Friday, September 22, 2023


 The Underground Man not only dissolves in himself all possible fixed features of his person, making them all the object of his own introspection, but in fact he no longer has any such fixed traits at all, no fixed definitions, there is nothing to say about him, he figures not as a person taken from life but rather as the subject of consciousness and dream.

- Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics

If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One. I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

- Robert Oppenheimer


Monday, October 24, 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Monday, September 12, 2022

Wiggy's Purple Tape

 ... as close as teeth to lips...eck the...eck...idea of natural beauty...


IN THE 90s, LATE 1990s:

We would sometimes make compact disks skip on purpose. We ordered fast food on Hi8. We sent tapes to girls in, uh...Marrakesh (?)... 




Saturday, September 10, 2022

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Bob's Big Boy

Warlord Barter means get on board or go ahead get under them massive wagon wheels.

         - Melanie

Melanie, who joined us only early in this right-now-living business calendar, is the kind of only sort of circumspect person who wasn’t holding back so much as she was just waiting. What happens when Melanie starts to spill the beans? Well, we’re all here to tell you it’s been pretty fun. Last night at a dodgy local watering hole, recently and emergingly popular with patrolmen imported from the hills and dales of Greater Great Britain, Melanie, half in the bag, regaled Joshua and Lorna from the algorithms division with a story inspired by her ex-husband’s erectile dysfunction and an earlier digression itself inspired by the clientele of the watering hole where our colleagues had collected, this matter somehow repeatedly redirecting conversation(s) back to Freddie Sykes, the boyish English security guard drinking buddy of James’s who assumes a position of prominence in the final episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return (if that really is your name), a limited series from 2017 that many on payroll can still be relied upon to be generally mulling over and/or fretfully spitballing.    

Melanie calls American film director David Lynch “Bob’s Big Boy,” as though that were his proper nouns name. Many people know that the filmmaker David Lynch, who uses boy scout argot playfully and hails originally from Missoula, Montana—which if you think about it a minute, you’ll realize he’d have to do—loves diners and burger stands and Bob’s Big Boy especially. However, to the shock and dismay and also noticeable delight of both Joshua and Lorna, Melanie is suddenly admitting that part of why she calls David Lynch Bob’s Big Boy is because the man reminds her of her ex-husband very much, and that for this reason and a number of others that she’s presently sloppy enough to enumerate, Melanie believes Lynch has got to have an erectile dysfunction problem for sure. 

Joshua and Lorna are All Ears.

Melanie: Josh, look, you’ve already said nearly as much yourself. What is this David Lynch guy, right? You come upon this talking head Lynch, and you want to imagine he’s a caprice and a put-on, affectation and premeditation, and then maybe you grow uneasy or you don’t when it starts to turn out that he is obviously just kind of the dude he happens to in fact be, right? His idea of premeditation is having a plan for weekend activities. Yes, the way he speaks, the whole thrust of how he comes off—it represents the false front of the 1950s televisual commercial colossus, most especially its queasy sanitization of daily affairs that are forever infested with living actual vermin. He’s a local mug with a fishing rod trying to hold the horizon together, except when he’s in a temper and expecting thunder for his troubles. The first thing I learned in law school is that men who aren’t men are just boys, and they’re meaner and stupider than men, which makes sense. David Lynch, like my ex-husband, would like to be a non-combatant in the field of men and boys, but what that ends up meaning from a practical standpoint or the standpoint of a ‘logic of affairs’ is that this figure of masculinst/emasculated ambivalence not only wants to have his cake and eat it—he wants the obscene theatre of having his name logged in the registry among those who received no cake. In Blue Velvet. Don’t you look at me. The most famous scene, a sexual assault and a playact, more than a little hazy. Kyle MacLachlan of Hardy Boys Incorporated—in the closest with the double-ledger. We all know it. Scholars and film critics and boy-men will forever read Freud’s primal scene here, as ‘by the book’ as they’re able to finagle it, certifying that they’re boys—they’re Hardy Boys Incorporated Hologram Collectors. It is surely not lost on you, Joshua, that in The Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema, Sophie Fiennes, that film’s director and sister of the noted thespian brothers, takes Slavoj Žižek by the hand like a nurse and leads him all but right back into that actual closet. It is tremendously challenging for me to feel human feelings with regard to either Slavoj Žižek or Sophie Fiennes. You wanna know something? I’ll tell you what! Every woman who’s been around knows right up front and in her own face that Dennis Hopper is directing that scene, inside that scene, literally, he’s ordering about and issuing directives, whilst huffing nitrous or whatever’s in that tank. What is this scene? Particle Vs. Wave? Nature Vs. Nurture? Okay, we’re in Quantum Psychology territory, where our professional bonafides should be happy to find us, and here’s the kicker: the Baby Wants to Fuck scene is only sort of about Daddy Vs. Baby, because the Particle/Nature equivalent here is a basic Freudian primal scene set-up for kiddo, and the Wave/Nurture angle is way more basically cinematic, because it’s all about the required and pre-required and therefore methodically arranged chemical augmentation of the father. The kid in the closet has the sense and heart equivalent approximately to those of a Double A battery. The impotent rapist, on the other hand, is a free-range monster born of sublimated rage, deep unspoken hurt, and calamitous misdirection.         

Joshua: Goddamn.

Melanie: It’s hilarious ‘cause you already know this. It was only a couple days ago we were talking about David Lynch: The Art Life. Have you seen it, Lorna? It’s worthwhile and informative hagiography and I’m pretty sure it’s still up on the Criterion Channel. 

[Our friend was slightly mistaken, as David Lynch: The Art Life (Rick Barnes, Olivia Neergaard-Holm, Jon Nguyen, 2016) is not currently available to stream on the Criterion Channel.]

Melanie (continuing): Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth is a lifelong addict and bullshit artist and shitheel knockabout-type and his game is shit, but so is the town.

Joshua: Lumberton!

Melanie: Fuckin’ rights. 

Lorna: What’s off as you see it with Frank’s game, exactly?

Melanie. Strange fuckin’ question, Lorna. What’s Frank’s would-be creed? It’s not Baby Wants to Fuck. Frank doesn’t want that going public. He’s exposed there. The would-be creed, straight out of the background noises not included in Scorpio Rising and Mean Streets, buried as these clandestine utterances are beneath the same sort of music Lynch tends to prioritize, is I’ll fuck anything that moves. Here’s the cut, Frank Booth: somebody says something like that and all of a sudden it becomes all too clear to any thing or person of sense that Dennis Hopper does not appear to be able to fuck too many things from among those that move, no matter how many things or persons he’s managed to fuck, with or without the aid of a canister of gas and/or totally and unambiguously objectionable pillow talk.  

Lorna: I never even met the man!

Joshua: Or the aid of the as-yet unseen and, uh, unmentioned child. Whose life hangs in the balance. Oh, Dennis Hopper. What befalls thee? We should look for little blue clairvoyant Viagra tablets in early Lynch.

Melanie: It’s funny. And we should. When you’re dating, it’s funny—when you’re dating, you have to deal carefully with the people you’re attracted to, because you know you want the hookup to go off but you also know that you don’t know if the hookup is a good idea exactly. I assure you that smart women watch invasively important movies the same basic way. David Lynch for sure has himself a gold-plated origin story that he’s told versions of all his public life, to this we three are definitely privy. It’s so telltale he had might as well be smack on the analyst’s upholstered couch bringing it over rote, super comfy.  

Lorna: Boy Scouts of America.

Joshua: My God, Lorna, you cannot hold your liquor for the life of you.

Melanie: My favourite part of David Lynch: The Art Life is the bit about Tiny Bob Dylan.

Joshua: Tiny Bob!

Lorna: Ahhhh! That’s hilarious.

Melanie: And it’s the actual Bob Dylan. In aquamarine.

Joshua: And let it be said that actual Bob Dylan is not a tall man.

Melanie: No, he is not. Pretty close to average man size. Which is no astonishing accomplishment. But you see, Lorna, the story David Lynch tells in David Lynch: The Art Life, which is only a few years old, the film, not the story, has our peachy narrator, who famously manages daily life on conspicuous doses of caffeine and nicotine…

Lorna: My God, he sure does!

Melanie: This Mr. Lynch, of our common folksy familiarity, establishes with more equivocation than probably ought to be necessary…

Joshua: It’s a Buddhist thing.

Melanie: It’s a Buddhist thing, Joshua, you’re onto me. You see, Lorna, David Lynch of Missoula, Montana, transcendental meditation enthusiast, compulsive artisan, and definitely a living adherent of some kind of Good Southern California Living—this David Lynch tells us he likes a glass of wine on the regular around I guess sunset, but that cannabis, which is cool if it’s your thing, is not his thing. Which I understand. He had an amusing experience but likewise deduced that marijuana use was liable to impede his experience of daily life. It makes sense. Different strokes. I know I never smoked crack with a boss twice, if you’ll excuse the iffy boundaries. 

Joshua: And get this…

Melanie: That’s right, get this: the one time David Lynch, who was a boy or young man in his formative years inherently awkward and ever girl-struck, did on one mere occasion take good proper Midwestern lungfuls of the Lord’s Good Herb, and upon this auspicious occasion, Lynch… 

Joshua: It’s almost an Event.

Melanie: Call it whatever you want. In the Spluuuge of this Eveeent, Joshua, our buddy, our big boy, went and he saw Bob Dylan perform, and if you do the preliminaries in your own head, no requirement of pen and paper, you’ll understand Dylan would have been at the height of his early pre-Newport and pre-motorcycle accident folkie renown—this performance as experienced by Lynch becomes for Lynch a phenomenological memory-territory of great specificity and humour, and therefore a properly archetypal scenario. You see, Lorna, Bob Dylan becomes for Lynch a kind of tiny bluely lit marionette, smaller and smaller, actively diminishing in real time.

Lorna: Little boy is going flaccid, is the gist.

Melanie: Well…would that were all that it were...

Joshua: As it were.

Lorna: Or weren’t.

Melanie: Or weren’t.

Joshua: The weren’t hurts the mostest.

Melanie: I won’t quibble. The puppet theatre the unlucky-in-love boy beholds as agent of all beholding is funny and he feels it’s a good laugh at the time, as he recollects and recounts it. In David Lynch: The Art Life. It makes for good talk. This is now market fact.

Lorna: I definitely need to see this movie.

Melanie: Ha ha. Lorna is sold, the facts loudly declare themselves. I don’t dislike at all David Lynch; he makes cool shit. But I would not hook up with this man no matter how rangy my hormones or precarious my situation. Once bitten, twice shy. I know you know what the boy’s blue puppet theatre would have to symbolize here, Lorna.

Joshua: I give Lorna licence to comment on the film she wishes to see in advance of seeing it. This is an instance in which I find that recourse reasonable.

Melanie: It’s just the hot water talking.

Lorna: It’s infantile penile obsession. Sensory-motor impulsion and compulsion. Is what it sounds like.

Melanie: That’s because that’s exactly what it is.

Joshua: You guys!

Melanie: You aren’t fooling anybody! And loosen your goddamn tie.  

Lorna: Dennis Hopper does not appear to be able to fuck too many things from among those that move. That is absolutely hilarious.       

Melanie: You know what we need from you, Joshua?

Joshua: Just let me loosen my tie…

Melanie: You’ll have to go way further than that.

Lorna: How far do you pull up your socks?

Melanie: Lay it out for us. What we demand of you implicitly, always, Joshua. I need proud boastful things from you that lead to the shameful places. Or I shall strike you hard with this very pint glass.

Lorna: Seconded! [Hiccup.]

Joshua: I can’t say “not fair” because then everybody sits here in silence.

Lorna: It’s true. You can’t say “not fair.”

Joshua: When I was a boy I never did comprehend how I felt about women’s undergarments—and I—I don’t think—I suppose I still don’t—

Melanie: Well…nice, okay. We’re doing good work here tonight.

[Snorts of laughter from Lorna]

Joshua: I’m almost sad that I’m not going to regret sharing this with you two later. Hear those police sirens in the distance? Which one of you two brats they comin’ for? This thing with…panties…and bras. The rest. Lingerie. Teddies. Heh heh. Okay. I think this is actually an interesting thing about me with maybe even somewhat universal implications, so sue me. Lorna, you're plastered. When I was a kid on the schoolyard but not exactly on the schoolyard, you understand, I told an older boy this one time that I thought pictures of girls in their underwear were hotter than pictures of girls with no clothes on at all, and this older boy looked at me like he knew at once and once and for all that I was fucked in the head. Cleary, what happens is I’m sort of maybe paying a little more attention to in fact how complex my fascination with the pictures in the Eaton’s catalogue or whatever is for a good long while after this quiet shaming. I never get anywhere as a boy trying to figure out why the underwear is so stimulating to me. And then you’re a teenager and you definitely just want to get past the panties in the manner of the dashing hero, and there isn’t any sound reason you’d have at this macho time to imagine somebody someday calling you on this Baby Wants to Fuck Freak Scene. Unto What-Stays-in-Vegas All of What’s His. Credo. Melanie knows the score. Lorna? Lorna knows the score.  

Melanie: Did you have trouble stimulating yourself?

Joshua: I did not have any such trouble. Oh, man, I’m—I’m just realizing this. When I was, like—what?—fifteen or whatever, I saw.... Haw haw. I saw the cross-dressing movie, you know, the Polanski!

Lorna: The Tenant. It’s fucked. I love it. That man is an atrocity.

Melanie: It’s a very good movie. Written by Roland Topor.

Joshua: The source text, at any rate. They were friends. Him and Polanski. Or said so. Whatever that meant to those guys. They would appear to have drank hunched and profane in their grey peacoats in grey establishments similar to those featured in The Tenant.

Melanie: And with girls like Adjani.

Joshua: Right, oh, God. That’s both a type and a trip, Mel. It’s scary I guess when you see yourself get made like that in the movies and still have no clue what it’s all about. Edward Wood Jr. Glen or Glenda. Johnny Depp as all the disarming three at once, essentially. It was me and it wasn’t, and what is it exactly? 

Lorna: Cross-dressing. And young girls. 

Joshua: I never put on women’s clothes. Or underthings. I never had any special thing for young girls.

Melanie: It’s called sublimation, and I guess it’s ‘cause you’re a gosh-darn poet, honey.   

Joshua: Here I am. I’m fifteen. It’s right at the end of The Tenant. Polanski, this sketchy guy, looks a bit like a weasel, which sounds like it’s me saying it’s about him being Jewish—to which there’ll never be any rebuttal—when what it actually is for me is more—it’s about asking myself, me, what’s on the screen, and who is and isn’t—on the screen…and why it is and isn’t me…

Lorna: Lovely.

Joshua: And I find him attractive. Just as I am slowly beginning to have faith in the act of love.

Melanie: That’s cute.

Joshua: I’m speaking about a fifteen-year-old. I’ve never afterward found sex and relationships a source of reliable grounding.

Lorna: It’s not a matter of your not knowing physics, sweetheart. They can’t either.

Melanie: Speak to me, fifteen-year-old boy. 

Joshua: You, the actor. Act two. Action. The three-brained creature whose second brain calls and responds to Action. The dress you’re about to put on—what is your purpose, Gardenia?

Melanie: Be careful what you wish at.


Lorna: Yowza.