Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. Posted by Hello

Chuck Palahnuik is an Optimist in Disguise.

Diary Book Review.

The back cover blurb of Diary says that Chuck Palanuik(author of Fight Club) is a great nihilist. So, I’m wondering, will I come out of this novel wanting to top myself while blowing up a whole bunch of buildings at the same time? Let’s hope so.

Chuck’s work is a guilty pleasure, like driving past an accident on the freeway; knowing you shouldn’t look, but you can’t help but to search for a glimpse of human body in the wreckage; to know death and destruction as a spectator first, so that when it happens to you, you will at least have seen the preview.

Chuck is a great visualist. I also love his brevity of style, as he paints pictures and scenes so well, that sometimes you feel as if you’re reading a film script, and that’s why his books translate so well into films. (Someone please make a good film of Survivor!)

He’s also good at creating a really claustrophobic sense of events & circumstances tightening & intensifying as the madness of mundane life amps up into overdrive in all its fucked-upped glory.

A familiar theme for Chuck, he once again explores the dynamics of the ‘cult’, a pervading, controlling group consciousness vs. an individual trying to escape its choke-hold. Lines get blurred for the protagonist and gradually she stops thinking as an individual, and becomes trapped mentally, physically and spiritually.

But underlying this death & depravity and shockingly twisted amorality, there’s a core theme of something else that rises above all this, an eternal future of some kind, a promise underlying the chaos. The depravity, the profanity is itself an illusion. Lifting the curtain of all this nihilism, I glimpsed a deep spiritual optimism, or belief in something greater than the ego-self.

I found myself sympathizing with even the most sinister elements of Chuck’s imaginative landscape. The lines of bad/good/evil/righteous are wonderfully blurred, as in real life nothing is simple, cut & dried, black & white. If this be nihilism bring it on, life has always been more complicated than just the dance of dueling dualities. Good & evil become just two interchangeable words depending on your point of view.

Chuck’s brand of ‘nihilism’ is a good thing for the global consciousness; he’s a system-buster, a de-frocker of dearly-held illusions. Once you destroy your own illusions, deconstruct your belief-system (most of which probably was not really truly yours to start with) and crack open your limitations, therein lies true freedom. Nietzsche would have been proud.

Not that Chuck is my new guru. He doesn’t fully understand women: he treats his main character like shit through most of the book, and paints her a bit too stupid, too ugly and too willing participant to her own degradation (aren’t we over clichéd self-destructive women characters like that yet?? Or are we still obsessed with the woman-as-eternally-suffering figure? Does the patriarchy glorify the Suffering Woman so we can all aspire to be her? Boring.). He metaphorically crucifies her and thus she reminds me a lot of the myth of Persephone descending into the underworld to be hung on a butcher’s hook to rot. Only to be reborn again stronger and wiser than before.

Chuck skillfully weaves the supernatural, cult-consciousness and the sick depravity of humanity’s insane ability to feed upon its own to survive, into a gripping, horrifying tale wherein lies some kind of salvation. But of course I won’t tell you what that is, because you’ve got to find it for yourself.

Chuck ultimately finds the sacred in the most profane and that ain’t easy. Rock on Chuck.

>>>>> Thus Spake Stormweava <<<<<

Saturday, September 25, 2004

This is me with my friend, housemate, mentor and nemisis all rolled into one: Terry the Non-Evil Bunny. Posted by Hello

Lisa Petrucci does these very cool images, I love the way she mixes kittens & soft-core erotica. Fun, cute & a wee bit sexy, but in a very, very nice way. Check out: http://www.lisapetrucci.com/ Posted by Hello

Friday, September 24, 2004

Leonard Cohen, poet. Posted by Hello

Leonard Cohen is Happy Now.

Last night I arrived home from work really late, like 1.30am late. I still had adrenaline rushing around in my body and knew I wouldn’t be able to just go to sleep, so I turned on the TV with the thought:

“I hope this TV has a deep profound message for me tonight.”

There was a doco on about the making of Leonard Cohen’s new album. Leonard Cohen, he’s that guy from the 60’s who wrote amazing poetry/lyrics to music and was always depressed but in a really good way, a bit like Morrissey's grandpappy. He celebrated despair in a way that made you feel good about being in the deep abyss of existential angst.

But tonight he starts talking about happiness. Leonard Cohen was at a Zen Center in Mount Baldy for several years as Zen monk Jikan. He finds his spiritual practice helps him greatly, in that he’s not depressed so much anymore. But he says he still has his bad days and that even the most enlightened beings still feel despair. He says that the brain cells for anxiety are the ones that die first as you get older, so maybe that’s what’s happening to him.

Then he starts talking about LOVE.

Ok, Leonard, tell me about LOVE. That fucker of an emotion that gets us all in the end, that rips out your guts and leaves them hanging out from a hole in your belly that everyone can see, while you try in vain to stuff them back in. Having just broken up out of a 2 year relationship, I really wanna know what you have learned about LOVE Leonard. I need a nugget from the universe right about NOW. And Leonard delivered.

He said the key to love, as he understands it is to find, or rather create a state of grace wherein you just become LOVE. Then you cease actually even wanting it, or desiring it, because you are LOVE and then all the gender politics and power struggles that come from wanting something that you think is outside of you just dissolve away. That easy and, that difficult.

Thanks Leonard, I’d tip my hat to you if I was wearing one. I turned off the TV and went and had a long hot bath surrounded by liquid love that seeped into my pores.

M. xxx

Friday, September 10, 2004

Devil Horny Dream

This morning I meditated for an hour and went back to sleep. When I do this I usually have vivid reality-like dreams. In this dream I was running around my house in my underwear, just bra & panties. I also had on some red-sequined devil-horns which were attached to a little red-sequined cap. I was by myself and yet I was feeling very crazy-sexy, not masturbating or anything, just feeling super-horny. To express this horniness I just ran around the house wildly, occasionally pausing to stare at myself in the mirror to re-adjust my red devil-horns. The sexiness I felt was not the localized, genital-kind. It was the all-over body kind, like when you first come up on an E. But in the dream I wasn’t on drugs.

Then later in the dream I squatted down and started to pull big gooey lumps of clear-colored goo out of my vagina. This act was undertaken with simple practicality and with no disgust on my part. I was cleaning myself like a cat might clean themselves with no shame. It was like etheric surgery, like I was removing an energy out of me that was no longer part of me. I then pulled a can-opener out of my vagina. This bit was weird, even in the dream, I thought, wow, how did that get in there?