Saturday, June 24, 2017

American (F)arts

Can I complain about something? I know some people will think I'm mad. I don't particularly care. Also, I am going to be graphic, disgusting, and fixated on the Freudian anal stage. Be warned.

Have you ever had a friend who offered to get you on a date with someone they know? Naturally, you're reluctant, so they show you a photo of that person, and he or she is drop-dead gorgeous. And hey, from what your friend says, you have similar interests! So you give your consent and your friend arranges a date. The suspense is killing you, you count the days backwards, you are happy. Finally the day of your dream date comes, they arrive at the restaurant and they look just like their photo. You can't believe how lucky you are. You sit down, giddy with anticipation, and timidly engage in conversation. For the first few minutes it goes remarkably well. Then as you open the menu to order and glance at your dream date, you notice with pure horror that they are digging inside their nose. You stare because you can't believe you are seeing that. You are still staring while they pull out a ginormous booger, give it a perfunctory once-over and eat it.

I've just described my relationship with American Gods.

I read the book years ago. It's not my favourite from Gaiman's arsenal, but Gaiman is my favourite writer, so naturally I was very excited American Gods would become a TV series. I had also watched and loved two seasons of Hannibal, so Fuller seemed a good choice. Alas.

Before AG started, I made an attempt to watch the 3rd season of Hannibal. I managed to watch one episode. It was slow, boring, and pointlessly gross. Bodies forming out of blood, becoming blood, Will wandering around aimlessly while being up to his eyeballs on hard drugs, blah de blah. I may try to finish the season... or not.

Then American Gods started. And in the first minutes of the first episode I saw a chopped arm flying in the air. And I shuddered and hoped I was wrong. 

But I was right.

To do the series justice, there are some brilliant scenes, and the actors are doing their best. But the rest of it is that dream date of yours eating boogers while you watch in fascinated horror.

"Artistic" slow mo with flies and candles, lots of sex, pointless mostly, bodies forming out of some liquid dark material and being re-absorbed... Wait, am I watching the 3rd season of Hannibal again? 
-No you dummy, that's American Gods. 
-Oh, silly me. But why is it so slow?
-They use slow mo to make every episode last for three hours, so that you think you got more time for the same money. It's a marketing trick. You wouldn't understand.
-You are right. I don't understand.

-Oh, these two guys are having sex... That's sweet. But why are they suddenly depicted in the desert and they change colour, as if they are the negatives of a photo?
-It's esthetics. You wouldn't understand.
-But...
-Stop asking questions. It's a Fuller/Gaiman show. That alone should have made you fall on your knees and pray. Why aren't you impressed?
-Because it doesn't make sense. It's like Galadriel turning black in LOTR... But she had the One Ring.
-Shut up and let me watch the show.
-Okay.

Let's talk about women... All the attractive female characters we've come across so far are unavailable virgins, neurotic wrecks, or man-devouring insane bitches who use everyone around them on a whim and destroy their lives. Poor, poor Laura Moon. In the book you are not the despicable, ego-centered bipolar bimbo of the series. It takes effort to make a female character so loathsome, but they spared no effort. And they succeeded spectacularly. If she was on fire, I'd douche her with gasoline to put her out. Of her misery, I mean.

The esthetics of the book are fucked six ways to Sunday. The book may be slow at parts, but it captures perfectly the atmosphere of a growing storm. It lets the reader steal momentary glimpses of those dangerous beings and situations looming at the edge of one's perception, at the edge of normal and every-day. Those glimpses come to slowly replace the normal until they are Shadow's every day. But it is subtle, smart, delicate. And then you have the series, which replaces the melancholy and restlessness with grunge, gore, dirt, filth, kitsch and blood. It sounds good... if we're talking about The Walking Dead. Or maybe the streets of a large medieval city where sheep, cows and beggars with leprosy are happily stepping on their own shit next to a marriage taking place. Everyone is fondling everyone else's tit and other parts of interest with fingers covered in sour wine and grease, someone is vomiting in their plate, and the rest are hailing the groom and the bride. But is this the book I read, even remotely? No fucking way. 

The music of AG can be divided in two categories. The songs are incredibly bland. The creators of the show seemed to have picked the top 40 of pointless songs which cause mild irritation while they are being played, and get immediately erased from one's memory as soon as they stop. The rest of the soundtrack is a dream sonnet written by a renown proctologist. Every time something creepy/otherworldly happens, the music is literally from another world. Imagine three or four people with various wind instruments inserted in their anus. One has a saxophone, another a trumpet, one has a flute, and so on. Imagine whatever you like. These poor people are tied up and gagged and some psychos are torturing them. One of the psycho torturers repeatedly inserts a needle in the flesh of the guy with the saxophone in his butt. He can't scream, can't move or fight, hence those bleating, desperate little noises coming out of his other end. Something's gotta give. On the other side of the room, another psycho torturer is stepping on the gout of the person who has the trumpet in his butt, steadily increasing pressure. And so you get that deep, insistent, ominous wail that shudders, ululates and changes in tone. It really is a thing of beauty, if you have a poster with Tomás de Torquemada on your bedroom wall. And you masturbate to it morning and night.

Honestly, I know I am going to be part of the minority who hates the show, and I can understand why someone may be impressed by it. But I don't care. This show sucks. It sucks so much that it could easily have been the vacuum cleaner the Almighty used on the Sixth Day, to clean the mess before He rested. If you ask me, He's still asleep, and the creators of American Gods stole the bleeding thing and turned it into a TV show. That's how much it sucks.

Rant over. Watch the Handmaid's Tale. It's amazing. 
Off to bed.

PS: If anyone, absolutely anyone, dares say that the reason I don't like the series is that I can't take it, I'd like to inform them that horror is my favourite genre. Also, if they think I dislike it because I am a prude, I'll make them a part of that anal quartet I described above, and have demons gang-rape their mouths while I record the musical achievements of their butt for the next season of the show. I may even become rich, who knows? So don't even think about it.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Demons for just 99c!

Art by Natalie Sau.
I am officially jobless. Which is fine, as I needed a bit of rest, and I'll be on unemployment benefits for a while. Hopefully I'll find something else. Of course the unemployment benefits are not much, but I can't complain. It's more than the money I'd get for working part-time.

Other than that, my very good friend Lizbeth Gabriel has her published book, the Theater of Dusk, on offer until the end of the month! She excels at describing some pretty dark relationships and situations, like murder, betrayal, death, suicide, but there is also humour. If you need some paranormal romance, vampires, demons, angels of Death and so on, you can have them for 99c. If you prefer a physical book, you can buy one on Create Space or on Amazon. The first option is giving her a bit more money and offers cheaper postage than Amazon, so I suggest it. Here is a video review of her book:


As the reviewer says, her stories have a strong emotional impact that stays with the reader for long, so please give her a go. You will not be disappointed, promise.

Other than that, I am selling more of my stamp albums on Ebay. You can find all the items I have for sale on Ebay here. Please take a look and help me increase my funds. The stray cats I feed need food nightly, and I can't explain to them I no longer have a job. Thanks for looking! :)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Heart


It came to me in a reverie. 
You are so deep inside.
You are not a bearded man on a cloud.
You are not male nor female.
You are not something I can grasp, or explain.
I have to dive and pass through countless layers to find you.
Past anger, past fear, past regret, past even hope.
You have no commandments.  
The tears you demand are tears of joy.
Your favourite music is laughter.
Your only rule is live and learn.
Even if you are a figment of my imagination
Even if you exist within me only
You exist.
And I will do my best to bring you into this world
through my words, actions and decisions.
No-one can take you from me.
Religions, people or events can't take you from me.
"Home is where the heart is."
I push my hand inside
deep deep deep down
and curl my fingers around your flame.
I am home. 

"...But my writing hands/ are the roots/ of my misery."
Elend

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Busy, broke, chubby and strangely pleased.

Chris and Seth, founding members of Septicflesh (and their cute as a button daemon-familiar).
I've been trying to tie loose ends for the past two weeks. There are countless little chores I've been avoiding like the devil avoids incense (as the Greek saying goes), but they need to be done. So lately I've been tackling them. They aren't important, but completing them offers me a strange sense of accomplishment. They are boring and unpleasant and necessary, so every single one that gets out of the way is one boring task less. I'm mightily impressed with myself.

On the good news' side, I plan to do an interview with the extreme metal band Septicflesh. They are Greek, they are awesome, and I've been a fan for many years. If you aren't familiar with them and you love symphonic death metal, check them out. They are excellent and constantly evolving. I hope they'll agree to an interview. My blog isn't music-related; it exists to document my obsessions so that my psychiatrist can have a better clinical picture er... so that I can write about my interests. Yes, of course. I have already started sacrificing pizzas and ice-creams to darker entities (it's plenty dark inside my stomach, believe me) to make sure I land that interview. If I don't, I'll just increase the number of sacrifices, fart despondently and wallow in disappointment.

Psst. Let me tell you a secret. I hate all those metal bands. Well, 'hate' might be too strong a word. Almost without exception, members of those bands have longer hair than mine and about 2.345 more tattoos than I do. I am jealous AF. That without referring to the fact men with long hair and tattoos accidentally press a special button inside my brain. I start secreting ginormous amounts of saliva while staring at them, one eye rapidly blinking, drool running down my chin, moonstruck smile splitting my face in two. I'm usually fantasising that I have then in my bed in full metalhead gear and I comb their hair. Oooh what pretty hair you have. Oooh let me comb it for you. Show me your tattoos. Oooh you bad boy you, all dressed in black and leather. And so on. Of course, any sane person that sees me during that phase is certain I am having a stroke combined with a psychotic episode, and slowly tiptoes out of my field of vision. I don't even realise, too busy combing imaginary hair. *Sigh* My chances of capturing one of those specimens to enact that bedroom scene are slim to none, especially bearing in mind two facts: 1) the unreasonable number of cats on my bed 2) my super audacious chubby tummy, blowing raspberry to possible suitors from under my (carefully selected) loose t-shirts. But one can dream, right?


Quiz: cats on my bed. How many can you count? Plus foot porn.
In other news, I am broke as FCUK. Therefore I have started selling things I don't need. Right now I have three stamp albums listed on Ebay, official products, sold out years ago and completely impossible to find under normal circumstances. If you want, please take a look. They are very reasonably priced and I'd love to re-home them and use the money to buy more urgent things.

Items I sell on Ebay are here.

I'll keep you updated on the interview. Now go out and be as naughty and impudent as my round tummy.

Friday, May 12, 2017

At the borders of dreamland

Art by Natalie Shau. That's what my (beloved) demons probably look like.
Just a note before I close my eyes and drift off to dreamland.
Isn't it funny how you can spend your entire day busy and when the time for sleep comes, still feel that you've achieved nothing?
In spite of my tiredness, I presently resent going to bed. It means the day is gone and it is not coming back.
Time is slipping from my fingers again. 
The only cure I know for this ailment? Writing.
When I am writing, time ceases to exist.
What is your cure?
Good-night.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Beltane

Photo by Alessandro Carboni
Prayer

Heart within, as well as without,
Remove the barriers I've raised to your grace.
Soothe me at night, when doubt tortures me.
Push me through the day when every moment is agony.
Give me solutions my mind can't conceive.
Fill me with hope when life crushes me.
Embrace my darkness when I am scared of it.
Help me make every moment meaningful. 
Offer me understanding when I am given none.
Help me live with dignity while blind dogs snarl at my heels.
Offer me the justice this world denies.
Let me cross the bridge with no fear or regret.
May the skies of Forever take me
and let me rest inside you.
Thank you.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The mortal remains

Smell no evil either. I wish.
(Warning: the following post will be unpleasant and disgusting. Continue reading at your discretion).

A few nights ago I went to the garden to feed my strays. There was a smell of something rotting, but I could not really place it, and it was too dark. The next night the smell insisted, and the next was even worse. So I looked with the aid of my nose and located the remains of a cat I used to feed. It was a black one-eyed feral cat, perhaps less than a year old, who always looked sickly and I took extra care to give him or her food separately. As it turns out, in vain. It had died on some old woollen clothes I had placed in a space protected from the rain for the cats to sleep on, behind an old motorcycle. So I was faced with an interesting question. How do you pick up the rotting carcass from the narrow space between the motorcycle and the wall?

I put a plastic bag inside another and tried to put the carcass inside without touching it. Oh goodness gracious, the smell. And just as I had managed to cover the body, wrap the bags around it, and raise it in the air to slip it inside the bags, I realised three things. One, the body was lukewarm. I think it has to do with decomposition. Two, I would be lucky if pieces didn't fall off, like a leg, or the head. Three and worst, it was raining maggots. Fat, long, writhing white maggots, that landed on my shoes and the ground and kept writhing. Great.

I managed to bag the dead cat, and then I was faced with the realisation that the old woollen fabrics were saturated with the decomposition fluids and consequently full of maggots too. Oh joy. So after I threw away the bagged carcass, I had to pick (very carefully, from the corners) the fabrics, the pillow, and everything else. Second trip to the garbage bin. The excitement was palpable in the air (in waves of eye-watering stench). But there was nothing I could do. If you feed them, then you should also deal with the less enjoyable tasks of spaying them, giving them medication, or disposing of their remains. It's in nobody's top ten of favourite things to do in their spare time. At least nobody I know personally.

Right now I have in my flat a blind black kitten. I think it is a she. Her mother gave birth to two. The other kitten, also blinded by the same infection, did not survive. This one might. I don't know how I am going to feed an extra mouth, but you can't leave a blind kitten in the garden with a busy road ten meters away. I don't think anyone with a conscience can. I will try to capture and spay the mother soon, to prevent her from giving birth again in the future. This world does not need more blind kittens. It really doesn't.

Sometimes I feel I need ten arms and six feet (and 48 hour-long days) to deal with everything. But that's life, or that's my life. What can you do? I've repeatedly tried to win the lottery, to replace my set of problems with a different set of problems. No success as of yet. I will inform you if that happens (probably by publishing a glowing and rapidly changing colour fluorescent middle finger as a blog entry, intended as a message to The Powers That Be). Until then, have fun and may Lady Luck abstain from placing decomposing cats on your path. Spirits of dead cats are fine, they give good advice and are very protective. More importantly, they don't reek.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The ends of the Earth


One hundred years of rain falling in sheets of ice
eating away at the foundations of memory
and desire.
One hundred years of the walls moaning 
and slowly giving way
to the past.
Our whole lives are monuments to loneliness
words in a dead language chiselled
on scattered monoliths.
We travel wrapped in shrouds of past laughter
in ragged wails,
in tears.
Our wings marking us as outcasts
our eyes clouded with wonders
long gone.
The sky is filled with rain clouds 
forebodings of endings
and new beginnings. 
Ashes and bloodied footprints mark my passage
and under them
new shoots.
Twin spindly bridges of black stone
one leading to the land of the living,
one beyond. 
The one will lead me to your embrace.
The other,
home.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The pink stars are falling in lines


Had my heart broken twice in two days. I'll live, of course. I always live. 

The title I used is a line from Under the Dome, an excellent novel by Stephen King. I dove into it and finished it in three days. King knows his craft, and keeps the reader spellbound. It's quite sad to think I needed three days to finish what took him two years to write, especially since King is known to be a prodigiously fast writer. But that's part of the human experience. What matters takes time to be completed; months, in some cases years.

In the book King speaks about the arrogance and stupidity of  human race. He's excellent at describing how easy it is for people to turn into a mob and how they can be manipulated when they are scared. What I've more or less been thinking my entire life. But who cares what I think? Facts are facts. It's the reason I have the words Non Serviam tattooed on my right arm, to constantly remind myself that this world is run by fear. Fear of lack, fear for the future, fear of not belonging, fear of old age, financial insecurity, loneliness. I will not serve this world's madness, I will not submit to fear and paranoia. I will be human. Not a cockroach, not a sheep, not a rodent.

I'm not going to refer to my first reason for sadness. My friends know what happened. But I will refer to the second one.

As you know, I feed stray cats. I try to catch and spay them, but some are feral and it is not an easy job without a cat trap. Three days ago, a female gave birth to four kittens in some bushes. One by one, I found them dead. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe the cat didn't know how to take care of them. It was the first time she gave birth and kittens are very fragile when they are just a few days old. Maybe something attacked them. I did find one of them dead with its front legs missing and bloody, and I don't know if it happened while it was still alive. I hope it didn't. 

Tonight that I went there to feed them, only one was left, and it was barely alive. The mother didn't seem to care, so I took it home. I knew it wouldn't live. Still I put it inside a small heating pad I have, cleansed its mouth from the dust and soil and gave it a bit of milk formula. It died after a couple of hours, but at least it died somewhere warm, with its belly full, and safe. My heart broke just the same, of course. Even when you do know, your heart breaks to see something so small struggling to draw breath.

Which takes me to the next subject. We believe we have our lives under control, yet in reality we're not very different from that kitten. People are cruel to each other even though they have no reason. Life is fragile and unpredictable, and they behave with abysmal arrogance. Why? I don't know. I honestly, really don't know. It's one of the reasons I want to bomb the entire dimension. Thankfully I lack the means to do so. 

Please do me a favour. Think before you act and speak. Don't let fear guide your actions. You can choose. Every moment of your life, you can change. You constantly choose and change in small ways. Be conscious of it. Be someone better than you were. This planet desperately needs it.

And do read Under the Dome if you enjoy horror that has both feet firmly on the ground and uses everyday life to show you just how disgusting and wonderful and unbelievable we are as a race. The series isn't good, but the book rocks.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Old Tiamat interview


So here is an interview I did more than fourteen years ago with Anders Iwers, the bassist of the Swedish death metal band Tiamat. It was going to be published in a fanzine I was then making with two friends. However, our plan fell through, the second issue was never published, and I was left with the interview in my recorder. I kind of forgot about it for years. Recently I decided it was a pity not to publish it somewhere, and this 'somewhere' is my blog. I was giggling throughout the interview because I was so nervous, but Anders was very sweet, easy-going and polite. So, after exchanging our hellos with him, here is the actual interview...

Elizabeth: -Before we begin, I am going to tell you something that I thought was a compliment to you. My best friend came to visit me last night, so you know, I just went to the stereo and pressed play, without checking which CD is inside. After the first ten seconds, he exclaims, "Oh! Tiamat!' and I am like, "Wow, how do you do this?" He replied, "Very simple! It's the bass. It's so characteristic. You can't mistake it." And I said, "Okay, I'm going to tell Anders! He'll probably appreciate it."
Anders Iwers: That's indeed a compliment. Thank you!
-You are welcome. He said that it's something totally characteristic of your sound. "Listen to it", he said. "It's deep, it's not rough. It's melodic. As soon as you hear it, you say, it's Tiamat." I was very happy about this comment.
AI: Well, I am happy about it.
-Okay, onward with the questions. I am going to ask you a few questions about your new album, (Note: at the time, it was Prey) hopefully not boring ones, and hopefully not something you have answered 3000 times before.
AI: I'm sure it is going to be fine.
-And then I am going to ask you some general questions as well. Okay, so: first strange question. The artwork on your CDs is becoming wackier and wackier, if you know what I mean. Actually it has become progressively darker, more rich, more distorted. Do you have any kind of control over the representation of your work? Some kind of collaboration, or...
AI: Absolutely. Our singer does the artwork for the albums. I mean we have as much control over it as we possibly can, actually.  We do it all ourselves. I really like that because it provides contact with the lyric sense and the atmosphere of the album. It's one step closer than using any artist, and it is very reflective of how we see the album.
-That is great! I noticed this, because there are bands that have this characteristic 'one type of artwork for everything' kind of artwork, so I was wondering how you did it. 
AI: Yes, you can have a really good artist who does his work, but he doesn't have anything to do with the music...
-But you want to use sight as much as hearing. To provoke thought, etc.
AI: Exactly. We tend to see music as covers. I don't want to say too much because the atmosphere is for everyone to decide. It's graphic.
-It creates images in one's mind. I am of the opinion that good music creates images in someone's mind. It's like traveling somewhere. Or seeing things. Snapshots of people, places.
AI: Exactly. 
-Next question. For the song Pentagram, you used a poem by Crowley. How did this come about? Is it a recent interest into the occult, or...
AI: It is not recent. We've been quite interested in all things religious and occult since day one, basically. The reason we used that poem is that we didn't have lyrics at that point. We used that because it seemed fitting like a working theme as we were developing the music, and after a while you couldn't really hear the song with different lyrics, so we had to ask for permission from the owner of his estate, the OTO. They didn't give us permission to print the lyrics. I am guessing they hoped that people interested in the lyrics would actually search for information and read more on Crowley. That's just a guess. 
-I think it is a good idea actually. Give someone a starting point to go and look for themselves.
AI: It's actually working. A while ago I was talking with a journalist, and he did go and found the poem. So it's working.
-Ha ha, that's great. Okay... next question. Most of the reviews I read are in praise of Wildhoney, which is an older album. It must be irritating after a while to read the same again and again. I have Wildhoney myself, I like it, but if was to choose between Wildhoney and another album, I wouldn't probably choose Wildhoney. But anyway, that is personal. Still, it must be tiring to read the same again and again. What's your view?
AI: Tiring is a good word. It is not irritating because it is a record that we made, it is our most successful album and we are very proud of it. But it can get a bit tiring after a while like you say because we've done four albums since Wildhoney, and I think better albums, actually.
-Yes, and I can see a steady evolution in your music. There is evolution, you can tell. I mean, I have been playing Deeper Kind of Slumber ever since it was out, and I am not bored of it. I recently got Judas Christ and I love it. So it must be irritating to read the same reviews again and again, because reviews influence the audience, so they probably say, "Let's buy Wildhoney instead of the new albums."
AI: Yeah.
-The same old story.
AI: Yeah, but you know, it's just... if people like it, fine.
-If they don't like it, they can go fuck themselves. I mean, I am of the opinion that if you really put your soul into something, you can't care less. If they like it, it's just fine, if they don't like it, that's just fine too. 
AI: Something like that.
-Next question, and that's probably a tricky one. Which album is your favourite?
AI: Well, at this moment I'll choose Prey, because it's the most fresh to me, but probably, if ask me again after a bit of time, I'll choose something else. For example, I am very proud of Deeper Kind of Slumber.
-Yeah, when I first got it I was wondering, "What the hell happened to them? What kind of drugs are they on? This is just amazing!"
AI: No no no, I am very proud of that album. Looking back in the day, I am really proud of that album. And I am proud of Judas Christ too. Actually it's very hard to choose.
-I was thinking the same. It must be like having five children and being asked which one is your favourite. And this is why I thought that it must be so irritating when people say about one of them again and again, "this one is lovely." Yeah, but what about the rest of them?
AI: Yes, exactly.
-So, what makes you laugh, and what makes you furious about the contemporary music scene?
AI: I don't know if you have this in Greece, but in Sweden, we have all those manufactured bands on TV. They have something like a school that creates those bands. For me, that's really disgusting. it makes me really really angry. It's a manufactured product. It's not even music, it's a product. 
-Based on a successful recipe.
AI: Yeah, and the only purpose is that it should sell as much as possible, and the fact there are companies like that makes me puke, I hate it. What makes me laugh it that every once in a while, a band or an artist becomes successful without using a formula. And you could not have foreseen that. Actually I can name only Swedish bands, but this happens in every country. And it makes me smile. It makes me think there is some hope.
-For this world we live in.
AI: I don't think there is any hope for the world we live in.
-Okay, this explains a lot about the latest albums. (laughing)
AI: Yeah.
-There is always hope. If you lose that, you'd better jump off a building, you know? We have this little fanzine that has just begun. And there are people judging it from just the back cover. There are people who have asked us, "Oh, what are you trying to do? Establish an elite that is more elite than the elite?" And they don't even read it. But we are basically trying to do what we want to do, and we don't care. There is always hope. As long as you have people, original creative people, that they are trying to do what they want to do, you know, just express themselves, then anything can happen.
AI: Exactly.
-Tell me something that you did as a band, and you have sorely regretted it. This can be anything, not an album, just something you did as a band and then said, "oh, we shouldn't have done that".
AI: I don't know, I mean, I am not someone who believes in regretting the past, because there is nothing we can change about it. if it's done, it's done, and you really can't change it, even if you feel bad about it.
-You can get things from it, actually.
AI: Yeah, exactly.
-Usually it's bad experiences you get things from.
AI: Actually I regret something in Mexico.
-Sorry?
AI: We were on tour in Mexico and we ate something bad.
-Ha ha ha! So you were running to the toilet.
AI: Yep. That was something we shouldn't have done. But other than that, I am not regretting a thing.
-I am sure the toilet won't remember.
AI: I hope so. I want to forget it.
-Okay, one last question. I was reading the lyrics in your latest album and I thought that the song Clovenhoof is referring to the witch hunts. But I am not sure, so I am asking you.
AI: It's not, actually. It's metaphor from the witch hunting days to cast light on something else. It's more abstract, actually, and related to guilt. It's about taking in other people's guilty feelings and trying to absolve something you have nothing to do with. You should accept your own fate, carry your own burden.
-Or even put that burden down, if you can. Don't carry it. 
AI: There are consequences, you know. Do whatever you want, but pay the price.
-I realise that most of your songs are abstract. You are not very political, in the sense that you don't use current events; instead you seem to mostly draw your inspiration from feelings, frames of mind...
AI: Absolutely.
-Do you think that music should be political? Reflecting on events that happened to the world? Or you just prefer to speak about the feelings these events stir?
AI: I would say, if I had my own band, I would be very political, actually. I am very interested, ah, I am very outspoken in matters of politics as a private person. As a band, I don't think that Tiamat would be benefited. But a lot of my favourite bands are very political. In fact, most of our inspiration comes from current events.
-Yes, but you can filter it through, you don't have to put the event itself in the song.
AI: Exactly. The events from couple of years ago in the United States (note: he is referring to the 9/11 events) changed everything for everyone, basically. It made us question everything. More specifically, it made me think about what it takes to put a man in the frame of mind to fly a plane into a building.
-Yes, and the problem was, there were people inside the Towers. If it was just a madman who decided to take a plane and fly it into an empty building, I would not mind. But there were innocent people inside, everyday people, who had nothing to do with it.
AI: So just imagine what it would take to make you hijack a plane full of people and fly it in a building. That thought...
-Makes you wonder about human nature.
AI: And it's also based on religion.
-Yes, I know. Greece is an orthodox Christian country. If you are not with them, for some reason they think you are against them. It's very prominent, you see it everywhere. If you are Greek and you aren't Orthodox, there is something wrong with you. 
AI: Heh.
-Yes, for example, if I say to my co-workers I am not Christian, I would get all those weird looks from them. And if I try to explain to them, that would be a very long and awkward conversation. So you have to keep silent about it.
AI: He he.
-Okay... It was very nice talking to you.
AI: Likewise.
-I also got a funny comment from one of the guys in the fanzine. He works in a musical magazine, and yesterday I called him and told him, "Oh god I'm stressed, I'm so stressed about the interview with Tiamat." "Calm down," he said to me. "Who is the interview with?" and I said, "The bassist." He said, "Oh, that's great. Not the singer then?" "No, not the singer. Why, what's wrong with the singer?" I asked. "He's a fine guy," my friend said, "but he doesn't talk." "What, Tiamat have a mute singer?" I said. "No no no, he's just a little difficult to interview, not mute."
AI: Ha ha ha.
-Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was a very good interview.
AI: Yeah, absolutely.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Feral


Listen.
I was raised by wolves 
in a land where water was poison 
and only shadows were my friends.
The wind howled with my swallowed pain.
Hecate found me bathed in my blood
and took me in as one of her own. 

Lucifer has three pairs of wings.
Black, as brilliant as night skies, to create.
Grey, to keep the balance.
And snow for death, destruction, and end.
His eyes reflect the Heavens at night,
obsidian orbs that witnessed Creation.

The dragons I command have a scorpion's tail
and the wings of a black dove.
I made them with the voids between the stars
tightly wrapped around the heart 
of a mother who killed her twins
and went mad.

My pillow is filled with small black pebbles
broken promises and chances that never came.
I don't always sleep well.
But late at night I open the door
and walk back into the Garden
I won with my tears.
I am revered there.

Now go. Do not look back.
Everything I said was true.
Never forget the name you were given
before the blade descended.
Clutch it tightly.
That's all you're allowed to take.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Conspiracy theories in my shopping basket


People have problems. Serious problems. They begin with the best of intentions and somewhere on the way they lose the plot. 

Losing the plot is OK. I've lost it countless times myself. This blog is a testimony of having lost the plot repeatedly and thankfully having found it again. I have been delusional, I have been living in dreamland, I've been lost in fantasies because there are times reality honestly sucks. So I'm OK with losing the plot. We all do it from time to time. 

Do you know what's not, under any circumstances OK? Being so certain you know what's happening that you disregard any opinion different than your own. That's not OK. Why?

We live in a world of subjective reality. Reality can't be objective. Every person perceives reality in a different way. For example, some people can't perceive colour. Others are slightly, or completely deaf. Even those lucky female prodigies who can see a few million colours (I'm told they have a mutation of the X chromosome) can't see in infrared or beyond ultraviolet. Even those with superb hearing can't catch infrasounds, or ultrasounds. Just imagine how many colours we can't see, how many sounds we can't hear, how many energy variations we can't perceive. What we can perceive is in effect very little compared to what we can't.

Having said that, and that alone, it's self-explanatory we know fuck all about the world that surrounds us. Practically, we know shit. And that's fine as long as you're aware of it. The problem begins when someone is certain of something to the point of dogmatic bigotry. One would have thought that the fact we know shit about the world we live in would be insurance against such attitudes, but hell no. We behave as if we know everything and we can bet our lives on it. That's where the problem begins.

I steer clear of conspiracy theories because life tends to be more complex and weirder than even the wildest theories. I also despise New Age and feel disgust for those hacks who sell people a one-size-fits-all solution for 399.90 plus P&P. No, realigning your chakras will do nothing to improve your life, unless you get off your ass and DO something. Sorry to disappoint. There's no such thing as a free meal or painless self-improvement. However, being who I am and what I am, I've often had to tread the unhealthy territory of energy-related research. Well, conspiracy theorists lurk there like athlete's foot lurks in sweaty trainers, and I'm sorry to say, they stink twice as much.

I recently started a research in orgonites. Orgonites are a very real thing, because they have nothing to do with spirits, bizarre theories or one's ancestors. They transmute energy. They turn shitty energy into healthy energy and protect from electromagnetic pollution. So I started researching, reading, comparing. Found this guy who knows his orgonites. He makes and sells some amazing items. I was excited, because it seemed too good to be true. And it was. This guy (who's also vegan because meat is killing us and a smoker) is certain that the Reptilians are the ones responsible for people being gay. In addition to that, anyone who isn't Greek and white belongs to an evil conspiracy to turn the world population into a homogeneous soup of (gasp!) mixed races. (Son of a gun, this is some serious shit. I already feel my purely Greek genes and vagina shuddering in fear.) So we must stop the refugees from coming to our country (or going to any country in general) because they are, in reality, the hordes of evil incarnate and the servants of Reptilians.


Um, sorry, what?

Now, you go and buy his orgonites, keeping in mind they contain quartz crystals in them, and quartz crystals absorb information the same way a sponge absorbs water. Quartz can be programmed to keep and transmit information ad infinitum, and what's worse, the orgonite by its very nature re-enforces the transmitted information. So you have this guy who makes amazing orgonites, only to have them buzz like a beehive with his bias, hatred and paranoia. If I made the mistake of buying from him, I'd be sick within hours of receiving his creations, and you can't cleanse orgonites. The quartz crystals are deep inside the matrix of the construction, frozen inside the resin. You can't immerse them in water to cleanse them, you can't help them in any way. The only way to contain the damage is bury the orgonite, and they are fucking expensive to substitute them for carrots in your garden.

How do you say to such a person that for all their technical knowledge and ingenuity they've lost the plot? Answer: you don't. You don't because they will tell you you are a servant of Reptilians (or a person of alien DNA, or a soulless human, or whatever characterisation they give to anyone who challenges their fossilised life theory) and disregard you. Oh, and they will also tell you you aren't open-minded and your intelligence leaves a lot to be desired. Then they'll ride off into the sunset in pursuit of their 'holy' purpose. And damn, I don't even have red hair that I love so much in order to be a soulless human. ;) I have regular, boring brown hair, with shitloads of white in it. 

Do you know why it's OK I lost the plot, but it is not OK they did? Because even during my most self-involved phases, there was always a part of me that reminded me I could be wrong. And I heeded that part. I kept it in mind. It helped me not to take myself too seriously.

PS. One more thing. Most species on this planet evolved into having two sexes. It was done to ensure constant renewal of the gene pool. It's simple biology. Well, some people like people of the same sex, or both sexes, or neither. Let's not turn our sexuality into a moral issue. They're just gonads, you know? Not mystical stuff, space conquest material, a cure for cancer, or an ingenious way to re-disperse wealth. I mean, for the love of fuck. Literally. Get over it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The nature of daylight

 
I extend my hand in the twilight. The wind is blowing, the sky a mixture of blue and grey. The clouds travel fast, they rush out of view to other, faraway skies. The pine tree in my garden seems to shine; the lighter green ends of its branches are pale, diffused, in their own way luminescent. Further from the tender end, the foliage is darkening into cypress green and black. The tree slowly bleeds green into the approaching night while black engulfs it more and more, the nests of shadows in it growing, extending, darkening. It's a sight to behold.

The characters inside my head are chatting with each other. Each has a past, a present and a future. How can they not be real, if they have a past and decisions they regret, and mistakes, and people they've loved, and others that have persecuted them? Why are their lives any less important or real than mine and your life? What makes this overrated reality more important than countless others? I guess the answer would be, that's the reality you have at your disposal. But is it?

Can you tell reality apart from dreams? Some dreams I have are so real, so lifelike, that this reality pales in comparison. I've dreamt of the moment I came into being, not this lifetime, not this body. I was floating in a calm, shallow, warm sea, tranquil and fully conscious. Everything was black. There were no stars in the sky, no lights in the sea, because it was not now. There were no lights because there was no universe yet. No suns, nebulae, nothing. I was there and behind me was my mother. Paradoxically enough, or maybe not at all, there was no father. My mother was holding my head in her hands as she was pulling me out of the primordial sea and bringing me into being. Making me, not birthing me. Whole and conscious. Not a baby.

Shamans claim this reality is the dream, while dreams are far more real.
The first sign of shamanic talent in a person is that they start to go mad.
I'm not a shaman. 

This is not real. This reality, this state of being is not real. The pain you experience, the decisions you make, the things you consider important, none of it is real. But this does not make it any less important.

I remember watching my world die. The stars were falling from the sky like rain, moving erratically, burning, and my mother was behind me. I wanted to run, to hide, but where can you hide when the world ends?

Energy is never destroyed, only transmuted into something different. It perpetually changes forms like a little child wearing Halloween costumes, and believing, really believing in their role. Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

The only thing we have is Love.
There is no time, no place but now.
Love.
What an astonishing multitude of boundless worlds you encompass in your infinite wisdom, in your devastating, magnificent totality.
May the Heart, Mother of everything, watch over them tonight.

"The angel Duma's tear, crystalline and clear, filled the vision of each of the onlookers. Reflected in it, they saw mercy, and miracles, and the knowledge that everything that is, has a purpose, and that purpose, somehow, included every one of them... on a deep and personal level."
Neil Gaiman, The Sandman