We’re All A Little Bit Twisted

WeAreTwistedFuckingSisterLast week, I took a chance on a little known US/German 2014 documentary on Netflix called We Are Twisted Fucking Sister. In case you aren’t aware, it’s a movie about the heavy metal band Dokken Twisted Sister and charts the history of the band’s creation, rabid Sick Mother Fuckers fanbase, and hardcore work habits that dominated the New York-area clubs in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Clocking in at two hours and sixteen minutes, the film is a non-glamorous, nuts-&-bolts look at the rock’n’roll lifestyle.Produced by Andrew Horn, who won awards ten years earlier with his documentary on avant garde singer/performer/alien Klaus Nomi, WATFS lays it all bare as to how these guys became the best rock’n’roll of their time.. From the fan drinking contests held on stage to lead singer Dee Snider berating *anyone* looking like they weren’t having a good time to their utter hate for despicable disco music, the development of their satirical gender-bending style, the brutal work ethic of Snider and band creator Jay Jay French et al… if you weren’t a TS fan before this movie, you might just find yourself humming “I’ll Never Grow Up Now” by the end of it.

Members of the classic lineup such as Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, Eddie Ojeda, and the late AJ Pero (who died last year) are in it, as well as earlier members.

Twister_Sister_-_Stay_HungryIt ends just at the release of the album that would shoot them to MTV-worthiness, 1984’s Stay Hungry. That album spawned several rebellious videos such as their classic anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock“, classic music montages that featured TS fighting back at conformity and unchecked authority personified by Mark Metcalf’s über-tyrannical recreation of Douglas Niedermayer’s from the movie Animal House. These videos sliced a vein to bleed a non-compromising and antiauthoritarian cavalcade in a way that not even Mötley Crüe could touch with their “worthless and weak” video for “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” remake released the next year. I mean,yeah, Michael Berryman was creepy as hell in that video but he wasn’t even in the same galaxy with the Blind With Power Rage embodied by the man who would later play the Master in Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Stay Hungry. That album. That album cover. What my parents must’ve thought finding that sitting on top of the stereo back home in Cheviot, Ohio. But it still holds up, as does most of the TS catalog. Sure, KISS might’ve been the more popular band but you cannot convince me that they were anywhere near the best compared to TS. While Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley might know a thing about marketing, they’re overrated pompous buffoons compared to French and Snider. TS never went disco (Dynasty) or got rid of their own image (lick that up) to produce weaker music (anything after Love Gun). Did Gene Simmons stand up to the PMRC? Hellzno. But Dee did.

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So let’s just say that I’m all in for this documentary. Sure, two-plus hours might seem a long time to cover a band’s trajectory up to their biggest album, and that will surely disappoint some, but the joy in this movie is discovering that the band we know from those music videos actually were pretty fucking awesome beforehand. You discover that they were a well-kept secret before MTV airplay. And you’ll feel really jealous about it.

So enjoy it. I give it a definite thumbs up. Stay twisted, you sick motherfuckers.

Mucking. Muck.

Bonjour, pebbles amongst the avalanche of a crumbling society. Bear with me, I’m doing battle with a nifty little rhinovirus (aka, a cold), so the usual brilliance we serve in this blog has been replaced with Folger’s Crystals. Let’s see if you can tell the difference.

I changed the view here. I like this much better. It speaks to me. Purple and black are two of my favorite colors. Vous? Non? Oui? D’accorde!

The old brain is a jumble right now. The seconds are ticking by and I’m still staring at the menu wondering what the fuck I’m going to choose. Do I take the debt-ridden convenience store clerk route or maybe try combining whatever fuck skills I have into something interesting? And if I chose that, where do I start, who do I contact, what’s a path? It’s one thing to have an idea where you’re going but the psychic compass I got is spinning like a dervish on cocaine in zero-gravity.

Pardon the dust, folks. There’s a sense of confusion and being overwhelmed here and it’s making my anxiety skip around. Simplify, that’s what I need to do. Follow my passion, or maybe just do a job and take the passion with me. Meta-career advice. The thing is, I’m impatient. Maybe impetuous. Although, I also exhibit a tendency towards indecision. I don’t know what I wanna do but I’m going to do it NOW!

Beat the Reaper.

The drawback to all of this anarchic and archaic mishmash is that it leaves me spinning my wheels. It’s hard to contextualize your career path when you get so caught up in What If’s and What The Fuck’s and especially Wherefore To Head’s? It’s not an enviable position when you’re in your 20’s, and it’s even worse when you’re doing it in middle age. In fact, it’s totes worse. All the totes!

So here’s a list of things that I enjoy doing:

  1. Writing.
  2. Video/Audio Editing.
  3. Learning New Things.
  4. Learning, relearning, and utilizing coding skills.
  5. Sitting on my ass pontificating about shiznit whilst consuming heavy doses of media.

I mean, those have to be marketable skills somewhere, right?

Another question scritchy-scratching in the back of my brain is Why Do I Blog? I suppose it’s the easiest way of getting published, but outside of it just being a general journal, I really am not sure what benefit there is… beside the whole writing muscle.

Maybe I’m being too much the artiste in this tortured search for relevance, enjoyment, and overall purpose.

I just blew my nose. You might think it’s gross, but it’s snot.

Yeah, I’m going to end on a gross pun. Good day!

Fiction: EVIL GENIUS TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE

Children will be able to learn how to torture for information and profit, discover how to hoard enormous treasures, and find out the proper way to threaten the world with destruction at Doctor O’Bastard’s Evil Genius Open House. This project is a labor of hate for Doctor Rotten O’Bastard and the second open house to be held on his remote island base.

“Yes, it was magnificently diabolical last year,” says O’Bastard. “We had a tremendous amount of interest from many countries. Quite a number of them came from the United States, funny enough.”

Last year's bomb demonstration with Larry "Silent But Violent" Schwaumberg.

Last year’s bomb demonstration with Larry “Silent But Violent” Schwaumberg.

Doctor O’Bastard promised this year will see an increase of activities as well as more workshops dedicated to fashion, pain tolerance, extortion and proper facial scarification. Returning this year will be the immensely popular Komodo dragon pit where traitors and spies have their legs broken before being dropped into a pit filled with ten of the ravenously hungry lizards.

“The boys especially found that quite delightful and disturbing,” O’Bastard added. “There’s something so sublime and refreshing when you witness naked fear in a child’s eye.”

This year, parents will be able to come away with important information on raising their own unyieldingly vicious future dictators. Booths from local organizations will also offer their services and hand out free samples.  One booth that proved very popular last year was Thug Stonefist’s. A purveyor of restraint devices and thumb screws, his store was quite busy last year as eager parents lined to buy his wares. “De bottle of acid was good, hurh hurh hurh,” Stonefist says. “Kids can’t wait to opens dem and start dropping it on their little brothers or sisters.”

O’Bastard says future plans are to make the open house an annual event. He also plans to create a summer camp for under-12 as well as contaminate the world’s water supply.

Attendees are advised that again this year that Zappy The Roving Death Ray will be hovering over the proceedings and that any insolence will be dealt with harshly.

For information about attending this year’s open house, contact your nearest maniacal crime overlord.

Douglas Noel Adams

dna3bI remember that the first time I ever encountered the words Douglas and Adams in succession was in the very early part of 1985. They were included, in a sequence, with the words The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. It wasn’t the book or the radio series or even the TV series, which seemed to air quite frequently on my local PBS channel — and which I often confused with Doctor Who before I really discovered what the difference was — no, it was none of those. It was an article in the April 1985 issue of Compute! Gazette, a magazine dedicated to Commodore computer users, about a new computer text adventure game from a company called Infocom. That game was called Planetfall.

I kid. It was actually the previously mentioned Hitchhiker’s Guide.

At the time, I was in a local public school program that was the first school in the Cincinnati area to offer an entirely computer-based curriculum. Mostly, we played cracked Apple IIc games and played around with code as the teachers lectured on geometry and social studies. I was also an avid Commodore 64 user so, obviously, technology and games were really huge things for me. A classmate of mine happened to see me reading the interview in Compute! and, being from Australia, was already aware of Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s, and even Doctor Who. He suggested I go buy the first book. I remember pestering my parents to buy it for me at the local Walden Books shop. I got the book and read it in two days. Then I asked for the next book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and read that in one sitting.  And then I beseeched my poor parents the third book called Life, The Universe, and Everything. That one took a little longer but by this point, I was a hopeless case and, upon finishing it, lay prone upon the kitchen floor and supplicated my bemused mother to pretty please let me get the fourth book in the trilogy, So Long and Thanks For All the Fish.

In retrospect, I felt rather sorry for my parents. My brothers and sisters were involved in normal activities like sports or band, things one could conceivably handle. They didn’t know what to do with a son obsessed with computers, Monty Python, and science fiction. Ah, but that’s a story for another time, dear readers.

Eventually, I got a copy of the Infocom game. Then I watched the TV series. I read and read again the official Hitchhiker’s radio series script, then read along when one of the public radio stations finally broadcast the series.

It’s ironic that a man whose initials matched those of the molecule Deoxyribonucleic acid would become such an integral building block of my life. Douglas Adams and his books opened a new universe, one that transcended the dullish neighborhood that I grew up in. So much of what I feel and think, the irreverence I had for things people took seriously, the wonder of seeing Betelgeuse and wonder what if, all of it began with him. The characters and situations he created in Hitchhiker’sDoctor Who, and the Dirk Gently books provided great mirth as well as some exceptionally dangerous ideas to my somewhat sheltered existence: permeance, subjectivity, and alcohol.

Much has been said about Douglas Adams’ alleged prescience on technology: Wikipedia, e-books, interactive media, and so forth. Each time I get a new tablet or e-reader, I immediately load the Hitchhiker’s books on it.

Douglas Adams made me want to be a writer, his works nurtured the odd sense of humor that I have, and it broke my heart — as well as the hearts of every person worthy of their towels — when he died suddenly on this day in 2001. To think that almost half of the time that I’ve been a Douglas Adams and Hitchhiker’s fan has been with the man himself no longer present on this planet is odd, to say the least. One could come up with a Meaning of Liff-esque word to describe it:

Pendelton (n): The bereft feeling one gets wishing that Douglas Adams was still around.

As Ford Prefect once said, what I need is a strong drink and a peer group. Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters all around.

Termination Station Grey

There are days when the ideas fly around in my head. Then, there are times when I feel like I’ve deadened the synapses from TV bingeing that conjuring les mots for a healthy hearty textual diagram is like rewiring a transistor radio with soggy ramen. When that sort of thing happens, it’s helpful to just unplug the noisy screens and reconnect myself back to The Words On The Paper.

Locked away in a room is an infinite number of typewriters and a chimpanzee. Given enough time, it might figure out how to type banana. Given even more time, it might figure out how to self-publish or argue competently for an agent.

This looks like a job for Acid Rock!  To the Bevis Frond, Robin.

Speaking of music that can be classified as weirdly, I saw a performance the other night by a UK Steampunk band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing.  Never mind the goggles, the Men rocked a pretty loud and hard set and my ears are still ringing. So if you happen to find them in your town, hide the porridge and give them your bucks because they’re pretty fucking fantastic. Also on the bill was Frenchy and The Punk so what all that means is that music was well served that night.

The new job has continued and it’s still rather strenuous. The other day, a lady confessed to me that she had just had a C-section and shouldn’t be out walking, which she had done to get to the store with her guy (who was buying some pleasant malt liquor). It’s the people you meet sometimes that reminds one that we lived in a very fucked up world.

Sleep well, my pretties.