Mark Allen's Top Ten for 12/29/02:

1: The weird white goo inside the pores on my nose that I can squeeze out
    What is that stuff? Boy does that white goo stuff that I can squeeze out of the pores on my nose freak me the fuck out. What is it? They look like itty bitty embryos saying "Doooon't kiiiillll meee!" every time I command them to appear with my two forefingers. Is this where they get Ramin noodles from? Does anyone know what they are?

2: The Christmas Snowstorm hurricane
    I spent a very warm and kooky and romantic Christmas with Jim in the Catskills. Like the rest of America, we were hit in the very early AM on Christmas with an "I am the Iceman and I cometh" blizzard. Since Jim and I were too poor to give each other presents (I was going to sell my hair so I could afford to buy him a gold chain for his watch, and he was going to sell his watch to buy me a golden comb for my hair) - we spent the morning walking out into the raging, great white expanse of "screaming quietness" - the best phrase I can think of to describe a snowstorm of that magnitude. I kept expecting Jack Nicolson to start chasing us with an ax. The inevitable "Wow... what if this was all cocaine!" was uttered at least once. I probably lost 5 pounds in tears alone (not faggy cry tears but searing wind tears). It was intense. We even saw a line of snow-covered deer splashing one by one accross a freezing stream! It was beautiful! It looked like a Coors Lite ad!
    When we got back to Jim's place we were so covered in snow that we looked like two giant walking egg white omlettes.
    Here - are - a - bunch - of - pictures I took that day and night.

3: Cross country skiing in the Catskill mountains

    *WHEEEE-hahahahahaha! *cough*cough*hack* hahahahaheeheehoho* WHEEEEEE!!!
    Okay... another goddamn thing I can check off that mutherfucking goddamn list of "The Things I Did In My Life". Hoo-fucking-ray! It was really interesting and I had a good time. I had always heard that cross country skiing was a lot harder and different than downhill skiing for obvious reasons. I had always assumed that the cool part of it was looking at the snow-covered landscape all around you as you zoomed along. I found this hard to do though because I kept having to look down at my ski's to make sure they didn't stray too far off the straight and narrow. But one benefit that DID deliver was the exercise. Afterwards I felt like I had been doing yoga for a week. The only all-body workout that I can think of that is that strenuous is swimming.
    We went along this old "rail trail" that cuts through the mountain landscape - so it wasn't completely uncharted territory. We were surrounded by a line of trees on both sides for some of the way... but a lot of times the trees broke and it was an expanse of crystalline wow.
    STYLE WISE: Jim and I were using ugly, poor-people, cheap-o ski's and boots (I rented mine) - the low-end of the suburban outdoor set (both our boots looked like they were left over from Olivia Newton John's leftovers  'Let's Get Physical' video), but they worked (and to be honest everyone else we saw on the trail had the same equipment).
    It was wild... whoosh-ing, roboticaly robust and exhausting. It was fun and hearty... and afterwards I felt mentally and physically drained but oddly refreshed and inspired... kind of like I had just been in a horribly violent car wreck or been viciously gang raped.
    It was a blast!
   Here - are - some - pictures I took along the way.

4: Huey Long
    I, like a lot of people of my generation, only remember Huey Long from various characitures referring to him in really old Warner Brothers' Bugs Bunny cartoons.  I just caught Ken Burns' film on Huey Long on PBS. What a hilarious character! Whoa! What an outrageous powerhouse goof ball! Yet another reason I love Southerners... Huey Long was everything that makes extreme Southern characters what they are and more. He rose to power in the state of Louisiana by sheer lung power and showmanship, all the while championing the rights of the working poor (this was just before the depression hit - which when it did only catapulted him further into mega-popularity) and he lied, cheated and stole (even had people kidnapped) to make sure he got his way as he fought for the underdog and rose to political power. His whole thing was the whole "share the wealth" thing... about taxing the rich 10% and redistributing the wealth around to the country's poor. This theory was, of course, full of loopholes, but to depression era America, his dramatic, full-lung-power, bring-the-house-down speeches in which he would cruelly mock the country's rich and famous by name sure sounded like gold spun from angels in heaven. He would stay up for days at a time (apparently on glasses of milk and handfuls of chocolates - and a little drinkie'poo or twelve) traveling around the country, making speech after speech to throngs that would gather to hear the man whom everybody was talking about speak. People would come from miles around either in support or to mock. As Huey shouted down the heavens, those in the front of the crowd would yell along "Give it to'em Huey!" while those in back shouted "Go to Hell!" ...all the while Huey's voice drowning out them all. It was kind of like a Courtney Love concert in the 1990's!
    He eventually rose to a Senate seat and, in truth - he really WAS fighting for the working poor throughout his completely wild political career (in his own erratic, wild, quasi hypocritical way)... it's just that the ego that drove him kept getting in his way and causing him to make bold blunders, which he never apologized for. In the end... his ego got the best of him and the good ole' reliable public-witch-hunt-gossip phenomenon (a phenomenon that Huey used to his advantage about a million times) took it's course and Huey Long was assassinated in 1935 by the 29-year-old son of a judge who was loosing his position thanks to Huey power mongering. Huey even predicted that he would be assassinated, and walked around with armed guards at all times... but it wasn't enough.
    Huey was trying to become President... and if he had, many claim that it might have been the first time a dictatorship established itself in the United States. He was loved and hated all through his career - but in the end many people in the country wanted him dead because of his escalating abuse of power and disregard for those that questioned his more-and-more desperate tactics. And it's probably this turn by Huey's public that would have prevented him from rising to President of the United States if he had escaped assassination. He was a near mythological example of the whole GOOD/EVIL duality thing.
    I've always loved outrageous Southerners like this, and loved the way it makes Northerners mad at the way I love them... or at least I like to pretend this is the case. Brainy, practical, preppie Northerners have no idea how to handle Southern hurricanes like Huey Long... and I always think it's kind of funny to watch them squirm, dour faced and silent, in the face of them. Many of Huey's opponents in Washington literally had no idea how to tame him and watched in imp-ish horror as he rose to greater and greater power (In the end though they got their way when Huey self-destructed). Of course... a LOT has changed since then. The tactics used by Huey to gain support have been warmed over so many times they are used today by the lamest corporations to sell the most boring products to consumers on the lowest end of the consumer scale. It's almost hard to imagine a time when Huey Long was cutting edge.
    It's a wild ride, full of hilarious Southern characters... and I recommend trying to check out Ken Burns' film on PBS if you get the chance (I'm sure they'll re-run it - they ALWAYS do). Or go punch "Huey Long" into to find out more about him.

5: The way the band Lightning Bolt begins a show
   Lightning Bolt hail from Providence, R.I.'s art/music scene - and are connected to this Fort Thunder art commune thing, which may be in Brooklyn, I'm not sure... it's confusing. Anyhows, the two members of Lightening Bolt, Brian Gibson (heavily effected electric bass guitar) and Brian Chippendale (drum kit, macramé'd head stockings, and contact microphones taped to his throat), use only said drums and bass... along with a *MOUNTAIN* of amps. They refuse to play on the stage at any venue, instead... they set up their massive outfit somewhere near the back of the venue... on the floor, and the crowd forms a circle around them when they begin playing. But the way they begin their shows is what's key. Even if they are opening for a band... they always play last on the set. As the lead band of the night is reaching the beginning of it's second encore... Lightning Bolt begin setting up their equipment near the back of the crowd, unbeknownst to most. As soon as the lead band has reached the last few notes of their last song, and before they can say "Goodnight!" or "Thanks you've been great!" - Lightning Bolt *R*I*P* into the opening power chords of one of their adrenaline anthems. Mini-chaos ensues. The lead band kinds of... stops playing (although most times they know it's going to occur - apparently sometimes they don't), the crowd all turns around to see what the explosion was, everyone's confused, and Lightning Bolt have begun their set - a set which very quickly accelerates into deafening, mock-violent, strobe-notic and skull-blasting mini riots (make sure you click on that), where the sound *O*B*L*I*T*E*R*A*T*E*S* people's eardrums and central cortexes, people fight like animals to get to the center, and the whole mad mash pulses and sweats and throbs like a pubescent boy's anxious, prone-to-violence boner. People get elbowed, too-loud amps burst ear drums, cymbal stands burst people's eyes... what a blast. There's probably less pushing and shoving at a Cannibal Corpse show held on a Japanese subway car at rush hour.
    Their CDs and vinyl are released on Load Records. As you may have guessed, they are a much more interesting live act than a digitally recorded one... something the band themselves will admit. Click here for an mp3 "Dracula Mountain" from their new album Wonderful Rainbow.
    I was lucky enough to catch these guys a few years ago at NYC's now defunct venue The Cooler. I don't even remember who the headlining act was (says a lot) but I DO remember when Lightning Bolt started their set... I remember I just backed up from the white core hole of blinding sound that burst from the back just as the headlining act started their second encore... everything was confused. The lead band I'm sure too were like "Huh?" as the whole crowd pounced on the back area like wildebeests on a lamb and everybody started flailing around like rag dolls in the dark to sound so loud you couldn't even hear it (if you can imagine that). It was really trippy and I remember all the people who worked at The Cooler were all stopping and holding onto stuff like "...ouch" I remember thinking the sound was so loud that it was WRONG. I actually felt really old... but I have to say the way they began their set really fucked with my map... and I liked it and never forgot it.

6: This photo of Brigitte Boisselier

7: Dermot Mulroney's elaborately constructed fake receding hair-line mullet job in the film "About Schmidt"
    Yee-gads! Wow! I'm... uh... speechless. I don't think I've been so impressed with this elaborate a hair construction ...ever! I don't think this has anything to do with the mid-90's "mullet craze" as much as it has to do with admiring an actor I have always loved and thought to be very handsome agreeing to appear like this in an entire film. Talk about guts. Suddenly my respect for Mr. Mulroney... already at stalker-levels... has reached stellar-ly spastic proportions. I haven't even seen the film yet, but as soon as I saw promotional stills for the film - featuring Dermot's apocolyptically asymmetrical mullet, fake receding hair-line (done with spine-chilling accuracy) and perfectly and horribly uneven Scottish mustache-thingie - I got more excited about a movie than when I was eight years old and first saw the trailer for "Star Wars". I'm so psyched to see "About Schmidt" to see Dermot's hair that I couldn't give two silver shits about the rest of the film.
    Thanks to everyone who sent in pics.

    One of the weirdest, most indescribable web sites I've ever seen. It's so inexplicably strange it's almost BORING.

9: This flyer I found on the subway 5 years ago
   I found this flyer in the subway about five years ago. Here is the front, and here is the back. I remember when I found it they were laying all over the seats of the whole car. It's been up on my wall for years... but I thought I would take it down and share it with you. I love shit like this.

10: The film "Copycat" (1995, director: Jon Amiel)
    I'm addicted to this film.
    Sigourney Weaver plays psychologist and author Dr. Helen Hudson, "the world's expert on serial killers". While giving a lecture on said killers at a local university, she thinks she sees the grinning face of Daryll Lee Cullem (a supposedly-in-prison serial killer who's in prison because Dr. Hudson's expert testimony at his trial help put him there) in the crowd silently taunting her. She blinks... and he's gone... and she chalks it up to a fear-based hallucination. After the lecture her bodyguards escort her for a trip to the ladies room... when the guards make sure the coast is clear... Dr. Hudson is left alone. Perhaps she should have trusted that fear-based hallucination after all. What commences in that bathroom leaves one bodyguard dead and makes Helen the near-victim of the unspeakable fate of the victims of serial killers that she has spent her entire career researching and theorizing on.
    Daryll Lee Cullem ends up back in prison... and Dr. Hudson ends up so emotionally scarred from the experience that she turns into a "pill-popping, juice head, agoraphobic asshole" (as Holly Hunter chirp-ily refers to her in the film after meeting her for the first time). Dr. Hudson is now a sever agoraphobic... whiling away her hours in a fantastically huge and mind-blowing-ly amazing apartment in San Francisco with a gay roommate Andy... connected to the internet and cable... popping pill after pill and downing drink after drink... useless to the world and herself - so scared of the outside world that she has to reach out the front door with a broom handle to get the morning paper.
    When a new serial killer starts off-ing women in San Francisco, Dr. Hudson begins calling drunken tips to the local police to try and help them solve the case. She calls anonymously so many times in fact that the cops trace the call. When they find out it's the world-renowned serial killer expert Dr. Hudson who's been leaving the weird tips... they pay her a visit and ask her to help them catch the killer. The rocky relationship between the brilliant but highly unstable Dr. Hudson and the two lead detectives (Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney) results in some Sigourney having some of the funniest lines since Bette Davis' drunken rampage in that famous party scene in "All About Eve".
    With Dr. Hudson's help they realize this new killer is copycat-ing murders by famous serial killers like Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz , Bianchi and Buono and Jeffrey Dhamer... down to the most obsessive details. He has a VERY big plan... and that that plan now involves Dr. Hudson. They try helplessly to guess the killer's moves... but he outsmarts them time after time with surprise after surprise, elaborate kill after elaborate kill... (he's obviously studied up on Dr. Hudson's books) leading up to what they all know will be a grizzly conclusion.
    I won't spoil the rest of the movie for you... but I will tell you that the plot stays complex all the way through. Not only does the film feature many of my favorite actors - Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jr. - and  Diane Amos (The black lady from the Pine Sol commercial) but all the performers in the film do a bang-up job molding complex, 3-D believability around their characters... you care about them all and hence what happens to them. The film is also filled with all sorts of other odd sub-characters that were obviously given a lot of thought to. The plot is filled with loop-holes, of course, like any Hollywood film with money-making at it's root... but remains enjoyably intricate and interesting... and often very inventive. The direction, editing, sound, cinematography and sets (Dr. Hudson's apartment is great) are superb. And some of Sigourney's lines are hi-LAR-ee-us.
    The film also has a highly unique and queer, dark, sleek, technical look - not in a TV "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" way... but in an unsettling way... where smooth, dimly-lit hallways in modern campus buildings lead to claustrophobic encounters - and quiet, hyper-modern public rest rooms are backdrops used to tease your most unspeakable, nightmarish fears. And the camera, characters and story often linger on weird choices of technology - things like high-speed internet chess games, web browsers with video tape back-ups, mini-vacuum cleaners used to vacuum up live ants, strange automatic window blinds with remote controls, annoying jimmied car alarms, strange hand-held motion detectors, out-dated video cameras with post-it notes all over them, computer photo-editing programs used to make snuff videos and sperm banks where smiling murderers work like bees.
    The film also, by default, drops all kinds of interesting facts and information about serial killers, as the Dr. Hudson character's expertise on the subject spills all over the plot (including lots of theories about what makes serial killers tick - a knowledge Dr. Hudson uses to try and turn the tables on the killer at one point of capture, and which amazingly scrambles his mental map - temporarily).
    The only reason I'm putting this here is because I think you can judge how good a film is by how many times you've watched it (yes I know that's debatable). I, for some reason that I cannot remember, own a video copy of this film... and have watched it probably 20 times... over and over... more than I've watched "Fight Club" (but not as much as 'Rear Window' - a film you could interestingly compare and contrast this one to). I've literally come in from a night out and popped this tape in and fell asleep while it's playing. So if you're looking for a very interesting Hollywood thriller, that pays off with repeated viewings... check it out. You'll enjoy it.
    *SPOILERS*>>>> Jim liked this film a lot when I showed it to him, and thought Sigourney's character was a riot. If you've seen it, you know the scene where the three-sheets to the wind and whacked out on goof balls Dr. Hudson gets her black dress out of her closet and lays it on the bed, then goes and takes a shower, and when she stumbles back to the bed her RED dress (it's the one she wore during the horrible bathroom attack! GASP!) is laying on the bed in place of the black one? It's an eerie moment that she chalks up to drunkenness (but later is proven wrong). Jim and I thought it would have been funny if her gay roommate Andy suddenly walked out of the shadows wearing the black dress and was like "Hi honey I wanted to borrow this black dress tonight to go to the fag bar so I just took it and laid out your red one instead because I didn't want to bother you in the shower. Do you mind?" ALSO: Do you know Jim had a friend that worked on a film with Sigourney Weaver and even though he liked Sigourney a lot and said she was great he had a lot of time on his hands and too much time to think and so he started calling everyone in the cast the sickest name he could think of (in his head - I think) and his name for Sigourney Weaver was "Sick Horny Beaver"? It's true!

Mark Allen's Top Ten for 12/23/02

1: Stealing Baby Jesus from nativity scenes becoming so commonplace that it might be a good idea to work it into even the most conservative of holiday family acceptance and make it a holiday tradition that is eventually co-opted by commerce and consumerism and makes America stronger
    Let's face reality. These stories we hear every single year about some kids stealing the Baby Jesus statue from some local church or mall's nativity scene and how horrified and outraged the locals are are starting to loose their composure and how it's a reflection of "the world we live in today" and how "sad" it is that such "evil" people would do this and they just "can't understand how someone could be so mean" and how they "hope no kids see it" (the ones who did it in the first place) so their "Christmas spirit isn't crushed". It's because they happen so much that the local's interviewed on the news stories about the inevitably vandalized nativity scenes in every single town in America are starting to seem a little robotic in their concern. The story usually starts out or ends with the commentator saying; "These thieves have stolen Jesus - but not this community's holiday spirit." It has become a story so predictable every year on every local news channel that I think even it's starting to become filler for the networks. During Christmas news time the local news programming guys are all:

  Mr. News Programming Guy: "Okay run the woman stabbed in her apartment... then the President scandal... then the possible MTA strike... okay then... hmmmm... how about the Kwanza thing... um... we have some room to fill... and filler stories we can run? How about some stories about vandals stealing a baby Jesus from a church's local nativity scene. How many of THOSE storiesdo we have this this week Mr. News Programming Guy's Assistant?"
   News Programming Guy's Assistant: "347... oh wait no, another one just came in... 8... 348!"
    Mr. News Programming Guy: "Well pick one at random and run it! If there's time."

    Hey I have an idea! Make it a tradition! Like trick-or-treating on Halloween or watching football on Thanksgiving! Let's face it - Christianity can use all the help it can get as far as it's popularity with today's youth goes. Why not turn it into a wacky game of hide-and-seek the savior? Companies could market all kinds of sell-able products... like "Christmas Steal The Baby Jesus Nativity" kits for your lawn. Neighbors and friends could buy the kits and steal each other's as a holiday tradition - like exchanging gifts. Instead of cards people could exchange Christmas Baby Jesus ransom notes.. It could be fun! Companies would make money... kids would feel all "bad" and cool... parents would have something to do that is different... and everyone would be learning more and more about JESUS!
    Why not make it an official tradition?
    I mean... Americans... in a lot of ways, are such pansy wimps when it comes to fighting for their God. Muslim kids are practicing blowing up people for their God... and Christmas? Forget about it... they don't have the time! They're too busy plotting to make video of assassinated American journalists to help bring down Christmas-Baby-Jesus-nativity-scene-loving-cuddling-America. No wonder Muslims are on a firm track to obliterating us. Muslim youth's LOVE religion. They're all "Where does this wire go on the bomb?" while they haven't even slept for days and don't even complain - while our kids are like "I wanna play Nintendo Game Cube and then take ecstasy!" while they drive around in air-conditioned Lexus's.
    This is a way to get kids of today "excited" about Christianity - lets face it, that's what the Bush administration wants! And it will turn Christmas into a war zone (for training) where kids FIGHT FOR GOD. Let's make America PROUD again!
    Steal a Christmas nativity scene from your town today and show and help kick Bin Ladin's ass!!!

2: Matt Bell's new bleach job
    It looks totally great. You can read about Matt here (#24). Here is Matt as a brunette. So adorable. So, so, so adorable. I hope Jim doesn't read this.

3: Various solo guitar work CDs by Thurston Moore and friends
    Lots of people tell me that Thurston Moore's solo work is trite - or that there are other artist doing much more interesting work. I don't care.
    These are some of my favorite recordings of all time and they are so great because they sound like nothing else and you hear something different every time you listen to them. It's like that cliché from your childhood where you were like "Wow what would it be like if you took LSD and walked into a modern art museum and all the abstract paintings like Klee and Mondrian and stuff... you could HEAR them instead of SEE them!?!? Ooooohhhhh!" - these recordings are that. Totally abstract - guitars are treated like drums and drums are played with Road Runner hand puppets instead of sticks. Bang. Clang. RaoOOOhhHWeeeWeee-et-et-et! Chime, chime, chime... gwah gwAH GWah! SSSsssssssnnnnnnnnnnn... everything is improv and most pieces hit the near-one-hour mark. Sounds range from spine-chilling beauty to teeth-shattering smash. I recommend "Piece For Jetson Dolma" as a starting place.
   "Piece for Jetson Dolma" - Thurston Moore, Tom Surgal and William Winant
    "Pillow Wand" - Thurston Moore and Nels Cline
   "Lost to the City/Noise to Nowhere" - Thurston Moore, Tom Surgal and William Winant
   "Klangfarbenmelodie, and the Colorist Strikes Primitive" - Thurston Moore and Tom Surgal
   "In-Store, Metasweet" - Thurston Moore and Nels Cline
    Check some of these out and soon all the noise and chatter of living in NYC will start to sound like it's following some kind of order to you.

4: Huge, wild, brightly-colored, inflatable, inhabitable architecture/sculpture
    Check it out here. These guys live in Europe and make these brightly colored inhabitable sculptures that inflate... why? Because it's so great. Walking into these things probably makes people want to quit their jobs and move out into the middle of a field and live in a house they build themselves out of aluminum cans - all with oval rooms and stuff... and grow vegetables in a garden... and spend their whole day creating ambient music.
    If these things had been around Europe in the late 70's you just KNOW Dario Argento would have filmed one of those brightly colored horror scenes from "Suspiria" where that girl keeps running around getting stabbed in the heart by that witch and the pounding music is all "Wwwhhhheeeeooooo - wwwoooouuuu - hhhhowowowowoweeeee - aaahhhhoooohhheeeee!!!"  It would have made sense.

5: These two articles in old Vice magazines that I read recently
    Vice magazine's "Guide to Gold Digging" (by Celeste Arnold) and their article "Creative Publicity" (by Bruce Benderson - who has quite a career going on). Both the facts in these short but meaty articles scream louder than those pre-recorded celebrity "Buckle your seat belt" ads that blare out of broken speakers inside taxis when you get in them at 8AM hung over and your head pounding and your ears bleed.

6: Guillaum's chewing-gum-mint-colored Diesel sneakers he left behind after he moved out
    He left a few things here to pick up when he returns in January (to live somewhere else) and these two identical Muppets for your feet were one of the items. When he first bought them he walked in with them and asked what I thought and I was all lying through a sick smile like "Yeeeeeaaaa... real unusual! You can wear them with green!" and I think he wore them like once. Now they're here... they're my size. I can't stop secretly wearing them - with green pants and my green coat. There's something about wearing all one bright color that makes you feel like some fantastical pederast child murderer with an amazing castle of torture and mad experiments way up on a hill somewhere - like that  Child Catcher character played by Robert Helpmann in the original "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" movie who drove that fake Free Candy!" truck around the village that was really a trap with a cage inside... and he was all riding around going "I smeeeellll children!" That's how I feel when I wear all one color. Like that guy.

7: My Sims dream home
    I'm not even past the starting point in my Sims computer game (I'm still living through Bob and Betty Newbie). I play the game on again and off again - but always keep Bob and Betty around. I had them slave away like dogs to earn enough dough to build this dream house. Now they live in it and can swim indoors and watch a giant TV and sit on modern furniture in the olive green carpeted library or go sleep in their minimal bedroom or go outside and look at trees and be all "Ooooohhhhmmmm...". There are no walls in the place (except minimal/broken-up ones separating the bedroom and bathroom) and the walls in the house are made totally of glass so it's like they are outside while they are inside (here is what it looks like with the walls up). Even the bathroom! And the stairs lead up to a flat, concrete roof with no furniture that they can just sit up on and watch the sun set.
    I guess this is my dream home. I built it without even thinking.... from scratch. I have other people with weird lives in the neighborhood. Ms. Goth lost her husband in an oven fire and now his ghost walks around her house all "Whoooo-oooohhhoooohhh! You kiiilllleeeed meeeee!! Ooooohhhh!" and Jim and I wanted to see how far we could push a character by not letting them sleep or eat and making them go to the bathroom on the floor - this resulted in the Goth daughter getting shipped off to military school and out of the game. So Ms. Goth is all post-nervous breakdown and is kind of weird and just paints in her attic and for some reason works for the mob (?). But she likes to visit Bob and Betty in my dream home and swim in their pool and drink from their bar. She gets along with Bob and Betty well. I also have the Pleasant family - total dud nerds but I'm gonna see how far I can push them.
    All this from what is now an out-dated version of the game.







Mark Allen's Top Ten for 12/16/02

1: The Walter Keane doll that that is trying to kill me or drive me crazy
    There comes a point when you realize that some of your out-of-control friends really need help, whether it be drugs or alcohol or domestic abuse. Then there also comes a point where you realize that the inanimate objects in your life really need help. Especially if they are plotting to kill you behind your friends' backs and being very, very clever about it.
   Last week, Jim was paying a visit to his friend Paul (aka: DJ Snax), and since Paul was about to move to Berlin, he was getting rid of some stuff... and one of the things he gave away was this old Walter Keane-styled doll that Jim had always loved. You know... the big eyes and a tear and everything. Apparently this thing has quite a history with Jim's old clan. I guess that history must have involved Ouija boards and trips to the Amazon jungle and mysterious disappearances because now the doll is trying to either kill me or drive me insane or convince everyone around me that I am insane by playing clever tricks on me to where it looks like I am joking that this doll is trying to kill me when actually it is trying to kill me. It only moves when no one else is looking. It's very sinister and smart. LOOK WHAT I FOUND IT DOING TO MY MORNING COFFEE (ABOVE)!!! This is not a trick photo!!! Someone please believe me!!! Of course Guillaume things I just posed the doll like this and snapped a picture... like that famous fake Loch Ness monster one.
    Meanwhile while I look like Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched" and no one believes me... this stupid doll has been getting into all, kinds, of, horrible, weird, creepy, scary, copyright-infringing, trouble.
    And I know the whole Karen Black in "Trilogy of Terror" thing with the killer voodoo doll has been played out... and you know what? The doll is using THAT to it's advantage! All my friends are like "...a doll trying to kill you? You mean like 'Trilogy of Terror'? Oh that's so ten years ago... oh and it's a Walter Keane doll? Mmmmhmmm... oh that's REAL cool!" The doll KNOWS how to work my trendy friends and their fad-fried art-school minds!!! IT KNOWS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!! I AM UP AGAINST AN EMEMY I CANNOT OUTSMART!!!
    Oh God... what's that clinking sound? I think I hear something very small and big-eyed fiddling with the pilot light in the oven.... she got into my tools again!!! Gotta go...

2: The NEW WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE PEDESTRIAN WALKWAY is officially open!!! >>>>>>>>>> scroll right to see full panorama (taken from Manhattan side) >>>>>>>>>>
    Just in time for the possible transit worker's strike - the new Williamsburg Bridge pedestrian walkway is now open for Hasidic Jewish families and roaming bands of purse-snatching thugs alike. My pathological obsession about this project, as documented before in my "Top Ten" has finally been satiated. It's as wide as three full cartwheels AND there are NO STAIRS all the way from the Manhattan side to the other end in Brooklyn...easy sailing all the way. It's also bright red and very high-tech looking... kind of like an i-Mac. And the views of New York? Right off of a cheesy postcard those chinks sell in Times Square. As I wrote here on 9/2/02:
    They have been working on this walkway... no the whole BRIDGE, for like 1,000,000,002 years now. It was starting to get pretty dreary and endless. But about 6 months ago a glimmer of *wow* - a long, bright red cage appeared out of nowhere at both far ends of the bridge. It kept... growing. What is it you say Mr. Crane Operator (back in April)? A fantastic walkway you say? So high up? so brightly colored? It's a fantastic, Jacques Tati-esque, almost futuristic-looking walkway in blazing bright red - and which puts walkers, bike riders and joggers (me) about 70 feet higher than any of the cars or anything (and with a fantastic view) inside a super-wide, cage like thing with no roof... and I learned today that it splits into two parts while in the center part of the bridge. It's getting closer and closer and closer to getting completed. The view from every inch of this thing must be inspirational to say the least... and any trip across it must be... transcendent. A bit cold in the winter? WHO CARES! This is New York City! Even the people in wheelchairs will have the wind whipping through their hair and a beaming smile on their faces! Ohhhhh I can't wait! I want to cut the ribbon!!! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! OPEN!!!!!!!!!! OPEN!!!!
    Well it's open now. And the walk across it? Beautiful, inspirational... it's as transcendent as knocking out your most hated enemy's teeth!

3: The mysterious  resilience of the homeless shack on stilts under the Williamsburg Bridge in my neighborhood
    Okay before I tell you about the shack... I should tell you that the work being done on the Williamsburg Bridge (about a ten year job) has left in it's wake a literal junkyard (especially under it). The area stretching from where the bridge begins to where the water starts (on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides) has been a constipated heap of work equipment, cinderblocks, construction company trailers, chain link fences, giant tractors and other flotsam and jetsam of building work. All this clutter has been an eyesore for so long you forgot it was even there. Then - recently - everything under the bridge suddenly vanished. Now this endless stretch of junk served many purposes. One of which is that it has been a small haven for the homeless... who set up a kind of "Mortville" (see: John Water's film Desperate Living) under various parts of the bridge.
    One of the little shanty town shacks appeared about four years ago (above). It is an RV unit that was precariously propped up on top of a bunch of rocks and cinder blocks and poles, and was leaning against the outer wall of one of the construction crew trailers that was right up against a chain link fence. That was until *whoooosh!* they cleared everything out from under the bridge in one giant swoop - you can see for miles now! The construction stuff and junk AND homeless stuff was all carted away... everyone found a new place to go...
    But this ONE little tower shack thingie is STILL standing. And it's BEEN standing for months now - even though everything else "homeless" has been cleared away.
    It has a crappy pad lock on the door. To get into it, the homeless people have to literally climb up into it. They have wires running into it they probably stole from a lamp post from somewhere on the bridge for power (I can see a TV running inside it sometimes). I was always fascinated with it. I mean... what do they have in there? A bar (the homeless that hang out on my corner by the liquor store drink a lot)? A sauna? A spa? A tennis court? A Betty Ford clinic? WHO DO THEY FUCKING KNOW THAT THEY CAN SET UP THE WORLDS MOST OBVIOUS SQUAT AND GET AWAY WITH IT RIGHT NEXT TO A POLICE STATION!? The whole precarious structure is RIGHT NEXT to a police station. Whoever is occupying the inside... they are a genius... especially with rents the way they are in my neighborhood.
    Did you ever see that movie "The Big Bus"? I imagine the inside like that.
    My imagination runs wild as I imagine it as some sort of heaven from the rough and tumble world of hanging out on the cold streets, collecting cans, scamming cheap liquor and begging for change. There used to be one guy in particular who seemed to use it every night. He always was in a wheelchair... you know the kind used just for show... and I would always see the wheelchair parked outside the RV unit's high door at night when he was in there asleep. Now a lot of the homeless guys and gals on my block use it at night. There's one tooth-less lady who sits in a lawn chair outside the liquor store and she always has different ratty wigs on every day. I've seen her go in and out of the shack... I bet she stores her wigs in there! It's like a fucking tramp MALL!!!
    And all the other shacks and structures around it got swept up with the construction cleaning crew. So what gives? Who do these homeless people know to get such grand treatment? Now that everything around it is gone it's just standing there like a tower of... something. What gives?  I wanna move in! I'll keep you posted.

mouth model: Jim
4: Suburban Gumbo
    I originally thought this dish was called "Southern Gumbo" - a dish who's very simple yet amazing recipe has been passed down for ages from generations of Texans, Louisianians and Alabamians... although when I told a client about it he quickly said "Sounds like Suburban Gumbo to me". Turns out any secrets that were passed down from generation to generation must have been handed down from the express check out lane of the local Piggly Wiggly. Well whatever it is, it's really, really, really good. My mom used to make this all the time (when she was too busy to cook a full dinner) as a quickie meal when I was growing up, it was always hearty and totally delicious and I highly recommend it. It will last in the refrigerator for a long time - and it's great for the winter. Here's the recipe:

    - as much ground beef as you want
    - about 8 or 10 small red potatoes
    - two garlic cloves
    - one tablespoon of olive oil
    - one can of Italian style cooked tomatoes, or regular stewed canned cooked tomatoes (do NOT use fresh tomatoes - trust me)
    - one packages of frozen okra (or fresh if you want)
    - one can of kidney beans
    - one can of black eyed peas
    - one package of frozen collared greens (or fresh if you want)
    - one package of frozen corn (or fresh if you want)
    - one package of frozen succotash (that's peas, lima beans, corn and carrots mixed together - in most regions of the southern US)
    - various spices like salt, pepper, bay leaf, oregano, onion powder, and whatever ... anything else you want or like
    - cornbread (to serve with it) ... made from a mix in muffin tins or a pan, however you prefer - with butter

To prepare:
    Cook the ground beef first in a pan and spice it if you like. Make sure it's all the way done.
    Wash the potatoes and slice them into large chunks. Boil them until they are done and drain them.
    Peel the cloves of garlic and slice or crush them if you like.
    Defrost the frozen ingredients slightly in the microwave.
    Then get a VERY, VERY LARGE pot and throw the cooked beef (along with the grease - as much as you think your arteries can handle) and all the other ingredients in the pot. Include the juices that come in the cans with the ingredients. It's hard to get the frozen ingredients to melt at first (see photo) so like I said you may want to thaw them in the microwave beforehand. But basically you are now just cooking everything down. You should bring it to a full boil and then turn it down to simmer right away. Be sure and stir it occasionally while simmering - when cooking a very large stew there is a chance that the ingredients on the bottom can burn if it just sits on the heat too long without moving around - and that will affect the taste.
    Put whatever spices in it you like - and you WILL need to spice it otherwise it will taste REALLY bland (hey why do you think it's called 'suburban' gumbo?). BUT: be sure and taste it as you go along so you don't overdo it and ruin it. If you just start pouring spices in it without tasting it you can over-do it and it will taste awful. It's done when it tastes right... however, this is one of those recipes that tastes MUCH, MUCH better the next day. Something about all those things sitting in the pot together in the refrigerator overnight. So you may even want to make it the day before. It will last for days.
    Cook the cornbread separately and serve it piping hot with butter.
    I recommend eating this gumbo with cornbread. When Jim and I made it this week we made it with garlic bread and it was good, but there was something missing. Hot, buttered cornbread seems to compliment it perfectly.

5. Dr. Rihab Taha, aka: "Dr. Death", "Dr. Germ"
    According to a recent NY Daily News article, Dr. Rihab Taha  (pictured above, far right), who is Saddam Hussein's biological weapons chief, is "...a middle-aged mom, a cultured woman with a British accent and doctorate who married well, to a general" who is "...widely described as shy and unassuming," and has "spent most of the last two decades spinning a web of horrors: bugs that make eyes bleed, bacteria that peels skin off the body, viruses that cause fever and pox and lingering, agonizing death." Described as "brilliant", this woman is called by some "The most dangerous woman alive." Besides being a genius - she also has a penchant for big, dramatic scenes. Back in 1991, when she told UN inspectors that only a tiny number of biological weapons had been produced in Iraq during the Gulf War, and that all had been destroyed... they didn't believe her and pressured her for more information. She then  "...frequently turned to theatrics, bursting into tears, and storming out of rooms," inspectors reported. Similarly stormy meetings involving her have been reported at UNSCOM meetings in New York. Yow.

6: The anti-McDonald's protest flyer(s) I picked up in the Catskill Mountains while visiting Jim
    I found these flyers at a vegan restaurant in the Catskills that Jim and I ate a lot at (the place sometimes mysteriously smelled like farts). Here is the flyer about the protest. Here is the flyer that went along with it explaining the groups reasons for protesting. I just kind of like the look of the flyers more than anything else - they have a simple and effective design. I suppose my youthful days of intense AIDS activism and protesting in the streets and getting arrested a zillion times and having a terrorist record in Virginia in the mid-90's (for having a smoke bomb in my bag while arrested outside some drug company protest) has left me... somewhat... shallow the causes of the world. I look back on my days of Queer Nation-ism and ACT UP-ism as about 5% just and about 95% bullshit. Call it wisdom from experience. So I tend to look at public protests as a kind of backdrop where more interesting things might happen... kind of like Michelangelo Antonioni in his 1966 film Blowup!
    Jim absolutely refuses to eat at McDonalds... not for any political reasons... but because he has recently read Eric Schlosser's sensationalistic new book "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal" - a book that has left many friends of mine trembling in traumatic fear at the mere thought of an American fast food joint's name. Now THAT'S effective activism!

7: The Dolcett Archives
   I particularly like placing this entry directly below the above one because it's the perfect compliment. Dolcett is an elusive cartoonist (when you see his work you will know why) who creates delightful comic strips that center around asphyxiation, execution by gunfire, electrocution, decapitation, and other "exotic" tortures - all of willing women by men. But his particular specialty seems to be cartoons with plots centering around "gynophagia" (the act of eating the flesh of women) - especially after being impaled on a long spit and roasted on an open fire. Sound absolutely horrific and the product of a psychopathic mind? Yes... maybe. But wait until you see the comics. The comics inside The Dolcett Archives are like a cross between Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and Bazooka Bubble Gum Comics.
    Dolcett's obvious sense of humor, even surrounding the most unspeakable subjects ...and his craft (although slightly cruder - you could easily compare his work to the brilliant Tom Of Finland) is obvious once you get past your own mental block of what you think you are seeing and what it means. You've gotta see these cartoons to believe them... they really are mind bending. Now watch out... these are pretty disturbing... maybe. If you don't have a very strong stomach I'd skip it. The subject matter should be nauseating and gut wretching. But what's so weird is that they are all 70's style paneled comic strips... which makes them less disturbing... almost whimsical. It's hard to put into words why I think these comics are so interesting, and I'm slightly hesitant to tell people that I do. I think truly great art works are ones that make you think in ways you never have before. These cartoons make me think that.
    Now... if you'll excuse me, the phone rang... it appears that my number just came up so I guess I'd better call my loved ones and say good-bye and then I've gotta report down to Hill's Fine Meat Market... gosh I wish cannibalism hadn't been legalized 20 years ago, *sigh* ...oh well... *ulp!*

    This woman has led the most fantastic, romantic and excitingly dangerously glamorous life I have EVER hear told. I Why sum it up here when "Liz" does such a good job of explaining it herself! This woman has had such a mind-blowingly exciting and intrigue-filled life because she does not make excuses and does not miss chances in life... and as we all know: "If 'if's' and 'but's' were clusters of nuts, we'd all have a bowl of granola!"
    note: according to Liz/Lisa, she has now taken her site off the web due to "...THE TERRIBLE AND DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR AND REACTION OF THE PUBLIC". So here is a mirror site.

9: Brian Eno's early ambient recordings
    "Ambient #1: Music For Airports" by Brian Eno
    "Ambient #2: The Plateaux of Mirror" by Brian Eno and Harold Budd
    "Ambient #3: Day of Radiance" by Laraaji and Brian Eno
    "Ambient #4: On Land" by Brian Eno
    "Fourth World Volume 1: Possible Musics" by Jon Hassell and Brian Eno
    "Discreet Music" by Brian Eno
    "Thursday Afternoon" by Brian Eno
    These seven are some of the most amazing recordings ever made. If you've never heard them, I highly recommend them. Why are they so special? I can't really put it into words. They make my world better. They are pretty.

10: Jim and mine's walk through a freshly snow-covered, crystaline, whispering Central Park at dusk on Friday
    There's a line in the Edward Norton film "Keeping the Faith" spoken by said actor's character as he strolls through Central Park with an ex girfriend... it goes something like "It's times like this that make you realize that people who don't live in New York City are a sense... kidding." Yow - what a snob line. Nevertheless you can't ignore that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that it's sometimes true.
    After a long and bee-you-ti-ful and often hi-LAR-ee-ous stroll through the whisper-quiet and great Metropolitan Museum of Art... Jim and I had timed it perfectly where we hit the park (which had been covered the night before in several inches of snow and ice) right at dusk... as all the lights were slowly coming on. It was pretty fantastic I must say, like walking around on Pluto. Frozen ponds (see behind us), black spindly trees against blinding white, white, white, lights coming on like fireflies making glowing yellow rings on the ground, a weird thing going on with your ears - like muffled sound. The only thing I think I could compare it to - in it's general heart-warming beautiful eeriness... is a stroll through the park at night.
    After walking all the way - in awe - to the southwest corner... we ended the stroll at a Japanese noodle house and ate with chop sticks from huge, gleaming, piping hot bowls of noodle soup with giant chunks of seafood in it - the steam from the huge bowl causing the snot to run out of our noses and down our smiling faces.

Mark Allen's Top Ten for 12/9/02
Special NYC Transit Workers Strike Threat 2002 Edition!
In light of the threat of a massive transit workers strike here in New York City (which may go into effect by the end of this week if things can't get ironed out between the workers, unions and City Hall) which will mean the shutting down of all public transportation (hey, it happened in 1980). This week I am offering my "Top Ten Contingency Plan Alternate Modes of Transportation Around New York City":

1: Wheelchair
    These things are getting so advanced that even people with healthy legs want them. NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!

2: Rickshaw
    No explanation necessary. They actually have these things, in a "tourist-y" version, around Times Square now. Could work for the car pool rule with enough people and a driver who uses steroids. Wear a straw hat and sandals and tape your eyes back to make it more fun. Life is about having fun, especially in New York.

3: Wheelchair/People Mover AND Rickshaw! All in one!
    For only $699.00,  SportAide will sell you a "Rickshaw Rehab Exerciser". If you pile at least three other people on this thing you can cross any of the Manhattan bridges and tunnels with ease (due to the four people per car rule). The commuters in the Lincoln Tunnel will let you cut in front of you out of sheer SHOCK! They'll be all slowing down and staring ahead like "What the FUCK?!" as you and your friends glide to work... blowing people's minds. You'll RULE!

Builds the muscle strength needed to make the best use of a wheelchair.  The Rickshaw duplicates the exact arm and shoulder motions needed for easy propulsion, transfer and pressure relief. Strengthen specific arm and shoulder muscles by facing forward or backward while seated in the wheelchair; and pumping the weighted oars. Easy to customize for an individual program; use equal weight on both sides or less on a weaker side. Uses standard disc weights (not included) for  convenience and economy.  Oars pivot independently or together. Short zig-zag oars and compact design use surprisingly  little floor space. Built tough for years of service, even in a heavy-use institutional setting. Fits all manual wheelchairs. All steel construction. Adjustable oar grip height. Weight capacity per oar: 0 - 100 lbs. Overall length: 50 in.   Outside width: 34 in

4: The Circuit from the movie "Logan's run"
    According to the 1977 film "Logan's Run", which portrays a futuristic society where people go "on the circuit" to swing (okay that's not ALL the film is about) - this contraption can just *zap!* transport you to a horny person's living room. Everyone has a "receptor" in their home (with a remote) and they can just turn it on and "flip" through the channels until they find someone they like. If you place yourself "on the circuit" it means you are horny and looking for action. You can't really see who you're getting until they come in clearly on your receptor (Logan 'accidentally' zapped in a guy - upper right - then kept flipping through). Wow so I guess when you're zooming all around inside the circuit waiting for someone to "zap" you into your living room and decide whether they want you or not - your molecules are just all mooshed and swirling around all together with all the other people in there... eewwww.
    Fags in NYC already use AOL chat and M4M4sex like the circuit anyway.
    So, my idea:  instead of using this amazing device to get futuristic AIDS and futuristic herpes, why not use it to get to work!?

5: Segway
    Just look at the radiant smile on this Luddite broad's face as she glides to work using the mere power of momentum and gravity. Plus look how great it makes your ass look!
        When this zany contraption (designed by Dean Kamen) first debuted in 2000 amid a flurry of overblown hype, it pretty much bombed with the public like MGM's "The Wizard of Oz" did in 1939 - and we all know what eventually happened with THAT product! Well I must say, before this "revolutionary" device was released to a salivating tech-nerd public... stories and drawings were "leaked" to the public (like that it was going to be called 'Ginger' or 'It' instead of 'Segway'). You can see the original "sci-fi utopia retro" look of "Ginger" here... circa 2000.
    Bryan (of would agree with me that the imagined idea of "It" (helped along with all the hype) was a tad more exciting... but form must follow function... I guess. Check out some of the old archived hype about "It" and "Ginger" saved over at by clicking here.
    By the way... you can get a special price on a Segway now when you buy stuff at, and have it shiped right to your door. Seriously.

6: Solo-Trek (Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle)
    Remember all those kooky contraptions you would see in Starlog and Amazing Science Fiction magazines that were so totally kick-ass and you couldn't wait to get to the year 2000 because it was gonna be so mind-blowing that you quaked with anticipation every time you thought about it? Well, welcome to 2002 bub! But hey, the people at Solo-Trek are carrying that faith in a movie sci-fi world to the bitter end. This thing really works.

7: Levitation
    If Linda Blair can do it  - SO CAN YOU!  GET TO WORK DAMMIT!

8: Astral Projection!
     - When you get to work you'll just be this half-image ghost thing and your co-workers will be so blown away by the fact that they can pass their hands through you and stuff... and also when you drink coffee it will just blob right through your ghost-y body and spill onto the floor. This may lead your boss to fire your astral-projecting ass for being too much of a "distraction".
     - Hey, when you have the ability to fly all around the universe and solve the mysteries of time and space and go have tea with Nefertiti and and shit like that... who wants to go sit in a stuffy Citibank cubicle from 9-5 and enter data in a computer when they can go back in time and watch the big bang? Talk about a priority re-evaluation! You might get fired for never showing up for work.
    - You get to do the thing that every human being who has ever worked has dreamed of every morning of their lives since the beginning of time: YOU GET TO GO TO WORK WITHOUT EVER GETTING OUT OF BED.

9. Vast, entire-city-spanning, mind-blowingly immense and complexly and boggling-ly interconnected MOVING SIDEWALKS!!!!!!
    Spaceship cars!!!
    People-mover vacuum tubes!!!
    Yes! Finally! MOVING SIDEWALKS!!!! Jetsons floating cars!!! People-mover tubes!!! Robot dogs that can fly!!! The answer to all our dreams. For a romantic and nostalgic look at what Manhattan could look like with all these things, watch this RealAudio clip.
    I think the idea of The Jetsons-style floating cars is a good idea... and so practical and realistic. Did you ever notice how everyone on "The Jetson's" was white and perfect and you never saw poor people or anything going wrong with the society? I heard that the reason all their cars floated in the air and all their buildings were way up on stilts was because there was some kind of massive class struggle war or maybe a nuclear war and below... on the ground... were the losers from that class or race war or nuclear blast... all fighting each other for scraps of food and eating each other amongst disease and pestilence in a rotting, putrid landscape. While The Jetsons' world people were all "La-tee-da" in their perfect floating, stilt-house world, all pushing a button for dinner and stuff. And if anyone from the perfect white world ever fell down there? Like if Elroy fell down on his way to Space Elementary School one morning? Forget about it... no one would even try to rescue him... he would be torn apart and eaten by the horrible diseased post-apocalyptic mutants. That's what was REALLY going on on that show. That's right! RACISM!!!
    Or maybe you could have those people moving tubes like in the FOX TV show "Futurama". Although if you live in New york City and have ever been trapped in a subway car with un unbelievably rancid smelling homeless person (or a cab with a rather rank Indian driver) - just imagine what those TUBES smell like after just ONE person hasn't bathed or let's a fart rip.
    Of course this has always seemed to me to be the obvious conclusion to this kind of thinking.

10: Float On Air
    If you're as old as *ahem* I am... and you read comic books religiously... you probably remember seeing this thing advertised in comic books in the late 1970's. Were you as fascinated with it back then as I was? The ad was right next to things like "X-Ray Spec Glasses!" and "Life Size Glowing Human Skeleton only $1.99!" so it's authenticity was always suspect... even at a very young age. According to the ad you could send $3.95 for "plans and photos" for a hover craft that would "float on air" and that would "run on an ordinary vacuum cleaner motor!"
    Float on air around your house or school!
    Lifts 200lbs!
    It really works!
    "Did it? Could it? Would it? No way!" me and my friends would anxiously debate over the latest issue of Plop! or X-Men or Richie Rich, images of us zooming to school on one of these things and hovering around our back yards dancing in our heads. Was it worth blowing half our weekly allowance on just the plans?
    I never found out... but I wish I had.
    If anyone ever DID get the plans to this thing, or built one, please email me and tell me everything...


Mark Allen's Top Ten for 12/2/02
note: I have been very busy this week... so not only is this entry three days late... but I am wimping out by doing only links to web sites on this entry - no pictures or stories. Click on each title to be taken to the page.

1: The Dark Truth About the "Dark Tunnels of McMartin"
    Very extensive report on the hideous McMartin Day Care center scandals of the 1980's - (one of) the (many) witch trials of the 20th century.

2: The infamous "Li'l Markie" album
    Check it out. It's old, it's real, it was made by Christians, and it's from Hell. Swing to the jammin' grooves of "Diary of an Unborn Child". It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

3: Several very interesting Real Audio sound links - particularly "Dirty Talk!!"
    This page contains a small handful of interesting RA sound links that the creator of the page seems to have found around the web. First of note is "Story of An Alcoholic Father" yet another track from the infamous Li'l Markie album (above).
    But the real reason I wanted to share this page was for "Dirty Talk!!"  This appears to be from an amateur cassette tape letter made from a woman to her out-of-town husband or lover that she recorded for him some time in the 1960's. The woman is unknown and she probably has no idea this thing has been passed around since then. The spoken letter starts out all housewife-y and "Joanne down the street had her operation and is okay and the Martins two houses down are going to Miami this year"-kind-of-thing... then... slowly... it gets hi-LAR-ee-us! Then it inexplicably gets very touching.

4: Information on Christian Halloween "Hell Houses"
    You know you can buy a make-your-own-"Hell House" kit for only $599.00?

5: Golin Levin
    Golin Levin is a genius... he may be the first person I write about for Artforum magazine.

6: Kenny G's archived 11/27/02 show on
    Click on the "listen to this show" mp3 or RealAudio link at the top of the page for the 11/27/02 show. This is part one of the audio clips only from a lecture Kenneth Goldsmith had given at NYU the day before. The subject of the lecture was "The History of Sound Art 1900 - 2002." Great listening. Of particular note are Henri Chopin's "The Body is a Sound Factory" (title tells all), La Monte Young's "Poem for Tables Chairs and Benches" (maybe that should be 'Poem BY Tables Chairs and Benches') and this show ends with Alvin Lucier's totally amazing "I Am Sitting In A Room" - which you HAVE to hear (if you stream the RealAudio version you can drag the arrow and fast forward to the end). Weirdly, I have been listening to Kenny G on WFMU for years and this was, by far, the most structured and coherent show he has ever done.

7: Ubuweb
    Stroll around here awhile... you'll be glad you did. Click the scrolling menu at  the bottom of the page.

8: The Band Name Exchange

9. Airplane Homes
    Watch out for terrorists!

10: A Day in the Life of My Mouth
    Pin hole camera practicality.

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