Showing posts with label Neil Gaiman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neil Gaiman. Show all posts

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 two episodes. They were painfully 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, because this is not Gaiman's style, 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.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I mostly believe



Ha, ha, ha. I was looking for this everywhere.

by Neil Gaiman (from  the book American Gods)

“I can believe that things are true and I can believe things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of casual chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”


- Samantha Black Crow I agree with about 98% of this. He, he, he.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Life advice



Mr. Gaiman is a very sweet, wise and funny human being. Please watch this video. He does have a few things to say.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I feel like doing something stupid tonight.


But I have no idea what this could be.

Sometimes I wish I had superpowers just so that I could jump from one rooftop to the next when I am THAT much bored. Or land next to some irritating fuckhead in the middle of the night to make them pee in their pants. Yet if we keep in mind that I am about as fit as your average sloth, I would end up beaten up as well as used to wipe the floor clean. What a super-heroine...

If it was early I would probably dress up and walk the streets. Or go buy some ice-cream. It does not matter that I am alone. I can always take a book with me and eat my ice-cream dressed like a medieval lady... But it is not that early to begin with and I am too bored.

The sense I miss more than anything else when I wake up is flying. And what pisses me off more than anything else is my inability to bring specific items from over there to over here. No matter how hard I try to concentrate and how firmly I grab them in the dream world, I fail to bring them over here. I often open my eyes and start looking furiously on my pillow, under my bed, under the covers. No success as of yet. But I am stubborn. Or motivated, if you prefer.

I feel a bit inclined to blow the universe tonight. However I did blow it in the afternoon and I think once is enough. The energy blast must have rearranged reality on a global scale. Hey, don't you give me that look. When we change ourselves, that minute portion of reality that we have power over, we change the entire universe. So no sympathy looks for my mental condition, thank you very much. The only side effect of my type of reiki/magic/sex on reality is the number of times I visit the restroom afterwards. Small price to pay. No alien invasion, no going insane (at least more than what I already am), no R'lye rising from the watery abyss. Hell, not even the electricity bill paid by magic. This is some shitty magic that I practice. Literally.

At least I re-read something that made me smile. Neil Gaiman has written some very small short stories to describe fifteen cards from a vampire tarot. Those texts are published as introduction to 'The art of Vampire the Masquerade' by White Wolf. My favourite is the one he wrote for the Tower.

The Tower

The tower's built of spit and spite,
Without a sound, without a sight.
The biter bit, the bitter bite.
(It's better to be out at night.)

I know it does not necessarily ring any bells for you, but it does for me. Who knows why certain things affect us the way they do? Yet the more I look at it the more it makes me smile. A perfect short story. Ideas waiting to be used. The word and sound play of the third line. Ah... Just perfect.

I have not role played for five years now. Time is there to remind us to be on our toes.

Maybe I should try to type a short story I wrote last December. I know at least one person who would love to read it. Perhaps she is crazy, but she says she wants to read it. So why not.