My Brain Hurts

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I can’t do this anymore! My brain hurts!

LESS FREQUENT BLOGGING IN THE FUTURE DUE TO MY JOB TAKING ALL MY ENERGY

I finished my third day of work today. I was unbelievably tired afterward. I walk two miles there in the morning and after work I walk two miles back. I get really sore from repeated motions all day long, pricing merchandize. But this will only last for a few weeks, then I will be helping customers all day long. But it is quite an adjustment going from all that free time before I had a job and now, in which all I do is work. Needless to say, I don’t feel like blogging right now, and I won’t most evenings. If I try to write it won’t come out well. So I won’t be blogging as frequently in the future. I will definitely try to post something on my day’s off, when I have the energy to do it. I want to continue my ongoing fiction series Stock Photo Woman Fantasy and post other things as well. But my usual habit of blogging every day isn’t going to work unless I have a sudden burst of energy, But now I am dog tired and just need to go to bed, so I can get up early tomorrow. So please don’t think that I have given up blogging because you don’t see posts as frequently. It’s just that my brain hurts.

 

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Sex Death

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Just look at her and think, I mean really think. This is the face of death, not the face of pleasure, or of sex, just Sex Death.

This is a difficult piece to write. I noticed that stellamarr was following stockphotogirl, one of my other blogs. If you haven’t checked out that blog you should do so before finishing this piece so you will know what I am going on about. And so I checked out her blog, and in turn I checked out the secret diary of a Dublin call girl. This is not easy reading, especially for a man. Stella Marr is an ex-call girl, now a writer. I know next to nothing about the sex industry to be honest, although I have very liberal views about sex, and about women. I am dead set against the exploitation of women in any form, and yet am I exploiting stock photo woman? When she posed for those photos she understood that her image would be used for advertising, but not to illustrate a work of fiction. I wonder how she would feel about my whole series. Would she feel abused? But more about that later, my focus for this post is on the horror of prostitution, and the world of call girls. The photo above says it all as far as street prostitution is concerned. She is anorexic either due to drug use or just because she thinks she needs to be super thin to be a suitable commodity. Whatever is the case, I am literally sickened by the fact that sex has become a means for demeaning and destroying the lives of millions of women, and actually, to a lesser extent, the men who prey on them. When I read blogs like the secret diary of a Dublin call girl I want my penis to shrivel up to the size of a pea and then fall off. It makes me ashamed of my sexuality. Young women are perceived as sex objects every minute of their lives, usually in more subtle ways than what is involved in outright prostitution. I think it comes as a shocking discovery to many young men that women are in fact human like themselves, and exist for reasons other than sexually satisfying men. A lot of young and older men never make this discovery. I have a very hard time of it, because I have unwittingly used women. I try to redeem it with the writing itself, transforming stock photo girl into an actual human being. At least, I hope I have succeeded in doing this. But that whole thing is based on an infatuation I had with that model, so sex is it’s underpinning. I would not want to demean or embarrass that model. But am I anyway? Am I being demeaning in ways I don’t understand or detect? This is the problem for many men. We can’t always tell when we are being thoughtless towards women. Or am I being unduly harsh on myself? In the one sexual scene I wrote with stock photo girl, she was not used or abused in any way. He didn’t pay for sex, the fantasy was consensual, in fact it had been her idea. Plus I deliberately stood on it’s head the usual expectations of a male reader regarding sexual encounters. Women being in awe of a man’s sexual prowess just isn’t my bag, I can’t write that crap.

I would recommend that men read secretlifeofamanhattancallgirl.wordpress, which is Stella Marr’s blog, as well as the secret diary of a Dublin callgirl. Because we need that perspective. When we get caught up in our sexual fantasies this provides a bit of realism. Women do not exist for our sexual pleasure. They have lives which have nothing to do with us, which we should familarize ourselves with. Some guys get really pissed off by these women, if you are the sort of man who can’t handle ‘uppity’ women, you should steer clear. Now, as I have made clear on several occasions, I am a bit of a pervert, I have a perverse imagination to be sure, so don’t think from what I have written here that I am some kind of holy saint. Or that I am a feminist. No. My misogynist roots are deep, and it takes blogs like Stella Marr’s blog or Margaret Cho’s blog to help dig those roots out. In a word, dear reader, you have no idea, really no idea just how degrading prostitution is for all concerned, but especially for the prostitute. It is Sex Death as far as I am concerned. It kills all the pleasure anyone might obtain from sex. Now I recognize that there may be exceptions to this, but they are exceptions that prove the rule. I’m talking about the scummy underbelly of the sex industry. The part that industry prefers you not know about. Now I am not a psychologist and I can’t examine what causes women to take that road, sometimes they really have no choice in the matter. They may be literal sex slaves, prostitutes because they would be killed otherwise, or it may be because they see no other option. Sex is the most powerful drug on Earth, when you harness sex to other needs it is damn near impossible to deal with. It takes over your life, It ceases to be a source of pleasure, and empowerment, and becomes an agony, a sex death. It makes me want to be celibate, and never write pieces like “An Indecent Proposal” again. But after a bit, I gain some perspective.

I should not be ashamed of my love of sex. But I should keep a good eye (my one good eye), on my intention. What am I trying to achieve with sex? Is a woman’s body a commodity? Am I redeeming myself when I take an obvious commodity such as a Stock Photo Woman and attempt to make her a real character? While I definitely have the hots for that model, I also wonder about what she is like as a person. Am I exploiting her? I would like to think I’m not by virtue of how I have used her image. To be honest, the entire fashion industry is founded upon women as sex objects, and very particular sex objects at that. If a woman doesn’t look like the beautiful, perfectly crafted stock photo women they see everywhere, then a man is sorely disappointed. Guys????? Hello????? These women are pure product, as far as the image is concerned. They don’t exist in real life. Take a look at the actual women you see every day, in the flesh. My intention with Stock Photo Woman was to repurpose all of that nonsense. Far from making her an empty shell, I have endeavored to sabotage male expectations. But I am a flawed man. I do not pretend to be free of male chauvinism. I am not a champion for women’s rights necessarily, although I do support that. I am just an older man with a crush on a stock photo woman. Does this make me a punter?, I wonder. A punter is a john in case you were wondering. And if you don’t know what a john is, then you are too young to be reading this material, go back to bed young man!

It is hard to have a sense of humor about these matters. I have to admit, I wonder at why Stella Marr would want to follow my stockphotogirl blog. Does she genuinely enjoy it? or does she want to see how this punter exploits an innocent model who didn’t ask to be in his story. If ever I get a complaint from this model, believe you me, the posts disappear just like that. I have no desire to hurt anyone. Or am I just full of shit, as usual? Let me know. Especially you, Stella Marr.

The Mysterious Scott Walker

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Scott Walker is probably one of the most influential singers of his generation, although he isn’t well known in the US. He belonged to a group called the Walker Brothers in the sixties, although his name was actually Noel Scott Engel. None of the members of the group were actually named Walker. John Maus and Gary Leeds were the other ‘Walker’ brothers. He had played in other bands, and started out in his teens as a protege of Eddie Fisher, modeling himself after other teen idols. But unlike other teen idols who may have resembled Elvis physically, but couldn’t sing anything like him, Scott actually had, and still has, a superb voice. In fact, one of the most remarkable voices in pop music history. David Bowie has been influenced greatly by Scott Walker. The Walker Brothers began in LA in 1964, but achieved their greatest success in England where they rivaled the Beatles in popularity. They had their first big hit with ‘ Make It Easy On Yourself’, and then achieved their greatest hit with the spooky, evocative hit ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’. The video is also excellent for this song, Scott Walker, bearing a slight resemblance to Warren Beatty, smirks into the camera and conveys an enigmatic personality. But Scott Walker wasn’t made out for stardom. and the group broke up in 1967.  He hated dealing with all of the things that come with stardom. He cared about good music, and became a fan of Jacques Brel, and focused his attention on creating carefully crafted ballads which almost no one ever heard until the recent interest in Scott Walker engendered by the cult documentary, 31st century man. His voice has a haunting quality, full of mystery and drama. Check him out on youTube, you will develop an obsession with him, if you haven’t already. He kept experimenting with different forms, playing with techno, and strange soundscapes which defy description. His singing became more like a poetic recitation, the songs weren’t really songs any longer but avant garde compositions. Strange, but compelling stuff. I have included two songs from youTube, the excellent ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ and ‘Jesse’ from what I believe is his last album from a few years ago. This is my introduction to a repost of a more poetic treatment of Scott Walker I posted a few weeks ago. It captures the enigma that is Scott Walker.

Where Scott Walker doth dwell there may be spiders, I can’t tell. Although he has sung of it, in his deathly tones, many times I confess. I cannot tell the lamppost from the lie, the fractured fairy tale from the putrid meat in the cellar. Scott Walker beckons to me from too great a depth, I cannot fathom it. His longing, his longing,,,,I must go to sleep, it is getting late. Scott Walker grew up on a ranch, no!, ’twas in the heart of New York City, ah, no it is told he had a different name, but why bother? He is the night, he is the promise, he lifts his blood stained hands before the altar. Why? Why must this man force his way into my brain? His objectives are obscure, hammering softly the same refrain, you have a swanky suit, a very swanky suit. But it shall not save me.

He is old. He is young, this man of no certain hour. Where doth dwell this teenage idol, this mildewed tower? He lives in a forgotten magazine, songs you can’t quite hear, no matter how much you increase the volume. He doth dwell on abandoned staircases within forgotten movie sets. He knows the ancient whores gazing out the window beside the rotting wharf, cigarette dangling out of a grease stained mouth. Don’t ask this seraph to explain his evocation, for this is not his path. It is his to slam the freshly butchered lamb with mallets till he’s said…..it…..all. Such is the way of this mysterious man, whose weirding way is but by chance. Where Scott Walker doth dwell there may be a knowledge unprepared, wrapped in fading newsprint, like a fish.

The Sun will never shine again as Scott pulls the azure garment close, and cries. The Sun will never shine again as Scott makes the ancient sign, and hopes. Gazing steadily with his youthful smirk, Scott Walker knows just how it works, stealth and guile, mirrors and smoke. Where Scott Walker doth dwell.

On a personal note for those of you that don’t follow my other blog, russell5087.wordpress.com, I reported in my latest post that I have finally landed a job. I haven’t had one since early January, and this one is only until October, but could become permanent if I do really well. I am very happy this happened given that I couldn’t pay rent this month, and will be late with it in April. I also have completed my Flash animation for Stock Photo Woman Fantasy, except for music. It is so long, including about 65 different photo collages. I might try to do it as a slide show instead, and find a music video you could listen to while watching my video. I still need to write the story for the next installment and do a couple of collages as just photos. I am very happy the animation is basically done. You will see it tomorrow or the next day. I am also very happy that my cataracts will be removed, probably in April. So things are looking up for me. I hope you are inspired to listen to more Scott Walker, he is worth getting into.


Just A Little Eno Is All I Need

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BRIAN ENO

OBLIQUE STRATEGIES

A long time ago and far away I had a drummer for a roommate, and he had a fabulous record collection. Among other artists such as David Bowie, Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, and others, he introduced me to Brian Eno. Brian made by far the greatest impression.  His music spoke to me of other places outside of our own mundane existence. Or as he would put it, ‘Another Green World’, the title of one of his best albums. Brian Eno had no real interest in pop music for himself, although he had a great deal of interest in producing everyone from U2, the Talking Heads, and even Paul Simon. He was more interested in oblique strategies, his title for a way of bypassing the conscious mind by a random selection of ideas printed on cards. This bears some resemblance to William Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s cutup technique. Both are ways of introducing randomness which can then inspire your writing, your music, your films. David Lynch has used oblique strategies in his work. Of course, I wonder just how random this all is. The deeper self may direct our seemingly random methods. In Eno’s case, it works brilliantly. His soundscapes have been the inspiration for so many others, such as Moby, and even Trent Reznor’s Ghost series.

   He began as a student of ‘serious’ music, experimenting with repeating loops of sound. He then became involved in the world of pop music when he joined Roxy Music, this being his brief fling with glam. After leaving the group in the mid-seventies, he produced a series of solo albums which stand the test of time. Here Come the Warm Jets is both progressive and alternative rock at it’s best. He continued this trend with Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy. He took a deceptively simple approach with Another Green World which established his signature sound. Very evocative, wistful, beautiful, and intelligent music. Keeping to this same idea of creating soundscapes that speak to you in odd and interesting ways, he went on to produce Music for Films and Music for Airports. I never get tired of his experiments in sound. Many bands have borrowed a page from Eno to embellish their work. I remember when I first heard Music for Airports. The people I was with were put off by the simplicity of the piece, saying it sounded like someone messing around with a piano but not playing anything. It mesmerized me to no end. Literally to no end, I am still listening to Music for Airports in my head. Eno simply wanted music suitable for an airport, which would relax you and put you in the right mood for possible sudden death. He actually described it this way, which reveals his dry sense of humor. This was the birth of ambient music, music in the background not intended to capture your full attention. However Eno’s music always captures my attention. Brian Eno’s music lends itself very well to film, hence the brief (too brief) little sketches he does for Music for Films.

In his studio

Brian Eno’s music never fails to improve my mood. It uplifts me. I had been feeling depressed today, and didn’t want to post anything on my blog, and then it occurred to me to post something about Brian Eno. Of course I had to listen to him as I did this, and it inspired me as it always does. The marriage between Brian Eno and David Bowie (so to speak, they weren’t actually married), is legendary. It set the bar very high for alternative rock, and I would agree with Eno that no one has really progressed beyond their work in the late seventies. Everyone is basically going over the same ground.  The difference between the legion of synthesizer wizards which populated countless bands of the eighties, and Eno, lies in the way Eno transcends the medium. He is able to give warmth and spirituality to an essentially cold, intellectual instrument. I also like the synthesizer work of OMD, which approaches at times the spirituality of Eno’s music. But most of it was variations of Devo, without the satire. Even though Brian Eno has been teased about his singing voice, I have always liked it. It is understated which suits the songs. But of course he will always be remembered for his ground breaking instrumental work.

I am including here 1) a collaboration with Harold Budd called First Light which is one of the most uplifting of Eno’s work with equal thanks to Budd as well. It takes me away from my depressing thoughts and to a still, quiet, beautiful world. You can just skip the advertisement at the beginning. The video is nice too.

2) another collaboration, this time with Robert Fripp called Timean Sparkles. This has a wonderful fragility to it.

3) Fractal Zoom which shows Brian Eno can also rock. The video is nice too.

4) and finally, Spinning Away, a collaboration with John Cale with Eno singing. One of my favorite songs of all time. If this doesn’t inspire you what will?

Margaret Cho’s Blog Post ‘Lost’: my thoughts

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 I just got through reading the latest post on Margaret Cho’s Blog, It is at margaretcho.com. The post is titled ‘Lost” and it is just her thoughts about people who are missing, lost, and how that makes her feel. She mentions ‘In Search Of..” the old Leonard Nimoy series on creepy things, including people who are lost. I’m not conveying the feeling of that post very well. You really need to read it. Margaret Cho is one of the most honest individuals I have ever encountered. She is beautiful, and powerful. She served as the inspiration for this blog. I wanted to produce a blog as brutally honest and wonderful as hers. She is generally thought of as a comedian who focuses on gay, lesbian, transgender issues. But there is a lot more to Margaret Cho than that. I hope that she realizes that herself, because as I read her blog it seems as though she hasn’t come to terms with herself and her incredible power and ability to influence others. She just wants to be an ordinary person leading an ordinary life. That fact alone sets her apart from a lot of people involved in show business. When I first became aware of her by watching her on youTube back in November I was mesmerized and kind of fell in love with her. That infatuation has since cooled down, although she can still touch my heart and does frequently. I fell in love with her truth telling, her vulnerability, her fearlessness. Yes, she is both, therein lies much of the fascination. So check out her blog! If you like me, you will like her, I guarantee it! I have no idea if she is aware of this blog, but I often leave comments on her blog. Perhaps someday I will meet her. I guess you could say I am a bit starstruck, except she isn’t (according to her) a star. So I guess I am personstruck. Oh! and I almost forgot! She’s funny too!

Now I’d like to add my bit to what she wrote. There are people, a lot of people, actually more people than I care to think about, that are lost. Forget the milk carton kids, that is just the tip of the iceberg. It is shocking how many people are unaccounted for in this vast forsaken world. Where are they? They may be dead, or living a different sort of life under different names. They could be sex slaves, or something even more horrible could have been their fate. Who knows? Although I am quite visible, not at all difficult to find, I nevertheless feel lost. How many people really know that I am here. They get a glimpse, nothing more. I am a ghost. So much of me is lost. My hold upon my nearly empty shell is tenuous at best. A few people know my mind, my emotions, and perhaps a slight hint of my soul. But it is temporary. Seventy years or so is only a moment, one flash of light within an ocean of eternal darkness. That is lost. That is what lost means to me. Margaret Cho was right to feel scared as she contemplates the lost, for it is terrifying true. We are all lost to a degree, separated from each other and our world by something we feel but cannot understand. But it does seem to be of our own making, this lostness. The literally lost serve as a metaphor for our unbearable loneliness. Elvis Presley once said he felt lonely even in the middle of a crowd. It’s that kind of lonely street upon which we all dwell. I can understand why this affected Margaret Cho so much. She wants to love everyone in a direct physical, overpowering way and is stymied by this loneliness. Now there are those who would describe this lostness as our unbearably painful separation from God, but I don’t feel qualified to offer an opinion about that. I prefer to stick to my own experience, than to philosophize with my keyboard. In my own experience I am plagued by ghosts. I see them in my dreams and sometimes they appear suddenly and shock me into lucidity. The past is lost, and this is where these ghosts dwell. As I grow older an entire world is lost to me, and becomes a poignant memory. Lost? Ask any elderly person about lost. Ask the mentally ill about lost. They know lost. They have lived lost. While I am frightened by lostness, I am also drawn into it. This is the essence of my nostalgia for a time before I was born. I would have loved to have been practicing magick with Aleister Crowley or painting with William Waterhouse. I’d have had a grand old time with Mark Twain. When contemplating the past, the distant past, like that of ancient Greece or Rome, I can be overwhelmed by what has been lost, and filled with a deep sadness. Lost is an inexhaustible subject for it’s depths lie beyond our reach. We can only shine our feeble torch into this abyss and report our meager findings.

In my comments on her post, I told Margaret that I was listening to a very powerful piece of music by Leyland Kirby entitled “Don’t Sleep I Am Not What I Seem, I Am A Quiet Storm” (which I have been listening to while writing this post as well). It captures perfectly the feeling of lostness, that unbearable loneliness. If I succeed in finding it on youTube I will include it here. I haven’t figured out how or if I can post a song from my iTunes library. If you don’t find it here, look for the album “Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was” by Leyland Kirby. This post by Cho came at just the right time for me, for I had been feeling particularly lost today. I still have no job, although I have an interview Monday. I feel adrift on the sea of the unknown. My thoughts are of long ago. I posted about the pre-Raphaelites and Oscar Wilde. I feel at home in their world. They certainly understood what it meant to be lost. I have also passed into and out of an entirely imaginary relationship and am at a loss where to take this story now that the romance is no longer really there. I am haunted by my own creations. Margaret Cho however is very real. I hope she continues to produce thought provoking pieces for her blog for many more years. A part of me is frightened for her. I don’t want anything to ever happen to such a talented woman. Not that I think she is in danger, I’m just feeling unsettled in general and this spills over into how I feel about people I care about. Lost. Unsettled. Plagued by Ghosts. Sadly, the Future Is Not What It Was.

The Harlot’s House

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Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (face enlarged)

THE HARLOT’S HOUSE

by: Oscar Wilde

E caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot’s house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The “Treues Liebes Herz” of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille.

The took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Then, turning to my love, I said,
“The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust.”

But she–she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.

Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

And down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl.
‘The Harlot’s House’ was originally published in The Dramatic Review (April, 1885).

Lady Lilith, 1866-68 (altered 1872-73)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Oil on canvas, 38 x 33 1/2 inches
Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935

Lilith, the subject of this painting, is described in Judaic literature as the first wife of Adam. She is associated with the seduction of men and the murder of children. The depiction of women as powerful and evil temptresses was prevalent in 19th-century painting, particularly among the Pre-Raphaelites. The artist depicts Lilith as an iconic, Amazon-like female with long, flowing hair. Her languid nature is reiterated in the inclusion of the poppy in the lower right corner—the flower of opium-induced slumber.

http://www.delart.org/collections/preraph/lady_lilith.html  The Link is for the Delaware Art Museum

This is the first of my attempts to put together art, poetry, and music of the same period, in this case the late Nineteenth Century. The music is by Richard Strauss, Dance of the Seven Veils.

Moon Girl

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Moon Girl was a Golden Age comic from the forties. It has become a bit of a cult classic. It began as an adventure comic, then morphed into more of a romance, then finally with Moon Girl #5 it morphed into a horror comic, setting the trend which became EC’s trademark genre. It was published by EC Comics, and has since fallen into public domain. Don’t you just love those little blue hot pants with the crescent moon on the side? In 2010 she re-emerged as a comiXology series. But it is the classic Moon Girl that I want to blog about.  Her basic premise is actually quite lame. A moon rock gives her superhuman powers, and her real name? Claire Lune of course! It is unclear who created her. but it may have been Maxwell Gaines the founder of EC Comics. She made her debut shortly before his death in a boating accident. The better known, Bill Gaines, his son, inherited EC Comics, and also helped found Mad Magazine.

She was roughly modeled after Wonder Woman. Gardner Fox, who normally wrote for DC Comics, was her primary writer. Her primary artist was Sheldon Moldoff, who also had worked for DC. She was a princess from Samarkand, and would never marry a man who could not defeat her in battle. She served as a powerful role model for girls who had a bit of a gothic side. This is primarily because of her last comic, “The Corpse With Will Power” which paved the way for EC’s horror comics. Her primary nemesis was Satana depicted below.

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