"Lucy" was actually good. I was a bit surprised - though the whole uproar about the "10%" thing didn’t bother me —since Luc Besson has not been…reliable for good cinema. But, it’s got what you want from a Besson movie — wacky special effects, crazy set pieces, extended gunfights, and Scarlett Johanssen. Sweet, sweet Scarlett Johanssen.
Bizarrely, my old boss from Paramount and my current boss know each other, in some sort of North of no South British Californian alliance. To be honest, I didn’t know the guy from Paramount was actually British, I just thought he was an LA douchebag trying to sound sophisticated. Anyway, weird. Small world?
There’s something massively satisfying about cutting our IT department’s power. They’re corporate IT, so they pretty much do nothing all day — drink beer (they’re real big on shitty local IPAs and beer snobs about it) and fuck around on reddit like the slovenly dorks they are and maybe pick up a phone once every three hours, but whoo boy. Cut them off from their power? They flip the fuck out. They’re in the main office on their cell phones, yelling at each other about “company priorities” and this being the second time somehow only their office went down. I suggested maybe having eleven computers plugged into two power strips was a bad idea and they gave me a look like I was a cockroach spitting in their pretzels. I, of course, instructed enough interns and team members to make sure every cubicle computer and spare laptop was occupied by some “project”, so. YOUR MOVE, IT DORKS. TRY DEMANDING A RAISE AGAIN YOU FUCKING REDDITING TOKEN ASIAN GIRLFRIEND’D FAT PIECES OF SHIT. I HOPE YOU KNOW EVERY TIME ANYONE ELSE GOES IN YOUR OFFICE WE TALK ABOUT HOW IT SMELLS LIKE MOLDY FOOD YOU DEGREE-LESS OVERINDULGED SILICON VALLEY FUCKSHITS.
So far today I’ve had to overexplain things several times to a very dim-witted trophy wife and her rich but indifferent husband, kick a scavenger hunt out of my office, yell at one of my interns for considering donating to someone’s Burning Man fundraiser, deal with my telling off some massively douchey rich Indian guy from yesterday who wanted the creepiest strip club possible (I don’t know why that’s what he wanted but he can go to hell anyways), got plane tickets for going back east in three weeks, and once again bribe security into cutting power to our IT guys’ offices just because I needed laughs.
Schwarzenegger’s meta-action vehicle broke the rules and paid for it.
Adam and I re-watched Last Action Hero moderately sober not too long ago and discovered not only is the film WAY better than either of us remembered, but it had more and more layers of jokes that we could appreciate (having become advanced connoisseurs of terrible action movies in the intervening times).
14 Things To Tell A Lover Who Admits They Don't Really "Get" Led Zeppelin
have you seen the mad face of genius twist in snarls and wild cackles up the sides of building, sprawling and hurling as it vomits profusely in bitter green quarrels, have you mailed envelopes full of not bombs but thoughts, invisible explosions timed to synapses and wishes have you built a surround sound system to drown out your fucking neighbors and sacrificed local pets to the great god stereo, great god stereo hear my prayers, not their fornications! have you fought in ten wars with nine guns, the last one bare handed because you still love a challenge have you made lax afternoon love with a stranger on the kitchen floor of a house that isn’t yours, wondering if the burning smell is toast or just the cells in your mind dying faster and faster, every memory blotted out by time swiftly reorganizing, have you ever forgot all the faces and places that made you alive, have you ever seen the mad face of genius, staring sullenly into bottles of whiskeys bottles of pills, going genuinely mad from boredom on hot summer days, have you screamed at the moon’s insecurities, have you danced casually at a wedding of people you’ve never seen before, have you called your mother recently, have you done an artist’s duty, have you closed out the bars and opened your own, are you alive or are you just watching netflix waiting for someone to hold your hand, have you listened to IV I mean it’s really solid, real heavy, dig
Me: You know what it is, team? Me: Hard work is like anal sex. Me: You’re trying to get it in there, but not all the lube and name calling and slapping around and deft foreplay in the world seems to get it done, you’re like dammit why couldn’t I be more conventional, why did…
IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING! I MEAN THE DEPARTMENT HEAD.
"Namby pamby rule followers", jesus christ. I need to get fired and go back to being broke and actually enjoying life. Life’s way easier to enjoy when I’m broke, you know? Then things actually mean things. Every train ride is a blessing, every beer is a parting of a sea, every twenty found left in a bar ATM is a benediction. I gotta knock off this corporate shit and go work in a warehouse again and barely make rent and listen to Zep with drunk chicks and wander around in my free time. Now? Now I can afford things. Money is so nihilistic.
SHIT IS GETTING ALL “COSMOPOLIS” UP IN A MOTHERFUCKER!
Me:You're trying to get it in there, but not all the lube and name calling and slapping around and deft foreplay in the world seems to get it done, you're like dammit why couldn't I be more conventional, why did she want to get freaky tonight, I just wanted to watch some Reggie Watts on youtube and get high, and then bam! You get a little bit in. You've just gotta keep going. You have to get that p in the b. There's no stopping you! America.
Me:Alright, I think I lost you.
Me:YOU WANNA BE A BUNCH OF NAMBY-PAMBY RULE FOLLOWERS OR YOU WANNA MAKE SOME MONEY FUCKING WITH RICH PEOPLE?!
I don’t know why but my friends who claim to hate Woody Allen but constantly praise movies that are heavily and blatantly derivative of Woody Allen crack me up. Like, be less of a dipshit, guys. Annie Hall is great. Shit holds up.
Penny Dreadful is actually pretty good. I’m not just saying that because of Eva Green. I mean, she helps, but the show manages to balance this noir, grindhouse, Victorian horror mash-up that would make Alan Moore claim he wrote it. Good stuff.
I think I’ve bought every Philip K. Dick book at least twice, just because I always seem to give them out, lend them out, or lose them to some infinite, unknowable machine god ghost president clone monster that is secretly me.
Em Berka Blegh Blah Hargh The Past, Oompa Loompa Derp Drap The Future
There I was, fingerbanging a thousand nihilistic redheads with attention deficit disorder, when my friend who looks like a thunderstorm made of fuck kicks down my front door and insists we buy a mansion in the worst parts of Los Angeles. I tell him no, fire is the constant in which we burn, or something, something, Star Trek: Generations.
At this point, one of the redheads hatches into her next phase, which is a hotter redhead, and begins to lecture me about Baudrillard. I find this arousing, so I buy her Billy The Mountain (the album, not an actual mountain) and we listen to it on a helicopter made of brushed silver and filigreed blades. While I stare out the window, I think about the incompetence of editorialists and the vast, improbable luck of notaries. She kisses me with a mouthful of ants and I spit them into a desk drawer in someone else’s office.
It’s always someone else’s office when you’re spitting ants, you know?
Time seemed to find a new perimeter inside a duck’s cage when I enveloped a paradigm of attractive women with great hair into brusque, lanky mannerisms. We all hired new management. I found myself staring into her eyes as I made faxes, sending them to all the departments, great litanies and numerical disciplines, the modern alchemical. I may also have petted a dog. I never did find out that dog’s name.
Sometimes, you never find out the dog’s name.
While finding ourselves in a sartorial dispute during a philosophy lecture about iconographic semiotics and other things that didn’t exist yet, I was in the back row getting a blowjob from a concept with really great tits, attempting to fight my way up a staircase of my own design. We are all Kosh, I told myself. Deep Space 9 is better than Babylon 5 anyway. I knew if I was locked in that lecture hall, nothing would ever happen again, all time would stop, and my microwave would never cook that burrito. We all need that microwave burrito sometimes. It’s the human condition. Crawling towards burritos.
There I was, stuck in the lecture hall, watching time unfold, watching my zipper go down, thinking about that one time the thing happened. Son of a bitch. Always back to that thing. Are we really alive or is this just a bottle episode? You never know; it’s just that burrito you always want to eat. Bottle episodes and burritos. Ants in desk drawers learning dog’s names. Here we go, there we are. Sentences, sentences, sentences.
Her apartment was spartan, just tiny black dresses and an excess of lingerie in a small closet, a huge drawer full of sex toys, and the rest was all books and dvd collections. It hadn’t been a terribly exciting date but I went home with her anyway because it was Wednesday and I hated not getting laid on Wednesdays. Fucking on Tuesday just seems like you’ve got something to prove, and fucking on a Thursday, well, christ, who has the time? Thursday is all errands and responding to that backlog of emails. And Friday? That’s just being uncreative.
Wednesday is prime fuck day.
She had both the box sets for Lexx and Farscape and all of the Star Treks and was talking about how she had a massive crush on Patrick Stewart. I started talking about how Dax had a killer rack when she asked if I wanted to take a shower. I had nothing to offer but a perplexed face. She further clarified that she didn’t want to fuck per se but she was more than happy to see where things would go, but she wanted to shower first and thought I could contribute to the experience.
Due to somewhat of a height difference, the size of her bathroom, and a few incidents in which I was clumsy, we ended up with a couple of bruises and a slightly torn shower curtain, but things went as expected. We’re all adults here, we know how these things work. Afterwards, we went to her bed, and laid there, naked, smoking cigarettes, staring in silence at the ceiling. She started smoking my cigarettes, and talking about how she had been in a punk band, and that’s where most of her tattoos came from, and then she started to jerk me off. Actually, that’s not right, she just started to give me some sort of thorough but definitively handjobesque inspection, all while continuing this monologue about a punk lifestyle, how there were expectations, how it was all a facade for this endless renegade surge of adolescence, all while leashing the python. Taking the one eyed snake for a stroll around the block. Partying with the…you get it.
It would have been Lynchian if there had been some oldies playing.
After awhile she stood back up, put on my shirt, and turned her television to one of those mid-nineties Twilight Zone rip-offs, and asked if I had more cigarettes. I told her I didn’t, and I’d have to get more. She threw a five at me and told me to be a dear. I squinted skeptically at her, and then threw my blazer on over nothing and headed for the store. The guy behind the counter gave me a similar skeptical look, and I shrugged. What can you do? They have the tits and ass, they can make and unmake the world. You live in a system of crazy bargains, of escalating negotiation and diminishing returns. The invulnerability of systems is the only thing bleaker than life itself. I wish I could have told that counter guy, with a strange girl’s keys in my pocket and two packs of marlboro reds, it’s a harsh world of monopoly money and crazy people and dying friends and cute cats and sometimes you wanna get so fucked up you can’t even see. Some nights you can’t win for losing. Some nights you get to kiss a pretty girl and walk home thinking about how improbable everything is. Some nights nothing happens because nothing happens.
It was back when cell phones were all silver rectangles that only worked sometimes. She was rail thin, nearly as tall as I was, with a huge ass and a perpetual scowl. This was long ago — I was rail thin, wiry, suicidally angular — and I wore nothing but black suits and white shirts that hung loose at the neck, making me look even thinner than I was. She talked about old books, which excited me, and I talked about the state of affairs of all the world being shitty, because at that time, that’s all I knew how to talk about. And by all the world, I mean half the television and music I was exposed to. I never knew how to separate art from reality, for me art and reality have the same level of importance. Only through media, through the connections we make through the kind of art that resonates through us, and our memory, could I find what reality was. I tried to tell her this, and she tried to tell me about Hemingway.
Eventually, we ended up at one of our places (when you’re that age, you have a shitty apartment decorated in things your friends threw away and posters you probably found, so whichever place it was doesn’t matter) and she brought out the cocaine and the weed. We got high, and then we got higher, and she crawled into my lap, and kissed me, and in that moment everything erotic that had happened before it — the slight touches of the arm, the way we brushed against each other, when I touched her hair — fled in an instant. It was the opposite of what I was used to with cocaine, but when there’s a lanky, curvaceous beauty in your lap, you can’t just interrupt. I was ugly back then — I’m still ugly now — and I knew this was one of those things, one of those defining moments that would shape the kind of art I would make in the future, how I would talk to women for the rest of my life — and I didn’t know what to say. You can’t just say to someone, hey, the thing that was going on simply vanished, there was some drug-induced sexual and ideological shift, and I’m kind of more interested into going back to talking about how Zelda Fitzgerald didn’t really matter because a lot of people fight me on that and it’s nice you agree because duh her book was terrible and she obviously didn’t write Tender Was The Night. I knew, in that sub rosa of humanity that keeps me from being the sociopath that people act like I am, I could keep kissing her, and yeah, still fuck her, but my heart wouldn’t really be in it. She was getting handsy, and I had to do something. The moment had become this paralyzing chasm of responsibility. She started biting my ear, and making those slow gasping little moans, and raised her dress up, and put my hand on her ass, and I opened my mouth to ask if she had more cocaine, if she had read John Fante, if she had seen Bonnie And Clyde with Warren Beatty, if she had heard Led Zeppelin III on vinyl, if she was going to keep lifting her dress up, if I had to do things, if I had to wake up, if we were really aware of moments, if I had a prayer of getting out of there alive. My cell phone began to buzz in my pocket, and as she moved against me, I answered it with a cursory “yeah?” and that’s when they told me my parents had died in a catastrophic car crash, and I started to laugh. Hysterically.
The girl asked me what it was, and I said “my parents didn’t just die, my friends are playing a prank, we’re just awful pricks to each other”, and kept laughing. She got off of me, and slid her dress back down and stared at me. Her hair was a mess, in her face, and she looked great, a real knockout, and I could tell she didn’t have any clue what to think, so I grabbed her hand, and I said “it’s okay, all our parents will die some day.”
Guys, one of the most notorious Shanghai-ers was a blind labor boss who identified people through their handshake, ran a bar (while still blind), and convinced the local Chinese population he was quite literally a ghost wizard. I’m never feeling safe again.
Tonight Kelsey, Daniel, Matt, Adam and Chris created my new persona “sadgirlcamgirl” and it’s just a lot of me sitting around in my undies and a cure shirt and crying while eating cupcakes. There is a studio audience.
You know how it is, you have sex with a smokin’ hot 22 year old with crazy abs in her apartment and there’s mirrors all over her bedroom and you end up watching the proceedings from way too many angles just going “christ, I’m just some hunched over, scar-covered, grotesque gargoyle of a man violating this poor girl, the fuck is wrong with this world” and then you just want a smoothie and maybe some encouraging words and to listen to some Zappa and understand where the fuck your life is going for maybe ten minutes. Just ten minutes, okay? Let’s get a chart, we work out some coordinates, and I have ten minutes to just go okay, this is the direction, we’re on the path, let’s rock and roll. But no, the 22 year old doesn’t know who Zappa is, because that’s “Dad music”, and all she has in her fridge is PBR and Diet Coke because she’s 22, stupid, and you just say “fuck it” and you sit there and drink PBRs and watch that stupid Mindy Kaling show with her that is really awful and never funny, and you wonder. You just fucking wonder.
Me:It's their neediness. Their indistinct, grasping desire for more. The customer is a parasite, looking to drain your precious fluids and leave your desiccated corpse somewhere, perhaps in a bin or closet, never to be found.
Me:A customer was right, once. On July 16th, 1945. We had to detonate a nuke to cover that up. Capitalism as a whole was fraught with disaster. We had barely recovered from the stock market crash. It was all uproar and chaos. Only through judicious use of corporate lies and nuclear firepower were we able to contain the awfulness of customer correctness.
Me:Right, you're Japanese, you're probably a little sensitive about nukes.
Me:No. The customer has no morality, and in fact is often so far into the depths of wrongness that we must take a mighty sojourn to separate them and their money, and incidentally deposit them within the warm comforting arms of temporary rightness, before they resume their perfidious lives of being selfish nobodies.
The night’s fog is almost black, hanging low over the warehouse district. Sounds of distant raves and rattling, restless pipes drift through the air. Visibility is minimum. Just the way the denizens of dock 7-AEB like it. Men in black coats smoking cheap cigarettes cluster around the single door, the only light brief supernovas of lighter fluid. 7-AEB is officially abandoned, but this ragtag group meet here, every Thursday. Always in thick, black coats, always in the fog.
Down the stairs they go, to a meeting room, hidden behind boilers and the smell of burnt dust, passing rusted stairs, grimy, abandoned rooms of molding furniture and forgotten papers. Into the one clean room.
Donuts on the table. Hot, not terribly good coffee next to them. A man in a long black coat elbows another man in a long black coat, and they dip the donuts into the coffee, and take a seat.
"We have a new member today," says the rasping old man in the long black coat. "It has been long since our ranks have swelled. Join us, young man."
The new man sits, his lank hair falling down on his face. His is a look of shame and hope, the two most populous of human feelings. He looks up at the crowd, assembled, a sea of black coats.
"My name is James," he says, bitterly choking down tears, "And I think cosplay is kind of retarded. I just do. I don’t know why they do it, I don’t even know why celebrating characters relies on ‘headcanon’ or any of that nonsense."
He bursts into tears. A dozen men sit in the room, nodding. They’ve seen the light, and had the lies burnt from them. But only here, hidden away from civilization, in the one lit room past a hundred dark ones filled with garbage and mystery, can they endure the presence of the truth.
"My name is James," he continues, eyes still blind with aforementioned shame tears also they’re bitter and things, "And I don’t know why my girlfriend keeps insisting she’s a "Slytherin". Is she a snake? Is this a body dysmorphia thing? Oh, she’s a child wizard, that makes me feel better.”
7-AEB gathers to comfort James. They know, out there in the world, he’ll have to smile and nod, and say things like “daft, isn’t she” or “oh, I love how creative she is”. In 7-AEB there aren’t the little white lies. In 7-AEB there’s only the truth, cold and sterile under the single light bulb, sometimes shining awkwardly upon others.
Above the coffee, hot steam rises, vanishing into the air. The donuts, knowing nothing of men and women, continue, as they are, until consumed.
Chad (a tall effeminate white man in a bright colored sweater) waltzes into a comfortable pastel living room, because OBVIOUSLY.
CHAD (V.O) Brent was coming over, so I knew the day was going to be — how do you you say it in french — fucking bitchy.
Brent (a tall effeminate black man in a cream colored sweater) enters the room and flops (dramatically) onto the smaller couch.
BRENT Oh my god, Chad. Oh my god.
CHAD You don’t believe in God.
BRENT I think I do after seeing Morris’ lawn. Can you believe the hedging?
A pair of ENORMOUS BREASTS with some sort of cable-level hot girl attached them wanders past, wearing only a tiny bikini with HOME BOX OFFICE PROGRAMMING written on it. She bounces, smiles, and then leaves the shot.
BRENT Hold the fuckin’ phone.
BRENT Who the hell was that?
CHAD Oh, that’s my niece Pepper, she’s a stripper with a heart of gold. Her dachshund malfunctioned so she’s going to be staying with me and Bethany for awhile.
BRENT (questioningly) And why…
CHAD Well, before he malfunctioned, her dachshund was incontinent all over her “civilian” clothes, leaving her with nothing but sets of exotic lingerie to wear around the house. (pause, pours a white wine) It’s maddening, she doesn’t even match the credenza.
BRENT I’ve never really been clear on what a credenza is.
CHAD For fuck’s sake, Brent! You’re an effeminate beard caricature! Don’t you do research! It’s a dining room cupboard! Sometimes people put televisions on them because they’re not sure what they’re there for!
BRENT Alright! Christ!
CHAD I bet you don’t even know the three kinds of drape valance! I bet you don’t know the difference between a pinch pleat and a grommet!
BRENT Is Drape Valance a Game Of Thrones character?
CHAD Everything in my life is a disappointment.
BRENT (turns to look at the camera) For your consideration, Home Box Office Programming!
PEPPER’S BREASTS enter the shot again. Someone is shot in slow motion while a trendy song from some new band that sounds like The Pixies plays. Someone goes to jail. Closing montage of men shopping for sweaters. Fin.