Tuesday, 13 August 2019

TRAUMAVILLE AT THE MOVIES: HOW THESE THINGS START


Helen Munroe as psychologist Rebecca Dayton
in How These Things Start. If you don't think
it looks like a scary scene, that's because
you haven't seen the movie yet...





How These Things Start is the third film by British independent maverick director Chloe Appleton. Her 2009 debut Just Kidding famously, or perhaps infamously, got her into trouble with everyone from film classification boards to the Canadian police, with its dark mix of paedophilia and hypnotism.
Appleton’s 2014 follow-up was the mellow and slow-paced Every October’s the Same, a love story which propelled young Clay Thornburn to fame. How These Things Start seems Woody Allen-ish to begin with, as female psychoanalyst Rebecca Dayton (played by Helen Munroe, the young daughter in the TV series Better than Ever all those years ago) falls in love with her attractive male patient only to find that he is the son she never knew she had.
Oedipus Schmoedipus, you might think. But the use of flashback and ambiguous recordings of the couple together leave you utterly uncertain of what has actually happened. Imagine mixing Last Year at Marienbad with Fatal Attraction and you are getting warm.
Screenwriter Alex Teller has a way with short, incisive scenes. Dayton meets patient Lucas Parker (played by the revelation Danny Carter, who I hadn’t even heard of before this movie).

DAYTON: Sit down, Lucas.
PARKER: Standing is fine.
DAYTON: So you’ll stand for the whole session. Good. Would you mind putting the chair on one side if you’re not going to use it?
PARKER: You fucking do it.
DAYTON: No. You fucking do it.

It seems crass, but in terms of establishing the power relationship between the two it is an awesome scene.
Veteran Polish actor Marek Nowak makes an appearance as Dayton’s fellow psychiatrist, and simply adds more twists to the tale as his own past is revealed. Jayne Trenemann, a young lady at the start of her career, should also have many film roles ahead of her. She plays Dayton’s daughter Louise, a girl who manages to make a joke out of her Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The supporting cast are sound but yet they step back a little as the psychodrama unfolds. It is a very well-paced movie
This makes me look forward to Appleton’s next movie. She is as hip as she is scary. The incidental music is edgy and sinister, composed by Lana Greaves from the band Sun Goes Down.
Low budget but all the better for it, How These Things Start is well worth your time. It is not easy to write psychologically disturbing cinema which also raises the occasional smile. The scene in which Parker produces a small pair of sewing-scissors which Dayton knows belong to her own mother is one of the most terrifying you will ever see.
It’s not a feelgood movie, sure, but it’s not really a feelbad movie. More a feelweird film. See it, but take a friend. Not your analyst.


CHERUB VALLEY, THE TRAILER


A self-published author on Facebook put the germ of an idea into my head. Why not reduce a novel to a trailer, as with movies? Probably been done, but I enjoyed putting this together. I wrote Cherub Valley 20 years ago and I hope to self-publish in October. In the meantime, the trailer!



She smiles at me and I notice a small circumflex scar at the very corner of her mouth…

*

‘What do you do where you do what you do? Don’t worry, I don’t have an anti-globalisation website or anything’…

*

The tension and flexion of her arms momentarily tighten the skin over the high ribcage…

*

When will Cherub Valley be at its most beautiful? I can’t control the weather here. At least, not yet...

*

‘You should bring your friends here more often. Eat. Drink. Entertain. You could bring that charming girlfriend of yours’.

‘Yes, I will. I’ll be needing some photos’.

‘Of course’…

*

I hold the wings of the pelvis, the iliac crest…

*

Using liquid paper and a single-haired sable paintbrush, I place a tiny white scar on the corner of my mouth as close as I can remember to where Angel is scarred. I’m a little closer to becoming her now…

*

 ‘You’ve been to prison, haven’t you’.

‘No. I did get caught doing what we do. But I didn’t go to prison’.

‘What did happen?’

‘Something else’…

*

‘Who are they?’

‘A party not outside the law but alegal, de-recognised by both corporate and extra-corporate authority, working under deniable contract to curtail illegal or unsanctioned information’.

‘Bully boys’

‘And girls’.

*

Angel says, ‘let’s pretend we’re dead’.

*

I clean a little hole in the mist on the taxi window and I see a uniformed dwarf throw a TV into a skip.

*

I am just stroking between Angel’s legs, just lightly stroking, like someone trying to remove newly fallen dust from a newly varnished fingernail. I say,

‘I was interviewed today. About Kaufman’

‘Police?’

‘Yes. They asked me about you’.

*

I collect more menstrual blood and daub my face with it. Angel looks at me and says,

‘Warpaint’.

*

I take out one of the acupuncture needles and hold it up to the light. I return it to the velvet-lined case where it rejoins the other needles, with their weighted ends like big teardrops all in a row.

*

I spend lunchtime creating a graphic of Angel with hair and everything.

*

‘She is you wife?’

‘No’.

‘Okay. We will all be together? You want us to be together?’

‘Yes. Do you want your money now?’

‘No. I believe you will pay. I believe you face’.

In the kitchen I hear Angel sharpening one of the smaller knives from the rack.

*

‘The journo we lost. He turned up’.

‘Oh fuck. He’s not dead is he?’

‘No. But he’s pretty messed up. In the head, I mean’.

*

‘She made me drink something and she took somewhere’.

‘Somewhere not very nice?’

‘Somewhere not very nice’.

‘Where?’

‘She said the palace’.

‘The Palace of Bad Things?’

‘Yes’.

*

You can’t stop people playing games. It’s up to them.

*

She holds up a plastic IV bag, transparent, full of an orange liquid, like a child’s flavoured drink

*

I can hear something else now, her voice in the dark. She says,

‘I’m betting you’re awake now’.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

THE 10 MOST FRIGHTENING SONGS EVER



Pavement celebrate their number 5 slot in the top ten!








I won’t explain this post because the title was written to do that. What are you, blind? Some of the songs don’t necessarily spread their gloom with words, sometimes it’s the music. In reverse order, then…





10. Marianne by The Sisters of Mercy



This song tries so hard to be frightening it actually ends up succeeding. I know it seems like Halloween 7, but I think the music treads a rather evil path across the loose floorboards above you. It sort of gets to you, like an H P Lovecraft story. I always liked Andrew Eldritch. He was like the evil chemistry teacher you always wanted to have. I love the grande guignol German section in this. Key line?

‘Marianne, I think I’m drowning. This sea is killing me’.








9.  Aisha by Death in Vegas featuring Iggy Pop



Again, it may seem theatrical and a little hoaky, but the pure edge to this song shivers me timbers. I hadn’t seen the video, which works well. Iggy has always been a minor deity to me, and it is curious to think that, of the sacred triangle (Pop, Bowie, Reed) he is the only one still alive.

Key line? ‘I still want to be human. But what am I? What am I? I’m a murderer’.








8. Rape Me by Nirvana



I suppose Polly is the all-time Nirvana downer song, but this got me into so much shit with an ex-girlfriend, who didn’t even understand how someone could write and record such a song. Then, I thought she was being ridiculous. Now, I believe she may be right.



Key line? ‘Rape me. Rape me, my friend. Rape me. Rape me again’.










7.  Death and Resurrection Show by Killing Joke.



The sound is so big. If you play or understand rock music, you will instinctively get what the Joke are doing here. They are playing with every rock and roll cliché in the book, but they are looking straight at you. This song keeps pulling back and looking at you, straight on. This would be on Satan’s Walkman. Key line? 'Put on your masks. And your animal skins’.










6. Abigail’s Quarry by Mark Gullick



I wrote and recorded this in 20 minutes in my kitchen. It scared me that I had written it. Key line? There are no lyrics, as such.








5.  The Hexx by Pavement



It’s the music here. The whole song gave me the creeps the first time I heard it and nothing has changed. The band have the sound of a group of people holding something dreadful back from mankind. Then the lazy drawl of the last riff. Key line? ‘Architecture students are like virgins with an itch they cannot scratch. Never build a building till you’re 50. What kind of life is that?’








4.  Bodies by Sex Pistols



Can anyone name a more obviously Conservative song? Try writing an anti-abortion ditty now and see how far you get. The sheer malevolence of Steve Jones’s riff is like being beaten bloody. And Rotten’s final plea of ‘Mummmmyyyyy!’ is almost too much to bear. Key line? ‘I don’t want a baby who looks like that. She don’t want a baby who looks like that’.










3. Brüder des Schattens by Popol Vuh, from the movie Nosferatu.



This terrifies me. Joy Division – of whom more in a moment – used to walk on stage to this. Key line? No lyrics, but from the movie, perhaps ‘Listen. The children of the night make their music’.








2. A Touching Display by Wire.



There is something happening in this song from the beginning. Strange children are singing like gulls in the background. It menaces from the get-go. An awful love song unfolds, and when the final guitar line comes in, I don’t want to know how the love story ends. Key line? ‘I bought a ticket. You took a walk. So much to say but we’re unable to talk’.








1.       Atrocity Exhibition by Joy Division

There can be only one winner. I saw them play this several times. Curtis looked under torture when he sang this. A man who had gone elsewhere. When Nietzsche wrote that whoever gazes too long into the abyss will find the abyss gazing into them, he was thinking of this song. Key line? All of them, but in particular ‘This is the way. Step inside’.















Saturday, 10 August 2019

MOVEABLE TYPE or, HOW MAGAZINES ARE BORN



Roll those presses...


You wanna ruin me in your magazine.
You wanna cover us in margarine.
Sex Pistols, Wanna be Me

The man from the magazine
Said I was on my way.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lodi


I long ago lost count of the number of times friends have said, you should start a magazine. Hang on. No, I haven’t, actually. Seven. It would be eight, but Barry Shand’s cousin is a moron and just parrots whatever Barry says.

However, with all of you in mind, myself and a like-minded Facebook chum are about to smash a bottle of champagne over the prow of yet another online mag. Take this, if you will, as a call for papers.

To begin with, no submission synopses, just write. 1,000 words seems a good limit. We are looking for incisive and sharp writing, just as stylish and smart as you can make it. Politics, yes, but don’t make it shouty and obvious. Art and literature, certainly, but make us interested in whoever or whatever you are writing about. Your mother dated Sean Connery? Great, but entertain and inform us with the story.

There is enough talent around, and few magazines in this niche. We could become a household name, just as soon as the magazine has a name…

Context, please. If you want to write on quantum mechanics, don’t assume we know what that is. Link, refer to and mention other sources. We have a couple of pro sub-editors to get your sorry ass out of jail if you make a howler.

Above all, do what the BBC was supposed to do, given its original remit. Educate. Entertain. Inform.

All submissions, for now, to the following bizarre address






We are waiting,



Best wishes,



The editors.


Friday, 9 August 2019

MEDIA STUDIES, AS IT WERE


The last great street journalist?



The street is watching. She is watching.

Carlito’s Way



Famously, the press is required to speak truth to power, and yet everywhere we see the press speaking what power says is the truth. There is truly something rotten in the Fourth Estate. The MSM is a branch of government now, and journalism has come to resemble the braille-like roll of paper which passes through an old-fashioned player-piano, producing exactly the same notes each time.
Just as there are mildly toxic plants whose sting irritates the skin, and which have growing alongside them another plant* which will relieve the problem when applied, so the MSM may have spawned a corrective to itself. The salve is much needed.
Ezra Levant is a journalist and broadcaster for Canadian-based alternative media outfit Rebel Media. He has covered Tommy Robinson’s ongoing battle with the British deep state above and beyond the call of duty. He regularly shuttlecocks back forth between London and Canada, and has a particular reason for visiting Tommy on a regular basis in British prison HMP Belmarsh, despite the expense and inconvenience. Apart from the fact that Levant supports Tommy’s beliefs and his freedom to express them, there is another reason Levant’s visits are important, as he himself explains.
On his last visit, Levant noticed the difference in Robinson’s condition and treatment in jail. Previously, at HMP Olney (Onley?), he spent 23.5 hours a day in solitary confinement, and it was a half hour he had to exercise, walking around an area surrounded by cells containing Muslim inmates. As you might expect, he received torrents of violent abuse for 30 minutes. Robinson’s diet was a can of tuna fish and a piece of fruit a day. He lost 40lbs. The prison authorities wouldn’t let him buy more food, and he couldn’t eat food from the kitchen as Muslims worked there and made their intentions known. They would tamper with his food. ‘Enjoying your dinner, Tommy?’ The dinner we have spat and urinated in.
The MSM, it goes without saying, covered none of this. They are the catamites of the mighty, and would be more than glad to see Robinson die in jail, or at least be broken there. He has offended against brand Islam, and that is the unrecantable heresy in ‘modern’ Britain.
But Levant is keeping us up to date, keeping a constant watchful eye, as is the irrepressible Avi Yemeni. Levant suggests, and not in a self-aggrandising way, that his visits, vigilance, and subsequent reporting are factors keeping Tommy safe. If so, this is an important new level of dissident activism. If the legal system and media are biased against you – and they are egregiously biased against Tommy – then every dissident journalist prepared to seek and publish the truth is a guardian angel.
The MSM, as a provisional wing of the deep state, have tried everything to erase Robinson and silence his message. Now that a phalanx of sympathetic citizen journalists are starting to form around Tommy, expect them to be targeted. This already happens in the USA, of course. Look at the siege of Chez Tucker Carlson, the sucker-punch thrown at Richard Spencer, the savage beating of Andy Ngo by Antifa that left the journalist with bleeding on the brain. But there is another reason MS journalists don’t dig the new breed; droit de seigneur.
Journalists believe that only someone of their natural ability can attend journalism school, and only graduates of journalism school should be permitted to channel the elites and address the people so ideologically attired. What happens when the upstarts short-circuit the system? You look into your coveted journalistic life and see a gang of Yahoos with their muddy boots on the chaise longue and drinking your best Scotch.
And the establishment has already moved on this. It is the precise reason Tommy Robinson was arrested and jailed for doing what the regular press does every day. Tommy is a canary in a very murky coalmine. All of the recent strategies to disrupt society – transgenderism and assorted pronouns, Islamophobia (still with the Islamophobia), white privilege, white supremacy and the rest of this inane inventory – are the instantiation and asking of a question by the Leftist cultural blocs; how far can we go?
The answer may be, as far as the dissident establishment will let you go before that inchoate confederacy gives a rebel yell of No pasáran! Because once your freedom of speech is gone they won’t have left you with the words to ask for it back. So you either defend it now, or you are going to have to take it back. And it is largely the media you have to take it back from.

* Pharmakos is the Ancient Greek word for both drug and remedy.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD: THE PATHOLOGY OF AMERICAN GUN LAW

Signed into legality using a quill pen





Guns, guns.
Made for shooting.

The Clash, Guns on the Roof



Well when I was a baby,
Mama told me, son,
Always be a good boy,
And never play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die…

Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues




Speaking to an American expatriate friend (who actually lives in Japan rather than here in Costa Rica), she tells me she is frightened to go back to her hometown in Arizona, or indeed anywhere else in the USA, the reason being the weekly mass shootings that are becoming as American as Mom and apple pie. A couple of years ago I would have seen this as over-reaction. Now I’m not so sure.
I’ve always kept away from the US gun argument because of the Second Amendment. I have mentioned the power of what I call ‘totem documents’ before, and there is a paper to be written there somewhere. The American Constitution, the Koran, Mao’s Little Red Book, The Holy Bible, Das Kapital; a centralized text serves to focus an ideology, to give ideas a centre of gravity, and I have always admired the American Constitution and its various Amendments. Now, cracks are becoming visible.
I know this will not be earth-shattering news, but I assume that ‘the right to bear arms’ written into the Second Amendment referred to swords and muskets, not zombie knives and AK47s. Times change, and technology – which is supposed to be a friend to mankind but is often what the French call la faux frère, the traitor who comes on the shape of a brother – is devilishly capable of coming up with ever more efficient ways of killing people quickly and savagely.
An ulterior effect of the tragedies which have struck many lives and families in the wake of the bloodbaths on consecutive days in El Paso and Dayton is the way the Left co-opt these dreadful events. Both shootings are, of course, according to the ‘wild Left’ (hat-tip to a Facebook friend) the fault of Donald Trump. Every hangnail, broken shoelace and chipped tooth in Left-wing America is the fault of Trump, so no surprises there. Whatever you think of his Presidency, blaming him directly for these events is not only childish and irrational, it is irresponsible and wicked to politicise these killings and the families afflicted. But I have written too much about the Peter Pan Left, who simply seem unable to grow up and do not tend to be blssed in the area of strength of character or personality.
Having mentioned what I have called ‘totem documents’, the latest trend among these well-armed psychopaths is to leave a ‘manifesto’. It started with the Unabomber and continued through Breivik, and now it seems de rigueur for any self-respecting slayer of innocents. I have read one or two – Unabomber and Breivik, in fact – and dipping into the others confirms a theory.
They are on that dangerous cusp between rationality and psychopathy. I have more than half a suspicion that at least one of these shooters may be a false flag operation by the American deep state, a malevolent entity whose very existence was brought to light by Trump’s electoral victory. One of the two most recent shooters left a ‘white supremacist’ screed. The other is a self-proclaimed Leftist. Guess which one the US press is gorging on?
The individual shooter has another perilous knock-on effect in that they distract from the monotonous, day-in-day-out gun deaths in Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Gary and so on. There is a reason for this. The mainstream media will go to some lengths to cover up the extent of black male gun violence, and would rather parade the new breed of ‘white supremacist’ than let facts obscure their narrative.
Firstly, have an impartial look at this look at this. Paul Kersey is a keen observer of black gun violence, and Colin Flaherty is probably the leading journalist in the US on the subject of black violence in general. His books Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry and White Girl Bleed a Lot are essential reading if you want to call yourself serious about violence and ethnicity. These are not racist publications. They tell statistical truths which affect, or should affect, the argument. Kersey’s book about Baltimore, The City that Bleeds, is another exposé. Don’t touch them if you are from the Left. They contain pesky facts.
The pro and con gun control arguments are almost too familiar to reiterate. Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns is often cited. The type of people to respond, for example, to a reimbursed gun amnesty are likely to be law-abiding and to have a psychological tendency to obey the law. The people who will keep their guns will range from whacko rednecks holed up on the hill with a Bible and a thousand cans of tuna to the Detroit gang-banger with the do-rag and the affected limp. Add to this that disarming the populace was a popular ploy of the more unsavoury 20th-century dictators and you have the Second Amendment argument in essence. But this side of the argument gains the standard Leftist response, as if the person bringing up the counter-points to banning guns had just farted hugely and horribly in an elevator with no extraction fan.
Then again, try explaining the ethics of the Second Amendment to the endless train of parents as they wait in line to bury their children. Or the other way around. And why are we never told about which prescription drugs shooters were on, because there is incidence of this. Is it big pharma exercising damage limitation?
The shooters are usually and perfectly understandably outsiders. Why did those people feel so ostracised from work or school? Were they shunned for a social faux pas or an unacceptable attitude? Does political correctness create monsters, being the sleep of reason that it is?
America is becoming more psychopathic by the month, it seems, just as the Roman Empire did before it collapsed. There is a lot of talk about a cold civil war, and when it will become a shooting war. It seems hard to avoid the fact that it already has.



Friday, 2 August 2019

CELEBRITY MOPPET DEATH MATCH: GRETA VS. SOPH


Funny



Laughable




Thank heaven for little girls.


Lerner and Loewe, Gigi






Well, they sent them off to Hollywood.
Put ‘em into the movies.


Sailor, Girls, Girls, Girls






In this age of decline, debauch and desensitisation, young girls in the news are usually linked to paedophilia and child trafficking. How refreshing, then, to see two little girls at the very gateway to life featuring as something other than victims of the predations of men who both live in and bring darkness. As we shall see, however, this does not mean they are not victims of something else.
Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swede who has recently made headlines with her strangely passionless pleas for action on climate change, the deleterious and man-made effects of which are taken as a given by a fawning press. In her defence concerning a lack of passion, she has Asperger’s Syndrome. I won’t say ‘suffers from’. I have mild High-Functioning Asperger’s. It’s not something you suffer from. It’s something you use as a tool. Or a weapon.
Soph’ is Sophia, a 14-year-old American YouTube star who used to go by the name Lt. Corbis. She makes short, foul-mouthed but ridiculously erudite videos which have not yet, amazingly, been banned completely from YouTube, although these big tech fixers are running their usual strategies of interference. Go and watch her, if only once.
So, Thunberg has Asperger’s, Soph has braces on her teeth. Thunberg is the darling of the Establishment 2.0, Soph is despised and ridiculed by the media. Some Islingtonite bitch called Eleanor Peake at The New Statesman – you know, the magazine that likes to waste time and money getting highly intelligent men sacked from their posts for telling the truth before they are later reinstated, costing everyone much time, money and inconvenience – has a snarky hit-piece here. Peake fails to note that Soph’s sneery and ironic patter is far funnier and more incisive than her own stodgy, pre-fabricated prose.
This is another point about the new Left, en passant (sorry, I’m in the middle of a game of chess with Fritz the computer), that cannot be stressed enough. They can harp, sneer, point fingers, cry ‘racist’, undermine, smear, and all the other puppy tricks. But they cannot fucking write. Language for them is not an organic wonderland of vertiginous possibilities. It is a Lego kit where all the bricks are battleship grey. Go to any dissident site – Takimag, Counter Currents, New English Review, VDare are all good starting-points, particularly as I write for two of them – and read a couple of pieces. Then try the Washington Post, The Times of London, The New York Times or The Daily Telegraph. This isn’t writing, it’s tickertape. Dissident journalists may not be allowed to sit at the table where the bigger children sit, but then it’s way more fun over on their table.
Climate change is the 21st-century version of the Catholic system of purgatorial indulgences, the rejection of which led to Martin Luther’s sparking the tinderbox of the Reformation in the 16th century. Prove you care about Gaia and you can go to media and political heaven. I haven’t really changed my opinion on climate change since I read Bjørn Lomborg’s introduction to The Skeptical Environmentalist two decades ago. That isn’t all I have read since, I hasten to add. I have looked at both sides of the argument, and also at the meta-argument, and it is my belief that climate change is world-historically cyclical over long periods, locally and mildly exacerbated by human behaviour – mostly cars, one of which I have never driven – and that carbon dioxide is not a causal factor but an indicator. James Delingpole and Mark Steyn are worth your time on this, as the further consideration to this Potemkin-crisis is that the elites know money when they smell it.
As probably the foremost opportunity for bored celebrities to virtue-signal, it is of course the cause du jour. What do you give the over-rated actor who has everything? Armageddon.
And so little Greta is the poster girl for this ongoing hoax. She is travelling across the Atlantic to attend a climate change conference, and her mode of transport is some eco-friendly yacht (with a diesel engine in the back in case the green option doesn’t work, naturally). By the sound of conditions aboard ship, this amounts to child abuse.
So does her career. Her parents are in the entertainment business, and they sure know a good marketing ploy when they see one. When little Greta has outlived her Warholian quarter of an hour, and her books are in the remainder store for a quid, I wonder how she is going to cope with that. She says she can ‘see’ ozone. I can just see exploitation.
As for Soph’s future career arc, well, that will be worth watching. I believe she co-scripts her videos (just the right length, by the way. Who has a spare 90 minutes to watch a YouTube video? Yes, you, Stefan Molyneux) but nevertheless the delivery is comic brilliance. Much of it is delivered in the parlance of yout’, and so not necessarily decipherable to a granddad like me, but the phrases and the rhythm of the patter she comes out with is a cheering tonic to the cybernetic patter of Greta, Our Lady of the Ozone Layer.
So, the moppet with the psychological disorder will get to have her photo taken with Leonardo DeCaprio (why is he so famous?) and Prince Harry and Bono (why is he even alive?), all of whom will rush to be seen with this new totem. Because that’s all she is, another tawdry paste gemstone on a media charm bracelet.
Meanwhile, Soph will continue to make those of us with a sense of humour untutored by the vagaries of political correctness laugh our arses off. Whatever else the Left are, they are about as funny as being hit in the face by a playground swing.
These are trying times for the Right. They, we, are winning all the arguments, or would be in a world which ran along the lines of Enlightenment reason. But the Left run everything. They have won, and won handsomely, yet they still have a collective face like a wet weekend.
Greta’s emotionless, slightly Mongoloid expression is the face of the new Left, while Soph’s goofball imp act is quite welcome to do service as the cap badge of the Alt. Right. Would that more little girls were like her, instead of the production-line of Grim Gretas that stretches into future like a Busby Berkeley movie directed by Ingmar Bergman.