the show is currently one of the most-watched clips on YouTube with nearly 700,000 views...'

read the entire thingROCK ON, BANKSY. :-)

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