Sunday, October 30, 2005

Darling, We're the Young Ones

DOMI: In the late 80s, MTV brought to the US a very strange British show called The Young Ones.

It originally aired in Britain in 1982 and 1984, but we in the US didn't see it until much later. Even then it was heavily edited to make room for the kind of bad advertising MTV so loved to give us, plus it aired at some ungodly late hour on Sunday night. As I remember, it was on right before 120 Minutes, the only two-hour period where you could see videos by the likes of the Cure and the Sisters of Mercy. (Momentarily passes out.)

SAVVY: Ooh! I love things that appeared in the late 80s and I'm dying to hear more. (Shakes the Sleeping Dominatrix.) Wake up. You were just about to tell us about The Young Ones.

DOMI: Sorry. I had the weirdest dream: I was talking to bunch of college professors about bad sex in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then I had to dress up as Jane Austen and go to a Halloween party and drink a lot of beer. The whole experience has really shaken my concentration.

SAVVY: Sounds dreadful! But I bet you looked smashing as Jane Austen!

DOMI: Oh, I looked TOTALLY hot. But back to The Young Ones, a group of rather simian college students.

SAVVY: Rather simian? You mean like monkeys? In college?

DOMI: Precisely! Imagine a bunch of monkeys in college, but not just any monkeys: unwashed, surly, broke British monkeys, who never study or attend a single lecture.

SAVVY: Alas, I had no such simians in university with me! You always had better monkey luck than me.

DOMI: But the monkeys themselves aren't really the point, because their identities are fluid, as is the plot. If you're looking for traditional narrative, you'll be frustrated and thwarted at every turn. But if you want to see a very young Stephen Fry (who went on to play Oscar Wilde in Wilde) playing someone named Lord Snot, and two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson as a vacuous socialite whose intellectual capacities are strained by making the statement "I've got a Porsche," you'll be quite happy.

SAVVY: Lord Snot! I love it!

DOMI: Remember a couple years back, when I came to visit you in Hollywood, Savvy, and brought with me selections from my dvd collection I thought you might like? Remember how I had to leave you for a while to visit my friend Sophie, the Polish librarian, down by Culver City? Remember how while I was gone you spent hours watching David Bowie videos and episodes of The Young Ones, and how, of all the identities available for you to channel after that sampling of brilliance, you chose Vyvyan, the foul-tempered ginger-haired punk who likes nothing better than tormenting talentless, pretentious poets?

SAVVY: Ah, yes. The whole bloody, bloody, bloody thing is coming back to me! I do remember the joys of ripping on bad poets.

DOMI: Can anyone who has done it ever forget such joys? And I admit that on the whole, talentless, pretentious poets deserve tormenting. But perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned that particular aspect of how you embraced The Young Ones. Because the important thing isn't that you adopted a nasal and unconvincing British accent and spent hours with your face contorted by a malicious sneer, but that you recognized immediately how GREAT the show is--you let it move you, change you, transport you to another reality. I've had other friends who sat in quiet consternation while I showed them my favorite episode or two, gazing at me with increasing distress because I kept laughing at jokes before they actually occurred, just because I knew how funny they were going to be. Although the friend might chuckle once or twice out of courtesy, after the episodes ended he would something like, "Maybe it gets funnier after you understand what's going on. Hey, I just remembered, I haven't emptied my lint filter in weeks. I better be going."

SAVVY: I have never emptied a lint filter in my life! Except that one time I did laundry while on LSD and I thought the whole universe was trapped inside the lint filter. I ate the lint and had the funkiest taste in my mouth for weeks...

DOMI: Sweetie, don't you remember how I told you that anything dingy, gray and fuzzy should NEVER go in your mouth? But the real point is this: if you don't get the show's sense of humor right away, you won't ever get it. OK, it's not linear. OK, it makes almost no fucking sense whatsoever. OK, the characters are all repugnant. OK, there are so many addresses to the audience and so many breaks in character and contintuity that you can neve suspend your disbelief. But despite all that, the show is really FUNNY.

SAVVY: It's like the show was trapped in a lint filter and either you eat the lint or you don't, right? I remember how HOT I thought the guys were, except for the little one who was supposed to be a "ladies man." Rick and Neil were both attractive in their own way, but Vyv was to die for!

DOMI: Hmm.... I have often tried to explain the appeal of watching Rick and Neil and Mike and Vyv interact, but somehow, it never once occurred to me to use the word "attractive" to describe a single one of them.... I do remember using the words "repellant" and "absurd," but even those terms often fail to help people understand why I like the show. So I usually abandon explanations and just ask people to humor me, come over to my house, and watch a couple of episodes for themselves.

SAVVY: You may be surprised to find that many people have very horrible taste in men. I, for example, prefer men who are evolutionarily challenged. Thus, my attraction to Vyvyan. What, might I ask, brought on this sudden bit of nostalgia?

DOMI: I was reminded of all this because I recently showed a few episodes to a friend who had never seen the show but is moving to Britain in December. I awoke one night, panicked and anxious, my brow damp with perspiration, my mouth as arid and parched as if I'd been eating lint. I lay quietly in the darkness, thinking about how awful I'd feel if this friend of mine was walking around the North of England and someone said, "Hands up, who likes me!" and he didn't get the reference because I failed to do my duty as a Young Ones devotee. Or imagine that my friend overheard someone say, "Crop rotation in the 14th century was considerably more widespread after 1172" and thought, "You git! Don't you know that 1172 is not in the 14th century," never realizing that it's a line from a brilliant bit of British telly.

SAVVY: Like "sausages and plants and goldfish!"

DOMI: Exactly! And while I felt that I absolutely had to share with my friend the brilliant absurdity that is The Young Ones, I was afraid this friend might be like the other friends who laughed politely a time or two, then later called one of his other friends to complain about the weird shit this strange Domi chick made him watch. (Though I didn't have to tie him up or anything.) But lo! And behold! He LAUGHED SPONTANEOUSLY, FREQUENTLY AND HEARTILY. He GOT IT. And he was grateful.

SAVVY: We all are. Thanks for reminding me.

DOMI: You're welcome! I admit I feel I've done my good deed for the week.

SAVVY: Indeed you have.

DOMI: It was easy and fun, which is how I like my good deeds. I'd do them more often if they were always so rewarding.

SAVVY: So be it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ginger Fur

I had no idea this was an option.

This blonde monkey has the life I envy. If I could eat trees, throw feces, and look this fabulous doing it, I would in a heartbeat. The sad thing is, this baby will lose his lovely ginger hue as he gets older, but will most likely continue to eat leaves and throw his poo. Two out of three ain't bad, but life as a brunette shit-chucker has left me sad and lonely. I guess I am a bit of a f*ckwit.

Here is the thing: I had to fire three people today. I did this quite easily. Yet, I had trouble telling the receptionist that the lunch menu was unacceptable. My heart raced. My voice cracked. I was a wreck. "I can't eat" But telling people: "Your services are no longer required," was effortless. This is the difference between me and my monkey friend. His leaves are edible. Mine are not. We both fling shit with flair though....

I envy you, Ginger. I do.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

F*ckwit, Explained

Because I loved the irrepressible Bridget Jones, I read both her Diary and The Edge of Reason. I applauded her decision to not "Fall for any of following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs , chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts." In fact, I decided I would not fall for any of the people on that list either, except that I didn't know exactly what a "fuckwit" was, though I assumed it was bad.

I tried to find out. I asked around. One of my friends employed the term frequently, and I assumed she knew what it meant; when I asked, she said, "I think it's a contraction of 'fuck with,' as in, 'I won't get involved with someone who fucks with me emotionally,' therefore, an 'emotional fuckwit.'"

Which seemed both reasonable and wrong. I knew I had to keep looking. And now I have an answer to my question, thanks to a useful, thorough and quite specific lexicon: The F Word, edited by Jesse Sheidlower, which I got from my university library.

Turns out fuckwit is a stronger form of, say, halfwit or nitwit. There it is, defined on page 197, after fucked up and fuckwad, and before fuck with, fucky and fuck you:
FUCKWIT, noun, Chiefly Australian and British a stupid person, Hence fuckwitted, adjective stupid; fuckwittage, noun, stupidity.
Examples of usage include
1968 A. Buzo, in Plays 89: Well, ta-ta for now, fuckwit. 1970 S. Jarratt Permissive Australia 142: Of course they do, you fuckwit. 1971 in J. Hibberd Stretch of the Imagination 40: You two-timing, fuck-witted mongrel of a slut!
Now there is an epithet worth remembering. And aren't we all edified by and grateful for this lesson?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Elevator Dancing

Admit it. When the last stodgy businessman exits the elevator and you have three more floors to dance. It's okay. You are not alone. Well, you are alone (in the elevator) and that's why you are dancing. I mean to say that I, too am an elevator dancer. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Elevator dancing is an ancient art, dating back to the days when lifts were first invented, probably like a hundred years ago...maybe even a hundred and forty two.

Something about the claustrobic, coffin-like nature of these little boxes makes me feel alive. When the door closes, I let loose. Bopping to an imaginary disco tune, I strut my stuff. Sometimes I almost get caught, but usually there are fairly obvious signs that the enclosure is about to bloom again. So, I stop and regain my composure. I must not let on to the "public" that I am one of those elevator dancing fools. They might have me locked up, maybe in a place where I be sent to solitary confinement, a prisoner, destined to dance away my life sans an audience. And that would be okay too.

I seldom worry about security cameras. More than once, I have caught my reflection in the mirrored ceiling and taken the opportunity to imagine that this is what I would look like to Spiderman if he scaled down a building to kiss me. I don't care if some random security gaurd is laughing at me--I know where his other hand is.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ms. Kate Does It Again...FINALLY

Saviour Onassis, prolific messiah that he is, has been chiding me about my paltry showing here on G2S. After all, it was my idea, and then I go and spend all my time on other stuff, like keeping the job I've got and trying to position myself so I can eventually get a new one. And now, when I finally post something, it's just a link to a really long article about Kate Bush! Yeah, Kate has a new album coming out, only 12 years after the last one. Shocked scientists have gathered around her, trying to figure out why it would take a genius like Ms. Bush so long to complete another album, but I have an explanation: obviously, the girl was busy!

Let's just hope this long-awaited album is as full of flavor and protein as little Itebero's palm nuts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Gorilla Cracks Nuts!

Deep in the Congo, little Itebero has scientists freaking out.

Itebero is a 2 1/2 year old gorilla, living in a sanctuary after being rescued from poachers. Apparently, she learned how to smash palm nuts, using rocks, all by herself. Her use of "tools" is pretty extraordinary. The scientist types are all shocked by this behaviour, but I am not.

Obviously, the girl was hungry. You can read the story here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You're not gonna pillage me?

I'm looking into the abyss...and it's kind of cute. Not in a puppy dog way, more like a random television actor hunting sea monsters, who I momentarily consider, but then think: Why bother? This show will just be cancelled anyway. Yes, the abyss has a fragile, momentarily allure.

I stood up yesterday (a feat in itself) and caught my reflection in the mirror. It was as if I were seeing myself for the first time. I was alien and debonair. Could I actually see my soul? Behind my eyes danced an intelligence that was unfamiliar. I tried to hang on to that feeling and I did for a spell. Then I made a short film. In which, through tricky camera work, I stalk myself. While editing this little masterpiece, I noticed something about me. It's this indefinable quality that comes across my face. It's really something. The last man I slept with, made of point of commenting on it, in a way that implied I could be fallen in love with. But of course, he didn't.

He was a director (no one you've heard of) who lived on a boat in the Marina. He had lured me there with his tattoos and swarthy tricks, to play a little game of "Master and Commander." I played (it had been a long time) and when I should have made my exit, I did not. The third act was horrible, predictable, and boring. I took great precautions to make sure that I would be prepared, should a similar opportunity present itself. But no such event has taken place. I guess I am lucky, pirates usually do more damage.

Now I'm in that space where I imagine Oprah calling to say: "Put yourself away! That thing is gonna fall off like a bad weave!" Because when the Titanic sank, I was in the karaoke lounge, dedicating a rousing rendition of "Rock the Boat" to Shelley Winters and Arthur Rimbaud. And so it is. I am here staring into the abyss. Ready to let go of the status quo. Ready to move on or at least stand up.

Was it Annie Lennox who asked: "Can't you see, this boat is sinking?"

Yes, Annie and the sun will come out tomorrow.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Whatever Doesn't Kill You

Whenever I hear someone say, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger," I become indignant and ask, "Do you know who said that? It was Nietzsche. He said it a couple times. It's in his autobiography, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, and before the book was back from the printer, his mind had collapsed and he spent the last 11 years of his life a drooling, babbling idiot who couldn't feed or bathe himself. People argue about why he went mad: maybe it was syphilis, maybe it was drug use, maybe he just had weak nerves, but whatever it was, it didn't kill him and it didn't make him stronger. The AIDS virus doesn't kill you; it just weakens you so much that something like the common cold can. So I don't want to hear any more of this nonsense, because there are plenty of things don't kill you but don't make you stronger, either. Otherwise, we'd all be completely healthy and completely happy, or else dead."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What I Am

I think Edie Brickell said it best, when she said, "What I am is what I am. Are you what you are or what?"

I am a snake. See me slither. Hear me hiss. Marvel as my skin falls off in huge, disgusting, patchy flakes. It could happen... but I am rather hoping it won't. I itch all over and it just won't stop.

I need to lie on a rock in the sun, but I just lie to myself.

Maybe I am about to shed my skin, be born again. Why would I resist such a thing? Here it comes, a better version of me. Wait - I'm not ready. Okay. Go. I am now ready. Shit.

Nothing. Just the itch. And the scratch.

Maybe it was something I ate. Or something someone said to me? Could it be, a simple criticism and my skin begins to burn from within? I gave the kabbalists back their red string. Said I don't need such a thing. Protection. Hmmph! I am a crab. See me side-step the issue.

But oh, this hateful tissue! So soft inside, I use my shell to hide from things I find offensive. I play defense, on the fence. In the trenches. In a sense. (Innocense?) I weather the storm. I keep it warm. I live for this. I have lied in piss.

Can you feel it? Does it make you itch?
Are you what you are or what?

Sunday, October 02, 2005


My grandmother gave me this fabulous pair of shoes, so I made a plan: I would buy a bustier, have my hair done, get off work, and go dancing. I might not look like much on a Tuesday afternoon, but come the weekend I clean up pretty good. Saturday night arrived, with some fancy dress ball. I could hardly breathe in that bustier but my tits had never looked lovelier. For the occasion I wore that pair of fabulous glass shoes; I struck them against a stone getting out of the car; they said "clink," and were broken.

Which necessitated a new plan. I didn't have one. So I went home, took off the goddamn bustier and went to bed.

That's when I learned: no one walks around on glass. If someone gives you a pair of glass shoes, don't get excited: it means they expect you to stay home and still stand.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Kingdom Come

Once upon a time, stories started with these four words. I'm not sure why. Maybe it had to do with signifying that a story was about to begin, or maybe the storytellers were just not that imaginative, or they were bored, or stupid, or both. This is not that kind of story.

This is the tale of Sid, portrayed here by my Gorilla, Steve. (The resemblance is really uncanny, but you'll have to take my word on that.) You see, there are no photos of the real Sid because he forbade them. Sid could do that kind of thing because he was a King. He was constantly changing his rules to suit his whims, but the "no photos" one was consistant. I think it had to do with his gigantic ego and uncontrollable vanity. Sid fancied himself the most beautiful creature alive and no one dared contradict him because he controlled the moon and sun, and also the stereo. So, if you didn't want to be stuck listening to some crappy Bono song all day, you agreed with every decree.

Don't get me wrong, he had a sort of imperial charm and when the mood struck, he could be downright foxy. But those moments didn't come often enough and the constant stroking of his ego left the courtesans arms very tired. Sid was a miserable king and no one knew why. Personally, I think it had to do with that tiara always digging into his brain. Sid was all about the bling, filling his castle with diamonds, pearls, gold and braid. His wardrobe was an elaborate monument of excess, adorned with jewels and gems from all over the world. But that's the thing about bling: sometimes it eclipses what it is meant to embellish.

So, it didn't really come as a surprise when Sid disappeared. It was unavoidable, I suppose, that he should forsake the Kingdom he had worked so hard to create, preferring instead to live out his days in solitude, like a golem. I think about Sid from time to time. Occasionally donning the uncomfortable tiara and singing softly to myself:
"You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt"

That is the story of Sid. The King of Kingdom Come.