31 July, 2008

Understanding Darfur

21st November 2007

I claim no professional accuracy with this chapter.

How many of you actually know what is really going on in Darfur? Tired of not knowing myself, I decided to do some research. And here is what I understood from the whole situation.

Darfur is a region of Sudan, which is a country. The population there is divided between Arabs and non-Arabs, due to Egyptian origins or something like that, for a part of the people. I can’t get into details because I honestly would fail to explain all the intricacies, and that mostly because I couldn’t remember the name of a single group, except the evil ones, for which I made an extra effort.

The evil group in question is called Janjaweed, and they are a paramilitary group. They’re nicknamed the “Devil on horseback”, and they are the ones who kill and rape systematically. They target non-Arab villages, and let the Arab ones alone; sometimes two such villages are only 500 meters apart, and so it is obvious that there is a systematic pattern at work.

Please note that most of these people are Muslims, and that groups were formed to defend the attacked villages, in the name of Allah and basic human dignity. The evil ones – and yes, I will stick to calling them that despite your thoughts that perhaps I’m being backwards or retarded – are very much aware of it, as I will show next.

Most of you probably have heard about the murders and rapes. What you may not know, though, is why rape is systematically done to women. Here is why: being raped amounts to being ostracised from your own people; so basically, once raped, you become worthless to your village. I don’t know how accurate this is, in effects, but that explains why the Janjaweed do it and why they do it in public. Women are raped in public so that everyone knows these women have been raped. I have no idea of how comparable this is to a social death, but if they are really ostracised afterwards, then it would amount to such.

Another thing is that the murdered people are dismembered. Just the same as in Chechnya, where the Russian army is known to dismember the bodies of its victims. Why do they all do that? Here is why: Muslims are required to be buried in one piece, otherwise Heaven will be denied to them. The point here isn’t whether this is true or not, for I never read anything about that in the Koran, but the point is that the attackers know this is their belief, and they use it to terrorise them all the more. They kill them here in on earth, and steal them eternity too.

Those two things are important because you would be wrong to think that the Janjaweed are just adding extra fun to their horrible acts. It’s part of their mission, and that, of course, does not excuse anything. These acts are used as weapons, and that’s why you hear that “rape is a weapon” with regards to the Darfur crisis.

Why is all of this happening? Well, I’m not entirely sure, and I did some research. I understand there’s mostly a food crisis, which forces the nomadic tribes to move further south, or elsewhere, and feed on land that belongs to someone else, or something like that.

The government of Sudan also has a big deal of oil production in the region, and that tends to affect the situation. I heard critics say that some villages were destroyed because they needed the ground to get oil, but I am unsure of this.

The government of Sudan, however, is actively erasing evidence of the atrocities, by both making it almost impossible for journalists to come in (though famous musicians are allowed in, don’t ask me) and destroying the remains of looted villages.

Why isn’t someone doing something? Why isn’t the UN going in? Well, apparently, it’s because of the Sudanese government. They said explicitly that if the UN came in with forced armies, they would take it as an “invasion from the West”. Of course, that’s nonsense, and it’s a phony excuse; we know what card that government would be playing. “We’re another Iraq, blah blah.” No, you’re not: you’re a genocidal maniac government which sold its soul and you deserve to get busted.

Understand that the Sudanese government backs up the Janjaweed: they’re unofficially the army of it. Also know that the government itself, if not mistaken, has bombed the rebels’ base, and in some cases even villages, but once again, I’m not sure.

China buys oil from Sudan, and weapons from both China and Russia were found in the hands of the Janjaweed, including artillery and airplanes. If you think Darfur is only the problem of Sudan, you’re wrong. We no longer live in a world with that much boundaries; it’s all connected, mostly when there’s oil. So yes, China gets oil from Sudan, and that’s why it actively supports the massacre. China gave them weapons! Russia too! Russia is having its very own genocide in Chechnya, why would they care?

Now comes the part about the UN. I believe “what the fuck” is the three words I have for them. The UN is an important thing to have, but it should work. The UN has showed itself to be mostly a powerless façade for as far as I can remember. It took them forever to act in the Balkan War, it took them forever to act with the Rwanda Genocide, and it’s taking them forever to act in Darfur. I know, troops have been sent, but that was a mixed army, and it basically didn’t help the situation much.

I don’t mean to justify the war in Iraq, but do you remember how many UN resolutions Saddam Hussein violated? Over 17 or something? I don’t recall the exact number, but my question is: at what point do you do something? How long do you let countries go around killing people, selling weapons to the killers? China gives weapons to Sudan, specifically so that they can kill the non-Arab population of Darfur; why is China even allowed to remain in the UN? There’s a point where you have to hit the table with your fist, or else you’re useless. If you’re in a city and commit a crime, they don’t wait until you’ve committed 17 crimes before they arrest you. One crime, one violation is enough, as it should be. Why is Iraq or Sudan or Russia or China allowed to fuck up so much?

I know China is starting to pull away from Sudan’s oil because of the attention it’s getting from the world, and as you know, or should know, China is trying to buy its entry in the big world, and it will use the Olympics for that purpose, to show the whole world where they’re at now. Someone proposed to boycott the Olympics if China keeps supporting the massacre in Darfur, and I thought it was a good idea. I know it’s not great to meddle sports and international affairs, but at least that would make sports useful, for a change.

Raise awareness! I’m tired of seeing Rock bands and famous actors talking about Darfur in ways you understand nothing about it, though I’m glad they do talk of it, so at least we know something is going on there. But when I see Matt Damon showing us in a Bob Dylan way that he wants a ceasefire, it makes me wonder if that’s any useful. Who are you asking that to, Matt? Me? I’m not having a war with anyone. The Janjaweed? For one, I don’t know if they would actually get the message, and secondly, if they did, why would they care what you have to say? Who is Matt Damon, or Georges Clooney, or anyone, to the Janjaweed? Why don’t these people also ask Ben Laden to please stop planning the death of innocent people?

Instead of that, those famous people should ask for immediate boycotting of China, and they should raise awareness of what countries help Sudan in committing the atrocities it’s committing. Now that would make some sense. How about “China is a great big whore” on that little board of yours, Matt? How about “I think Russia sucks Satan’s cock”, Clooney?

Oh, and Green Day, "Working Class Hero" and Darfur? I’d need to read the lyrics closely to see whether my impression is accurate or not, but it sure sounds like you’re off topic by one long China-made gun shot.

Graphic Novel

19th November 2007

What is a graphic novel? If you have never heard of the term, it is mostly a comic book. In fact, it is a comic book. You would have a lot of difficulties seeing a regular comic book from a graphic novel at first sight. To be honest, I still don’t really know what criteria to use to distinguish them.

I believe the term “graphic novel” is intrinsically evil. Why? For a few reasons; first of all, I don’t believe you should term a medium because of its quality, because let’s face it, a “graphic novel” is a “comic book with higher standards”, supposedly. To me, this is like using a different name to call a good poem from a bad poem. Point is, in either case it’s poetry. Bad or good, it’s still poetry, and I don’t think that the mere word “poetry” should define only the good poetry, but all poetry, since that is the definition of it. “House” refers to any kind of house, well-built or not, beautiful or not.

Moreover, “graphic novel” is an insult to any comic book that doesn’t call itself a graphic novel. They are the same thing: they are sequential art, they are visual, and they use text in bubbles and squares. You may think that graphic novels have more text than a regular comic, and you’d be wrong. I know some regular comic books with tons of text, back from the 60’s and such, and none of them ever thought they were anything else but comic books.

Another point in how “graphic novel” is demeaning towards sequential art and comic books is the very nature of the term. Let’s take a closer look at it: graphic novel. What this implies is basically that what you have is a novel, with visuals. A novel! Let me remind you what a novel is: it is a piece of prose between 200 pages and 400, but it can easily go up to 900 or more; there are no images in a novel, it is only a literary work of art, constructed with words alone, generally. That’s a novel. The first time I heard the term “graphic novel”, I thought it was a regular novel, with lots of illustrations. I couldn’t think of what else a graphic novel could be, since it was a novel. Graphic novels aren’t novels! They are comic books!

Think of it this way: calling a comic book a graphic novel is about as relevant as calling a movie an “animated photograph” and Snow White & The Seven Dwarves an “animated painting”. The whole point here is that comic books are their own thing; they are their own medium, they don’t need to derive anything from another! Cinema is cinema, it may naturally have ties with photography, but it’s a different art altogether; the same goes for comic books: they may have things in common with novels, but they’re not novels, not even graphic ones.

So, in conclusion, and in short, the term “graphic novel” is evil because: 1) it implies a judgement of value within a definition that should only be descriptive and technical, i.e. “poetry” as only good poetry, good comic books instead of all comic books, etc., 2) it defines itself from another medium, the novel, without true reasons to do so, at least no more than a movie, a play, or even a song; for a movie, a play, and a song can all have characters, plots, and words: this does not make them a novel, despite the common ground, and the same goes for a “graphic novel”.

27 July, 2008

The Importance of Imagination Regarding Where We Live

17th October 2007

You’ve all been to New York. Even if you haven’t. That will be the subject of this chapter. You’ve all been to New York, but you haven’t, and all of this at the same time. Promising eh? Indeed. Let me explain.

My town, the name of which I will not utter, has never appeared in a major movie or a novel, or even a song, or anything whatsoever that you may have heard of. My town does not exist in your mind, but New York does, even if you have never been there.

If you suddenly won a ticket to fly to New York, you’d be excited because you would know where you were going; you have seen this city in so many movies, read stories that took place there, and countless important historical events happened there too. In a very real way, you’d be walking in your imagination when you’d go to New York. If you went to my town, everything would be new to you, and everything would have that pesky strangeness to it. New York will always feel somewhat familiar to everyone because we have all imagined it from the movies, novels, poems, songs, paintings, photographs and whatever other media that we have experienced in the course of our lives.

This becomes more important than commonly thought when people start to feel depressed for living “nowhere”. Suppose you live in Gdansk, a city that I don’t even know where it is – I’d venture it’s in Poland or somewhere in Eastern Europe, but with absolute incertitude – then you’d be living in something that has no worldwide exposure and that doesn’t ring many bells to the average human living on earth. I apologise for everyone living in Gdansk: see my taking of this city as an example on behalf of my own personal lack of knowledge rather than anything to do with Gdansk per se.

In our age, it has become sadly important to feel we exist, and why? Because some of us, and all of us to some extent, live under the impression that you only exist within the TV, movies, songs, and other things. A lot of people dream of being famous. Not of doing something great and worthy of attention, just being famous. Perhaps because of this state of affairs, if you live somewhere unknown, you feel nonexistent. And if you live in an American shit-hole, that doesn’t count, because American shit-holes exist a lot in everyone’s imagination. If you don’t think so, consider this: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The X-Files, in which the proverbial American shit-hole is the setting of a large number of episodes, Courage, the Cowardly Dog, and the list goes on and on. In fact, just living in America makes you exist on the worldwide imaginary level. Say you live in Viet-Nam, a lot of people couldn’t even place you on the map, and I can only do so because I checked after having spent enough time being upset for not knowing where Viet-Nam was.

Moreover, if you lived in Viet-Nam, the one and only thing people would think of when it comes to you is the Viet-Nam War, and they’d think of all the American movies made on the subject. You can’t say “Viet-Nam” without those images coming to mind. Some countries bring no images at all. Some countries you didn’t even know the name of. America, since it has the largest cultural exposure of all nations, is the one country whose many facets are exposed. When you think of America, you can think of thousands of things, from McDonald’s to Edgar Allan Poe, to the Viet-Nam War. But think of Senegal. What comes to your mind about this one?

If this sounds like a shallow subject to you, I demand you to reconsider. We are talking about the power of imagination, and image. Consider the following fact: there was no anorexia problem before advertising. Images are much more powerful than believed. Think of all the black women of Africa who think that being white is the hip thing. Think of the Asian people who get their eyes operated so they look like Westernly ones. Don’t tell me images and global representation, and imagination, don’t matter, because they do, and I tell you.

When I walk in my town, I only walk in my town. When you walk in New York, you walk in your own imagination, and more than that, you walk inside the imagination of millions and millions of people. That is quite something. I know it probably shouldn’t matter, but it does.

Perhaps Americans can’t quite understand what I’m on about here, because they’ve always been living in their own imaginations: American culture is mostly American. Let me show you something.

In my country, 70% of the movies showed on the big screen are American movies. The remaining 30% are French movies, and perhaps once or twice a year, you get a local movie, but in my life, I have never seen a local movie at a local theatre. Imagine, American, if 70% of the movies proposed to you were French, and the rest Canadian. Imagine if you knew more about Paris than you did about New York; if Gdansk evoked more images in your mind than Washington. I can’t place my capital on a map, but I can place so many American cities on the US map that I feel ashamed.

Because of the media expansion and the technology, images, sounds, and culture in general have no limits; and because of this, New York exists more than it ever did, and so does everything else that is communicated through whatever media. And consequently, Gdansk all the less. And I won’t even mention my town. 1’500 inhabitants inhabiting a place that doesn’t exist in any of your imaginations.

We need to live in our imagination, that’s one thing I believe, because when we don’t, we’re not happy. This ties in with my theory that life is literature, that we structure the raw material of “reality” into readable stories. We’re all the writers of ourselves. You can’t keep everything you live in your mind: you divide the human body that utters words to you into a “friend” and you make this person a character in the story of your life. You highlight things from it, you shape things into plots where people do things. We all do this, and we do this because life per se, the raw material of reality, is too wild and unreadable and undigested for us to take as is. We need to write it to ourselves so it makes sense.

Now, when you live in Nowhere City, it’s hard to come up with a good story. That’s why those of us who do live in shit-holes usually conceptualise that element as “living in a shit-hole” and suddenly they’re not so alone, because we all know movies and books with characters living in shit-holes. In a detoured way, even shit-hole inhabitants can put that element of their raw reality into a readable story.

Perhaps Americans think that while they have Britney Spears, other countries have their local version of it. Wrong, we have Britney Spears too, the very same, the very American Spears. And I don’t mean to say that Spears is the epitome of American culture, just that our culture is your culture.

When I went to America, in 1999, I truly had the sensation that I was walking in a movie. Everything I saw around me I had seen before, on TV, in movies. I was not in unknown territory; this was no terra incognita even though I had never set foot there in my life. Similarly, when I went to school, in my country, I was in unknown territories. Schools never looked like that in movies, on TV. Somehow this made my school look suspicious; was it a real school?

The divide between the imaginary world and the one you face daily can be traumatic. When nothing in your dream world resembles your world, you begin to wonder. You wonder if you truly exist, or if you don’t happen to live in a fake world: something that’s not the real thing.

When culture doesn’t echo and reflect your world, it gives you the feeling that you don’t exist, that the world in which you live has no recognised existence. The world doesn’t know about it, and can’t place it on a map. Much like a ghost, you live your life like a secondary employee on the set of a big movie; always in the backstage, always on the set, but never seen, never felt.

26 July, 2008

Pretentious Non-Drugged Artists

21st October 2007

Sometimes you think of things someone said, even years ago, and you get upset about it. At least I do. Many years ago, a pretentious shitty poet proudly uttered that he “don’t need drugs to write poetry because my mind is great enough” or something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting anyone needs drugs to make great art, or any art at all. Drugs don’t give you any extra talent, that is for sure, but the idea that you can experience what drugs could give you without drugs, that is pretentious, and naïve. It’s also dangerous. let me explain, if you think you can experience the same things on your own as people experience on LSD, then you probably also believe you can know what depressive people go through by just imagining it, or that you can be acquainted with schizophrenia the minute you start using your “great mind” to imagine what it’s like to hear voices in your head and see things that don’t exist.

No matter how great your imagination, those things aren’t about it. You can’t quite imagine what chocolate tastes like before you ever tasted any; much the same, you can’t imagine what it’s like to have schizophrenia until you have it. And still similarly, you can’t imagine what it’s like to be on an LSD trip before you get on one. Now, what I’m arguing here is that I can’t stand those holier-than-thou phony fuckers. Coincidentally, that person, the shitty poet, also kept himself from reading the poetry of the great poets of our History because he didn’t want to come across things he’d want to write himself, or something. I already wrote a chapter on writers who don’t read, and you know what I think of people like this; in short, writing isn’t about exposing your glorious ego to the world, nor is it about showing anyone anything about yourself in the name of your awesome greatness. No. If you’re afraid of finding something that already exists, you tend to forget that other people do read, and they may very well come across the things you didn’t want to see. Anyway, this is ridiculous and I don’t have the moral stamina to write again about this massive, steaming pile of horse-dung.

You have to be aware of your limits as a human, and as an artist, if you’re interested in doing the best you can. Thinking that you’re beyond LSD because you have a great imagination only proves that your common sense is of a much more mediocre kind. It only shows you have no serious knowledge and experience of altered consciousness states. And by altered consciousness states, I mean as much LSD trips as being drunk, as having depressive disorder or schizophrenia, as I mean anything else. They are different, naturally, from drug to drug, from mental illness to another, but your consciousness is not in its right state and that’s the common denominator of all of these.

The point is that some worthless assholes among us think they can empathise with everything and everyone simply because they have a great esteem of themselves and an ego that can vie with the Titanic, and fail just as badly.

If everyone was forced to bad trip at least once in their lives, as part of an educational program, perhaps people would have a better understanding of depression and of why some of us can no longer sustain the pain of it, and choose suicide as a last solution. The educational bad trip. That’s an idea. Also, with a lesson like this, you’d make a lot of people keep away from drugs with a very good reason. I know it’s brutal, but you’d better have kids bad tripping in a safe environment, with medical people and all, rather than have them bad trip with their friends in all illegality. Right? [Don’t take this too literally.]

I’ll say again that I don’t suggest you take drugs to improve your art. It won’t give you talent that you didn’t have to begin with. It won’t turn you into a genius. Think of it this way: if you suck at painting, and go visit the most beautiful flower-gardens in the universe, it won’t make you paint better flowers at all. It’s only up to you to capture what you see. You can have the most beautiful drug-induced vision ever, the drug won’t give you the means to translate that vision into a creation of yours. And may no one ever say to me that artists who use drugs are “cheaters” because that would really make me reach for my sawed-off shotgun and severely add to your anatomical lead ratio. The crappy poet would think so, if he didn’t think his imagination was way beyond any chemicals and any state of consciousness. He’d think that you’re not allowed to use drugs because it’d be cheating, the same as he thinks that reading great poets makes you a cheater because it enriches your own poetry. Well guess what, Mr. crappy poet from hell and below, that’s how we evolve, as humans, together. The reason why we’re great is that we “stand on the shoulders of giants” as someone clever said, except he was wrong. We are dwarves indeed, but we’re not standing on the shoulders of giants: we’re standing on the shoulders of other dwarves. It’s dwarves all the way up from bottom.

Writers Who Don't Read

5th May 2007

Today I want to discuss that strange species of humans who call themselves writers - it's very important to them - and yet never read. I have met many of them, and they are invariably annoying, despicable idiots full of themselves. If I sound harsh, it is because I am.

The writer who does not read typically replies "Stephen King" to the question: "who is your favourite author?" and that does not mean that King really is their favourite author, it means they read one book of his, and little else. Why such a disinterest in general literature? Have you ever heard of musicians who do not listen to music? Can you name any band whose members do not listen to other bands? A writer who does not read other writers should be as plainly weird to you as the above examples.

Why do they not read? That one is easy. But before I explain it, let me tell you that the writer who does not read is in fact proud of not reading. They think that reading is akin to cheating, and moreover, that maybe they will reading something they will feel they wish they had never read, so they would be able to "discover" the idea on their own and write it. This is typical of the writer who does not read: he or she thinks that writing is mostly about proving to the world that one is a genius. They think it's about "being good"; they think it's about them. That is why they are proud of not reading; to them, it is the proof that they are worthy writers. "Look, I can write without reading!"

The problem in that is that the people who are most likely to read them - readers - those do in fact read, and thus care little about whether the author is capable of writing without reading. Nobody reads to see whether someone is able to write; when you read a book you're far beyond that stage of expectation. Being able to write is one thing, having something to say is quite another.

The writer who does not read is full of himself. He doesn't care about literature at all, he cares about himself first and foremost. It's an ego trip, nothing else. You've never heard of a musician who doesn't truly love music, and no real writer doesn't love literature, and reading. Whether you listen to music, or make your own, your love of it is sensibly the same. Not so for writers who do not read. Why? Because "literature" is only worthwhile to them insofar as they wrote it. That is why I say it is mostly an ego trip. It is little more than mental masturbation.

The bright side of this is that writers who do not read are very poor writers, and thus you will almost never face one of their works in any respectable bookshop. So no worries.

This being said, I have no anger towards people who write for themselves and are lucid about what they do; i.e. people who know they are not going for a Nobel Prize but do enjoy writing for itself. The category I discuss in this entry is the type that actually believes they are amazing writers and that everyone should read them because they think others will be as amazed as they are by the writing in question. The writer who doesn't read suffers from an enormous lack of references, standards, and means of comparison. He could write something completely ridiculous, or cliché, and never know it.

What upsets me about them too is this idea that they should not read because it may spoil them. That is a fact, they fear reading because they may come across an idea they would have loved to find themselves, on their own. Once again, whether they're aware of it or not, the "idea" is already written, and thus exists in the world outside their lives. That is the point they miss, they think it makes a difference whether they write something that already exists if they're not aware of it. Their focus is entirely on themselves; they utterly fail to see things from the reader's point of view, or anyone else's point of view altogether. They see writing as an act of making oneself special, or above the rest. I hate that. This is not what literature is about, or any art. This is what prideful idiots are about.

I will end this entry on the fact that the writer who doesn't read spends infinitely more time about telling others of their being a writer than on writing per se. They typically think that whatever they do, they do as a writer, or poet, because everything I said here about writers applies to poets too. If they cook, they do so as a writer/poet, if they take a dump, they do so as a scatological Shakespeare. They don't think that being a writer means you write, or research for a story, poem, novel, etc. It's a state of being to them; it has little to do with actual writing. It's just a means to transcend themselves into something Romantic and ideal to feed their hungry egos.

25 July, 2008

Tron Exegesis

3rd November 2007

Warning: some of the views held in this chapter might be utterly wrong. Memory being what it is, I may have "remembered" in false ways. All apologies to you if you spot out a mistake or two, or more.

In the same spirit as the chapter on Alien, this one will be about pressing out the juices of Tron, a 1982 movie produced by Disney, which features videogames in a time where videogames were, at best, prehistoric, to say the least. If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend you don’t read this chapter. It’s not that I’m afraid to expose you to spoilers, it’s that I won’t sound quite as clever if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Tron is, after a quick perusal of the Wikipedia article about it, a more complex movie than I remembered. I saw it often as a child, in the 80’s, because we had it on tape. I haven’t seen it again since. So this is all from memory, and the main point of the chapter wasn’t even discussed in the Wikipedia article, as of this day.

As you remember, and if you don’t, then you didn’t see the movie and then you’re not supposed to be reading these lines, the movie takes place in the real world, and some digital world, supposedly within the computer. This is going to be a key element. There is a division between our world, and some other world. If you’re familiar with Socrates and his myth of the cavern, you’ll be in known territories, if not, you will be soon enough. It has to do with Platonic idealism, but I’m not sure it will be such a major thing in the chapter, after all.

Just to refresh your minds, the plot has to do with programmers and how the bad one steals the work of the good one (Jeff Bridges), and how this latter attempts to prove the theft of the former. There’s a computer entity in the film called “MCP” or “Master Control Program” and it’s something like a digital Satan. While our good Jeff tries to hack into the system to find proof of the theft, he stumbles upon the MCP, and even has a little chat with it. The MCP then absorbs him into the computer, via a special laser gun thing that disintegrates and re-integrates objects of the real world – Jeff was hacking from a special laboratory zone where such devices were developed.

Then he comes to in the digital world, which is just like our world, except it’s entirely different. If you saw Tron, you know the very visual side of this digital world. So, Jeff finds himself in some cell with a program. A program, in the digital world, is actually a human, or rather, it has a human shape and talks like one, but it’s a program. Not sure I’m making myself very clear here, and that is alright because this will be difficult to understand only if you didn’t see the movie, and if you didn’t see it, I told you a while ago not to read this chapter. So this is your punishment.

In this digital world, programs are made to play in arenas as so many gladiators. The Roman comparison doesn’t stop there: if you pay just a bit of attention, you’ll notice all the programs are wearing togas, just like Romans. And the games are definitely gladiator games. In the movie, a program corresponds to a User, which is the human behind the controller. For instance, if you play a videogame, a program with your face will be risking his very life within the game, while you, the User, will play. This is where it gets interesting to me.

While in prison, Jeff, whose name in the film is Flynn, I believe, we learn that belief in Users is heretic or something. Now, if you’re as clever as me, you see where this leads us, and if you don’t, well you may still be very clever; don’t let me talk to you that way. Remember Christians during the Roman times? I’m talking about the times when Christians were persecuted, and used in the arena for public entertainment. That’s right, Christians believed in an entity that was above them, in some meta reality that was entirely beyond their grasp and comprehension and understanding. So with the programs in Tron.

You think that’s cool? Just you wait. Flynn, as you’ll recall, gets taken into this digital world, and this way, he is from the higher world, incarnate, or indigitate, into this other world. If that doesn’t ring any bell to you, here’s a clue: Jesus Christ.

Christ is God turned flesh. He’s experiencing what He has created the way one of us would. It’s the same in the movie: the programmer, the User, becomes a program himself, and that gives him extra powers in this world, like Jesus and His miracles, and also a more profound understanding of the mechanics of it all, which I don’t know whether Christ had or not.

In the movie, other programs tend to believe in a User, or their own private User, but, from what I recall, not everyone does. There are some atheists in Tron; especially the programs who are in fact playing the role of the Romans and force rebel programs to battle to death in the arenas.

Personally, I have never heard of this interpretation from anyone ever before, but I doubt that the writers of the movie didn’t have those things in mind. The baddie in the movie resembles a digital Satan in more ways than one. On a merely visual level, he’s red and has horns (I think, I may be wrong on that, it’s been a long time, I don’t remember), and he definitely acts like the quintessential villain. That character is Sark, but he is not the top villain; that would be the MCP itself. It shall be said that the MCP intends to take on the computers of the Pentagon because it firmly believes it can do a much better work than any human could. And that, my friends, reminds us of Skynet from the Terminator movies.

So, this guy Flynn, who is really a human in the “body” of a program, is our cyber Messiah. Or rather, the Messiah of the programs within the digital world. He is there to save them. And if you recall, he does so by thrusting himself in some shaft of light, and there may even be some Christic position there, but I wouldn’t bet my head on it because I don’t recall. However, by doing this, sacrificing himself, he saves the digital world, because he somehow merged himself with that column of light; and he disappeared from the digital world, but is restored to ours. Same with Christ after the Crucifixion.

The whole movie has this theme of paralleling Christianity in ways that aren’t so obvious, but are definitely very interesting. Flynn even shows mercy at a point where he is not supposed to: during one of the arena games, he refuses to kill his opponent when this latter is obviously powerless. Maybe it would be a stretch to compare this to Jesus’ reluctance to stone the adulterous woman, but it nevertheless shows a different behaviour in a cruel world.

So that’s about it for the bulk of the chapter. The rest would be about the idea of other worlds. Let’s see if I can do it or not.

Timothy Leary wrote about the internet and the virtual world as the realisation of Plato’s concept of the Ideal world. To Plato, everything we experience in this here world is but a pale reflection or copy or the real thing, up there in the ideal world. In this world, the ideal one, everything is about ideas, directly accessible by the soul in its purest form, without the interference and deficiencies of the senses. That’s what the myth of the cavern is all about; in that myth, people watch shadows on the wall of their cavern, instead of seeing the real things that produce those shadows. That is what Plato means when he says that all of what we experience with our senses here is just a reflection of the ideal real thing behind it. We’re living in a world of shadows according to Plato, or Socrates, don’t get me started. If you know nothing about either, quick sum up for you.

Plato is the guy who wrote the texts in which Socrates exists. Socrates himself never wrote anything, that was part of his philosophy. Plato wrote down conversations Socrates had with his students and the likes. If you buy that, then you must believe that Plato either had a demoniac memory capable of the most insane feats, or that he learned stenography at a very early age. That’s why I use Plato’s or Socrates’ name indifferently.

To a program, in Tron, this means that their world is just a fake thing created by an entity, or entities, in some higher world. The Users, the programmers, would be those higher people. They indeed are the ones who create the programs, their world, and everything they live in it. Applied to our world, this would be God, or gods, or whatever superior entities we believe in. Much like a program, a human doesn’t really know or understand the world in which he lives, despite the progress of research and science. Indeed, for a program to understand his world, he’d have to be out of it, and be able to look at a computer, and see its innards, and even that wouldn’t be enough because when I do that, I’m none the wiser. But suppose this program could come to our world, study electronics and informatics, then perhaps he would understand his world better, but then he’d not understand ours just as we don’t ourselves. The question is: would he ever be able to be a human? Wouldn’t that take away everything that defines him as a program? Or in other words, if us humans were to get up to that superior world that created us, wouldn’t we cease to be humans altogether?

That’s getting deep. In Tron, we know that their Messiah is basically just a guy like us. And that gets us to this next thing: what if our God is something like Flynn? Could it be that our God, if any, also has a God? And so on ad infinitum? How many worlds are there? Are we living in some metaphysical insane set of Russian Dolls? A meta-meta-meta-meta-meta-physical world. The word wouldn’t even apply further than the next world, since we know nothing of the parameters of said world. Our words apply to our world. Remember Christ is the “word made flesh”. I think generations of scholars and of regular people have been fascinated by this description of Jesus, to be found at the beginning of the Gospel of John. The word made Flesh! Isn’t that like Plato’s idea of the ideal turned reality? And by “reality”, I mean ours, nothing more or less real.

Where do I go now? I’ve exploded this chapter into so many directions at once, and such destructive ones, that I don’t know how in Heaven to go on. I do find all this disturbing. Maybe you think it’s a little too much thinking for a Disney movie, and that I should perhaps stick to Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Ah, but that wouldn’t show your knowledge of me! I love Tron for all the implications it has, and how interesting the whole theme is. To say nothing of the obviously pioneer condition of the movie, which, I remind you, came out in 1982. That’s early! Who can name a videogame from that year? Sadly, I think I can, but that’s only because I bought some really old stuff from the Wii’s virtual console, which allows you to get your hands on seriously classic games, meaning terribly old ones.

Philip K. Dick could have written Tron, and perhaps he should have, and perhaps he did write a novel like that; I didn’t read everything he wrote, so I wouldn’t know, but I venture to say that had he lived longer, he would have certainly been profoundly interested in the subject, and no doubt would have written about it.

The fact is, Philip K. Dick died the year Tron came out, 1982, which also happens to be the year when Blade Runner came out – the movie based on one of his novels, and one of the best movies in existence – and also, interestingly enough, the year when I came out.

24 July, 2008

"The Old Man's Boat" by Eric Fischl (1982)

This was written around 2005. I edited it, removed some pedantic semi-colons, and replaced nonexisting words by words that actually do exist.

I am going to focus on a recent painting. Eric Fischl is probably not a painter most of you have ever heard of, and as a matter of fact, I am myself not extremely familiar with him and his work. So mostly I have never read anything about Fischl nor this particular painting and everything I am about to talk of comes strictly from my good ol’ lil’ self and therefore I bear no claim to exactitude or anything whatsoever.

There, now I can say whatever I want. So, I assume at first one feels a bit bad, maybe even disturbed, by this weird scene. First thing you think of is: "what is this about?" As for myself, I first thought of some dubious orgy organised on said old man's boat far away from civilisation, in the middle of the sea for the purpose of ghastly fornication and God knows what. And I probably am not too wrong about that. Indeed, most of the characters in there are naked. Let's proceed to the analysis now.

This is obviously depicting debauchery. People lying about, fishing, drinking beer, etc. So what we do make of it? I'll start with the middle part of the picture. The naked woman with generous hips is resting on a kind of bluish mattress. You can, according to me, date the scene by the sunbathing marks on her behind; people wore bikinis of that kind in the 60's or something, probably through the 70's as well. Not sure what the relevance of that detail is, but it's there. Now, one of the very first things I noticed in that painting was the dog, it's a Dalmatian, and he seems about to get it on with the naked lady. It's a disturbing hint to zoophilia and it strongly adds to the general feeling of decadence and icky atmosphere. His forelegs are over her right leg and well, he seems about to do her, sorry. Interestingly enough, a little on the background, you can see a parallel thing going: some naked buddy is crawling towards another dude whose face is literally cut off by the edge of the painting. Hint to homosexuality? Maybe. This would not seem too heterogeneous to the ambient feel of the scene so I assume this is highly likely. [Given the times in which we live, I feel obliged to actually state that nothing here is meant against homosexuals; the painting is from 1982, and it brings together forbidden and culturally tabooed sexualities, and homosexuality is part of it, that is all.]

The debauchery being exposed, now comes the little story of the painting. As you can see, everyone is naked except one. That one person to be non-naked is a woman on the foreground. Significantly enough, she is wearing a safety suit and is dressed in her bikini, unlike the other woman who wears neither. Also, she is fishing, with the fishing-rod between her toes. Like the naked lady, we cannot see her face because she looks away from us. Her hair is brighter than the naked lady too. And she is the only one really sitting; the others are either lying or "sitting" in too loose positions to be termed thusly. I think this is highly meaningful. What is even more so, is the fact that she is pointing. She points towards this big high wave that is coming towards the boat and threatens to swallow it like God's Judgement over the sinners. No one in the boat is looking in the wave's direction except maybe the naked lady, but if she does, she doesn't seem to be alarmed or to perceive any imminent danger. Again, the parallel between the two only women of the boat is very interesting.

It is time to get to one of the most disturbing element of the painting: the beer-drinking dude. What is disturbing, apart from the fact that he's unashamedly showing us his willy, is that he is actually looking at us. In other words, he sees you. That includes you in the painting; you're not outside of this ghastly orgy, you're right in it. You're on the boat with them, same planet, same boat, same wave going to drown you soon. Moreover, for those who still have the title in mind--The Old Man's Boat--where is he? this old man? He's nowhere to be seen, so the idea is that maybe you are him. Maybe the old man is nowhere to be seen because he is in the position of the watcher, yours. How do you feel now? Now that you have become the dreadful pervert old man who organises homosexualozoophiliac orgies far away from official waters? And it's all because of the beer-drinking dude. If he wasn't looking at you, you'd not have become such a vile creature. I don't like naked dudes to stare at me drinking beer and exposing their floppy cocks like that. I admit it is a problem to me. Be decent you fucker! Anyway...

As a conclusion, we may see this painting as some dark portrayal of modern times, decadence, and incoming doom (the wave). There are those who see the wave (the dressed and life-jacketed lady) and will therefore be saved because they see it coming and have taken the measures to survive the event, and there are the others, who are too much into their passivity and decadence to see anything coming. And that beer-drinking dude, he'll be a ton less proud about his cock when he is drowning in the cold depths of this sea, let me tell you.


As a bonus, I share with you the comment written about this chapter by artist Laura Z

"I think your analysis of The Old Man's Boat, the Old Man's Dog is pretty spot on. I hadn't really noticed the wave, the single dressed girl pointing at the wave but I did get that feeling of decadence.

I'm not familiar with Eric Fischl's works, either, but paging quickly through that site you can see some themes: homosexuality, lost youth, corruption, illicit lovers/sex.

The thing that struck me about "The Old Man's Boat, The Old Man's Dog" was the title, at first: you rightly pointed out that the one female figure has tan lines from a 60's-style bathing suit. I think the term "Old Man" was kind of popular for "husband" back then: "Meet my old man, meet my old lady." So the boat could belong to an absentee husband. Given that boats are rather expensive and take money to maintain - you tend to be well-off if you have one that can hold that many people - the old man's boat is quite possibly one of the orgy participant's husbands. I don't think the old man himself is there, given that everyone looks relatively youthful.

And then the dog: man's best friend. There's almost an outrage in the sentence: whoever has access to the boat also has access to the dog. His dog is a dalmation, and it is worth noting here that dalmations are reputedly high-strung and difficult dogs because they're so purebred (apologies if anyone owns one - I'm only saying what I've heard). My sense of this particular dalmation owner is that he's older, well-off, and likes to collect things for appearance and status.

So to put some context around the painting, my take is that some spoiled high-strung younger trophy wife got bored with the "Old Man" and took his boat and his dog out for an orgiastic cruise with her friends and lovers. And, as you rightly pointed out, it appears they are in a heap of trouble given the high wave and incoming storm.

Thanks for sharing your analysis - I love dusting off my old Art History notes and seeing what's out there. It's always helpful when someone helps explain a little too!"

"Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear" by Vincent Van Gogh (1887)

This chapter was written circa 2005 and it does not live up to my current standards, but I figured it could still be a nice read, so I publish it anyway.

I wanted to comment on this painting because I find it to be one of the most touching and saddening paintings I know of Van Gogh's. There are disagreements about how one sees his facial expression, but to me it's seriously depressing. I suppose, knowing the background story of this very painting and more generally of Vincent's life, must influence my perception of it; but nevertheless, you can't say he's getting ready to go out partying.

That's the strange thing that doesn't spring out to your eyes at first but on second thought: "what the hell is he doing with a coat and hat inside his house?" And indeed, inside his house he is. But before I talk of this, the ear thing must be explained. Given the painting's title, you well imagine that Vincent's most famous body part will come into play. And you're right. It does. It comes right now. So, I assume most of you have heard the legend and God knows what other variations of it. But may Truth be told. First of all, Vincent did not cut his entire ear off, only the lobe (not that it makes it any saner, but if I had to choose between the two, I'd go Vince's way). Secondly, we are not certain of why he did this. The only thing critics seem to agree on is the fact that a prostitute was apparently involved. You have to know, in case you don't, that Van Gogh was mentally affected with something similar as to what Virginia Woolf was going to suffer from a couple of decades later. Vincent was sick in the head, not reasonlessly batshit crazy. Now let's have the ear story and get over it once and for all.

So, Van Gogh lived an extremely lonely life and was almost always alone in that period when he painted the above exposed painting. He went to a prostitute, probably looking for some human warmth, and that is about all we can say for almost sure. Then what happened exactly, we ain't too sure. I don't suppose Vince and her tried some new SM sexual technique, but rather than Vincent had a crisis. It's said that he proposed to pay her with a piece of his ear, which might be true or not (I have no idea how we would know anyway) but the mental attack theory is way much more plausible. And that is the one we will take. So you have to imagine Van Gogh going on an insane fit and hurting himself.

This paragraph I write in 2008, years after this was originally written. The trigger of Vincent’s crisis was the departure of his only friend, if you could consider this asshole a friend, Paul Gauguin. Among the things Gauguin did that make me disrespect this man thoroughly is that he tried to get credit for Van Gogh’s paintings, such as the sunflowers, whereas in truth, these paintings were already in Van Gogh’s house before Gauguin even saw them. Also, Gauguin abandoned his wife and children to go have sex with underaged prostitutes in the islands of the Pacific. Gauguin was never a good friend to Vincent and when he finally abandoned him, Vincent had this crisis.

The painting represents him once he's back home, alone. He has bandaged his hurt ear and obviously has got out of his insanity crisis. This kills me some. The hurt Vince alone in his home after some event he must not clearly understand. The other thing that breaks my heart is that he wears his outdoor clothes inside. The coat, the hat. He looks like he needs protection and uses everything he can to protect himself from the outside. His spiky hat literally looks like a hedgehog being defensive. His coat is buttoned up. He certainly still hurts from the cut, and likely, he doesn't remember much of what happened. And these eyes. That reminds of mine when I stare at a mirror and look at myself like I'm not expecting anything anymore. Breaks my heart.

In the background you can see a Japanese painting. This doesn't mean much at first sight without some knowledge of Van Gogh’s past. Fact is this: Vincent used to paint those Japanese style paintings in a previous and much happier part of his life. This painting in the painting (mise en abyme) is in fact Vincent's own painting. It stands in his back like his past happy life as a young painter in Paris.

I know this may not be one of Van Gogh's most famous or even best paintings, but it's a personal favourite of mine, and a most heart-wrenching one at that. And those pikes on his hat, "don't touch me I'm hurt." I love this painting for what it tells. Or for what I find in it, whichever.

23 July, 2008

Alien Exegesis

31st October 2007

In this chapter, I will be writing about the movie Alien from 1979, by Ridley Scott. As you know, or should know, the artwork of the movie was both conceived and created by H.R. Giger, contemporary Swiss painter and sculptor. The movie was and still is one of the most influential horror movies, and in this chapter I will try to dissect its innards to show why it is such an interesting movie.

But first, the word “alien”. This word has Latin origins – “alienus” and “alius” – and basically means “stranger” or “foreigner”. This is why the United States of America still use it for foreigners and are by no means trying to suggest any outer space origin for all those people who do not possess an American passport. I’m saying this because I did hear people complain about that. “But... They’re not from outer space!” And I’m sadly serious.

To the movie now. Or rather, to the creature of the movie. The alien is one of the most fascinating creatures ever invented for many reasons. First, as you’ll have noticed, it has no eyes. Producers complained about this, and wanted eyes to be there, but, thankfully, this didn’t happen. The eyeless creature therefore “sees” its surrounding in ways we can’t fathom in the least. The eyes also tend to be the spot where you focus with your own eyes. This being lacking, you don’t really know where to stare when looking at the alien; I personally look at the teeth...

What the alien is, after some analysis, is basically... an enormous dark sexual symbol. As you may have noticed, the alien possessed a head that the normally-equipped human can only see as heavily phallic. And in case you still have doubts after a careful examination of the beast, you only need to look up H.R. Giger’s artistic work – especially the works that made Ridley Scott hire him for the movie – to realise that this head is indeed a penis.

Not only that, but the rest of the creature’s body is feminine in shapes [it shall be noted here, though, that this may not be true of the movies, as can be seen on the pictures on this blog, but if you look up Giger's art, the "alien" creature definitely has a feminine shape]; so you get a combination of genders that make for an impressive vision: on the one hand you have the dreaded penis (and you know what I mean by that, considering it is criminal to show one’s penis in the street and that the sight of one isn’t generally appreciated), and on the other you have the female shape that makes so many people sexually frustrated, sad, and anorexic. This goes for both gender: males are frustrated because they cannot possess it, and females are frustrated because they cannot be it. If you don’t think images are this powerful, please make sure you are aware that anorexia appeared shortly after the use of women in advertising, around the early 20th century if I am not mistaken. [As a matter of fact, anorexia existed before and in other countries, even where being fat was the ideal, so I stand corrected. Edit from November 2008. Thanks to Gerard from the comments for this!]

Still about phallic symbols, there is the tongue of the alien. As you know, the alien’s head is equipped with some weird tongue that is retractable and has its very own mouth. This deadly tongue comes out at will and bites, perforates, penetrates. So yes, not only is the head a giant penis, this head itself has a penis in its mouth, and if you think oral sex is uncommon in H.R. Giger’s work, I could show you one or two paintings that will let you know otherwise.

The other aspect I haven’t said anything about is the biomechanical nature of the beast. This is a key element in H.R. Giger’s work; you will find hundreds of those entities that combine elements of biology and mechanics. Most often this is done in blatant sexual ways. And this is how it works for the alien as well: it has both aspects incorporated. It is as wild as an animal, and as efficient in killing as a machine. Plus it has pipe-like organs and many other things that hint towards the mechanical. At this point it shall be noted that, if my memory is correct, that H.R. Giger studied industrial design.

On to the alien reproductive cycle. This is the most interesting part of my exegesis. In order to reproduce, the alien creature has to go through a number of phases. It begins with the Queen, which spawns eggs, much like a queen bee. In these eggs are incubated the “face-huggers” as they are referred to in general, although there is no official name. Those face-huggers then must find a host, and inject in them the seed of an alien. Then the host serves as a forced mother, and eventually the grown alien foetus breaks through the host, killing him or her, and the cycle ends there, unless this very alien happens to be a queen, for there are various sorts of aliens.

The face-huggers are designed to resemble a hand, but also a spider. If you look at H.R. Giger’s artistic work, you can see that each arm of the thing has nails at the end, and that it’s impossible not to see a hand in them. Also, viewed from below, this creature looks like a vulva, if a scary one. That vampiric being is also endowed with some scary appendage that resembles a penis in shape, and which happens to be the organ with which the face-hugger injects the seed of the alien to be.

To proceed to do this, the face-hugger embraces the head of the victim and tightly holds to it; its vulva-like orifice to the mouth of the future host. I forgot to mention that the face-hugger also has a tail, which it uses to lasso the neck of the victim, and tightens on it. In the movie, it is assumed that if you try to get the face-hugger off the host before it has done what it wants to do, it tightens its grip on the neck and threatens to suffocate the poor, and thankfully unconscious, host.

As I hope you see, this creature also contains the two genders: its vulva-like orifice, and its penis-like appendage. This creature is also an oral rapist of the worst kind. While face-hugging a victim, the latter can no longer see, hear, or talk, and he probably wishes he could no longer taste either.

The long terrible appendage then goes down the host’s throat and I am not certain of how far down this goes, but it places a seed somewhere around the stomach. The face-hugger simply dies when its task is done.

Then the host carries the seed in itself and nurtures it, quite against its will, and quite against its very awareness, in most cases. If you are an attentive person, you will connect this with pregnancy. Indeed, the whole alien cycle parallels sexuality. Before I go further about this point, let me tell you something you didn’t know about the eggs.

The eggs, which shelter the face-huggers until some hapless victim comes to knock on it, can be seen in the movie as having a cross-like opening. This wasn’t always so. Originally, H.R. Giger had designed a vertical slit as its opening, and yes, it was meant to resemble a vulva. A yucko vulva that gives birth to yuckier creatures, which themselves own a vulva and a penis, and which inseminates other beings with the seed of what will become a giant penis-headed female-like killer. The producers of the movie couldn’t take the sexual opening, because, as they said, the movie would air in many Catholic countries, and obliged Giger to change it. As the artist himself notes in his book about the alien project, he decided to complement the egg’s opening with yet another slit, horizontal this time, to look like the Cross that Catholics liked so much; and that’s paraphrasing a quote of Giger’s. So, the opening moved from being a vulva to a cross. From the sexual to the religious, the gross to the divine. (And no, I don’t mean to say that vulvas are gross, only that our sexes aren’t the part of ourselves we expose the most, or that we’re proud of having, and etc.)

Our sexes are indeed the parts that we think are most alien to us. It’s the most animal part too, and we all come from one, and give life with one.

Back to the pregnancy. Giger based his work, for the movie but not only, on what would usually take place while giving birth. Of course, this won’t apply to this day’s giving birth, but that of millennia ago. Death was extremely frequent during child-delivery. The other thing, and I know many of you won’t like it, and others won’t even believe it, is that child-delivery can cause sexual pleasure, and yes, even orgasms. Naturally, if you’re on anaesthetics, you may not feel that, but remember that the days I am talking about did not have those things. I also know from an acquaintance who had two children, that she came during both deliveries.

The point here is that in this important moment of birth, both sex and death dance together. And this is perfectly true of the alien creature and its cycle. You may also think of the strange fact that people who are hanged eventually ejaculate before they die. The mandragora, root of the mandrake plant, was said to come from the seed of the hanged people, because this root is shaped like a tiny human being. As an aside, I don’t think the hanging in question is the neck-breaking kind, rather the slow choking one.

The other thing about this alien pregnancy is that the being inside the host is utterly alien to it, and that’s not a pun, or not quite. Pregnant women vomit during their pregnancy, and lots of other things happen to their bodies, and all, or so it seems, tend to indicate that the body itself doesn’t recognise the guest as belonging to the same body. Being no doctor, I could be entirely wrong about this, but I was given to understand that the throwing up came because of something related to that, or to that directly. I claim no authority on the issue, but it is well known that giving birth can be damaging to the host, and in olden times, it was very often lethal.

So, the victim of the alien is first raped by the face-hugger, impregnated by it, then forced to nurture a monster in his innards, the latter of which eventually gives itself childbirth by clawing through the host’s body to get out. A most unpleasant way to die, I am sure. And traditional human childbirth is the model for this gruesome delivery. Both are bloody and disgusting (and don’t give me that “but childbirth is beautiful! You are heartless!” because I got it before, and I think it’s still bullcrap. Child-delivery is yucko from A to Z, even if you want to think that giving life is beautiful; they don’t have to be related. I love Tiramisu more than any other dessert, and the day I made some, it was yucko, and yucko ingredients were used; I still love the result, but the process is yucko).

I hope that this chapter made the alien creature more interesting to you.

22 July, 2008

Close-Reading: Paris Hilton's "Nothing in this World"

12th October 2007

Close-reading was a massive literary innovation when it came out because it allowed people to study and teach literature in a new way. Before that, students were made to read classic novels mostly to get an idea of the times, a historic perspective, and other such things. The literary work itself was not the primary focus. Everything changed with close-reading, as a mere short story was enough to fill entire seminaries and have dozens of articles written about it. That, as you can imagine, leads us to Paris Hilton and her poetry. Let’s get right to it. The song is called Nothing in this World and this is how it goes:

Da-da, Da-da, Da,
Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da

Well, so far, so good. When I first heard the song on TV, I did hope that this would be as far as she went, lyrically speaking. I can tolerate that. This stanza forces you to focus on the sound of the human voice rather than what the words mean, since here they mean nothing. I’m just kidding of course: I’m professionally trained in exegesis and I can make the worst crap sound like it’s very interesting, but don’t get fooled: interesting, it is not.

So I was thinking to myself when you passed me by
“Here’s what I like”
And you were with somebody else but you can’t deny
That’s me in your eye

Before I go any further, be sure to know that I don’t have any energy to waste on editing those lines, which I take straight from the Internet; so you get them as is. Ok now, so what can I say about that stanza. Some dude passes by the narrator and he’s just what she likes. Then, as a result of this, I suppose, the guy automatically falls in love with her, because, remember, she’s Paris Hilton, and it’s commonly accepted that any guy would fall in love with her.

Do you know
What it’s like
When it’s wrong
But it feels so right?

I can sort of imagine I do, but in the given context here, I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about. Let me sum up: a dude passes by, there’s eye-contact, and... and that’s the situation that’s wrong but feels so right? Ok, why not. The only other thing I can summon up from my mind about this paragraph is that this is probably what little Catholics feel like when they first masturbate.

Nothing in this world can stop us tonight
I can do what she can do so much better
Nothing in this world can turn out the light
I’m gonna make you feel alright tonight
Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da, Tonight
Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da, Tonight

Now that’s quite an ellipse. We moved from two people, one of whom was already coupled, eye-contacting somewhere, to this. At this point, not a single word was really uttered, it’s all in her head, and apparently she doesn’t really need the other guy to participate. She can do what the other does, oh so much better. What are we talking about here? Since the narrator doesn’t know that other girl from Adam nor Eve, what are we talking about? Anything? What is it that you’ve seen Paris Hilton do? Sucking cocks. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she’s good at it, but she’s definitely better at using her mouth that way than when she expresses ideas with it. So, in short, Paris can suck cock better than your girlfriend, so nothing in this world can stop her, it’s the power of blowjobs.

“Nothing in this world can turn out the light,” this is what I hate about lyrics most often. What light? The light of your 5-minute-old crush? If you’re going for metaphors, make some sense. But see, “turn out the light”, that’s like lamps. Nothing in this world can turn out the light... Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t relate to this line much.

“I’m gonna make you feel alright tonight,” well here we go. Tonight? Jesus, that’s fast! Within 4 seconds of seeing that dude, she’s already about to fight the whole world to be with him, or rather, to stay with him, since they’re obviously an item at this yet early stage; within 7 seconds, she knows his girlfriend can’t suck cock as well as she does, and within half a minute, he’s her evening fuck-buddy. I won’t even try to see how she plans to make him feel alright, but I’m thinking oral sex has to do with it.

Then there’s the da da stuff, and I will not suppose it has anything to do with the Dadaists. But, to be honest, it could, because as far as senseless nonsensical nonsense is concerned, Paris could join the club. Moving on.

Baby, you and I, we got what will never be
You know I’m right
So tell me what you’re waiting for when you’re here with me?
Most guys would die

Now he’s “baby”; I tell you things go fast with Paris. This first line there is just... almost too much. “We got what will never be,” uh? What is that? What is it that will never be and how do you get it? I’m thinking “a sane relationship” but that doesn’t take away the paradox of owning something that will never be, and, consequently, that isn’t.

And that third line is a killer. Let’s assume I’m the guy there, for simplicity’s sake. What I’m waiting for? When I’m with Paris Hilton? Well, I’m waiting for the fucking camera, baby. You don’t suck cock so well, so I want this thing to bring me some dough at least.

“Most guys would die,” of what? You think you’re so hot that most guys would die just to touch you? Is that it? Or are you insinuating that most guys would have sex with you, and thus, they’d get a terrible STD, and then they would die. Correct? [I owe this joke to a friend of mine; I don’t own the copyrights of that one, so thank you Carla.]

You should know
What it’s like
When it hurts
‘Cause it feels so right

“What it’s like when it hurts ‘cause it feels so right,” well that’s an interesting line. Something that hurts because it feels so right. I can understand something that feels so right because it hurts, that is, if there’s a little SM leather-person in you, but something that hurts precisely because it feels right... I’m stumped. You got to be evil to feel that way about something that feels right. Imagine, you’re eating chocolate, it feels right, and then you hurt. Imagine, you’re having an orgasm, it feels so right, and then you hurt. Imagine, you’re skiing on the white slopes of your favourite mountain, it feels so right, and then you hurt? I’m sorry but I don’t get this. Or maybe this is some sort of happiness I’m yet to experience; the happiness that literally hurts. I think this perhaps is a cocaine-related figure of speech, though, like when you take too much of it and you hurt but you’re still enjoying the coke trip quite a bunch. I’ll put this stanza down to cocaine abuse.

I gotta tell you somethin’
It’s somethin’ that you just might like
No, it’s not the same thing
Yeah, you’ll learn I’m not too shy
You and I, we can do this thing tonight

I’m baffled. First of all, no one knows what the “thing” she has to tell is, we can only conjecture. Paris Hilton being mostly known for... sucking cock... well oral sex is the first thing that comes to mind. She adds that it’s something that “you just might like”. Emphasis on “might”; given the tone, I think this is ironic. Unless Paris thinks the guy isn’t into oral sex. Then she says that “no, it’s not the same thing,” not the same thing as what? As oral sex? Is she reading minds? And then she goes “yeah, you’ll learn I’m not too shy,” and I wonder where that comes from. Notice it’s like the dude is actually talking with her, but we don’t hear what he says. As to learning you’re not too shy, I think we all know that. And she ends the song on saying that dude and her can do this “thing” tonight. I’m thinking some super complex kama-sutra position. What “thing” for fuck’s sake? A kiss? Bad use of obscurity, Paris.

“I gotta tell you something,” she said, looking down in obvious embarrassment.

“Yes? What is it baby?” he replied, feeling the beginnings of a hardon.

“It’s something that you just might like...” she continued. Her eyes rose to his.

“...” he couldn’t speak, he was wordless, and the blood pumped faster into his member.

Then she moved closer to him and said, “Yeah, you’ll learn that I’m not too shy,” and he almost faltered.

“You and I, we can do this thing tonight,” she concluded, firmly holding his gaze. He pondered for a second, and his expression changed.

“Er, excuse me but... What the fuck are you talking about?”


“I said, what the fuck are you talking about? What is this thing you and I can do tonight? What is it?” he said in growing anger.

“Uhhh.... I don’t know?”



“Paris?!?! What are you talking about! You don’t know what you mean when you talk about that thing? Is that right?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand much of anything of what’s going on right now. Words, ideas, that’s not really my thing. Could you stop asking me questions please?”

“No, I’m sorry too, but this is nonsense, and nonsense isn’t sexy,” he uttered and got up from the bed where they were sitting. He then meant to leave, but as he opened the door, Paris called to him.

“Dude! Whatever your name is, and it’s not like I care, come back here, you know that most guys would die, so don’t miss out on this unique occasion.”

“No, Paris, I’m not a horny pack of meat for you to use at your heart’s desire.”



“Could it be that I’ve been wrong about guys for so long?”

“If it were only that.”

“Oh, what did you say?”


“Well, anyway, here’s the camera, and that’s hot.”

“I’m not filming anything.”

“I want you to.”

“That’s hardly enough to convince me.”

“I’ll snort railroads of cocaine on your hard cock.”

“That’s better, but that’s still not good enough. Give it up, you won’t convince me.”

At that point Paris got mad and shouted incomprehensible babble where bits of actual meaning could be picked out. From those bits, our nameless hero gathered that Paris was in withdrawal from both cocaine and ego-worshipping. Forthwith, he mustered all the pictures of her he had in his shameful collection, proceeded to grind them down to a thin powder, and made Paris inhale herself right up to complete bliss. For 20 minutes she remained calm and seemingly high, but then she awoke. And uttered those fateful words:

“I need to fuck.”

Considering the vaginal venture a tad too dangerous for his own health, our nameless hero immediately walked over to his wall, where a giant Paris Hilton poster was hanging. He took it off the wall, rolled it, added a sock to one of the extremities, and I let you imagine the rest of this narcissistic sex scene with the simple help of that hint: Paris Hilton is indeed full of herself.

The end