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Just Awwwwwwful

Jun. 10th, 2010 | 02:04 pm
placial:: Etobicoke
tonefeeling:: accomplishedaccomplished

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT OF THE DAY, JUNE 10th 2010

While walking down the street identify humans engaged, with particularly self-centered zest, in their affairs.

When you enter the 6-foot proximity zone, open your mouth 10 degrees and raise your eyebrows.

When you enter the 3-foot proximity zone, inhale sharply.

When you pass the human (on your left), let out a loud and relatively sincere-sounding "Awwwwwwwwwww!"

When you have passed the human by 2 to 3 feet, you have the option of adding "Precious!"

My hypothesis is that while this will result in you becoming 20-73% more of an asshole, your self-satisfaction and positive outlook will improve qualitatively.

| MAKE SPEAK {2} |

from COVER TO COVER

Aug. 28th, 2007 | 08:41 am

It is early morning on the Schwarzenegger compound, but the packs of journalists, press support and political liason have been awake for hours.

I am a writer, assigned here on a pure fluke of delight. "Cover him while he's still in his covers" was my editor's direction.

Arnold's executive assistant takes me down the sun-dappled hallway to his bedchamber, where he and Maria are stirring. It's now nearly eight-thirty, but I can tell from the playful tone of their bestial voices that this is premature for the both of them.

"Oooh, why do you always have to work so EARRRRLY?" Maria squeals as I enter the chamber, quickly surveying my surroundings.

His voice floats gently back, like the lava spewing from a Hawai'ian volcano's flattened slopes: "Ahhhnythingk fah mah bahhhbyaghhh..."

Without another word, he throws a tiny white housecoat (the kind you would find in a cheap hotel) over his rippling frame, and takes my side. With a final nod to Maria, lying tangled in blankets with a frying-pan smile on her face, he leaves the room.

"I bet you've alwahs wahnted to see the Presidential Bathroom, ah?!?" he blurts out while we're walking down the hallway.

The exact nuance of his attempt at humour is lost on me, but his laughter becomes uncontrollably loud by the time we reach a small door on the right.

"This ees at!" he proclaims.

Before I can finish asking "at... what?" the door is thrust open, and his sequoian arms have pushed me inside. The light trapped inside with us by the shutting door bounces from wall to wall long enough to extinguish itself, and there is darkness.

Slowly, my eyes adjust.

"What... why are you showing me this place?" I ask the Governor.

"THIS is whah I do my most impahtent buhsiness!"

With widened pupils, I can make out the vague form of a bidet low to the ground before me, a sink on the right... and some hulking form against the far wall.

Taking my hand roughly, Arnold guides me to this mass in the darkness. His skin is smooth, but trembling - Mr. Universe.

"Ah receeved this as a gift frahm the Boston Stripesox" he announces proudly, "It used to sit in their laaacquerroom, baht I had bettah use for it!"

As my perception of light continues to build, details and colours become apparent in the form. Strips of leather dangle from its surfaces like half-cut fingernails, and inorganic sores fester on its sides.

Arnold reaches out in the darkness, and begins fidgeting with the leather latches atop the giant box. One by one, he undoes them, pulling back two sheets of thick and chapped leather each time, and revealing yet another worn yet sturdy leather latch beneath.

What I failed to notice then, but cannot erase from my nightmares years later, was the subtle but distinct stench building in the air of that small and darkened room.

After ten or fifteen deepening layers of leather chastity, some milestone is reached. I step back, as a thin layer of smoke begins to emanate from one of the box's corners. Chuckling, Schwarzenegger places his massive frame between me and the door.

"The Flaaahs..." he mumbles.

"Excuse me, Flaws?"

"No! FLIEEEHHHS!"

A spiraling swarm of carrion flies swoops from beneath the final unrevealed layer of the box's leather guard, filling the room with preening inelegance and more stink. We can hear the flies' wings, unused for countless centuries inside the box, spreading out and filling with blood for further flight. As the wings enlarge, the flies begin circling faster and faster. A distinct and tangible terror bunches up in my throat, but the mad Austrian still blocks the door, his eyes fixed on one goal alone.

His arms are nearly twice the girth of my waistline, but as he reaches for the final leather fastening buckle on the box, I nearly jump upon his hands to stop them.

Nearly.

Before my mind can comprehend what is before me, the last shroud of protection is removed, and we gaze upon the box's contents in dimly lit monochromatic horror.

Shit.

A massive festering cube of shit is before us, discoloured and scarred by the passage of time and flies. Any original organic form is now unrecognizable, and the heap of detritus has taken on a new state of matter - some kind of methane based lifeform existing solely for disgust.

Something huge and horrible stirs within the soupy mess, and I grab Arnold as a scream curdles in my midst. I take his arm not for comfort, but in some weak and insincere attempt at solidifying my safety... a whore's last feign at love.

A rat, a rat with no eyes and a mucous membrane over its mouth, scurries from deep within the unholy mess. It finds its way to the top of the pile within the box, and begins sliding towards Schwarzenegger.

"Haaaahh! Know what I cahlll him? NUMBAH THREE!"

Amused with his own observation, the Governor drops his guard for but a second, and before I am even aware at my attempt I am out from beneath his penumbra in the dark and reeking room.

Out the door, releasing the flies into the hallway through which I run, run... running until I reach the bedchamber again, where Maria is picking flies from the air and placing them in a closed-fist terrarium. Running past the lines of Humvees, converted for various environmental causes, converted to run on hydrogen, converted to run on seawater, converted to run on Iraqis, converted to run on The Future. Running out the front gates, and into some strange and desolate Beverley Hills, where no-one stirs before 11.

Running, running from Governor Schwarzenegger, and his dark rooms of appropriated terror.

But don't worry, Arnold.
Your secrets are safe.

I won't be back.

| MAKE SPEAK {1} |

MORE PRIDE than a FAMILY OF LIONS

Jun. 24th, 2007 | 10:25 am
placial:: Toronto
tonefeeling:: slowlywakingslowlywaking
soundtrack:: that new Architecture in Helsinki song, Debbie



My street (Yonge, allegedly now just ONE of the longest in the world) is about to be taken over by one of the largest parades in the world - the last few years have brought between 1 and 1.3 million people to the sidewalks directly outside of my windows...

As to whether Pride is all a big commercial quagmire in Toronto (or anywhere, for that matter) remains to be sussed out, but judging from the giant G4 TechTV mobile studio reviewing the "Best Pride Handset" and giving out pimped up RAZR's for the Telcos, I'm guessing we're not getting any closer to a peaceful resolution of the question.

Surely there will be some interesting visual excerpts found and posted, as this year's parade/festival theme is UNSTOPPABBLLLEEEEEEE. I don't even think I have a squirtgun in the house.... typical Canadian?

| MAKE SPEAK {6} |

SPRING HAS SPRUNG...

Mar. 24th, 2007 | 01:05 pm
placial:: Toronto
tonefeeling:: More Oasse
soundtrack:: Glenn Gould does Ludwig's 5th Piano Concerto

...and I spent the late hours of yesterday afternoon traipsing about, wrapping things up on my back deck. I'm very satisfied with the early onset of Daylight Savings Time this year - any increase in days of walking home from work while the sunset persists is a worthy increase!

I've posted a few of the shots to ye olde photoblog - the most leg-loosening of the batch. OUR TIMES OF CHILL ARE OVER, FRIENDS - WARMER DAYS (and most importantly, nights) AWAIT!

Los Angeles on Sunday night, for a week...

| MAKE SPEAK |

77 Million Matings (all in my mind)

Oct. 23rd, 2006 | 09:56 pm
placial:: Home, Toronto
tonefeeling:: Limited Edition!



ADDITIONALÉ: Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings arrived in the post yesterday evening - random generative-pasta visuals and tapestauralities to blow the band!

| MAKE SPEAK |

Balls Bared

Sep. 2nd, 2006 | 01:45 pm
placial:: Toronthome - newly renovated!
tonefeeling:: Polished, but Badbreathed
soundtrack:: Eno & Jon Hassell - Delta Rain Dream

LeifsHad a fascinating dream where I was continually ejaculating ball bearings into the air. Like some sort of slow motion cannon, everything stuck in an amazing persistence of fluid dynamic.

Woke up this morning at seven and stumbled into the bathroom to urinate - noticed three ball bearings nestled in hairdust bundles in the bathtub. Carefully plucked out each one, moving them to the counter.

Thought about calling someone to ask if they'd noticed any dreams rendered manifest lately, but couldn't think of anyone local to ring at such an hour. Katya's in Los Angeles, and surely dreams don't substantiate across national borders. Martha comes home from Italy this afternoon, and surely dreams don't substantiate across continents. Trevor is in Algonquin Park, and surely dreams don't substantiate across urban/rural boundaries.

Whatever the larger phenomenon, the bearings are under careful observation.

| MAKE SPEAK {1} |

A Visual History of Seeing

Aug. 30th, 2006 | 10:18 am
placial:: Yorkville
tonefeeling:: PINE Trees
soundtrack:: Beirut | After the Curtain - lovely grimesynthed arpeggio!

Tudor is right - systematically mapping out one's photographic history on a map is a tremendously satisfying pursuit.

I've only made it through a sliver of my sighted sites, and international support seems to be lacking thus far... but if you're looking for a new drug - this one won't spill, cost too much, or come in a pill!

If Stewart Butterfield came up with a way to package Flickr in a capsulated format, I'd be first in line at the pharmacy. Perhaps it could be sold as artistic emergency contraception:

"Neglected to take the necessary precautions of notation when your machine started 'snapping shots?' Flickr is here to help! Ingest with one gravol, and find all the organization you've been dreaming of!"

| MAKE SPEAK |

Waterfall Underbelly

Aug. 27th, 2006 | 01:03 pm

Doppelganger SilhouetteFunny day today - reminds me of the book I'm reading. Usually it's people, tones of voice, particular social customs or events that inspire that feeling of literary deja-vu... but today it's all things ambient.

I'm reading J.G. Ballard's Drowned World, wherein solar radiation spikes melt the polar ice caps, delving most everything between the poles into silt-swamped Triassic haze. Lizards and dragonflies burst into enormous mutative sizes, and the biologists picking through the new phyla find that something strange is happening to them, too. It turns out that the very nature of this new earth - its ambient light levels, temperature, background noise of oversized insects - pulls from deep within us ancient genetic memories. The humidity and malaria degenerating the biologists' nervous systems also begins a regression down the physical spinal column itself - into the bottom-most components, which evolved first. Though largely dormant during temperate times, in this new Mesozoic age they are devices for devolving characters - a very interestingly scientific machine-for-fiction Ballard has constructed.

Anyhow, with the haze between streets and fog between blocks the book is harkened to feeling rather than mind, so to speak. It's an endless precession of simulacra.

Supposed to be running a photo shoot later this afternoon for the cover of a play. A friend of mine launched it last spring, so far as the thespian effort was concerned, at a theatre nearby, and now it looks like enough positive attention was generated to give it a publishing run or three. I'm quite excited, though I was hoping for more of a provision from the realm of natural light - setting up lighting rigs in a rusting old bathroom isn't my idea of a great time on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps something underwater... the drowning continues!

Katya flies to California to dance this week, after New York ( - what seems like months was only) two weeks ago, then we take off for a much-needed vacation together after Labour Day. We're heading to Ottawa for a few days to visit (and for me to meet) her brother and sister-in-law, then retreating North to anonymously hidden locales for another week. I think it will be nice to be inaccessible.

For all of those searching for a fabulous-looking ARG, Waking City from the TorGame crowd is coming up very soon... you can even check out the accidentally retroid trailer music I put together, HERE on Google video. I wonder if I could find a way to promote this game through "work?"

ExposedBrain.com Version

| MAKE SPEAK |

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2006 | 09:54 pm
placial:: Home, in the York-Villain's Gallery
tonefeeling:: Ready
soundtrack:: Linkin Park & Jay-Z (who would ever have seen this coming?)

While walking from the office to fetch some dinner - another late evening - the contemplative dusk was interrupted by a sudden screaming and acceleration of hurtled metal.

The bonecarved faces in the vehicle galloping towards my feet materialized at the last moment into the summer-sheened grins of Marc and Chanel.

If given an ultimatum of events - would it be preferable to be run over by your friends, by unrecognizably complete - but eye-contacted - strangers, or by a sudden and invisible force from behind?

Stopped to urinate upon returning to work. While in the middle of the streaming process, a strangely familiar plateaued bleeping began to emanate from the stall next-door. Quickly identified as the feedback for a cellphone's numerical pad, the noise continued - SMS Defecation?

What bothered me was not the sound, or its greater context, but that the lights were OFF when I entered the room.

I switched them OFF once more when leaving, to no complaint - or interruption of T9'ing - whatsoever.

Walked home after the radio show with a strangely gleeful sensation in my mindparts. Everything through Chinatown and the University was more interesting than I'd experienced it yet this summer - the temperature just right for twilight's omnipresent luminescence to seep into everything below fifty feet of altitude.

Found a letter from Caitlin in my box... started to cry, against all expectations andt odds, while reading it on the couch, starved for a snack. Her description of Burkina is lovely - but moreso is the defiant (revolutionary agnosticism?) tone with which she makes her case. Thank you for your Interestings!

| MAKE SPEAK {3} |

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2006 | 02:01 pm
placial:: Upstairsish
tonefeeling:: hungryhungry
soundtrack:: John Cale, Half-Past France

KitkaclosedeyeSwirled through a party at Stevos' last night - seemed like a good idea to drink numerous bottles of wine before attending, while working on photos. Wound up showing myself as a bit of a bruiser, with distracted eyes, instead. Might have been the first time I've seen Fono in... months? Let 'em out of your sight for eight weeks, and they move to Niger - zow!

Spent a prolonged portion of the evening speaking with Peter - whose company I've always enjoyed, one of those people who can light up social and intellectual neurons you forgot you had use of outside daydreams - something to be done there along the lines of symbiosis, science, artwork... also always easier to indulge an unproven conversation when you've got no underpants on.

Lost a bet (do I consistently confuse English and French monarchies when smashed?), stared down a skunk on walk home, found myself mind-mulling over A-B-C-D-E(katerina)-F. most of the time.

Things seriously good in that department - I blame it on the bedsheets. 500 thread count!

Spent the morning cleaning my bathroom - what was once a mysterious glaze on the shadowed areas of the floor has now been revealed as a downy peat of pubic hair. LOVELY. In between the baptism of various lavatorial appliances, browsed endless photographs of mantids - laughable that people seem to think extraterrestrial life would bear any friendly resemblance to the organisms of our planet. To think that we've got things one one-hundredth our size roaming the forests in our backyards that are as unlike us as I'm capable of imagining in a physical manifestation, do "little green men" really hold any water at all?

| MAKE SPEAK {1} |