Monday, February 15, 2010

Random Thoughts from Disneyworld

You can really tell the native Floridians from the tourists. When the mercury hits 39 the natives are panicking like its Fimbulwinter, while the non natives are thinking "Hm, glad I packed a light jacket."

Jeeeeeezus, even the grass is scrubbed clean. I'm afraid I might get fined for farting.

No matter what they say, the "cast members" are employees. Very, very bright eyed and bushy tailed, pathologically helpful employees, but employees nonetheless. No one there is sweeping up streets or scrubbing toilets for love of the craft, thats for damn sure.

It must take a fantastic amount of work to keep this place going. I wonder what the price for cocaine is around here.

The smoker's gulags are all shoved off into the corners of the park. But at least they gave us benches; christ knows its the only time you get to sit down. Still, I wish all these motherfuckers would stop bringing their kids over here while they smoke. Its fucking Disneyland, you'd think they'd be able to amuse themselves somewhere. Then again, my presence here obviously means they didn't screen for perverts at the gate.

This street parade is fairly impressive; it's like a squeaky clean version of Rocky Horror. If one of those guys on stilts comes over here and tries to get me to dance, though, I'm going to kick one of the stilts and watch him topple over. Oh, shit, that one's a chick; now I feel bad. Well, not really. But it will look worse in court.

I bet they keep Walt Disney's frozen corpse here somewhere. That'll be just great, frozen animator zombie rising from under the castle to menace the living, and me sitting here completely unarmed. Fuckin' great.

Overall, I am very unimpressed with the burger of the future. Also, the lounge music is fucking stupid.

You know, I understand they need to make money with this park and everything, but I can't exit a single ride without passing through a gift shop.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ozzy and Me

Welcome to the (other) recurring section of my blog, where I discuss my various relationships with celebrities and fictional characters (there is no difference between the two) in the context of giving you a little bit about my background. Tonight's edition: Ozzy Osbourne and Chris By-The-Throat, Wonderchums of the 90's.

My first exposure to Black Sabbath was when my Aunt Steph gave me a battered tape of We Sold Our Soul for Rock n' Roll, when I was about 12. It was summertime, and I was reading the Empire Trilogy by Janny Wurts and Raymond E Feist. I listened to that fucking tape on repeat while I devoured the entire trilogy, buried neck deep in the Tsurani empire's Byzantine politics and with the thrum of Geezer Butler's bass keeping time to the march of massive armies. I still hear the harmonica bwangs from "The Wizard" every time I think of that weird order of mages they have in that series. It was a mind altering week of laziness for me, as those halcyon summer vacation days rolled by, because my already ludicrously rich fantasy life made the leap from novels to music. It was like opening a whole new world to me. Before that year, I was aware of music but only of whatever crap was playing on the radio on the school bus or in the car-I never really listened to music by choice and was much more interested in books and video games. But the scary topics and powerful riffs awakened me; I was baptised in metal and would arise weirder than ever from below.

Fast forward two years. I was 14 and it was the beginning of my cousin Jake and I getting truly close. My Tio Jay, who would later influence my taste in music with various other bands, had given me a Black Sabbath CD I didn't know existed-one post Ozzy and Post Dio, called Forbidden. Don't look it up; it is the most retarded of their records, with the possible exception of the one with Ian Gillian (Deep Purple) as frontman. Anyway, that was the summer we got our Nintendo 64s; I was spending a lot of time at Jake's house. At the time we were feasting on snack cakes and drinking pepsi while we played Shadows of the Empire, getting high snorting his mom's pills and occasionally smoking her roaches, and fighting in the Intergalactic Civil War while "Illusions of Power" (with an appearance by ICE T) blared on the stereo. It was a good summer of wastefulness and youthful decadence, as well as dreams of conquest fueled by caffeine and video game violence. We talked about taking over the world, and the ways we might do it, many of which boiled down to "Build a Giant Fucking Robot and Stomp the School" in predictable teenage fashion. We snuck cigarettes and watched Heavy Metal about 400 times and plotted how we could get those three slutty girls a few trailers over to come over and fool around. We proudly knew nothing, and yet hated everything, and wasted our time while that god awful album played in the background, and I will always remember that summer interspersed with the weird, cheap, retarded lyrics, which always has the ol' star wars blaster sound dubbed through in my head.

It wasn't until I was 16 that I got the self titled Sabbath album. The On Cue had just opened in town and it was the best place to get music, since they were the only ones that sold anything uncensored (Well, the pawn shops carried a lot of uncensored records too, usually having been sold there by parents who disapproved of their kid's purchases) and I remember walking in there all excitedly, this being that fall's high school hotspot. I had wanted this album for awhile, and it would be the first CD I ever bought with my own money. For some reason no other media stands out in my head for this record; it lives alone there, all five tracks including the longest, most awesome gonzo metal jam ever written, standing out alone against the various other fluff media sewage that fills my brain. My mom and I listened to it together the same day; I went over to visit her apartment since she had a cd player and I didn't yet, and we listened to it over and over and just talked. It was the beginning of mine and my mom's relationship as adults, and we talked about the various slings and arrows of teenage life along with our frank, cynical views of current events. For me the album always conjures memories of my mom's fornica counters, lime green flooring and rickety kitchen table in her apartment. It was a good day, and the roots of the great relationship we have now.

My coke years (18-20ish) were set to the strident tunes of Dehumanizer. I had gotten the record off of, you guessed it, Tio Jay, who generally had no use for Sabbath that didn't have Ozzy. But the music was electric rape for your veins when you're on the yay; it blazes violently through your synapses like Mongol hordes through Chinese fishing villages. I still get a sympathetic rush from hearing "I" played REALLY FUCKING LOUD in stereo, one that conjures memories of artsy independent films and the cold feeling of a park bench against the side of your nose.

Fast forward another couple of years, to the worst year of my life bar none-living with the psycho ex in my dead grandfather's house, working graveyard shift beneath a giant trundling vat of molten metal that was one bad ball bearing away from Hans Solofyin' me. My good buddy Jess and I worked at the same factory (he had the equally dangerous job of flipping around large razors on a hanging platform) and he used to give me a ride there every day. He had a copy of "Heaven and Hell" on tape which I had listened to before but not on a regular basis, and then one day it got stuck in the tape deck of his crappy red van and basically for the next six months we listened to it every night while we shuffled to work (our only break from our insufferable cunt girlfriends) and toked up furiously in the car on the way home every morning. (Our jobs were too dangerous to get baked on the way there.) That sort of became our workin' man's salvation album by default, since for the duration of that van's life the radio didn't work and there was no way to change out the tape. That was a dark year, but there are good memories attached to it as well-shooting up alarm clocks, throwing spears at an old mattress, barbequeing every day so we wouldn't have to do dishes, and getting ripped on the roof of our neighbor's house while we blared the music from the van in the driveway. To this day I hear that song and I am transported down to those dark years, but I can see the light and the beauty and the truth in them now, so that's okay-it's my portal to my lowest point, and I believe we should never forget those low points.

So I guess this is really less Ozzy and Me, and more Dio and Me, but there you have it-I have always preferred the Dio sabbath to the Ozzy, and I'd say that at Ozzfest surrounded by poseurs any day of the week. The life of Chris By-The-Throat, as told by Black Sabbath. If you think that's weird, wait until Dave and Me-my relationship with monster magnet is much weirder than my relationship with Sabbath, and tainted with much better drugs. To say nothing of Alice and Me, which I might have to take to my grave.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Give me Cunnilingus or Give Me Death

So theres a lot of growing buzz about a civil war lately, in both the gun blogs and even the main stream media.

It puts me in an unusual position, as a gun nut. I believe that it is the right and duty of the people to overthrow any government they cannot stomach. If I thought that a) the government could not be changed by nonviolent means and b) that they were unfairly imposing on our civil liberties as Americans, I like to think I'd do my part to help out the effort to hang any and all appropriate persons. It may not be true; I'm not a badass operator and I don't pretend to be, so it's possible I would get stoned and cower behind my stack of D&D books. But I like to think it.

The conundrum is thus; a bunch of people are making a lot of noise about a return to the constitution. This is great, and I approve of their initiative. What I suspect are their motivations. Once the Big O got elected, suddenly every conservative, even the most repugnant of neocons, suddenly became a stalwart defender of constitutional liberty and limited government. It's the old saw that gets thrown in the Tea Partier's faces-where were you when Dubya was raping the constitution? The answer? Getting rich from various forms of war profiteering, playing footsie under airport bathroom stalls, and ramming domestic wiretapping through a panicked congress. But make no mistake-what began as a libertarian movement is in danger of being hijacked 9-11 style by conservatives who are so desperate to regain power that they will give sloppy lip service any crazy idea-even such radicalism as following the Constitution they swore an oath to.

It is this that concerns me. Let us suppose, for a moment, that our fearless general chris by-the-throat joins up with the budding revolutionary army organized to bring the constitution to a federal government grown too corrupt to safeguard our liberty anymore. By some miracle he comes through alive and is well liked and lauded by his peers, whom he helps put an emergency congress together along with a temporary acting president who promises to restore order and sanity to the governemnt. A crack team of constitutional lawyers and judges start rewriting the criminal and civil code immediately. The victors gather in the White House for celebratory drinks and cigars while they hash out a couple of PR issues. Our hero takes a seat at the elbow of one of his peers, a man whom he likes and trusts as they worked together during the revolution. The table grows quiet, and someone slaps a proposition on the table. "All right," he says, chomping his cigar, "about those goddamn homos...."

A general chatter goes up around the table, where Hollywood Homos are blamed for the stagnant government before, made into scapegoats. They are mostly unarmed, and make a good target for an America eager to lay blame somewhere after the chaos and violence of an armed revolution. Their weakness and decadence is blamed for corrupting the hearts and minds of our politicians, rather than the billions and billions of dollars being pumped into politicians bank accounts by people who want shit. Sometime before the camps are erected, our hero ducks out to start the whole goddamn process over again.

I believe in a free America. But my vision of freedom doesn't include rounding up my family and friends for the crime of getting hot over the wrong set of genitals, and I'll be goddamned if nothing has changed about conservatives. Terrorists are plotting to attack our citizens, debt is spiraling out of control, there's the ever present threat of pandemic, but these stone age fucks are still losing sleep because somewhere out there some guy is sucking cock.

Thus my dilemma. Put simply, I won't be party to hauling off my uncle, several of my good friends, my wife or anyone else off to reeducation camps so they can pray the gay away. I don't really have it in me to run a gay underground railroad, and I sure as hell don't have it in me to fight not one but two wars. But as more and more Conservatives, who haven't changed a bit beneath that fresh coat of constitutional paint, line up behind the 9/12 Tea Party movement with carefully constructed new rhetoric but the same old bullshit, I start to think that I should take a couple steps back from this movement.

Because I love my guns, and I love freedom, but if I have to live in a world without lesbian action to get it, that would basically be like losing. Maybe, you say, I have my priorities wrong. And I'll freely concede that I'm one of the crazy ones. But when it comes to freedom, I'm not gunning for a slice here or a slice there; I want the whole fucking pie, six feet by six feet, and I want two naked twins grappling in it. I don't know how the rest of America may sway, given the circumstances and lies thereof, but as for me-give me cunnilingus or give me death.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Last Call, Last Stand - Part 7

One of my favorite lines of bullshit in American Popular Mythology is the image of the modern day drug dealer. The modern day drug dealer on TV is a bizarre psychological artifact from drug PSA's in the 80's and 90's, lurking on the street corner next to a payphone with little tied off baggies and his hands in his pockets, looking back and forth and protected by a red slash of gang graffiti directly overhead. In this adorably folksy but gratingly persistent image, he is a black male with a tec 9 under his hockey jersey, or less often a greasy white guy with a skullet and a sawed off shotgun down his pants, calling out to random passers by "I got whatchoo need, I got whatchoo need." Like most archaic mental artifacts, it is woefully inaccurate, but creates a sort of hybrid truth by simply persisting as long as it does. This makes everyone happy. The users are happy because they learn a protocol that is instinctively adopted by undereducated, small time dealers in the worst of neighborhoods. The police are happy because it results in a predictable group of rubes doing exactly the same thing every time. And John Mackey is happiest of all, because he never gets caught.

My apartment is modestly upscale, nothing more than most other experienced telemarketer could manage. That's another important point-other than the bazillionaire tycoons, most modern dealers have a dayjob, if nothing else to cover their income. Other than an excessive amount of locks on my doors, nothing would distinguish it from the apartment of any other pink collar loser. Shaking off the rain in great glittering droplets, I shut the door behind me and slammed the chain into place. With one hand I flicked on the lights, revealing the neat interior, my other hand holding my cigarette and shaking badly. The itch was in my guts then; it coiled and snarled and thrashed against it's bindings, and I didn't even turn on the tv or radio, couldn't even bring myself to keep track of what was rapidly becoming dire news. All that mattered was the large plastic box in my utility closet, hidden behind the water heater. The world shrunk down to two very small, hazy orbs as I fumbled open the closet door and kicked open my treasure chest.

My phone rang again-Cesare's ringtone. Fuck him. I had more important things to attend to.

Most people also picture those tiny tied off baggies-what those who buy weed call "crack ties" along with other, less flattering racial epithets, mostly because it is used by dealers in the inner ghettos. The problem is that the cops have seen those stupid fucking gangster movies too, and anyone with a collection of small tied off baggies is booked for intent to distribute before you can say "reasonable search and seizure." A scale is much more likely to be written off, and so I tend to just keep my fine china in a small glass vial. My hands could barely work the stopper after I fished it out from among what Hunter S Thompson would call "a whole multicolored galaxy of uppers, downers, screamers, laughters" and I didn't even shut the box before I stepped into my bedroom.

Time tuned out to a vague dull roar as I went snowblind and resumed my favorite activity-pacing up and down my hallway and cursing. There was a well worn patch in my carpet already, and it was easy to slide back into the groove and let it all go away-the stripper ex, Crystal, Cesare, the fucking apocalypse outside my door. In fact after awhile all I could see and think about was Phebe's valium blue eyes-they haunted me from end to end of my little apartment, from groove to groove, from line to line, from cigarette to cigarette. Nothing else shone through that loud white wall, not for several hours. As I said before, it was past midnight before I even cared enough to flick on the news.

The thing about yay is that you focus on minutae a lot. The tv was flashing with a lot of big crazy movements, but all I could really take in was the ticker, which was scrolling torturously slowly across the bottom of the screen. It said "...MASSIVE RIOTING CONTINUES IN GREATER INDIANAPOLIS, GARY, BLOOMINGTON, FISHERS. TRAVEL ADVISORY: SEVERE FLOODING I-65, IN-465. GOVERNER DANIELS "STAY AT HOME AND REMAIN CALM." ALL EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONEL..." My eyes finally unfocused enough to take in the images on the screen, sort of like a magic picture in reverse-as my vision sharpened, I could see a mob of people charging through the rain up Broadripple, filmed on a shaky handcam from the roof. Not gangbangers or malcontents, but folks in the uniforms of all those trendy cute shops and resturaunts, screaming in a mass hysteria and throwing bricks through plate glass windows. The handicam image was accompanied by a steady flow of inane reporter babble. "...sent into our station by a viewer at Pepper's on Broadripple, where the south side riots have spread to. Tom, what do you make of this?"

"Well, uh, I can't say for certain Andrea, we've never seen rioting on this scale without an underlying ethnic cause, and, uh, most studies say that riots like this are highly unlikely in the rain..." The image had looped itself again; now I saw the beginning, which differed only a little from the end except that a few loud gunshots could be heard in background. The guy talking, which the subtext identified as a "Social Psychologist" which I liked to interpret as "Professional Bullshitter," continued in his bland academic monotone while I bent my head to ride another rail all the way across my mirrored coffee table, my own reflection wild eyed and flushed with excitement. "I think we're seeing something new here, Andrea, and I'm really uncomfortable with it. Ethnic tensions could be to blame; Indianpolis has always stood out as a starkly divided city, uh, I mean economically of course..."

An unpleasant thought occured to me; Broadripple was right in the guts of Indy, and thus right between me and the always unpleasant south side projects, where I had expected the riots to be confined. If they were rioting downtown, with it's heavy police presence and a fucking rainstorm on, it could easily spread to where I was. Paranoia spiked hard in my gut then, though the bottom didn't quite drop out of my razor sharp equilibrium. First thing I did was go and check my locks again, though I did look uncomfortably at my large picture window while I finished a roach from my ashtray to calm my nerves.

Second, I went and reached under my bed for my gun. If I was inclined to educate the younger generation in Illegal Business 101 (that is, if I were interested in competition) I would probably start with this truism-if you need a gun on you all the time, you are dealing with the wrong class of customer. Most of the time this thing, a heavy steel brick of a .45 like they use in old war movies, just collects dust under my bed. But the fact of the matter is that I can't go to the better business bureau if I get screwed over, so I have to plan accordingly. It had never been fired in anger, and in truth I wasn't that great of a shot, but I felt better immediately once I had it in my hand. Lacking a holster, I tucked it in the back of my pants and went back in the bedroom to do another line.

Afterwards I smoked a cigarette and watched some more of the news; predictably it was mostly replays of the Broadripple footage with more retarded voice overs from so called experts-I figured nobody could get a news chopper in the air with the rain still coming down like it was. The ticker spat doom regularly, a long purple ribbon of alarm scrolling just underneath the carnage. I was starting to get nervous, mostly from not knowing, but I insulated the feelings well with a higher-than-usual drug intake. Still, I was strung pretty high when my phone went off again in front of me, nearly buzzing off the side of the coffee table, and I almost jumped through the roof.

It was Phebe-her name was entered in my phone's contact list now, though I still didn't remember doing it. I snatched up the phone, thinking of her eyes again, that old terrible, womanizing Jon Mackey hunger only heightened by what I still couldn't quite admit was fear.

"Hey, Johnny," she said. I was impressed by how well she was hiding her own jangled nerves. "You watchin' the news?"

"'s bad, isn't it?" I said, in a low, serious tone that sounded oddly unreal coming out of my blasphemous mouth. My buzz was holding at a high hum, and it was a little hard for me not to giggle or curse.

There was a long pause before she continued. "Listen," she said, and in her tone at the first word I could already see her pants tossed casually aside, though a strange new voice inside me seemed oddly offput by the idea, "I am going to fall asleep really soon, and I really don't want to get caught by surprise...did you..." Her voice dropped to a whisper, though on the razor's edge of my fresh coke high I could hear it easily "...did you see what they did to that girl in Chicago? I was hoping that, well, since you slept over here earlier, that, uh..."

"...that I could return the favor?" I supplied the response, sensing how uncomfortable she was asking for help, and laughed a bit. "Yeah, problem. It's only fair, and I'm up anyway."

I could practically hear her quizzically cocking her head. "Really? It's 1am."

"Oh, I'm a night owl," I lied, and added quickly "Listen, I'll be right over." In fact, I was in motion almost before I realized it, pausing only to grab a pack of stale rolling tobacco off my dresser and some papers from my treasure chest.

"Thanks, Johnny...I appreciate it." Her blue eyes burned in the back of my brain while I stepped out into the unyeilding rain. Maybe that was what blocked me from hearing the nearby sirens, but I don't think so-the dull roar in my ears was all my own making.