giovedì, febbraio 07, 2008

The Red Dragon likes a good dramedy

So despite my alienation from the Catholic church, I still usually like to give something up for Lent, and this year I think it will be ribbing on Belgians. It'd be necessary, anyways, as I keep meeting too many that I like, and they always seem to be into something arty or whatnot, a sort of sense of joy in being creative that most of us loose around 16. It's got to the point that I can't ascribe it to living in an 'arty' neighborhood anymore. But we're still leaving and I still think that if I was Flemish I'd want to break up.

That means it's back to ribbing on the French, which is easy at the moment as their president is an absolute monkey. Nicholas Sarkozy has married the aging supermodel Carla Bruni, who just had a naked photospread published in a Spanish men's mag, a couple of weeks after the Daily Mail published excerpts from an interview of her expressing her dislike for France and French people, and reportedly 8 days after he sent a text message to the aging model wife who'd dumped him mere months ago, saying 'if you come back, I'll call everything off.' God, this is awesome. Usually I feel too guilty about voyeuring the messy human angles to really revel wholeheartedly in famous people's soap operas, but this rocks because Nicholas Sarkozy is a nasty little proto-fascist and Carla Bruni is a professional exhibitionist who ascribes her need to monumentally notch her bedpost to being Italian.

Now we all go through our bedpost-notching periods, Italian or not, but please - if you're going to be the sort of attention-starved succubus who publicly bangs much more famous, or much less famous for that matter, married or otherwise inappropriate men in droves, then just fucking own it. There are literally millions of Italian women who either aren't sluts or are sluts quietly. Although I'm getting tonnes of laughs from Nicholas Sarkozy's midlife crisis, I think I'm enjoying Carla Bruni's even more. The naked pictures in the Spanish mag - naked but for her engagement ring (the same one that Sarkozy gave his ex-wife! Awesome!) and some whore boots were the winner for me. Her face has had so much work done it's like it's floating, disembodied, above the rest of her - a strange mask that has more an air of panic than an actual expression.

mercoledì, febbraio 06, 2008

The Red Dragon is an arkeeyolojist

I don't think I mentioned that we went to Stonehenge this Christmas, did I? It was really fucking cool. It was also really fucking crowded despite being really fucking rainy and really fucking chilly, which I found impressive as it was also in the middle of fucking nowhere. Now I'm not a professional archaeologist, or even fully literate much of the time, but I think I discovered the site's purpose, which was to energize the regional economy by making tourists from untold miles 'round pay lots of money to travel there and then walk around it in a circle going 'ooooo' and 'ahhhhh' or, if you're Mistress La Spliffe, her sweetheart the F-word, or any North American who hasn't been raised with fudgey sugary Jeebus, 'holy fuck!'

Of course I didn't venture into the gift shop so it's possible that I didn't excavate sufficiently to really develop my theory, and I'm willing to consider the possibility the site also had the purpose of sell lots of money's worth of tea towels and novelty thimbles - either as a secondary or primary purpose - I'm not sure. I am sure the administrators also made a pretty penny from the rich types who decided to get buried there, which I'm guessing was Stone Age Britain's equivalent of a Niagara Falls honeymoon. But our minivan was leaving so I didn't have time to do my groundwork. My point is that I'm pretty sure it was designed as a tourist attraction, because it's a great one and it's been a great one for a long time. Ancient. Mystery. Solved.

All of which is a flip and shatteringly oblique way to say that I still think I'll go back to school and study something completely different from what I've ever studied before, and I'm still thinking about going to Jung school or shiatsu school and studying it there, which means I should start seeing an analyst again or looking for a shiatsu school, but the bourgeoisity of it all still gets to me, because I'm already bourgeois now and I don't like it. But then, is there anything more bourgeois than going back to school as a grownup who could be making lots of money instead? And I have no problem with that. I have a suspicion that I don't like being bourgeois because I'm bourgeois to nine to five, or thereabouts, and actually I wouldn't give a sleepy toss for class divisions if I was allowed to sleep late. That notwithstanding, I'm still so fucking confused about which direction my life is going, and although I trust myself more than I ever have I trust institutions less than I ever have.

Sometimes I think I'll go crazy from choice. All I know is, I have to go to work today - now, actually - and that doesn't help at all.

martedì, febbraio 05, 2008

The Red Dragon confesses

So this weekend, or rather last weekend (I don't know where time went, but I want a refund), we watched Brain Dead, and all I can say is that the F-word doesn't get to choose the movies anymore. I spent the next 10 hours wanting to sick up, although that probably says more about alcohol than psychology. He knows I don't like that sort of thing but must have thought I might possibly be into it, since I liked Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness so much, and then was quite fond of American Werewolf in London. Yeah. Well, Brain Dead didn't have Bruce Fucking Campbell cutting off his own hand while yelling "who's laughing now?" or Jenny Agutter's tits and pretty blue eyes in it, and it wasn't funny.

My problem with films where people get chopped into little bits or get their heads ripped off or torn in half or whatever is that that sort of thing happens in real life, so if I'm not being distracted by Bruce Campbell being a comic genius or Jenny Agutter being fucking hot, I'm sitting there thinking about Rwanda or something, and thinking that the director is a big insensitive asshole; generally getting quite indignant. Didn't help that Brain Dead had an aggressively Freudian climax, which I guess was meant to be funny and I just found, you know, Freudian and stupid. Yes, blame Mother for the zombies. Heh. Snorrrrrrrre. And puke.

And then Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Ring trilogy, and here's the confession: I don't fucking like it. It would be an exaggeration to say I hate it, but not much of one, as they make me fall asleep and I'm not the falling-asleep-in-front-of-movies type. The books made me fall asleep too, at least The Hobbit and the first in the series did; don't know about the others, obviously, as I was asleep. But the films were harder to escape because people loved them and I've actually sat through the lot, though I was asleep for a good chunk of that time. Anyways, I still don't get it. Was it the attractive men? The fighting? The questing? The sense of purpose? Clear cut ideas about good and evil and good being a good thing to be? Liv Tyler? Ah, who cares.

lunedì, febbraio 04, 2008

The Red Dragon is in a constant state of evolution

There are lots of great things about marijuana, especially in a trying national context of Belgiumness. It's like living inside one of those couples who everybody knows is going to break up because the man is a lazy child molesting has-been and the woman has been attending some empowerment seminars, not letting herself get slapped around anymore, and making lots of money, and the man really doesn't want to break up but is too thick and nasty to apologize for all the awful things he's done, and the lady is being a great big bitch while she scrapes together the balls to actually up and pack bags.

Anyways, one of the things I like best about marijuana is not smoking it the odd evening and experiencing the crazy flood of bizarre and extended dreams that roil over from the suppressed unconscious. Last night was quite freakshow. Think it was a bit influenced by the book I fell asleep reading for review late last night, Evolution for Everyone, by David Sloan Wilson, a group evolutionist whose theories I feel were the de facto target of The God Delusion. I like his ideas a lot but I'm swinging back and forth between oooing and ahhing at them to feeling annoyance at his writing style in this book. Painstakingly avuncular, just this side of being condescending, but with the occasional grammatically impenetrable sentence at key points. Gah.

But yes, some of the ideas make one go ooo and ahh, and so far at the halfway point the thing is easy to reccommend, particularly for young people (18 to 25). One problem is I think it was misnamed, and could more accurately be called Evolution for Everything; Sloan is being bold, and applying evolutionary theory to lots of different realms, including and especially social realms - so far without being dangerously, stupidly anecdotal or retarded about it, which of course makes it more interesting. And the thing is I think we're getting into Jungian territory, here at the halfway point, whether Sloan knows it or not. Ooo and ahh.

domenica, febbraio 03, 2008

The Red Dragon wants the Horta museum

I'm a happy little consumer these days because I bought the F-word an awesome birthday present, albeit two and a half months early, for an event three months away. And then I couldn't keep it a surprise because I was too excited about it to not tell him. It doesn't really count as I probably would have bought him the ticket even if he didn't like Nick Cave just so he'd come with me, so I'll have to find something else.

Busy weekend. Highlight was going to Horta's house. We'd been wanting to for awhile, but me having a pathological horror of queues, hadn't. It opens at 2 every afternoon and by 3 there's a line up to 20 people long stretching onto the street. But a friend who was visiting from Paris had a particular yen to go, so we showed up as the door opened, and it was lovely. Not a mansion tour, not a gawkfest; Horta's house was a perfect little model home, illustrating how to create an illusion of great space whilst maintaining a cosy sort of feeling - how to have luxury combined with friendliness. There was a fucking urinal next to the bed, for God's sake.

I love Art Nouveau and looking around the house gave me a bittersweet feeling. As a movement, there was something beautiful about it that wasn't just the beauty of the objects and the curves and everything. There was the notion that now that they had the cheap technology in terms of steel supports and concrete, everybody should be able to have a lovely, practical space to live in. It was the last time beauty mattered like that, I think, when people were excited by the idea that even poor types could enjoy pretty staircases and whatnot. I know that seems frivolous, considering the lives poor people were leading in Europe when Art Nouveau was a force, not to mention now. But to me it's not frivolous. There's the idea that people who aren't rich should have more than just the basic sustenance that will let them survive and reproduce to keep toiling along in the interests of the rich; that they deserve, by virtue of being human, the sort of aesthetic pleasure in their homes that only rich people got, before or since. To me, in Art Nouveau, there's the seed of a sort of commie idea I could really get behind - that everybody deserves more than survival, and that in an equal society beauty would be more evenly distributed, and not condemned as bourgeois.

Mind you, at the Horta house you couldn't see the kitchens and the servant's quarter's were off-limits, which makes me think they probably weren't departures from the deeply exploitative norm of those days. So Horta himself might have thought I was talking dangerous sedition out my ass.