Mark Allen's Top Seven for April 26th, 2004:
1. What New York needs now... more public park transsexual treesomes
Hey what's that up in that tree? Are those dudes or what? It's just Little Bo Peep, drunk in the streets...
In case you didn't hear about it from overly serious-faced newscasters on the always hilarious Fox local TV news, two brilliantly messy "dudes" held part of Central Park hostage last Thursday (April 22nd) as they climbed a tree and proceeded to (sort of) express their love physically in front of a bunch of cheering tourists. For several hours, as police and gawking mobs watched on, they got naked, threw branches at people, demanded that their psychologists, their mothers and also vanilla diet Pepsi be brought to them - only to hurl the soda back down at the crowd when only regular diet Pepsi was delivered (good thing they didn't bother with mom). Before the whole thing went down with police-driven cherry pickers and airbags, the two misfits declared themselves in total, regal rule of the immediate vicinity, deplored more people to make love, then proceeded to make love themselves... all the while shouting nonsensical yammerings about mistreatment by their own families because of their lifestyles, and the subsequent misrepresentation of gays and transsexuals in the media (to which they demanded a apology broadcast on no less that national TV).
The whole spectacle was some sort of mad homage to both James Hill's "Born Free" and Paul Morrissey's "Chelsea Girls" ...combined into one real life performance piece. And tickets were free baby.
I wonder if these two are worried about an eternity in Pure Land or Pee Pond (see # 2 below)? Before you hear what I have to say, you may want to read on; here is a news story link and another link (includes video) and another link.
I hands-down support behavior like this in our great metropolis. Yes, yes... we all know that politically-fueled corporate commerce is starting to cross boundary after boundary, and slowly turn New York City into the safest, most dead-eyed, boring, yuppie-stuffed strip mall imaginable. And yes, yes I've heard you say a million times that the New York (especially downtown) used to be a crime and freak-ridden wild west, and yes that past reputation (combined with other things) is what put the imagined mecca of New York City's in such a profound spot on people's temporal lobes for the whole second half of the 20th century and blah, blah, blah, bitch, bitch, bitch... but everything must change and all things run in cycles and to every season turn, turn, turn and all that bullshit. There's money to be had and power to be grasped.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yea...
I mean... I call on any and all people, not just expected misfits mind you... but all people... to do things like this in the city. Our city needs this. Now more than ever. I mean we really, really, really need spontaneous fires like this to occur daily. It's not vandalism... no one gets hurt. But it runs against the grain and "laws" ...and causes a spectacle that is a hysterical combination of A) the scene-causers, B) authority figures who have come to correct the scene-causers... and C) spectators who come to gawk at the little war.
Did you read the three articles about the silliness above? Did you notice how each article ended? That's right... the reporters talked to out-of-town tourists. And what did those tourists say? That's right... they loved watching the whole thing go down. They always said "...this is what we came to New York to see." One was even quoted as saying "We were going to go to the Empire State Building, but we thought we'd stay here instead." See that? Even middle-America tourists (whom I had always contended that New Yorkers of every socioeconomic strata continue to flippantly underestimate) are so brain-dead, wide-eyed bored with the treadmill of condescending banality that the city has laid out for them that they literally are starving for explosive freak shows of this ilk. Not only that... they're cheering them on and talking about them when they get back home (word of mouth is the most unstoppable and important kind of advertising in the universe).
So get out there New Yorkers. Follow these two kid's example (well, one's 'officially' a kid). Let your un-rational whims guide you and punch some life into the beige-washed wasteland that NYC has become. Don't plan on ruining the Republican Convention. Don't plan on ruining the 2012 Olympics. Just put yourself in the right mindset and let nature take it's course. Just let everything this cackling-witch-of-a-city does and doesn't hand you build up inside you... and then, when the inspiration strikes and the freedom breaks... *snap* change the course of the city for a few hours... and birth an unstoppable story inside the brains of some un-dissapointed tourists. Who knows... impressionable onlookers may witness your cathartic spectacle and, perhaps, with the right upbringing of external chaos and inner goo... might mutate and make pilgrimages in the future as well.
Whatever your un-planned moment of stupid brilliance is, don't hurt anyone. And don't do anything that causes traffic or the subway to halt too much. And you probably shouldn't do anything that causes any real damage to property. Just do something that causes the police to have to be called to answer to a "public disturbance." And use your imagination for God's sake... like these two heroes did. "Crime" can be fun! "Crime" is what our city needs! "Crime" can be something that doesn't involve celebrities or other things that the media feels comfortable reporting about. Don't resort to some tedious Latina gangsta hold-my-baby-stroller razor blade cat fight stopping traffic on Delancey Street. Don't put on an impromptu rock show at some East Village club and make some dimwitted fag call the cops because a microphone stand you supposedly threw hit him in the head. And for God's sake don't have some moronic activist cause attached to your spectacle. These two gender-challenging tree-huggers came close to killing the party with all that sock puppet-talk about "...gays being misrepresented in the media." Yawn. (trust me kids... what you did is exactly how we need to see more gays and transsexuals portrayed in the media these days... you single-handedly solved your own dilemma).
Whatever you do should have the police scowling at you, as they handcuff you away "Yea while we 're wasting our time on you nut jobs we could be solving some real crimes!" If the cops say that to you, that's always a good sign that you're on the right track. Also... when the cameras flash all around you as they cart you away... you need to be either sobbing and overly apologetic, or obliviously cocky and self-centered (be nothing in-between). Because whether you're pleading sorry or cocky not-sorry, feeling that you are the center of the universe is prerequisite number ONE for moving and shaking it in our great city (and both aforementioned emotional responses will signify that same state of mind).
But think ahead... don't end up in prison. Don't do something that's gonna make you serve time or have to hire an expensive lawyer. The scene immediately following your spectacle should resemble the court scene at the end of Peter Bogdanovich's comedy film "What's Up Doc?" That's right, your concept of the legal system, and any punishment you may face should be pure fantasy... it certainly was in the Central Park naked transsexual tree-climber's minds! And look what they accomplished! No but seriously... keep your spontaneous, Three Stooges-esque carnival act in the non-lethal, non-vandalistic, slapstick schizoid zone, and you'll probably get by with nothing worse that a great story to tell about NYC jail holding cells.
So I say line the pockets of discontented, transsexual, naked, Central Park tree climbers number one and two ...with no less than the keys to the city... please. And line our streets with more little darlings with dripping dreams.
2. Pure Land or Pee Pond?
Photographer Juergen Specht has photodocumented an amazing Izu Gokurakuen (roughly translated as 'Heaven Park') that lies in a suburb, 200 km outside of Tokyo. This family owned park houses a lengthy visual representation of the afterlife according to "Ojoyoshu" (trans: 'The Essentials of Salvation'), an ancient scripture written by a buddhist monk named Genshin (lived 942-1017). "Ojoyoshu" describes in gruesome detail how freshly dead earthly dwellers who lived in lazy sin are ranked and placed into different, horrible hells in descending order according to their sins ...while other good, pure souls are able to reach "Pure Land," which contains six realms of transmigration bliss.
Here is the link to Juergen's photo journal of his visit to the Izu Gokurakuen "Heaven Park." *
Why couldn't my church-ified upbringing have been centered around a religion as fascinating and fear-inducing as this? The Southern Baptist dogma that was funneled and spinal-tapped into my eyes, ears, nose, mouth and ass during my formative years needed some survivalist's hunting lessons. Do you trap a primitive animal with styrofoam? No! You use a delicious feast that it can't resist (tainted with a sense-dulling drug)... then when it's gorging... you pull the string that's attached to the little stick holding up the cardboard box and *bam!* you've trapped the rabbit. How are you going to trap an animal if your bait is pathetically dull and of no interest? What if your bait isn't even food? Yes, you can drive that animal to the bait every Sunday morning and every Sunday night and every Wednesday night (and also every summer school vacation weekday from 10AM - 2PM) and place it in front of that bait and try in vain to topple the box over it's head... but without the delicious, rich, drugged foodstuffs it can't resist, it will be able to make an easy getaway when you aren't looking.
Do you know what I gained from my zillions of years sitting in my North Dallas Southern Baptist church as a child? An unbelievably detailed memory of every architectural interior of that massively bland chapel. That's what I did while the pastor was shouting; inventoried the blank walls and floors all around me day after day after day after day. I could literally draw every detail of that space from memory... every square millimeter of the the red carpeted, white-walled, wood pew-ed, baptism pool-ed chasm of zero... even today. What does that say about that religion? Southern Baptist dogma even makes Hell sound boring! No wonder so many Southern Baptists end up as street-wandering meth-heads or married weirdoes with secret dreams of killing their co-workers. The part of their upbringing that was supposed to scare them onto the straight and narrow failed and failed big. So even though I love my parents for trying, let's face it: along with most American suburban children, my religious denominational exposure was a big cup of boring in the morning that was my developmental childhood.
Look at this Ojoyoshu display! I mean... these asian kids are gonna be hooked to the straight-and-narrow like heroin addicts from day one. The whole thing centers on how horrible their version of Hell is and how there's six whole levels of eternal, grisly misery. Boy those old asian religions really know how to compete with the video games and MTV!
If my Baptist Sunday school had dwelled even one day on a "pee" and "poo" river in Hell... we would have been compelled to pay attention instantly! Kids love pee and poo! Imagine the afternoon sunday school puppet shows we could have had!!! Kids would be lining up to be baptized right out of the womb... voluntarily!
I'm convinced that the whole reason I became so fascinated with gruesome horror movies as an adolescent is that all that blood and dismemberment and killer stuff on the screen was replacing something that was sorely missing in my life. That's right... the fear of Hell and my prenatural need to process how awful it was going to be, was replaced with my actually saving my lawn-mowing money to buy "The Amityville Horror" soundtrack record album (yep) just so I could play it loud enough to scare my brother and have my parents take it away and throw it in the trash as punishment.
I'm convinced that flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch probably had a really boring church-going experience (he was raised in a 14th-century, ultra-orthodox religious community called the Brotherhood of Mary)... hence his obsessively detailed, vividly lapidary, visceral depictions of Hell (and you just know that third part of that triptych was the part he painted with the most feverish delight).
No wonder so many asians are so mind-blowingly successful at so many things! It's all fear based! They become super-sonic violin piano playing, brilliant computer programming, never exceeding their average body weight (and never wasting a part of the animal) healthy eating, superior car manufacturing, Chisenbop inventing, super floating in the middle of the air martial art mastering, mutating American pop culture genius-ly, unbelievable super-duper power beings ...a-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l so they don't spend an eternity in the afterlife as a legless and armless torso, floating face-down in a lake of steaming doo-doo.
* Here is also a link to Juergen's photojournals of his visits to some of Japan's outdated "erotic museums" ...equally fascinating.
3. I'm smitten with jogging jews on the Williamsburg Bridge in full Hasidic regalia
Springtime is here! And you know what that means... that's right; gorgeous Hasidic Jewish boys jogging on the Williamsburg Bridge in full Hasidic dress! I'm amazed these young, nubile, athletically-bodied young sex gods go jogging in this dress. It's amazing! They are always wearing traditional long-sleeved black jackets with black vests... the four tzitzis hanging off of the four-cornered white garments they have on under that blowing in their stride. Their shimmering payos waft gently from their temples... framing flustered, blushed red cheeks on either side of milky smooth skin of their totally handsome Israelite features.
God they are beautiful. I think the fact that they are so handsome is only heightened by the fact that they have the fortitude and determination to go sweat-ily jogging in so many hot layers, a yamaka cap and, yes, black traditional jewish dress shoes. They are not running shoes or even athletic shoes! But it's all "clop-clop-clop" ...these kids just keep jogging along like they're going for the gold. Running shoe ads have no effect on these people... they're trend-less. I mean... how hot is that? They're like fashion-less jogging sex magnets for me. I always try and steal a quick glance as they jog past me... but since I'm from the Other Side they don't even give me a single glance.
The Williamsburg Bridge has significance to Hasidic Jews. When it was completed in 1903, it prompted many Hasidic Jewish people leaving the Lower East Side and venturing out to other New York boroughs. I think there is some kind of symbolic thing going on with the tradition of Hasid families I see walking on the bridge constantly. I have seen older Hasidic men on the Manhattan end of the bridge doing something that looks like praying or rocking back and forth, I think. And once I saw a whole stack of matzos that had been left at the Manhattan entrance, placed ritually to one side (it seemed).
The jogging Hasidic Jewish boys is a rare phenomenon... but I do see it from time to time. Maybe one day I'll reach a hand out from the Other Side and introduce myself and ask them what it's like, maybe take a picture or two (wouldn't that be so suave of me to do while they are in mid-jog?) I'd love to do a fashion spread of these guys. Why hasn't Morrissey written a song about this phenomenon? It's so up his alley... I can just imagine the lyrics...
4. Questionnaire for "them" - Go ahead... let him know what's on his mind that came from your mind!
Are you working for a secret, inner-world New Order controlled by the Grays and Reptilians that is sending secret voice messages to certain people of Earth via microscopic transmitters that have been planted in their teeth by secretive, interdimensional dentists? Feel a weight on your conscious? Here is a place where you can get a few things off your chest. That's right, a "Totally Anonymous, Untraceable Questionnaire for Mind Control/Electronic Harassment PERPETRATORS."
But even more interesting are the responses this person has supposedly received. Go ahead... let him know what's on his mind that came from your mind. Merge the collective unconscious. Can't we all just think alike? Learn to really communicate...
5. Whole Live Lobster Sashimi
As reported recently by The New York Press, "Whole Live Lobster Sashimi" is the practice of eating a lobster, very alive, that has been brought to your table (claws strapped down) with a split in it's shell down the middle. You then eats the animal as it slowly dies (supposedly it takes about 20 minutes). Yum?
Of course animal rights activists are going ga-ga over it all (I don't know what a lobster should worry about more in New York restaurants these days... being slowly eaten alive by a sadistic gourmet... or being blown to bits by a P.E.T.A. nail bomb). Several high-end Japanese joints in Gotham have started offering this item on their menu for the more primitive masticators among us (with the cliché about dog-eat-dog New Yorkers who supposedly like to eat each other for lunch to get ahead, you'd think the lines would be around the block). I like to try new things... but I must say that I don't really relish the idea of a unique eating experience that would leave me crying for years every time I remembered it. Drizzly, snotty tears aren't a very good condiment.
6. Columbine paintball game - real? No, but it has the irony perception cliché mathematically inverted...
Apparently this Columbine High School Paintball Experience, and it's web page, is a hoax. But what an exciting hoax! I actually thought about pondering the fact that I might want to consider that I would love to do it... with absolutely no sense of remorse or irony! Well... maybe a little false remorse, just to be polite. I have been fascinated with this garishly cruel and violent case since it occurred way back in November of 1999.
Here is a link to the fake Columbine paintball web page.* If you click on any of the photos on the page it takes you to this weird page. Yow.
What's so odd about the above web page is that it seems to be designed to kind of satirize people's fascination with the Columbine case. Normally, I thought it was the people who always thought in terms of "irony" that had no sense of remorse or human sensitivity. I mean... aren't the ones who mock everything around them with sarcasm the ones who don't "feel" anything? Aren't they the ones who trample over the feelings of others with good, wholesome values? "Irony" and "sarcasm" and "humor found through contradicting semiotics that symbolize an understanding that only a higher intellect can achieve" symbolize a blasé-faced, weak embrace of something and an unspoken agreement between the two that they are both part of some higher plane of intelligence that others can't see. The secret page lurking beneath this odd hoax seems awash with the semiotics of someone deeply entrenched in traditional values... all the way on the extreme right, anti-government end of the scale.
You know you've been looking at the internet way too long when you start applying post-structuralist cultural theories to web pages by totally insane wack jobs... or maybe that's just been the key to art criticism all along.
* Thanks to George B. for sending me this!
7. "Wash at own risk, there are thie*s in this bldg"
Mark Allen's Top Seven for April 19th, 2004:
1. Are the clothes and accessories I wear to go jogging so out of style and inappropriate that they make me look crazy?
Or is it just the look in my eyes?
You know, this is all about my grandfather on my father's side of the family. My grandfather (rest his soul), who we called "Papaw," was notorious for never throwing anything away as long as it still worked. The reason for this was that he and my grandmother raised my dad and his brothers during the heart of the great depression, in the heart of Alabama... and they were very, very poor. They had to stretch every penny. These habits got so ingrained in him that, even decades later, during the 1960's and 70's ...when the economy changed and they had enough money and all their sons were grown and off with their own families... my grandfather still stretched every penny. People were constantly buying him new watches and shirts and TVs and clock radios and stuff on his birthday or on father's day or whatever... but these things just piled up in his closet because he refused to stop using the old ones he had. He would keep everything until it literally couldn't function anymore. And then he would still keep it.
A watch that was missing the armband? ...why that's what string is for!
A dress shirt with holes in it? ...get out the needle and thread!
A "digital" clock? Huh? Wha..?
He literally had piles of dress shirts still in their store-folded cellophane wrappers, new watches never taken out of their jewel boxes, clock radios still in their packaging, a VCR or two... stacked in his closet. Meanwhile he walked around in clothes that were hardly shabby, just very old and very functional (think 1940/50's-esque vintage with a patch or two... including a totally great Fedora hat that he kept in mint condition at all times... although I think in later years people convinced him to start wearing different clothes). He literally wore the same watch for the entire second half of the 20th century. Clock radios and VCRs were something he wasn't concerned with.
His and my grandmother's house had an endless shed/barn construction thing that was as big as the house itself... an endless space that had three separate entrances and was filled with every kind of piece of old machinery or junk or anything you could imagine... rows of jars of different kinds of screws and rubber bands and pull tabs, bits of wire all strung together and categorized... a whole section of lawn mower blades... a whole row of wrecked bikes... car parts... tractor parts... a row of discarded dog leashes... old lamps... etc. Anything he found anywhere that had something on it that still might be of use was kept and stored away. Me and my brother used to play in this shed (which had a dirt floor and was maze-like and seemed to go forever). He even had the same old car from the 1940's (50's?) parked out in the grass next to the shed (their actual car was also old... but actually worked) because even though it had stopped working years ago, since it had working parts in it and could possibly be fixed one day... it couldn't be gotten rid of.
This was a trait that people in my family found mildly frustrating, but for the most part it just made him more of an interesting character. He just walked around looking like one of those time-tripping old people that transcended criticism. Think William Burroughs with an Alabama accent ...minus the heroin.
I remember he also taught me and my brother how to eat "all" of an apple... where all that was left was just the seeds and the stem... you let nothing go to waste. I remember he showed us this constantly... and one of the last memories I have of him, during the last year of his life when he was practically decrepit and in a wheelchair, was him explaining to me again in great detail how to eat all of an apple where just the seeds and stem would be left. I actually still do this sometimes, much to the horror of some of my more uppity urban friends.
The point I'm trying to reach is this: I have inherited this trait, to a certain degree. I am the worst gay man in all of New York City. Look at my jogging outfit! It's purely functional in the most literal sense. I'm one step away from looking like a homeless person! The headphones? Some old ones I had... hey they may not be for jogging but sound still comes out of 'em right? The mid 90's CD player? It still works! Half the clothes were given to me (thanks for the Edward Gorey bat shirt Bryan!) and I will wear them until they are literally falling apart. "Fashion" and "style" are to me what "mauve" and "taupe" are to a colorblind dog.
I instantly confuse and alienate any faggity fag type who ever visits me at my apartment. I don't try to... it just happens when they see all my mis-matched furniture (clean and nice... just all found in the street). I actually get kind of pissed at really nice restaurants because the prices are so high and to me the food really isn't worth it. Expensive hotels and flights? I don't care. It don't hate those things, or other people that seek them out... it's just the way I'm built! The fact that I'm almost always broke, and I live in one of the most expensive places in the world... only makes it easier. Isn't it interesting the way gene traits will jump around a family's bloodline?
So if you see a giant bug-eared-old-headphone-wearing, out-of-trend-Hell, fashion disaster in totally inappropriate jogging clothes coming towards you at a fast pace on the Williamsburg Bridge (my regular jogging route) with a smile on his face and a hole or two on his shoe. Don't recoil in horror. It's just me and my grandfather going for a jog.
2. Childhood roadkill trauma revisited via scary 1960's kid's Saturday matinee film: Barry Mahon's "The Wonderful Land of Oz" (1969)
I remember the first time, as a very small child, I ever saw a dead animal on the side of the road.
I was probably in about the 1st grade, maybe earlier, and I was driving with my dad and brother to church (as usual) on a very rainy, dark-ish Sunday morning in Plano, Texas. We were on a congested two-lane road, and it was so dark and rainy that all the cars had their headlights on. Traffic was bumper to bumper... but moving quite quickly. I guess I had just gotten tall enough to see out the window of the car as it went along, and notice everything around me.
I'll never forget the image that was burned into my eyes when I looked in the middle of the wet, rainy road and saw, between the two lanes of rushing traffic... a clump of dirty, white fur with one visible little leg flopped out to one side... maybe an ear... and a gruesome pinkish-gray gash open on one side. A soaked and lifeless clump of a poodle that used to be someone's pet... had somehow gotten out and gotten into the wrong, confusing road, on the wrong, wet, confusing day... and been killed. Now it's tossed and mangled old body just laid there in the middle of the rushing traffic... getting tossed around by filthy, oily water from people's tires... totally disrespected. Like garbage.
I remember knowing instantly what it was... but asking my father about it. He calmly told me that yes it was a dog, probably someone's pet... and that sometimes people's pets can get out of their yard and wander around... and since pets that are raised their whole lives in homes don't know any better... they can wander into a busy road, or even a not-busy road at night, and get hit by a car and killed. When I asked him why no one was stopping to pick it up... or why the owners hadn't been looking for it... he told me that since it's already dead there's really nothing to be done... and that the city has services that cleans up things like that and that they had probably been contacted. And that, yes, it was very sad but that these things just happen sometimes.
I remember this event very vividly... like it was yesterday. I remember not being able to get that split-second image of the poor little dog's body in the middle of that busy road out of my head all through church. I remember when I got home, running to find our dog, Ginger, as quickly as I could. Ginger was of a similar build and color (poodle/terrier breed) and I was pretty sure it couldn't have been her... and my mom had been with her all morning... but still it felt really good to know she was alive and well. Nevertheless I never felt the same way about Ginger after that.
I remember not being able to get that image of the dead dog out of my head for weeks, months... even years. Whenever I thought of it I was angry at myself for remembering it because I hated the way it made me feel... I didn't like being reminded how cruel and vicious the world could be.
So... believe it or not, I had a similar set of experiences this week during and after a surprise viewing of the Barry Mahon film "The Wonderful Land of Oz" (1969). Barry Mahon was an exploitation filmmaker with soft-porn, cheapo movies with peek-a-boo titles like "International Smorgas-Board" and "Run Swinger Run!" under his belt. At some point in his career he decided to start applying his grade-Z production techniques to making Saturday afternoon matinee musical films based on popular children's stories... fantastical filmic wonderlands designed to dazzle young senses, inspire the child-like spirit in all of us... and set the musical toe tapping. This was the goal at least.
Reality being the cruel bastard that it often is... let's just say that something became tragically lost in his movie-making "magic."
"The Wonderful Land of Oz" stars Mahon's son, Chan, in the lead role... and his performance is one of the worst nepotistic disasters in cinema history. The "story" is based loosely on the L. Frank Baum book of the same title. Any scene in Mahon's film that required any kind of set piece or costume looks as if it were hastily constructed from dirty, rickety, cardboard, paper-mache, rags and felt markers in as little time as possible (the purple cow is a doozy). All locations look (and sound) like your mom and dad's echo-y garage. The lighting looks like it was done with house lamps (this might have been intentional to hide all the flaws). The sound is even worse. The pacing and timing is so slow that it probably would make Stephen Hawking's brain explode. The editing? Non-existent. Cinematography? Huh?
And the acting... well the acting is something that is so unbelievably lethargic and listless and lost that you quite literally have seen nothing like it... no matter how much of a "bad cinema" connoisseur you think you are. It looks like the cast is simultaneously on quaaludes and sleep deprivation. At times their delivery and diction is so awful it almost begins to look and sound like they're underwater. Screen presence is avoided at all costs. Even when a character breaks into song, they have all the physical animation and cheer of someone who is being forced to perform at gun point. These "actors" use the same dozed-out acting style perfected by Andrea Feldman in "Andy Warhol's Heat" ...yet 1,000,000-times as flat-voiced and sleepy and confused... and even that's when they can remember their lines.
There is one scene in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" picture (also on this DVD) where the giant is singing his "Fee, Fi, Foe" song, and even though his mouth is moving and his arms are swaying... the look on his face and in his eyes makes him look as if he is about to burst into tears at any moment. It's like the cast is quite literally lost in their own version of Jean Paul Sartre's "No Exit" ...their own Hell. Imagine a general mood of perpetual ennui, coupled with a nightmare you had about a really bad grade school play... and you are peering straight through a dark cinematic peephole that looks into Hades itself.
I see a lot of strange films... and I've never seen anything like this. This goes way beyond "camp" or anything of that ilk. I would recommend renting or even buying this DVD, especially if you are an outsider-film buff... but be sure and rent a few snuff films to watch afterwards so you don't get too depressed.
I remember recently watching this DVD with Jim one night (it was in the 'You-Gotta-See-This-to-Believe-It!' employee's pick section at Kim's). I remember knowing instantly what it was... but turning to ask Jim about it. He calmly told me that yes it was a film, probably someone's pet project... and that sometimes people's projects can get out of their control and wander all over the place... and even though these people have talent, sometimes they don't know any better, or things go wrong... and their pet project can wander into the real film world, or even the non-real film world... and get hit by a car. When I asked him why no one tried to save it or tell the director it was awful and not to finish the film... or why the producers hadn't been looking for it to make sure it was okay... Jim told me that since it's already dead there's really nothing to be done... and that the DVD and video rental markets would take care of things like this and that they obviously had been contacted. And that, yes, it was very sad but that these things just happen sometimes.
I remember not being able to get the image of the poor film right there in the middle of my TV screen out of my head, even though I just saw it this week. I remember the next day, running to find my DVD collection and look at the boxes of some of my favorite films like "Rear Window" and "Withnail & I" and "Fight Club" and "Blow Up" ...it felt really good to know they were alive and well. Still... I've never felt the same way about those films now. Since then, I've not being able to get the image of Barry Mahon's "The Wonderful Land of Oz" out of my head. Whenever I think of it, I'm angry at myself for remembering it because I hate the way it makes me feel... I didn't like being reminded how cruel and vicious the world can be.
This fascinatingly pathetic film disaster has also been written about very thoroughly here and here.
3. Spam prose ...click here
Further proving the conspiracy theory that computers will one day become more intelligent than us and eventually enslave the human population! Although before I share this I can safely report that their artificial isn't "intelligent" yet... automated email-producing computers have only made it up to the level of beat poetry. Case in point: the odd practice of seemingly nonsensical prose that they binary-ly assemble while creating text for typical spam ads that flood my email inbox daily. The "poets" actually have names like "belinda Wadasinghe" or "Elba Haskins" or even "??" ...but this paltry attempt at disguise does nothing to hide the cold circuitry lurking beneath their poetic muse. Plug in a few noodling electronic instruments, get a vocoder... and some of this stuff would bring down the house at any Williamsbug performance space.
Here are a few examples (they take up so much room I had to give them their own page).
4. Miso hungry
Jim and I have recently been into YakitoriTaisho, a really fun Japanese restaurant on St. Mark's Place* where you can get great, authentic Japafoodstuffs from their non-sushi/sashimi menu. They have great skewered stuff... weird soups and rice balls, and I have recently turned Jim onto okonomiyaki (theirs is excellent). Afterwards sometimes we stroll over to Sunrise Japanese Food Mart and pick up "snacks" for when we cuddle and watch terrifying DVDs (see #2 above) later at my apartment. We recently spotted this lovely container of ready-made miso soup that Jim just had to have! Sorry my photo is a little out of focus. It was only 99 cents! It's about seven inches high and about six inches around and thanks to it's plastic covering has no sharp or bumpy edges.
Make sure to shake it up before eating! Miso hungry!
*BTW: anyone notice how the explosion of bizarre Japanese restaurants spawning off of the 'little Japan' on 9th street almost seem to be running against the trend of all the corporate crap that is opening up in the area? Like Supercuts?)
5. Poo Pen
I think Jim and I are going to have our wedding registry at the "adult gifts" and "blacklight poster room" section of a cira-1978 Spencer's Gifts at a long lost mall somewhere... that you have to travel back to via a time machine... just to buy us a wedding gift (you can stop by Orange Julius' before you return to the 21st century!).
Jim got this for me recently at some joke shop while he was on tour. No, it doesn't have a "scent." I'd hate to see my #1 pen.
6. Bird blood bath
One morning this week I woke up to this really strange, high-pitched, rustling sound outside my window. I got up and peered out onto the fire escape to see a totally knock-down, drag-out bird brawl happening not a few feet from my sleepy face. It was so surreal looking that I thought I might be dreaming. At first I thought that the birds must be mating... but then I realized that they must be fighting... or else their lovemaking habits were incredibly sadistic and twisted.
They both had clasped each other's feet in a death grip (you can see in the photos), and were flopping and spinning around the fire escape like a broken top. Sometimes one of them would break a foot free and bat at the other one's beak. Every once in a while one of them would trap the other one's head inside the space between the two slats of metal and then it would try and bend the bird's body backwards... maybe to snap it's neck(!) It was quite a spectacle. I ran and got my camera and snapped these two photos quietly through the glass. But then when I opened the window to get a closer shot... they both flew off... one in hot pursuit of the other.
These birds are Starlings... and a whole clan of them hangs out on this little stoop outside my window. Starlings are a very war-like and hostile bird, often invading and taking over nests of other birds... and often fighting each other to the death for mating rights. They have these really loud bird calls that they screech at top volume right outside the window... they drive Domenic nuts. Literally, they rival the car alarms. Some of these birds have literally stood their ground and raised their feathers at me when I've gone out on the fire escape. One time one swooped down and almost hit me in the head (I've written about them in past 'Top Tens').
I love New York City. You're all "Oh all the murder and violence and noise and post-9/11 stuff is really getting to me... I think I'll hole up in my apartment and look out the window at the pretty birds who are terrorizing each other and ripping each other's heads off and tearing each other's brains out with their claws!"
7. Why they never taught you Craniology in art class
Where the brain possibly gets it's aesthetic appreciation from.
Mark Allen's Top Ten for April 12th, 2004:
1. Pet dog shitting in public places... a human civilization's acceptance of a Freudian nightmare/fantasy
I was walking out of my apartment the other morning, on a beautiful, springtime day. The birds were singing... homeless people were crawling out of trash piles and greeting the day with a cough... kids were trotting off to school while shouting misogynistic and profane rap lyrics at the top of their lungs... grumbling shopkeepers were raising the security gates of their 99-cent stores... car alarms were going off... there were no terrorist planes exploding into buildings... it was a perfect New York City morning. The perfect prelude to a wondrous, beautiful, sunny day. I was just about to break into song... when what did my five senses cross paths with as I rounded a corner... but a man holding his BIG dog on a leash.
Now I love dogs. But at this particular moment, the man who owned the dog was standing at a distance from his pet... the leash pulled taught between them, his face looking away with an oddly embarrassed/awkward expression, a plastic bag rustling in his other hand. This is because... yep, you guessed it, his dog was crouched over in full grunting/shitting position... with it's open anus pointed right in my direction, tail raised (and lit into flaming detail via the direct morning sun on it's hairy cheeks). The dog's open thighs greeted me like a sunflower. A sunflower that was churning out a HUGE and I mean HUGE, THICK, soft, brown, bacteria-filled, putridly reeking log of FECES. It was literally birthing right out of the dog's ample sphincter, and plopping onto a HUGE pile that had already been deposited there not seconds earlier via the same passageway. The dog's fur was short and beige-colored... and it's ass was rather large. It's buttocks were round and muscled. It's sphincter? Well I couldn't differentiate it's sphincter from a human's sphincter in a porn movie, or a police line-up... I can tell you that much! Not that my gaze lingered mind you. All this horrid information was gathered in a split second, as my field of vision had been unexpectedly assaulted. I turned my eyes instantly... my head swimming with nausea... determined to try and put it out of my mind and still try and make it a beautiful day.
The point I'm trying to make is this: what is the difference between this fully-lit, fully viewable spectacle of rotten, enormous feces logs coming out of a giant dog's ass in full view of my eyeballs in broad daylight ...vs. a human being doing the same thing in front of me? I know, I know... one is a dog's excreting ass and the other is a human's excreting ass. But trust me... if you had viewed what I viewed in that split second before I averted my gaze... you'd find it hard to disagree that the line separating man and beast was becoming just a little blurry.
Is this how far we've come as a civilization? I mean... what is the difference between this dog's wide-open buttocks, and pulsating sphincter dropping out huge stink logs onto the pavement... and a human's? Really! Please tell me! I wanna know!
I think it's an extension of forbidden human behavior... a way to curse your demons in public. I wonder what Sigmund Freud had to say about people taking their domesticated dogs out in crowded public and, with a normal look on their faces, holding them by leashes as the animal anal-repulsed all over the place in full view of everyone? Did people do that back in Vienna in the late 1880's? And what about horse-driven carriages?
I feel like people domesticate dogs in public cities (which they have to walk in crowded public spaces) as therapy. It's a way to keep your primitive wild side at bay. You can just take a living, breathing extension of yourself out on a leash and stand away from it (while still attached to it via the umbilical-like leash) and let it crap all over the place in full, sloppy, shameless view of everyone and everything, while you chat away with a fellow human neighbor about air conditioners and manicures. The privacy and inevitable repressed shame of the human's home bathroom is architecturally inverted and turned in on itself. It allows you to symbolically play act "letting loose" in the most repulsive way possible, in a way that is socially acceptable. It's the same theory behind those little hand puppets that child therapists use to get kids to open up and talk to about their darkest, most shameful fears. When it's over you feel symbolically cleansed. Probably three times a day or however many times you walk your dog! Who cares if New York City sidewalks are covered in disgusting dog shit, if it means that the city's human inhabitants who own those dogs are getting free mental therapy three times a day! No wonder all the re-birthing clinics in Manhattan go outta business!
I mean, when you pick up the dog's fresh load with a plastic bag... feeling that steaming fresh feces, with it's oozing and squirming dead bacteria, warmly festering between your fingers on the other side of that thin plastic bag must really challenge that deep memory hidden in your subconscious that your moment of conception originated from a human spermatozoa penetrating a human egg and not that of a platypus. Your imagined position on the food chain is subconsciously re-inforced. Who's to say that I'm wrong?
I wanted to take a picture of a dog shitting on my sidewalk, with some really well dressed person holding the leash... but I was too intimidated really. I mean could you imagine me saying "Hi! I'm doing a commentary on my web page about people letting their dogs drop hot feces in public right in people's faces... could you please have your dog move it's anus more into the light." But, I realized that if I was the one to unexpectedly take a picture of a person holding a leash with a dog on the other end, making some fresh "earth of the butt" (as Mexicans call it) plopping right in full view of children, that's right... I, the photographer, WOULD BE THE PERVERT! So then it was too late and I didn't want to stand outside all day waiting for such a creepy opportunity... or go to jail... so I took these photos (above) from the web. Somehow the whole recent Ashcroft statue breast thing seemed appropriate.
Maybe I'm just nuts. Maybe I have too much pent-up repression. Maybe this is all normal and I'm just getting worked up over my own neurosis and repressed traumas and internal shame. Or maybe... maybe if I go to the local shelter and get my own public crapping machine that I can exhibit in public three times a day... I'll be able to calm my own inner demons.
2. This great new mural in my neighborhood
I have seen this mural for over a year now. It's painted on the front of a live chicken store around the corner from me (yes they sell live chickens). Isn't it a riot? It was obviously painted in reverence to the police and firemen who served and lost their lives during the attacks in NYC on 9/11. Something got lost, or something subconscious in the artist brimmed to the surface here... it has an unintentional psychotic quality. Is the fireman about to hack the police officers to bits? Since it's literally right next to this mural, and I assume it's by the same artist... I'm beginning to think there might there be such a thing as "mad chicken disease." I would love to meet this artist and interview him. Ahhhhh.... what a fool I am! I just looked closely at the signature under the mural in my photograph. Is that a web or email address I see? Will investigate...
3. I found some blood in my semen and it fucked with my head really bad for about five minutes
FRANK: "Ted, now that the ladies are gone... can I talk to you... man to man?"
TED: "Why sure Frank... what's up?"
FRANK: "Well Ted, the other night... after Sally and I had sexual intercourse... I noticed, well..."
TED: "Oh go on Frank!"
FRANK: "Well Ted, I noticed I had a little ...discharge, you know... down there."
TED: "What do you mean exactly Frank?"
FRANK: "Ted, there was a little bloody discharge in my seminal fluid."
TED: "Oh Frank... it's noting to be too worried about. Why, the occasional bloody discharge in seminal fluid is natural in a man's body..."
...and so begins the dialogue of the 1950's male sexuality high school filmstrip that was never made. Boy I wish I had seen it. This week, after a very NORMAL and HEALTHY round of MASTURBATION. I noticed, after cleaning up and placing my PENIS back into my pants, what looked like traces of blood tracks against the inside of the front of my white underwear. Yes it was blood... little traces of it where the semen had continued to seep out a little bit.
After completely freaking out for what I thought was an eternity but turned out to be only about five minutes (especially considering my history with testicular cancer and the fact that I have a prothesis down there), I eventually pulled myself off of the ceiling and did some research on the internet, as well as called a friend who's a doctor. Turns out guys, it's a very normal thing that happens occasionally to the male species, and is nothing to get really too worried about at all. Turns out that little infections inside the body, particularly around the prostate, are normal... and what you are seeing is traces of the body cleansing itself. If you notice it, you're supposed to keep checking on it and make sure it doesn't continue. If it does (which it most likely won't), you need to go see a urologist right away. Apparently though, it can happen for a period of up to three weeks (!) at a time and still be considered okay (if it happened that long to me I'd see a doctor though). However if these bouts are happening more than occasionally (read: more than once or twice a year) you need to absolutely get it checked out. My doctor friend very reassuringly told me that it's similar to when you blow your nose and there is blood in your mucous, which happens to everybody. Turns out... they're right... my emissions have been snow white ever since! So calm down... it's normal!
I took this photo (above) of the fear-inducing underwear (which I saved just to photograph for this educational entry). Then after I photographed it, I didn't want to put it up because usually when I talk about anything even remotely related to sex or the body or pee pee or poo poo or weenies or cooties... soon every pin-headed, porn-addicted, fat, drooling, socially maladjusted loser dirty old man starts emailing me asking me to please show my "naked bottom" on cam sometime or something. So I decided to not put it up, but then I thought; If some weird freak is into bloody semen-stained underwear, then they need a healthy outlet for their desires! So here you go guys! Hot, right studs? Hope you get off!
FRANK: "Whew! Well Ted... boy is that a weight off my shoulders!"
TED: "Hey Frank... not a problem at all. As we grow older, men's bodies are filled with functions and quirks that may seem strange or even scary to us. But they are nothing but God's way of 'cleaning house.' If you'd like to learn more about the occasional bloody seminal discharge, and what to do about it, I recommend talking to your family doctor, or visiting your local medical library research facility!"
FRANK: "Will do Ted! Will do!"
*GIRLS ENTER STAGE LEFT CARRYING A TRAY OF ICED TEA*
SALLY: "Hello boys! Would you like some iced tea?"
TED: "Oh Sally and Janet, you just know how to hit the spot!"
FRANK: "That sounds super!"
JANET: "What are you two boys talking about in here anyway?"
*MEN EXCHANGE SMILES*
TED: "Oh... why nothing Sally. Just who's gonna win this year's Super Bowl!"
FRANK: "Yea... Ted here thinks the Falcons are gonna beat the Cowboys this year dagnabbit! But I had to set him straight!"
TED: "What? Haha! Oh why you dagburned rascal I oughtta..."
SALLY: "Oh you two! I don't understand any of that silly man talk!"
FRANK: "Damn straight!"
ALL FOUR (raising glasses in a toast): "Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!!"
Buck Angel (from transexual-man.com)
4. Trannyfags, and everything in between - for EVERYONE!
I recommend those same porn fans I razzed earlier take a wide-eyed and closed-legs trip through the world of "trannyfags." I'm still trying to figure out how any one syllable of that term actually describes or defines what a "trannyfag" actually is... but maybe that's the point. These are women, or "gender-less" people or "gender fuck" beings (isn't that phrase so five years ago?) that are often females who are somewhere between a female-to-male transition... and I guess are just stopping at each stage to explore it completely.
There are a lot of these people in San Francisco... as well as New York. I remember last summer, Jim went to this lesbian barbecue picnic in Prospect Park and there was a lesbian there who had recently had her breasts removed (strictly for cosmetic reasons) and was parading around shirtless showing off her scars and no-boobs to everyone. Meanwhile giant hunks of meat were sizzling and frying on nearby grills. Ngh...
Don't take my (or Jim's) sense of humor the wrong way, I actually find these people to be pretty brave and mind-blowing and very edgy and, to be honest, intimidating. I mean... whoa. How can you not find this totally fascinating?
Here is a link to porn site that is selling porn videos of these guys... oops I mean girls... I mean... wait... HUMAN BEINGS... no... CLOUDS OF ENERGY in action. Here is a link to an article that was recently in the Village Voice about them. Here is a link to the Buck Angel site, a trannyfag porn star (pictured above). Here is a growing collection of links from the excellent Fleshbot.com (where I got most of this stuff). And for educational purposes, here are female-to-male transgender information links. It should be noted that many of these guys and girls don't necassarily consider themselves "trannyfags" or "genderfuck" or whatever... some just consider themselves bisexual men, or bisexual women, or men with vaginas (Buck Angel considers himself a bisexual man with a pussy). Like Auntie Mame said... life is a buffet... and most people are starving to death! But not these kids! Carpe Diem!
I can't wait for the next wave of brave experimentation against society-imposed roles to take form... that's right... forget "gender fuck" ...I want "species fuck!" Is it a man or a beast? Human or dolphin? I'm sure there's some plastic surgeon in Mexico, and some mad gene-splicing scientist in Switzerland, and some radical P.C. theorist/lawyer from some northeastern university... that can put their noggins together and create the first "human being" to blur the lines between man and animal. Screw society's dumb laws! I wanna be your dog! Hmmm... somehow that relates to my #1 entry above.
5. Discovering Mort Garson's "Wozard of Iz" album in the trash - priceless!
Typical record finding story. One day in the hallway of my building, near the trash... someone had left a huge pile of records that they were obviously throwing out. Since they weren't covered in empty crack vials and rat urine yet... and being an on-again-off-again vinyl junkie, I leafed through them and found it to mostly be a 70's rock-centric collection with some very popular titles and a few odd items (like an original copy of Sun Ra's 'Astro Black' - score!). Amongst the Kansas and Dan Fogelberg was also an odd record with a funny cover. It appeared to say "The Wozard of Iz" in faded letters on the front, and on the back were some photos of a man with a funny mustache and glasses in front of a bunch of old electronics keyboards and wires, and some text about how the "contemporary moog-man attempts to fuze words with wires and create a contemporary version of a children's classic." Interesting. I put it aside for future investigating.
On the day I actually decided to give it a spin... my ears and eyes bloomed to a brilliantly warped, counter culture, drug-marinated version of The Wizard of Oz that sounded like "Cats" on a bad trip... fused with a maddening moog/electronic score. I looked on the web and found that the album is by one Mart Garson, a kind of electronic music pioneer who made quite a few really wonderful records but mostly stayed out of the limelight. And it turned out that "The Wozard of Iz" was a pretty rare recording that was highly sought after. How it ended up in the trash bin in the hallway of my building is just another one of life's little mysteries.
Mort Garson was a hippie-ish electronic music scientist and guru, who specialized in the more extreme possibilities of the moog. One of his most ambitious projects was a single spoken word LP for each sign of the zodiac, set to an electronic score. He also recorded the moog album "Electronic Hair Pieces" - that one with the great cover. "The Wozard of Iz" was one of his later recordings, and was a collaboration with Jacques Wilson (who apparently wrote and conceived the project). The musical, which might have been intended to go beyond just a recorded album, is a psycho-electronic re-working of "The Wizard of Oz" that sounds like the soundtrack to the greatest LSD/freak-out/moog/synth/electronic musical that never was. This oddity is a hysterical and typical leftist/hippie commentary on the socioeconomic human condition of the average American in 1968, and uses the analogy of Dorothy taking a "trip" from Kansas for a brighter and better world where one can really be "free."
The record begins over a kooky electronic score, while a male voice (with a deep Brooklyn accent) intones:
"This is the story of why Dorothy began her search for the Wonderful Wozard of Iz! Or somewhere... over... what rainbow? Our Dorothy... locked into one suburban acre of negative vibrations... boxed in with a pair of authority symbols; a hypnotized aunt, and a mesmerized uncle, who had turned life off... and turned the television set... on... and on ...AND ON!!!"
Then the music builds and builds as another voice commands Dorothy:
"Congratulations Dorothy, you're about to join the ranks of other famous teenage drop-outs... like Shirley Temple, Candy, and Tallulah Bankhead!"
To which a synthesized male voice in the background repeats over and over:
"Leave the driving to us! Leave the driving to ussssss!"
...to which the voice of Dorothy makes it's first appearance and sexily coos:
"I'm out of the coffin... I'm out of the box... Kansas City isn't where it's at... it's a place where people throw rocks at dreams, and the dreams shouldn't be stoned... only the dreamer. I want to be in a place where I can see a stranger, and offer him a flower. I want that kind of power!"
And that's just in the first few minutes. The record goes on and on and on like that. Dorothy meets a bag lady "on a bus" who tries to hand her some pamphlets written by an army general from "normalville" ... but Dorothy convinces the army general to "...trade his dog tags in for love beads..." and the lady on the bus eventually gets attacked by some "free press" pamphlets, and becomes The Wicked Old Witch in protest. Dorothy eventually decides to "...find the Great Wozard of Iz... because if I find out where the Woz was, I'd find out where it's at!" Then she gets advised by some more witches on busses to leave "Upset Strip" road in search of "the yellow green road" past the land of "surf and muscle tan" where she notes "...everyone has sunburned teeth from smiling so much." The scarecrow she eventually meets is an excessive consumer who buys too many American gas-guzzling cars and who has substituted "things" for "zing" and decides to follow Dorothy on her quest for the Wozard who can perhaps help him "think" instead of "thing." All the while, insanity-inducing electronic sounds bloop, swerve, echo and boom in the background. This LP is a MASTERPIECE!
The rest of the album goes all over the place... using plenty of instruments and a whole chorus of vocalists. The songs sound like they could be in ANY musical... and it's a wonder that the production never made it anywhere past an LP recording. The voice of Dorothy is provided by sometime Lee Hazelwood vocalist/partner Suzie Jane Hokum. There are rumors that this woman is actually Nancy Sinatra (it certainly sounds like her)... but looking at some of the discussions about this album on the web... it looks like the verdict is still undecided as to whether it is her or not. It could be... or it may be just a vinyl compleatist nerd's urban legend.
Now I won't say any more about this great record except that you should keep an eye peeled for it... and hear it if you can. It's a total blast. When I first looked around the web, I found a site where some guy had uploaded every track from the album in mp3 form... and would send you a password for the mp3s if you emailed him nicely... but now I can't seem to find it. Maybe if you search around you can find it.
6. Camille Paglia's latest... "The Magic of Images: Word and Picture in a Media Age"
"The Magic of Images: Word and Picture in a Media Age" As usual, a very interesting read. I think she's dead-on about the current trends in film which tend towards hyper-editing and CGI effects... and their effect on a generation of eyeballs - totally agree with her here. She talks a lot about art history courses and their importance in education. Oddly, I remember some of the most mind-blowing and enlightening courses I took in school were art history/appreciation classes where the professor lectured in a dark-ish room in front of four simultaneously changing slide projector images.
7. Short, but kind of interesting Creem magazine interviews with William S. Burroughs from 1978
Fascinating Creem magazine (remember that awesome mag?) interview with William S. Burroughs from 1978/1979... mostly about Burroughs relation to mid-career David Bowie, and Burroughs' novel "Junkie." I recently saw the film "Christiane F." (1981) and found it to be totally visceral and timeless (or beautifully dated?) but really superb. Somehow I feel that's related... Bowie... the heroin thing.
But mostly I remember how totally great Creem Magazine was. When I was a kid, really into certain types of music and art, and too young to go to clubs or concerts or "scenes" or even drive... me and my friends used to collect Creem (as well as Maximum Rock 'n Roll and Thrasher... believe it or not even those were find-able in the suburbs of Dallas, TX) like mad and worship every page.
8. Nigerian man invents working refrigerators with clay pots and dirt, no electricity needed
Totally great. I want one. He won some kind of scientific award for this.
9. Raymond Pettibon
Passé? You said it, not me. I love his work and have been looking at a lot of it lately. I find that I'm often drifting into a mood where his warped and dreamy, open-ened drawings, filled with blunted, loner rage and surreal social criticism, make a lot of sense... or the fact that they don't simply does. Here's a nice link to an online gallery and bio. Here's a link to a gallery show. Here's a nice interview and two video clips from a PBS thing. A few (badly scanned) scans of old Pettibon flyers for Black Flag. You can browse through all the Black Flag album covers (most using Pettibon artwork) here.
Hell, if you punch "Raymond Pettibon" into Google Images... holy fuck you get a bazillion pictures.
10. Jim is visiting me this week
Copyright 2004 Mark Allen
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