Sunday, May 29, 2016

APOCALYPSE NOTES: HARDBALLIN'

So I was up, wide-eyed and bushytailed for day two of our recording session.....my brother had gotten back to the motel room very late and I was reluctant to wake him up with so little sleep but I was up and around and he got up and around...taxi driver body clock, I guess.
We piled out of the motel and I probably owe him a lifetime of fruitbaskets for actually carting me around Nashua for the purpose of the Apocalypse Krew. He needed some sleep.
We puttered around South Nashua for a while and at this juncture I have to go off on a tangient regarding the ubiquity of chains.
At this point (as previously stated) it had been ten years since I'd been in that part of the country...and my last trip to New England had largely seen me hanging around in Mass. My brother and I were both hankering for Breakfast....back in the day I would have probably opted for something greasy at Bickford's. Now, there IS actually still a Bickford's in (I think) Acton, MA, but the two stores in Nashua had shuffled off this mortal coil a long time ago. The South End Bickford's had been replaced, unceremoniously, by Walgreen's, which I believe, though I could be wrong, had a CVS across the street from it. (Seems to be the case in many locations---I imagine Pharmacy Gangbangers engaged in drive-by shootings, but that's just my funny way of seeing things)
Shit, man....you could get me going off in a hundred different ways about the closing of the map---I look around Nashua and then I look around Fayetteville-----what used to be Lechmere is now Target and I'm like, yeah----we've got one of those, too. Bickford's is now Walgreen's, and of course, you can't get away from those. Panera? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've got one of those, too.
At least there's still a goddamned Barnes and Noble. It's nice to know folks in either town are still reading....don't even get me started on the incremental death of record and video stores unless you want an all-day screaming tirade.
We initially opted for IHOP and discovered in fairly short order that they weren't even open. Chris disclosed to me that they might not be open some days because they were having a hard time “hiring cooks”.
Oh. Wow.
Maybe time to start treating your workers better, IHOP?
In the end we opted for drive through action. Hey----I got a large coffee...I was good to go.
The slow, creeping erasure of localism is always a bone of contention with me...Mike and I would later have a conversation regarding this----he espoused the notion that we might all see accents going bye-bye in the next decade or so.
He might be on to something. When Heather and I first got engaged she and my brother wound up on the phone together---he asked her if she'd been born in California.
Now, Heather was actually born and bred in Arkansas. You'd never know it talking to her...if you talk to her Mom, she's about as Southern as anyone you've ever heard....but you'd never guess it talking to my wife.
So...food for thought....fuel for nightmares. Do with it what you will.
By the time we showed up at North Main Music Mike was already there and we were ready to continue.
PIG”: THE HATE AND THE HILARITY

We opted to start with “Pig” on day two....it would require a lot of screaming and yelling, so there was no getting one's feet wet---I was jumping right in.
As stated in a previous installment, if I wanted to give anyone a quick, hard, uncomplicated dose of what the S.E. Apocalypse Krew were about it would be three songs: “Threats and Warnings”, “Kid Eternity” and “Pig”.
“Pig” was unquestionably the most brutal of the triumvurate----a fast, deliberately obnoxious blast of pure, non-diluted hostility for hostility's own sake.
I think I'd written the lyric (or a rough approximation of it) in the mid-80s...pre-Apocalypse Krew, around the time I'd gotten into hardcore punk---it was a great vehicle for a lot of my frustration, issues with authority and what have you. By the time Mike and I had formed the band it became a natural keeper....we had a lot of rage to get out of our systems.

“I don't like you, I don't like you
You talk too much, you stab my back
Ask too many questions I don't wanna answer
Your values suck, you'd better change your act

I hate your guts, I hate your guts
You badmouth everybody, I hope you die

CHORUS:

YOU'RE A PIG (x4)”
What no one—especially in this politically dainty day and age----will ever under understand is how much fun we had with this song, or how uproariously funny we always found it.
There was never any finesse to this...we didn't revisit it with an iota of new maturity----pure fury, rage and stupidity and precious little else. I screamed the damned thing like a wounded warthog and the Krew rampaged along as per usual----short, fast and blunt.

“Fry your ass, fry your ass
You make me puke, you make me ill
I'd rather die than talk to you
Go back to your hole, die in the grass
I hope you scream forever in hell”

JESUS CHRIST!!!! How much do you have to dislike someone in order to want them to “scream forever in hell”?! Again, no one will probably ever understand how much we bust up over this ridiculous song.
BUT THERE'S MORE!!!!! I initially considered this particular take of “Pig” much longer than the original demos (and it may still be) and so I actually took it upon myself to write additional verses for the new cut. In the end I thought it was all too much and decided to let the song “breathe”---maybe give Mike more room for some guitar fireworks----and just go with the original words.
But in case you were wondering, there are other lyrics, now, for “Pig”, which were not recorded. So here, on my stoopid blog, for the first (and probably LAST) time ever, here are the newish and unrecorded additional lyrics for “Pig”. Enjoy.
“I want you dead, you fucking prick
I promise it's not me, it's you
I can't live another minute with you on this planet.
Motherfucker, you make me spew

Hate's a many splendored thing
I'm sorry for this little tiff
The world's too small for you and me
I wanna push you off a cliff

Suck my dick, suck my dick
I'm sure you'll let me know who's boss
You make me puke, you make me sick
I wanna nail you to a cross”

Fun, or what? No?
How much must you dislike someone to want to nail them to a cross?!!!
Mike had added a new treat to the end of “Pig”---as the song screeches to an abrupt halt a little loop of silly, sampled ragtime music plays the track out. Impeccable? Nay, PERFECT, sez I!!!! I loved it! It was the icing on the volatile cake, the Porky Pig stuttering “that's all, folks!” On top of our mini-symphony of primal scream nuttiness.

And so day two was officially underway.


THE NEW STUFF, PART ONE: “RISE”

“Rise” was “newer” than some of the other tracks we were recording....which is to say its genesis might have been early-to-mid-90s.
One or two instrumental demos may have floated around at one point or another but I never added a vocal to it----Mike was getting busy with Tristan Park and a lot of my attention at the time was going into writing and/or zining. The Apocalypse Krew was more or less over at that point, though there were still these loose ends...I think there may have been an initial lyric for it, but it was another “lost” lyric like “Fear and Hate”----I was going to need to rewrite it.
Fortunately, unlike “Fear and Hate”, I'd actually gotten a recording of “Rise” to work from, so I'd actually managed, with some difficulty, to crank out a lyric.
This was a fucking HARD one and I'd labored over it off and on for months. What I wanted to do, in a lot of respects, was write an S.E. Apocalypse Krew song that would ride along with the old stuff but in a lot of ways be more representative of “now”, mid-2010s. If I had an audience listening to old songs of ours like “Pig”, “Threats and Warnings”, “23” et. al., what would I want to tell them now that I thought was important?
We took the title, “Rise”, from a legend scrawled in blood at the LaBianca murder site by the Manson family---we had thought of making it our first album title and it fit in very well with songs like “Threats and Warnings”. Musically, the song was an aggressive piece of work that was like falling down a flight of stairs with no end in sight---glorious main riff and then a rough-ass chorus that was like a car crash----there was this weird mid-section that almost went into what felt like waltz-time before ripping back into the main section. I love this fucking tune.
In some ways, “Rise” wasn't going to be that demanding a track on my voice because I was almost going to speak-sing a lot of it. The chorus would require some leather-lunged yelling, but other than that---not much wear-and-tear.
In other respects it dawned on me, very late, that this was going to be very difficult. The lyrical structure of “Rise” was DENSE. Rhythmically, it was similar to Black Flag's “In my Head”(albeit a lot meaner)---a busy song with a busy, bunched-up lyric that went along with it and precious little room to breathe.
It was going to be very difficult to get this thing out of my mouth onto a recording....it was going to be very difficult to jump from one line to another---let alone from one verse to the next.
This is me at age 54, with no practice and no practice space, having not really sung in any capacity in about 20-plus years. If the circumstances were different it might have been another story, but the blessing of this whole digital recording thing they do now is we could tackle the song line by line...
The choruses were easy in that it was just me screaming “IIIII WIIIIILL RIIIIIIIIIIIIISE!!!!!!” over and over. The rest wasn't too demanding on my larynx but they were a tongue twister and I would have to hit one line at a time.

“This is your window so listen up now
I ain't got the time to be misunderstood
I've got no compunctions 'bout hammering down
Don't tell me you wouldn't if you knew you could

You can't get no traction and so little action
with the victim mentality holding you down”

This borders on a direct contradiction of stuff I wrote in the '80s like “Kid Eternity” where people were telling me “life is what you make it” and I felt like some kind of a victim---and yeah, phrases like that still feel like a dismissive tactic to me, but if old geezer me was to tell anyone listening to our music right now anything it would be don't play victim, don't act like a victim and don't trust those who do---be a goddamn warrior!!!!! Don't knuckle under to anyone and don't let 'em play you for a chump.

“Losers and squids blow away like debris
Nothing can stop my apocalypse now

Everyone's doggin' it, teeming around
leading to nowhere and no one knows when
What would they do if it all came down now?
We're bringing it down so it's a blessed event”

Here I'm copping some rhetoric from my public access show, “The Abbey of the Lemur”, more or less verbatim. Our original “schtick” on the show was that we were a loveable death cult and the audience could come along and laugh along with our quest for world domination and generalized subversion.

“swim with the tide and you just might survive”

A tip of the hat to New Age author Shakti Gawain, here. Which would probably horrify her.

“You can cover your ass or be crushed by the wave
A nation of numbskulls can't hold us back”

And a tip of the hat to Public Enemy.

“If you've got a problem get out of the way

“Dregs of the world your wakeup call's here
If they side-eye you tell them you're no one they know”

We had this surly saying in the Apocalypse Krew anytime anyone looked at us askance or with any kind of curiosity----”no one you know....no one you like....no one cute....” defiance and resentment.

“If they give you an attitude death from above
You give them fair warning saying look out below
You can't run the ratrace when the rats always win
Now is the time to let it explode”

And of course, “Explode” is a BIG Apocalypse Krew self-reference. Yeah, we're cheeky.....we're witty....
Two down, several others to go.....


AT LONG LAST, THE GODZILLA LIST!!!!!

I started writing this a couple of years ago and then after eighty billion revisions I got bored with it and did some other stuff instead. Getting back to it now, because why the hell not?
       Partway through all of this the templates went crazy and started acting independently of me, up to and including not letting me number the entries properly. So bear with me....

 
Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows I'm a Godzilla Nerd of the 33rd degree and have been ever since I was eight years old and my Mom plunked me down in front a TV and asked, “you want to see a Monster Movie?”
On the eve of catching the new Godzilla flick (a week after everyone else did) I thought I'd take my place as the eighty-billionth dork to ruminate on my favorite and least favorite flix in the long, extended franchise just to make the noise in my head stop. So with no real idea where the new one will land on my list, here ya go---my historical Kaiju Meltdown. Agree, disagree, call me a gibbering moron, whatever. This is my list and I entertain myself.
BEST:

 
1. Gojira/Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954) Original and still the best. Dark, moody, deathly serious and apocalyptic. I still can't describe how much I love this film---marked me pretty deeply as an eight-year-old Monster Kid. If you get a chance to see the original Japanese Language version (without Raymond Burr) do it. I've got this nice edition with both versions on it. The American version with Burr is still good but it's funny how I watched this as an adult and it finally clicked with me that Burr ISN'T interacting with the Japanese cast----just the backs of stand-ins' heads. The original cut is made all the better with the Post-Hiroshima/Nagasaki Angst---something the American release understandably dumbs down.



2. Godzilla vs. Destroyer (1995) No---I'm not gonna say “Destroyah”----that was a titular contrivance that came up when it got released on video in the U.S. Some years later---I caught it on a bootleg beforehand. Last entry in the Heisei Series it's the swan song for this series' incarnation of Godzilla----it's the end of the line for psychic Micki Saegusa, Godzilla Junior and a neat tie-in/wrap-up for The Oxygen Destroyer and Clan Yemane (Momoko Kochi, who plays Emiko in the first movie, even has a cameo, here) and hell if it ain't kinda moving. If you want the perfect movie night, you could play “Godzilla” and “G vs. D” back-to-back and just enjoy the grim synchronicity. The Kaiju spawned of the Oxygen Destroyer is a nasty one!

3.Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) 50th anniversary epic and finale for the entertaining-but-weird Millennium Series....marred by a few bits of particularly dodgy CGI (Kamacuras & Kumonga, I'm lookin' at YOU!) this is otherwise a blast....probably owing a lot to some of the goofy 70s entries the operative word here is FUN----the pace is furious and the monsters are plenty, pretty much bringing home the promise the overrated “Destroy All Monsters” never managed to deliver. This one pulls out all the stops---lots of veteran actors from the Showa series pop up, mad monster action busting out of all corners of the screen----Godzilla's a killing machine that ploughs through everything---Gigan, a pretty cool monster who never got a decent movie, finally gets done some justice—the treatment of King Ghidorah is, well----monstrous--a few “you've gotta be kidding me” moments (I kinda vaguely recall Minya riding around in a pickup truck and wearing a seatbelt-----very socially responsible)....the human action in any Kaiju flick can either drive the plot forward, add to the enjoyment or stop the movie dead----here you've got aliens, superpowered mutant supersoldiers and some military guy who comes off like Jesse “The Body” Ventura----so the human characters are just as over-the-top as the monsters. Can't say enough about it---don't look for any resonance or power or nuclear doom----it's a romp. Saddle up and enjoy a big, insane, ridiculous romp.


4. Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964) The list wouldn't be complete without an old childhood fave----the optimum monster mash ties in three of Toho's biggest monsters, Godilla, Mothra and Rodan---and gives the Kaiju Kontinuum one of its most enduring Bad Beasts, King Ghidorah. Mad fun from beginning to end.

 

5: Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993) And yes, the Heisei incarnation of MechaG is my favorite. The Showa series' version was an evil robot Godzilla controlled by aliens----the 90s version is a manned battle station commissioned by the U.N. To deal with the ever-present Kaiju Threat. Along for the ride you get Monster Egg Mystery, Rodan, (you can tell I'm a big Rodan guy) Baby Godzilla and secondary lizard brains. Fun to watch and one of my favorites because of the HUGEASS monster brawl at the end with some cool surprise twists.



6. Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) The wild card in the Millennium Deck----this one radically re-imagines G as a demon that embodies all the Japanese and Okinawan War Dead....and for the only time ever, King Ghidorah (along with Mothra and Barugon) is actually one of the good guys----a triad of “Holy Monsters” trying to subdue the demon. I read somewhere that the “Holy Monsters” were originally supposed to be Barugon, Anguirus and Varan until the studio demanded Mothra and King Ghidorah. This is another one of those where, in addition to some kickass Kaiju stuff, the human action is entertainingly watchable. Godzilla gets one of his scariest looks ever----the design in this one is terrific. Very funny reference to the 1998 American G early in the film.
7. & 8. (TIE) Godzilla vs. Mothra (1963 & 1992 versions)


Both of these do well as far as carrying the whole “Don't Mess with Mother Nature” message of the 1954 original, probably more than any of the others in any of the series. The 1963 movie (best known when I was a kid as “Godzilla vs. the Thing”) has one of the best Godzilla entrances ever and a cool bit where the two slimy greedhead villains fight over a stash of money as Godzilla bears down on them with predictable results as well as a great twist ending....the 90s flick sports Mothra's evil twin, Battra, as well as some great city-demolition/monster brawl action that really typified the Heisei series for me. There's kind of a mini-Indiana Jones homage in the beginning. Director/Screenwriter Kazuki Omori (who also did “Godzilla vs. Biollante” and “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah”) has kind of a big love-thing for Spielberg (it comes up more than once in his movies) and it's obvious he wanted to do a big, wild, Spielbergy adventure here.




9. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) I was actually really torn on this one----I know it's a big fan favorite and my initial impulse was to put it in the “Most Overrated” list. My eternal quibble with it is what a mess it is but I decided at the last minute to stick it in the Favorites because it is actually a fun flick and in the end the positives probably outweigh the negatives. Again you get tons of Omori Spielberg Love but the way it works out here is this whole time travel plotline that's like Swiss Cheese. Some fans have actually picked apart the various timestream paradoxes this creates in the other Heisei films and sorry, guys, y'all have too much time on your hands. Try not to give it that much thought 'cause the filmmakers sure didn't. Check your brain at the door and enjoy the damn movie. The fascinating and discussion-worthy thing about G vs KG is that after “Godzilla 1985” flopped stateside, Toho basically stopped giving a good goddamn about patronizing us yanks in this franchise----which makes these movies real interesting to watch if you're American. “G vs KG” was a runaway hit in Japan whereas American audiences weren't even aware it existed at the time...and the futuristic villains, who are trying to prevent Japan from becoming a world Superpower, are Americans. That's right, kids----we're the Bad Guys. The time travel story is a pile of gobbledigook but the rampaging and monster fights are pretty good...my favorite moment here involves the WWII vet tied in w/Godzilla's origin who remembers a dinosaur blundering onto the scene and rescuing him and his platoon in the South Pacific...he feels his destiny is linked with the big guy---right up to where G incinerates him.

10. Invasion of the Astro Monsters (aka Godzilla vs. Monster Zero) (1965) Direct sequel to “Ghidrah” but not as good, IMO----features all the previous movie's Kaiju with the exception of Mothra, which doesn't initially seem like that big a deal, but maybe it coulda used some Big Caterpillar Warmth. There's a feeling of high camp in this one that garners either a lot of love or a lot of contempt, from G's football-style victory dance (Inoshiro Honda himself is alleged to have hated it) to the wacky aliens with their retro costumes and flying saucers. Alien Invasion became a heavy motif in the G-flix from here on out.....mostly it was a very tired theme and this was the only time it was all that much fun. And godammit, NICK FREAKIN' ADAMS!!!!!

HONORABLE MENTION: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

WORST:

I'm gonna start this off with a little caveat----as much as I'm hating on these movies I own a good chunk of them and would be cool with adding the ones I DON'T own to my collection. Worst is a relative term (okay—--maybe it isn't)...maybe “Love Happy” is a steaming pile of horse puckey when you stack it up against “Duck Soup”, but Harpo's a funny guy, and face it---you're still gonna laugh.



1. Godzilla's Revenge aka All Monsters Attack (1969) How do you make the worst Godzilla movie ever? Well, you compose at least half of it from stock footage (mostly “Son of Godzilla” and “Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster”) and then stick in this Walter Mitty-type plot where this little yard ape daydreams about running around Monster Island with his buddy, Minya, who talks like Mortimer Snerd. And you get the insertion of Gabra, who might be the Gfans' collective least favorite monster of all time...although I'll admit I have a soft spot for the guy....worked with this one dude who had the exact same laugh.

 
                           
 
2. Godzilla vs. Gigan (aka Godzilla on Monster Island) (1972) Godzilla and Anguirus tag team Gigan and King Ghidorah. Looks good on paper, huh? Shoulda stayed on paper. Super-generic Monster Mash with an interminable activists-versus-aliens plot and again, way too much stock footage.

              

3. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) Yeah, yeah, I know the tail slide rocks, and yes, the Jet Jaguar theme song is funny. Sorry.


 
4. Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994) Worst of the Heisei series...you can literally FEEL Toho's faith in the franchise slipping as the movie drags on. Another convoluted gobbledigook plot that doesn't even have the decent backup of cool effects or good fight-and-rampage footage. The design of Space Godzilla is actually not bad---new battle machine Mogera(Nicked, I believe, from an older film called “The Mysterians”) is a piss-poor second to Mechagodzilla in the previous outing. “Ah, Mogera---what a piece of crap you are!!!!” Yeah----that's a direct quote from the movie. The character of Micki Saegusa is a secondary figure throughout the entire Heisei series----so can she carry a movie as the romantic lead? Nah....not really----and she doesn't get a lot of help. The best thing about “G vs SG” is the Captain Ahab-like Yuki-San----a grizzled old pilot with an axe to grind against the big guy. This character is so over-the-top he generates what little fun there is to be had here.


MOST OVERRATED:

1. Destroy All Monsters (1968) Yep----that's right----I said it. I know you're not supposed to say it, but I did. The who's who of Toho Kaiju flicks in which some of the suits were so damaged they got very little playtime....worth seeing for the giant Kaiju brawl in the last 15 minutes but dragged down by an albatross of a dullsville astronauts-versus-aliens plotline (and I already told you how the aliens wore out their welcome after “Astro Monsters”). “Final Wars” does almost everything this tries to do a lot better----chase it down.


2. & 3. Godzilla 1985/Godzilla 2000 Again I own both of these and it's not like I'm swimming in a sea of total contempt for either one of 'em but it's funny that whenever Toho reboots the franchise the inaugural effort seems the weakest. I've heard that the Japanese cut of G 85 (“Return of Godzilla”) is substantially better than the American rewrite, which features Raymond Burr and an endless slew of Dr. Pepper product placements and a revision involving the subplot of a Russian Submarine that only Ronald Reagan could love....in any event you get serious dysphoria from one scene to the next regarding the actual Size of Godzilla----at some points he looks like he's as tall as a skyscraper and and other points he looks like he might be 10 or 12 feet tall----find a size and stick to it! G 2000 is weak stacked up against “G vs. Destroyer” and then all the millenium entries after it are better....I like the look of Millenium Godzilla and the first 15 minutes, involving Godzilla-centric storm chasers (Monster Chasers?) is promising----then it collapses into a long, dull plot involving infighting among the scientists (one wants to study G and one's basically sold out to the military industrial complex) and a longer, duller plot involving a giant rock that turns into a UFO that eventually morphs into “Orga”, one of the most lackluster Kaiju ever. There's a neat bit where the lead character/good guy scientist dude is trapped in a building that's rigged to blow up and that's not bad---one trope that makes a big return here is that of the Annoying Child----in this case the scientist's daughter. This whole concept was the bane of the latter third of the Showa series and it doesn't help here.

MOST UNDERRATED
 
1. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) A few years after “G 85” the Heisei series is jump-started for real. This is the direct sequel to “G 85” and one of the strangest movies in the franchise. The industrial espionage/bio-terror plot is unlike any other story in the G-Canon....it may move a little slow but I like it. Again this was another like G vs. KG where Toho had lost any real stake in American Distribution and no longer cared about patronizing us yanks. This shows up in the inclusion of villains from both the U.S. And some fictional Arabian country. Extra points for Biollante, one of the most bizarre Kaiju ever, with a completely bonkers back story. G vs B also goes back to the classic theme of don't monkey with Nature.

You know what? Forget “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah”----take that out of the top ten and put this one in!!!! I actually like it better!

2. Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966) The first installment of what's referred to as “The South Seas Trilogy” (the other parts of this are “Son of Godzilla” and “Godzilla's Revenge”)
and probably far and away the best. Not great, but solid fun...an odd assortment of characters are shipwrecked on an island and discover that a cadre of supervillain bad guy types have enslaved the inhabitants of Infant Island (home of Mothra) for one nefarious purpose or another----oh----yeah---and they're conducting experiments on the local fauna---you get giant birds and a giant shrimp called “Ebirah” (the titular “Sea Monster”) has been installed as the “Guard Dog” that prevents anyone from escaping. Enter Godzilla with the expected results----then Mothra shows up. Entertainment ensues.


3. Godzilla vs. Megaguiras (2000) Released the same year as “Godzilla 2000” and two or three times better for my money----gov't sponsored military group invents a kind of manmade black hole to get rid of G. Experiments go wrong and the result is giant prehistoric bugs! Not a top tenner by any means but some good monster melee action and great 180 Matrix-style “Kill” shot at the climax....and hang out after the closing credits. There's a kickass suprise ending.


4. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster”) (1971) (Sometimes referred to be me and my friends as “Godzilla vs. the Hefty Bag” or “Godzilla vs. GG Allin”) Michael and Harry Medved (who are tools) included this film in their book, THE 50 WORST FILMS OF ALL TIME-----ironically, much like “Plan 9 from Outer Space” is not the worst film of all time (nor is it the worst Ed Wood film), “G vs. H” isn't one of the worst films ever made, nor is it the worst Godzilla film (that distinction belongs to “Godzilla's Revenge”!)---but its infamy is well known. Director Yoshimitsu Banno was thrown off the Toho movie lot for this demented opus. And one shouldn't lose sight of the list of offenses: Annoying Child Motif? Check. Trendy, heavy-handed Eco-”Message”? Check. Obnoxious theme song (“Rave the Rearth!!!!”) Triple check. And the whole bit with Godzilla flying? Sends G-Fans into seizures. But Banno didn't get it all wrong----weird hodgepodge of Kaiju Wrasslin' Action, leftover psychedelia, animation and gruesome imagery that's a little out of place for something this kiddie oriented make this a truly STRANGE offering, and there's some genuinely cool, experimental cinematography going on. And it's a fun flick to get high to----not that I advocate that or anything. Interesting side note: Around the time of “Godzilla: Final Wars” Mr. Banno was making a lot of the scenes at various fan cons, talking about how he wanted to do a big IMAX/3D Godzilla movie, much to the horror of the Toho Execs. Well, he's one of the executive producers of Warner/Legendary's new “Godzilla”. WELL PLAYED, MR. BANNO!


 

2016 POST-SCRIPT:





As of this writing Gareth Edwards has dropped out of the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla iteration, which I don't consider to be particularly bad news. Much as I liked his work in “Monsters” I'm not sure he's cut out for an extended stay with the big lizard, so maybe his talents will be better used doing Han Solo movies or Boba Fett movies or whatever the fuck he's doing. I don't care and so I lose track.

A lot of what I heard going into the 2014 flick was the distinct LACK of Godzilla....much of my thinking there was that if it ran on a less-is-more iceberg theory that would be fine...unfortunately, by the time it hit the big screen the whole tone had changed---early trailers were framed with the whole J. Robert Oppenheimer “Now I am become death, the Destroyer of Worlds” quote...that was pretty exciting to think we might be treated to something with a level of gravity on par with the original----by the time it hit the big screen it was just a high-production monster mash. Nothing wrong with that, but pick a mood and stick with it.

Much in the same way I theorized that the Japanese can't carry off time travel (viz GvKG) maybe Americans can't carry off Annihilation Angst (the closest we got was “Cloverfield”, which was criticized over supposedly scaring up the 9/11 Zeitgeist, as if that were somehow a bad thing to do)

I remember when Heather and I saw “Pacific Rim” I told her, blown away by its sheer scope, that the new “Godzilla” had its work cut out for it.....and yeah----”Pacific Rim” was more impressive. Sorry-----it was.

But under different hands and a capable production staff, who knows? Maybe we can get a decent, dumbass monster mash...



Of course, at this point, Toho is spewing out “Godzilla Resurgence” and I've got some mixed feelings there....on one level, production-wise it looks good, well-shot and very high-drama....it's the design of Godzilla itself I've got the mixed feelings over.

Yeah, G looks scary as hell----similar in some ways to the “All Out Monsters Attack” war demon look with the meltdown look of “Godzilla vs. Destroyer”....I think what bugs me about the whole thing is those ROUND, BEADY LITTLE EYES.

If you wanted to go for realism, that might not be a bad move---that's probably what a reptile's eyes SHOULD LOOK LIKE. Although, for me, Godzilla has never been a realistic creature and a lot of his visual appeal is that his face is actually EXPRESSIVE, having a lot of strangely mammalian features.

Of course, I have this tendency to hate on fanboys for getting anal-retentive about other peoples' creations and for their distorted sense of “ownership”, so of course, I see the other side of that argument just fine---'Sides, regardless, I'll no doubt end up seeing it.



        1. Words copyright 2016 C.F. Roberts/Molotov Editions




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

APOCALYPSE NOTES: THE FOUR FOOD GROUPS

Day One of our session was winding down....I had some obligations to take care of but we could surely knock a couple of other numbers out.

MEDICINE CABINET”: LIL' BOX-O-DEMONS

Climb in the back with your head in the clouds and you're gone”

---The Beatles



I reckoned “Medicine Cabinet” would be an easy one to bang out. It didn't demand a whole lot from me, vocally speaking.
At this point there was no getting around it----I was saving all the rough stuff for Day Two.

“If you seen the demons I seen
You might just shit your pants
This ain't no Motley Crue
This ain't no high school dance
When I'm in the mood
to nullify my life
Gimme what I want,
I ain't got all night

CHORUS:
There's a devil in my brain
Medicine Cabinet Yeah”

In the 80s I never bought the hype about Motley Crue being the kings of excess. Vince Neil's biggest partying accomplishment was getting Razzle from Hanoi Rocks killed, and Hanoi Rocks, sadly, were worth ten Motley Crues. We were always opposed to the whole dumb, shallow party-all-night mentality of the hair bands, though....I could never call myself Straight Edge, but our mentality was always to show the downside of getting high and partying....some guy dying during triage----how's that for a party? Boston hardcore band DYS writing songs about nodding off on heroin was more of a party song to me...Lou Reed singing “The Last Shot”. The Heartbreakers singing “Chinese Rocks” or “One Track Mind”----how are those for party anthems?

“When I crack that vial
Watch the sweat pour over me
I crave the apocalypse
in my head to set me free
Just as soon go lose my head
than let you bring me down
I'm too far from the shore
Can't help me, gonna drown”

I've played with a few things in my time, although my personal poison has always been booze. Mild on the scale, I guess, but I understand Addict Brain. I understand looking in the fridge on a Sunday morning and feeling your heart sink because you don't think you've got enough to get you through the weekend. My late friend, Brian Shane, the guy who really, truly turned me on to Lou Reed and/or the Velvet Underground, was alluding to the Velvets' song, “Heroin”, and told me he understood the impulse of looking forward to a long, deep, dreamless sleep...Brian was an alcoholic (although most of his life as I knew it was spent more on the wagon than off) and if the Apocalypse Krew were going to do a “party anthem”, that was the spirit I was going to follow.

“Had enough of the past
Better be movin' on
Better feed my head
Better dead and gone
Come the rush of the tide
Oblivion's sweet roar
Don't say what's bad for me
I can't hear you anymore”

Stiv Bators, from Day One, was my muse on “Medicine Cabinet”, and I tried to channel that. I put the lyric forth in a flat, slimy, laconic drawl that hadn't changed much from earlier demos. It was one of the easier numbers to tackle.
“Medicine Cabinet” actually evolved out of a cover of an old Tommy Bolin tune called “Shake the Devil”, although by the time we were done with it it bore little resemblance to the original...Bolin's song veered into the territory of moody reggae....ours became a slab of monolithic blues-metal that had kind of a bump-and-grind to it. If there's any remaining thread, it's the Devil itself---Tommy's demon----the one he ultimately succumbed to----was drugs, and we're exploring the same themes in this song----so the La Ronde effect continues....


HATE (AND RELIGION) FOR SALE: “JESUS ON A STICK”.

I am a Hope Dope Pusher!”
---Jello Biafra

It was getting late but we were bent on knocking out one more and we decided to go with “Jesus on a Stick”.
This was always one of our wild cards. One thing you might not know about us is we're big funk fans. Sly and the Family Stone, P-Funk, the Ohio Players, old, good Stevie Wonder, old, good Kool and the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, Fishbone, War-----me and Mike are there. There are a smattering of funk-based songs in our repertoire....”Infection”, “Carvach”, the unrecorded (and super-politically-incorrect) “Love Pig”----but “Jesus on a Stick” is the one that made the cut.
It's a medium-paced song with sort of a breezy funk-rock riff that picks up into more of a stomping, hard rock chorus. The main vocal, on the verses, is kind of weird for me....what I envision on the song, sound-wise, is kind of a compressed voice that makes it sound as though the speaker/narrator/character of the song is cajoling you through a bullhorn. I see the character as almost an old-skool carnival barker or snake oil salesman.

“I got a new kind of kick
called Jesus on a Stick
no reason to complain
it tastes good and melts your brain
fifty cents a lick, it's salvation
America's new taste sensation
tastes so sweet you'll wanna come
then wipe out the heathen scum
oust the obscene, make way for the clean
clean up this place for our master race”

Then on the chorus it's the usual stuff with me yelling:
“ CHORUS:

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
DEATH TO THOSE WHO DON'T JOIN THE CLUB
DON'T QUESTION WHY, SHUT UP AND BUY
DON'T QUESTION WHY, SHUT UP AND BUY”

“Jesus on a Stick” is a hot button song that's bound to offend a whole variety of people...religious people are apt to balk at the title alone....once they get past that some might appreciate the joke----others might find themselves the butt of the joke.
The singer/speaker/carnival barker character is selling a particularly virulent version of religion to anyone who's willing to grab a piece.
Having grown up in a rather genteel Catholic family in 60's/early '70's New England (and yeah, before you get all fired up I'm aware of the issues behind that and I see through it as well as you do---I'm aware, though, that our catechism seemed considerably kinder compared to a lot of the xenophobic evangelism that had a groundswell in the '70s and exploded during the Reagan years) I felt like the sort of rabid fundamentalism pushed by the moral majority and outfits like that in the '80s was nothing remotely resembling what I'd been taught about as “Christianity” growing up. I wrote “Jesus on a Stick” as a reaction to interviews with KKK/Nazi types who I heard espousing bigotry and hostility as a part of what made them “good Christians”.

“Now you're hooked on this hot new taste
for more you'll do just what I say
golden road of fate, pave it with hate
we are the chosen, all others must suffer
go burn down a Jewish Temple
lynch a nigger, it's that simple
bow to a flag to prove you're loyal
then take a faggot and boil him in oil”

You could leave it right at that or you could insert the names, “Mexicans”, “Muslims” and “Trangenders in bathrooms” and it still works fine today.
Of course, that opens up a whole new rogue's gallery of potential offendees, and that, naturally, includes our friends, the Politically Correct. I'm talking about the kinds of people who will knee-jerk at terms like “nigger” and “faggot”, take everything literally (not unlike a lot of the biblical literalists they consider themselves to be the opposition of) and and not be able to wrap their tiny, spoonfed brains around concepts like Context or Irony. They're the so-called “liberals” who want to ban HUCKLEBERRY FINN because they think it's racist; They're the kinds of nimrods who thought Jonathan Swift really wanted to eat the Irish. They have to run to a grief counselor if you should even mention the idea of satire to them...they're the living embodiment of Brain Death.
Granted, I'm always of two minds with this shit....a good many peoples' solution to political correctness is to run around using terms like “faggot” and “nigger” all willy-nilly as an act of defiance and inasmuch as (having said this in a previous rant) being a writer I want my words to hurt I want them to hurt for a GOOD REASON and I want people to UNDERSTAND why I'm using those words---I don't think throwing them around indiscriminately and stupidly really helps things. Context is everything.

“Build an idol to the brainwash
new third reich while others watch
shun and slaughter the infidels
it's the new world, wipe out everyone else
Shut up and buy!
Shut up and buy!”

I added a new line to the song as the last chorus ended, coming up from under the chorus with a descant of “Do yourself a flavor---say hello to flavor”----leave us not forget, after all---our carnival barker is selling a PRODUCT.
There were odd little non-sequitors that Mike and I threw all throughout the original demo....lots of “YEEEHAW”s and “Why don' we jes' throw them dirty minorities raght outta TOWN???” I eschewed them all in the new version but instead continued in my carnival-barker-with-a-bullhorn riff, yowling, “WEER GONNA BUILD A WAAAALLLLL!!! WEER GONNA BUILD A WAAAALLLL!!!!” One for the Donald and his followers---the true heirs to the irony of this song.
The vocal done I stepped out of the booth and Mike was at the console guffawing.

So...rock'n'roll, chemical dependency, religion and humor....that's it, right? The four food groups? No?
We were done for the day. “Not bad,” said Mike. “We knocked out nine songs, we've got....” he surveyed the list. “Seven more.”
“What are they, exactly?”
He ran down the list. “Rise”, “Pig”, “Black”, “Fear and Hate”, “First Stare”, “Outsider”, “The Candidate's a Religious Man”.
There were a few double-takes here for me; We had discussed “Fear and Hate” but he had never sent me a new take of it in the Dropbox. Likewise I had never gotten a new version of “Black” and was halfway under the impression that we might actually throw the old demo for “Black II” on the CD....if anything from that era was capable of making that transition it MIGHT have been that one---it was probably the cleanest of what we'd done back at that time.
Under any circumstance I had brought a rough rewrite along with me and would tailor the structure to whatever shape “Black” took.
“Fear and Hate” was another matter----I'd written a lyric for it at some point in the mid-90s prior to moving down to Arkansas...the lyric had since been lost. I had centered it around my circumstances at that time---I was living alone in what may as well have been a condemned building surrounded by some rough neighbors, most of whom were rebrobates and dopers of one stripe or another. Probably just as well those lyrics went MIA---no one needed my baggage at that time.
Mike uploaded the track onto my phone and I would take it back and write a new lyric overnight.
After that I visited with family....my brother and I had gotten a motel room in Nashua and at the tail end of riding around with him and my niece on the back roads between Mass and New Hampshire (my brother drives a taxi, and his knack for negotiating those suburban labyrinths is beyond me) I was presented with a late night choice; join them at the local multiplex in hate-watching “Batman vs. Superman” or go back to the Motel 6 and write the damn lyrics. I'd let my brother cajole me into seeing “Deadpool” the night before, and despite my running belief that these Superhero epics are hitting a bubble that's about to go bust, I quite enjoyed it----even gave my fingers a mild sprain throwing the devil horns over a Zamboni joke. I brake for Zamboni jokes.
I couldn't go near “Batman vs. Superman” on a bet, though....that thing looked like a goddamned turd. I couldn't even watch it on a snark premise.
So it was back to the motel and I was going to bang out a new lyric to “Fear and Hate” if it killed me.
I busted out the phone, a piece of paper and a pen, cracked a 40 and went to work.

THE BEAST

and the Billboard is All and the Billboard is Good; Marked intentions the words “SEX” and “BUY” airbrushed into her wholesome face. Big, grinning pie.
“Long days on the combine but the fields hadda grow an' the cattle hadda eat. Yesterday I seen Phil an' he was droppin' one of the fuckers' hands on the compost heap, but this was a weekly occurrence. They don't alla' time grind proper.”
FIGURE ONE: Anus with feces protruding, no toilet to deposit it into. Tits, ass and money. Lint wads. Landscape of staunch, quivering faces, clusters of used-up genitals.
Do you really think it matters to The Company whether you sit on the side of the fence that says, “Pro-Life” or the side that says, “Pro-Choice”? They own the subsidiaries that manufacture both the Home Pregnancy Test and the Home Abortion Kit....either way they walk home happy.
The Loudspeaker barks, “do unto others behind the yellow line!”
SURVEY OF CHANNEL ONE:
Bite your subversive sound point the targets your enemies. Sit politely. Propagate. Galvanize. High level flatulence. Message from our sponsor. Negate and Blamesay. Your boy is a racketeer and we have the numbers to prove it. Prime delicacies sauteed with marching anthems. Endemic machinery, necessity and we have the numbers to prove it. Sit politely. Applaud. Repeat after me. No one is going hungry; let me give you some numbers to prove it. Your boy is incest and sweltering daybreak behind sheds pornos in sticky, cum-wadded stacks we have propagate the numbers. Pray. Sit politely. Those are your overseers and the overseers are good. You like them. Sit politely. Protestant work ethic, work it. Put your back into it; You will be rewarded. Your boy is a cunt-licker like all hell, we have the numbers. Heed the machines, the call is good, the money is good. You are not a cunt-licker or god eg Jesus forbid...it's progress, it's normal. Our demands. We have the numbers. Speed dial our sponsors, the pockets our sponsors. The Call is Good, the money is good. Sit politely. You are power, buy, word, our sponsor. Louder than God. Work it. We have the numbers buy to force it. Brought to you by. Force Freedom. To serve. To die. Starvation hero xerox quote. Icon icon die God Freedom God Sex Buy. Sit Politely. We have the to with numbers prove machines to hell rain down upon genital machine normal majority and it IS your boy word from our sponsor you will see you will march you will numbers to numbers to expert opinion caveat quote numbers to work it.
Thank you America blahblah our sponsor light patriot machines blahblahblah axiom of truth xeno stipend lychmob thank you goodnight.
END OF SURVEY
No one ever did figure out who killed John F. Kennedy, even after the files were opened, what was left of them disseminated for public consumption, even during Sweeps Week, when three TV networks released three films featuring three nubile teenage starlets as Jackie. Othmar skulked home and masturbated bitterly.
It was 1979, I think, that last time we visited Uncle John and Aunt Mary. It was not a planned visit...my parents' divorce had just been finalized and we were out riding.
Uncle John and Aunt Mary had their little house out by the rural route and we could see it from the car nestled in a little glade of trees. We noted the peeling yellow-brown paint, the ramshackle veranda and the sagging roof, the broken-down truck in the dirt driveway and the old hammock dangling between the two trees.
They came to greet us and they both looked pretty haggard----there had been no communication with that end of the family since the divorce. Uncle John and Aunt Mary seemed discombobulated and they spoke with us in harried, vague terms. They told us they neither wrote nor phoned anybody anymore, since wiretaps were commonplace and the Mafia had their fingers in the postal service. We nodded, stayed for sandwiches and kool-aid, then continued on our way.
We happened by there again two months later. The house was gone as if it had never existed.
SURVEY OF CHANNEL TWO:
What you are about to see may shock you. Bated breath what beads of sweat may reveal may concede bite back. We might noxious buy the drug may shock you. Buy our fear. Incriminations. Now for a word from our sponsor. The heavyset woman shaking her fist. Didactic. Propagate. Not in my back yard. Slut. I would never. You go, girl. I would never. Moral outrage. Our fresh-faced mouthpiece.
Be afraid be very afraid color this we have the numbers to prove it. Your boy is a wifebeater what you say vague moral normal outrage upstanding citizen may shock you. Round two your boy is a cunt licker we have the numbers table turned moral outrage. What you see shocks you now for a word we have the numbers to prove it.
Expert opinion vice grip advice lost in the din, cavalcade. What you are about to see. Our sponsor. Stand in outrage. You are not a cunt licker or heaven eg Jesus forbid a sissy it's normal, it's moral. Thou shalt not. See outrage may lick you. Moral upstanding. We have the numbers. Our sponsor likes you. Slut. Don't go there, girl. We have moral outrage. The heavyset woman shaking her fist. She likes you. What she is about to see may shock you. I just don't feel safe anymore. What. You. See. Might. Makes right. Will like you. Our sponsor. Propagate. What it's all about. Your moral outrage. Indignation. Will like. Buy. Will like.
What you are about to blahblahblah transcripts blahblahblah moral outrage xeno stipend lynch mob thank you goodnight.
END OF SURVEY
The Principal tells Your Reporter that the children walking home could not have been raped by the inhabitants of the halfway house that was built between the two schools. “Children lie,” he drools, thirsting for a taste of Amy's torn labia.
Like a telegraph wire the officials dry hump together upstanding mofos pillars of the community and goddammit they all watch each other's backs anyway.
“Respect your Elders and spread 'em!” Commands the loudspeaker.
Shane said Carlos grew a long, brown tail after he hung himself. “You couldn't see it because it was in his pants. You could smell it, though....”
FIGURE TWO: Finacial section of the newspaper. Flash Image of the House Speaker screwing an anemic waif on a billiards table covered with tens and twenties. Underpriviledged babies drooling milky white pablum. Fat stacks of dollars being processed by machines. Austere men with impotent hands folded, talking at long tables....
Jane and Midge smile with resignation and hail to the cushy myth. They assume the position dutifully turn their well-douched pussies inward toward words like fireplace, L.L. Bean, futon and quilt. Words like mother and massive coronary. Words like mollified and jelly clusters. Parched silence as not a breeze passes through once-foamy folds. Puffy, cozy complacency and pink babyfingers, moving up and up in fernlike configurations. “Because you've been so honest with me. So very honest. But the timing is bad. Very bad. Very bad. Very bad. “ Their gobbing boys emerge from hearty tool sheds with cross country ski packages, charming hypotheses, hammers, nails and plywood to put the final touches on genital osmosis...
Fallen out through air. Hope, grasping, incantations and other blundering pug folly. Tiles become sky. And clouds, cumulus wolfpacks, are bloated, pink and damaged.
The schmuck in free-fall. Michaelangelo gave us six bishops in Hell for an appetizer. In a hundred years, what will it matter?
FIGURE THREE: A long spurt of semen running down a silken black slip.
Ambulance glare lights she watched her one-month-old asphyxiated by fast food french fries hauled off on stretcher sheet over head. “Well, fuck,” she muttered, “I don't know what the damn things eat.....”
The trained monkey at the podium postures in front of the jacked-up crowd of Amway Sales Reps. “Bringing up our kids is OUR business,” he proclaims. Much applause.
“Teaching our kids right from wrong.....” here he pauses and you can hear the hamster wheel in his head squealing, “is OUR business!” The throng jerk off en masse and wave little cellophane flags.
Our good working stiff straps his five-year-old down and snuffs out some twelve cigarettes on her skin for talking out of turn. Then he deals her the lethal, concussive blow to the head over a metal railing. At the arraignment he pleads guilty to “good, old-fashioned discipline”.
“I'm for some good, old-fashioned hypocrisy,” declares the First Lady on nationwide cartoons. The audience, six angst-ridden wart hogs, joyously attempt to finger their clits and get lost.
The Minister's wife, a cuntless middle-aged waif with bad skin, reminisces, “I remember the looks on our childrens' faces when my husband and I gave them their regular beatings. They looked so cute the way they used to cry and beg us to stop...” she grins like a sick hyena and stinks of curdled milk.
“Alla yew decent folks will have to find a new way,” barks the rabblerouser in khaki. “Bleeding heart humanists, teachers an' government snoops can't stop yew if yew choose to move out to the back woods an' resort to home schoolin'. That may be the route to go if yew want to raise a child by the Christian Standard---even if that means raisin' a few welts, an' friend, yew an' I both know it does....”
FIGURE FOUR: Cigarette burns on flesh, interpolating feces on white tissue. Compare and contrast. Oncoming truck, ten-ton threatening wheels. A rump inside a cage, shoving to free itself.
Unit 731, Occupied Manchuria...the victims were subject to horrid abuse: Given shrapnel-induced gangrene, injected with germs, poisoned with chemicals or operated on----sometimes without the benefit of anesthesia....all in the name of medical research.
Historians say U.S. Officials agreed not to bring war crimes charges against Unit 731 Leaders in exchange for information about their findings.
“Sometimes dissections were carried out without any anesthesia while the subjects were still fully conscious. They would let out a horrible shriek but then fall silent right away.”
“Why bloodshed?” Pokes the Pilgrim. “Why excuses? Why strongarm?” (Enquiring minds want to know...)
The Man-God reaches into his bag of tricks and performs benedictions with golden dildos. “Because LEFTIST REBELS,” he proclaims. Upon carefully-inserted buzz-phrase, applause track is cued. Mom and Dad head out to the store, shell out for a twelve pack of Coors Light, the Silver Bullet. Meanwhile, south of the border, industrious, fresh-faced knights of might take turns fist, broom and bottle-fucking a twelve year old enemy of the people....they shit, come and vomit all over her and leave her in the tall grass, hog-tied, ruptured, hemmorrhaging and dying, because Leftist Rebels, because Apple Pie. Praise Jeezus, hordes go home and watch TV. Mothers watch windows.
And the loudspeaker says, “truth is dead. Truth is dead and the ground was ploughed over a long time ago. Facts, whatever facts are, have been replaced by factoids, tidbits, erroneous data and carefully-orchestrated pie charts. Educators are being outmoded by ass-kissers and line-towers; Soothsayers are being rubbed out by statisticians and poll-takers, and all around the sound you hear is, 'whose side you on? Whose side you on?' So choose a side! Truth is dead and exhumed as neon cartoon character---truth is a subjective whore up for grabs to the highest bidder and reality and one's perception thereof can be altered by independent studies that will prove conclusively that black is white, given the right payoff. We have the numbers to prove it. The numbers can prove or disprove anything when required. Reality is now completely subjective and frequently subsidized by conglomerates, sponsored by manufacturers and all information is canned and processed. But why take my word? After all, what am I but another liar?”
Icicles of seven fingers clutching. In the scope, apocalyptic ruin...a powerful rectum straining. Fear and hate. “Sorry I bathe---guess that's a minus in your book.” Manifestations of the scarecrow, the death paradox, the Great Castrator. Severed fingertips, end of nose, nipples. Scabs are your stock-in-trade; they tell no tales.
“Bringing up our children,” lawnmower blades, father with knife cowering in the cistern, “is OUR business!” Brown bananas, shit dropping from an exposed ass, blood on gauze. Canned applause, anxious crying fits. Thought you knew, knew not what to think.
The harpy yakks her window-breaking aria: “And perhaps we ought to redefine your harassing laws so we might more accurately discipline problem cases rather than have yet another generation grow up difficult and unruly....?”
Stick a coin in the slot and wait for your mail-order dog to assume the ready position. Insipid smile and curdled goat cheese breath.
“You police their secretions,” squawks the loudspeaker, “all orifices must pass daily muster. And you tell them if they don't like it, that is the Law.”
Daddy throws daughter onto the bed and yanks off duck pattern cotton panties. In pokes a probing finger and he thinks, the wife's been dry and cracked for years.
Boot connects a fifth time into soft belly. “Remember,” booms the big silhouette, “your Mother and I are doing this because we love you. And so does Jesus.”
Our reports read that it took the babysitter ten minutes to pry the second-oldest's penis from the knothole. “Daddy sez we gotta let him keep it in for a long time,” he answers, clear-eyed, with a hint of wisdom in his voice. “At least 'til he pees. Else we get cockroaches for supper.”
“They're not too bad fried,” he muses, “it's just they suck when they's cooked in water.”
CHEW WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED, YOU INSOLENT LITTLE FUCK
(the rats, the rats, their teeth)
“Of course, they have only two things in mind when they come to these gatherings---one is sex and the other, of course, is, uh, recruiting.”
Hammering anvils disseminating the rumblings of war. “Word One: Agenda. Your boy is a direct threat, our sponsors, your colors, erase history. Absolve. For you. What you are about. To see. Judge. Lest ye. Our sponsors.”
“There was a loud explosion---then, nothing.”
The salesman smiles down on humanity and doles out big, glittering, ostentatious xmas parcel dribbles a trifle out his chin with fixated, paternal glee orchestrates a singalong. The salesman is good at what he does, bargain basement snake oil circus cosmo quiz riding ten inches candles on your cake. He shuffles back and forth with grace, re-sizes his wedding ring your boy is a cunt licker we have the numbers smooth salesman jizzing a light peppermint flavor. Word from our sponsor is you'll all sing along in tight, organized strafing rounds choirs of angels booming, impassioned. I am sure. I am sure.
Tore out chirping pawn's spaghetti guts in placid glory. “He's doing a good job; Earning his keep.” Tiny eyes glaze over to ebony plastic.
“Yer lean into the shovel or yer lean ON the shovel, yer move or yer stays in place, 'at were t'old way,” grieves the rube. “T'aint 'at way now....damn lazy pieces o'shit.” Pastoral, bitter eyes. Who has heart to break it to his blue balls that t'wasn't then, t'isn't now? The greatest revisionist is nostalgia and the corncob pipe-chawing dreamer gone to seed pumps scum and boyshit into his ugly old dickies. Wall-eyed he tries to sing an old song proferred off a bastard he's rightly railroad but chillun we got the bare bones of history and mystery and nostalgia the great eraser is at work....”dis land ain't your land....dis land am my land...I gotta shotgun...an' you ain't got one...if'n you don't get off, Ise blow yer ass off....dis land am mine an' it ain't your'n....”
His spade am rusty. Leaning. Fuck it; He's earned his rust.
“This shirt has a meaning,” screams Mickey the spazz, pulling his pud. He'll go to brawl, to war, to his eternal reward, for the glory of his shirt. “An' I wear it outta RESPECT! For the rube on whose BACK! Alla this was BUILT! Outta RESPECT! For him that was LIED to! Dicked up the hole! You communist faggot nigger motherfucker!”
Bones stink in gratitude. Chortling, crisp bills change hands up above. Pledge allegiance. Weep sentimentally. Piss your drawers. 
 
IS HE UP THERE AGAIN?
Probably where else would he be?
I'LL BET HE'S BEING IDLE
he's doing what a boy his age does
LIKES HIS “PRIVACY”
he's quiet
WELL THERE'S GOING TO BE AN END TO THAT BOY YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE UNPRODUCTIVE UNSANITARY AND GODDAMMIT LACKING IN DISCIPLINE
it could be worse he's thoughtful he's
BULLSHIT IT'S TIME TO GET THAT KID IN LINE NOTHING WRONG WITH HIM EXCEPT A PERMISSIVE GODDAMN LANDSCAPE YOU STUPID COW YOU'RE CODDLING THAT BOY WHAT HE NEEDS IS A GOOD BEATING
he's done his homework what do you mean?
HE NEEDS DISCIPLINE AND GODDAMMIT MAYBE A LITTLE HEALTHY EXPOSURE WE'RE GOING TO TOSS HIM OUT FRONT FOR A DAY OR TWO AND LOCK THE GOD DAMN DOORS
you know the doctor says it hurts his nerves the outside noises drive him into hysterics sometimes even with the windows closed he
BULLSHIT THOSE DOCTORS DON'T KNOW ANYTHING YOU KNOW THAT ALL THAT BOY NEEDS IS TO HAVE SOME MANHOOD BEATEN INTO HIM AND YOU'D BETTER FUCKIN' BELIEVE I WILL ENJOY DOING IT NO MORE OF THIS SHELTERED LIFE THIS SISSY CRAP BASKING IN WINDOWPANES FUCK THAT FUCK THAT HE HAS NO GODDAMN BACKBONE AND IT ISN'T CHEMICAL HE HAS HIS HANDS DOWN HIS PANTS ALL THE TIME YOU KNOW WHAT HABITS LIKE THAT BREED GODDAMMIT BY GOD AND BY JESUS I WON'T STAND FOR IT ANYMORE THIS IS THE END
I wish you'd listen to reason i'm trying to tell you
VERRRRRRRRYYYYYY CAAAAAAAAAALLLM..........................
Like thunder on ten frequencies feet roaring up staircase stumbling over each other in search of ultimate sex.
“Because forced entry,” stammers the victim, holding up a bloody stub of a wrist defensively.
“Because National Security,” lisps the man at the cocktail party. The metal firewall slams down on five million silent, questing fingers.
“Do as I say, not as I do.”
As a kid I skulked swampy, cesspool-laden back yards with stray dogs and I hid from the sanitation department.
“Supplication word from our sponsor what you are about to see, we'll still have free speech, we'll just have to be careful about using it,” farts the President.
“Decency and values your boy on our blacklist our sponsors I say we string the heathens up in the name of all that's normal,” screeches his two-fisted opponent.
Spin doctors assure Your Reporter that there are actually telling differences between the two.
“One would like to shove Jews in ovens,” sneers one wag, “ the other would prefer to reorganize their numbers into convection heating units.”
“They should fly the flag at half-mast,” gripes the Elder Statesman.
“We should burn the flag at half-mast,” says Othmar. “It's cost-effective---honest, too.”
Jimmy Romeo and A Man Called Five are set up full-time on van detail, disposing of bodies along the beltway. Today's theme: Loose Lips Sink Ships.
“You're for or against,” splutters the Stumphead, “line on up, muthah, an' if you're against your lily-livered faggot ass is gonna answer for it!”
“For tolerance,” peeps the inmate from the cornhole bowels of a maximum security shithole six stories deep.
“Because responsibility,” frumps the well-dressed demagogue at the celebration. He graces the highlands with napalm and converts it all to factories and shopping centers. Danky old widows weep with patriotic abandon. “There's the solution,” he gloats.
YOU FUCKERS STAND UP AND BE COUNTED, spiels the salesman, crushing a crawling refugee under his orthopedic claw. His eyes are wild and he is foaming at the mouth. BECAUSE SECURITY BECAUSE RESPONSIBILITY AGAINST PERVERSION AND LICENSE! BECAUSE INTERNATIONAL BANKING CARTELS BECAUSE LUMP SUM BECAUSE FUTURE LIFE EARNING STREAM! YOUR BOY IS A BUTTFUCKER WE HAVE THE NUMBERS ALL THAT BOY NEEDS IS DISCIPLINE! WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS A MIGHTY RECTUM WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WILL PLEASE US! BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK RICE PATTIES DO NOT DRINK THE WATER LOBBY CANING TODAY'S FRESH FEAR REDEFINE WORD FROM OUR THAT BOY CUNT LICKER SISSY NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE THIS TIME OF NIGHT THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES I HADDA KNOCK HER TEETH OUT IN ORDER TO GET A BLOWJOB WE HAVE THE NUMBERS LINE UP FOR OR AGAINST NO MORE CODDLING YOUR SORRY ASSES THAT BOY NEEDS DISCIPLINE
Forty foot walls of flame, no waiting.
Spindly cornstalk people crammed into shiny sardine cans. Day in, day out, baby. “They would defecate and urinate themselves and eventually vomit out their insides. Cleaning detail could be a bitch.”
The screams went on forever until finally they were sealed in a pretty urn in ornate and curious silence and placed on the mantlepiece for posterity.

Copyright 1995 C.F. Roberts/copyright 2016 Molotov Editions




 
The Beast” was part of this non-linear “novel” I wrote in the mid-to-late '90s called RED, WHITE, BLACK AND BLUE. I'm fairly certain it was the last chapter. I confuse it a lot with something I wrote called “Coda” that was also loosely a part of that project, and that was released as a chapbook by Hyacinth House Publications. They may have been the same piece, or if not they had a lot of interchangeable parts, which was a fairly prominent motif in that book, and in my writing in general at that time. I'm pretty sure I've got the full RWB&B manuscript around here somewhere. I read over this wondering if it would be fresh and relevant in today's world compared to the '90's when I wrote it...yep. Makes as much sense now if not more.

THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST:
FAITH NO MORE-”Sol Invictus”
Angel Dust”
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE-”My Bloody Underground”
ALICE COOPER-”Killer”
SISTERS OF MERCY-”Slight Case of Overbombing”