Man walks into a charred wall, symptomatic of burning building. Blank slate concrete sky looking down on Shibuya-ku. I see monochrome, faded tones from hair products past, tank tops and floral prints. Talismans of ownership by evil organization Ordinary Fucking People, close affiliation with GOD, but uniformed inn stripes and check patterns, the rags they wear their psychological prison bars. I don't even have to look at the people on the train back to feel the gravitational pull of so many cheap computer bags, walking a pilgrim shoe gauntlet find a dark place but it is still high afternoon.
Monday night and you’ve dialed everything down to a crawl, Tokyo2. Streets populated yes, by nomihodai hustlers and club honey lips scouts, but most people out just wanna conbini real quick. Even GOD employees are holding back and have turned into open agents of Ordinary Normal Fuckers. Not much to do when you aren’t pulverizing yourself on food, on drink, on shop, on club, on park. And so these are the most desperate hours of all, when even ESPY lowers its guard and wonders what’s on TV, using the Overtones to surf the analog bands for something lively, finding only commercials and promos for other upcoming programs that never seem to arrive. I think someone here is supposed to relax, but our heads have been on fire a little too long.
Rust red sky containing actual rust for once raining down mad on random assortment of rooftops at odd harsh angles. I can only sit inside Casa Del Kita and watch it outside and wait for it to pass. A weekend void needing forever to be filled starts to yaw open, intending to swallow everything up: Pulverizing sound waves masquerading as music, steps leading down into some place weird and dark, desperate runs past LED signboards for cash, cables and energy inputs, armies of guys in black T-shirts marching into midnight streets, everything taking on the consistency of an ashtray with a foreign cigarette brand logo. Always raining, then not raining, in five min intervals. It keeps going on like this forever.
This is the meeting we have before the meeting just to meet and where we discover there is no fixed agenda. This is the committee for the committee where no is sure how all the money will be spent or who is going to split it. This is a drawing someone did of an idealized version of you that looks nothing like you because you only look like your makeup now. That was a free drink ticket you never threw away because you thought you might be going back but never did. The same holds now for a ten percent off discount coupon that has become emotionally unstable, here’s a sad little point card that feels unloved, a pile of yen coins in small denominations always feeling inferior to larger amounts. I can’t say why I secretly wish for all your collective failure, but yeah, I do.
Archery Bow Child (TCG) take a white capsule pill out of a foil pouch, promptly drops it accidently on the filthy floor of the Macrossnalds we are sitting in.
“Take it. It will keep you up”, she says in her fucked up, screwed up, weird mix of accents: Japanese-Okinawan-Engrish. It’s a test. It always is. To see if I’ll flinch, if I will fall over laughing, where my loyalties are, etc. But I’ve already made up my mind and I’m not going to take it. Archery Bow Child goes for broke, rips the capsule in half, and pour mysterious white power all over the tiny table we are sitting in. The people on other side of us (B-type male student head buried in portable game device, D-class female her life some kind of shit mobile game) are terrified and shocked in an utterly quiet vacuum of expression.
About a half hour before, there she is, stumbling out of the ticket gate…or at least trying to. Of course there’s a Passmo card that doesn’t work and she has to stop everything and recharge it, throwing a line of people behind her into a shotgun chaos spread. When she’s cleared, oh I dunno, 5 minutes later or something, she’s waving around a pair of fully functional green nunchaku, again, more brazen shit in public, begging for some kind of cosmic security system to shut everything down like it would if you or I pulled something like this. But it never does with her. Not giving a fuck, but not in a callous way; just a big kid who doesn’t know any better.
Counter-ESPY and others of that stripe spend endless dark months and days trying to figure out how to make a drop, how to evade full spectrum espionage, everyone looking towards the shadows by default because where else would someone be doing dirty work? But here’s Archery Bow Child: purple dirty New Balance sneakers, jeans she has had forever, nondescript top and hair, blending in on hand and on the other stumbling into the fast food joint and pouring hard drugs all over the table. Hard not to feel some kind of contempt for the sad ordinary people working there, eating there, killing time, killing themselves, pissing away their lives in this place. Old people making bad coffee, students with no future in hi-my-name is badges removing the fry net from the grease. What the fuck kind of world was created behind our back? “I can’t get a real job,” Archery Bow Child says, picking up on my thoughts, maybe seeing this very text here from some temporal vantage spot that ESPY has her in. It’s not an apology though. It’s just who she is.
When I get to Shinjuku to pick up Col. Baldwin’s kash, I know this will not be a good scene. The JR wifi burns my implant(s) from the inside out and offers relief only if I accept ‘yes’ to the terms and log in. Going to have to endure the pain a bit, which is not impossible, advanced futsukayoi training finally paying off. Still, weird dream state walk from the ticket gate to the underground bank. Have I been here before? Yes, over and over: past the elevators that lead to crowded cafes, the stairs up to station square bathing in perpetual AltaVision, girls in delicate clothes with smartphones fused at the cellular level into their faces.
At the bank, windows reveal some sort of security perimeter inside: a Small Angry Manager (who I know already smells like hair tonic and an ashtray), withered and 50-ish, and a goof guard in heavy black Sentai Enemy Armor.
Something is up. They knew I was coming before I even did. Fuck it and turn back to the ticket gate. Should be less heat down the Chuo-line. Instead, there is already a heavy police presence at Nakao Rachel station: some agitated moving fast from position to position, while others just stand around scanning with Heavy Vibration. I think I’m going to be stopped for sure and dragged into the bright room again, regardless of whether I am carrying Baldwin’s billions on me or not, but a Chinese woman in all-fake designer wear takes a bag check on the chin in front of me. A happy moment, but mine, mine, mine alone.
She was always leaving. Leaving whenever shit got weird or stressful…and shit always got weird or stressful because hey, human beings. It was a system that didn’t make practical sense, but was totally reliable: You got about 6 months, about a year max if she moved into your place. No guarantees. Should have come with a user’s manual. A warning of some kind. User testimonials. Clearly visbale star rating like a laminated x-mas light halo around her head. Didn’t matter what was going with the other person; in their life, in their head, in their event horizon. Forecast delivers about a week of stormy weather, then a sudden bye. Broken hearts, ruined souls, dismembered bodies resulting, primarily in places where the exact opposite used to be. Smoking craters. Long nights. Waking up at odd hours. Support groups forming at the community level to let the motherfucking healing begin. Ok, that’s fine I guess. Your world. Your prerogative. Nobody owes anybody anything. Why stick around if you are the unhappy one? That’s always the real question, isn’t it? The rest of you just play with it and try it on pop songs and in the deeper subtext of what goes on in everyday life, but it’s not like anything really requires any obligation. Ok, fine. I see how it is now. You were only obeying your conscience, listening to your heart, but it would sorta help if you had either one in the first place.
Wither wherewithal. Seemingly always alone in a room on someone’s floor. The place to stay finds you when you need it; the rest is like another life buried deep in the hollow of a parallel world, but then what? It’s no Liquid Room. Fear of missing out at 10am Sunday morning, only a few hours sleep so the hangover creeps up from behind. Not clear where on the map of emotional calibration where this is at really: a tatami room growing humid as afternoon creeps in, neighborhood pathways filling up with running children, old people, the weird monster people still in their cages until when. ESPY always offers a time slip option, but it is not easy to navigate the electromagnetic waygates; static backwash from a million component stereo systems, hard particles of magnetic cassette and video tape debris. Digital is cleaner of course, but totally limitless, a world of nothing-but-outside. Who would want to come here to deal with overly complicated air conditioner controls?
Nagatacho. Hot seat event horizon of government of darkness HQ. I see weathered blue buses trailing each other, human silhouette shadows inside, forever condemned to circle the diet building for crimes dating back generations of uncertainties, misunderstand. GOD agents everywhere in identical whiteshirts and black slacks. Muppet dress shoes. Police on every street corner propped up by regulation hit-me stick. Beginning of the summer spiritual cook off and the feeling of having to ride it out. Humid vapor starting to hover in the empty halls and meeting rooms. The big revelation being that there's no one actually in the GOD, no one needs to be anymore. We are all complacent, political, and motion sick just sitting here, on a prison bus, on a corner, considering what to buy and breathe next.
Shepherded foreign journalists cowering under concrete embankment. Matching T-shirts and suits to sweat in. Minders in blue scanning the crowd for shutterbugs. Can’t allow that for sure. Subtitled sixties sitcom on hotel TV. I Dream of Jeanie, only she has dark hair this time, furious animus brow, preparing the perfect hamburger for me, assembling pieces one by one, slapping the bun into place. Trying to get home, but the subway station is under construction, looking like a map from a first person shooter. There is no end of the street anymore. Someone has walled it up. No 35mm prints left available, we have to screen it in 16.
Jet lag all the commiserating pain of a drug binge minus the fun part. The brain defilesd and squeezed of rightful chemistry. Jet lag is needed for accessing the overtones, so counterspy keeps the condition permament, like a face, like a heartache that won't go away. Counterspy pills in a foil tray handed over by immigration. Severe weather patterns keep them active, like a face, like a heartache. Caucasian, non Japanese x2. Standing in front of suidobashi station exit typing this, people wondering who he is, is he lost, dangerous, why no Unklo shirt or pants, what are you and what are you doing here scowling like that. Old ladies opening umbrellas tiny would be receptors of the mystery frequency. Other guy here stealing a bike in slow motion, every 5 min making another barely perceptible adjustment to the lock. Can't help but root for him, but the sound of fierce trains passing overhead would only drown it out.
It’s always hotel time here. It’s always time to check in. I’m forever lugging a 50lb suitcase from Mark City past the KFC, the ACP, the Gusto, the Koban. The Japanz. “Do you drink beer” female uniform behind the desk wearing braces asks with her big braces smile. Well, yeah, I respond, so why are you giving me a can of Highball? Just for checking in? Is every transaction now the potential domain of some weird promo now? What if I pop open the can and drink it here and now, a brain full of jetlag, a nervous system high and low on 11 hours of Xanax? The sun hangs high outside over Shibuya, long slow fade out into not-quite-LED-lit darkness. Television shifting through medium shots of the human body in action, the smiling faces you won’t see in the city streets happy to see other people. Future TV where even the folks on commercials are talking and texting on portable devices: maybe their hands, maybe the air.
Ok, saw WORLD WAR G… firmly wound up in the “boring characters + not enough Godzilla = hard to care” camp. Sort of knew from having seen MONSTERS that things would go in this direction, but didn’t really anticipate how much standing around staring at nothing, mouth breathing, and automatically written dialogue there really would be. I could sense the good intentions and reverence underneath, but the focus is forever in the wrong place and the balance is always off. And when the “fun” happens, instead of working up a genuine sense of wonder, there’s just Legendary Pictures’ continued insistence on pulverizing destruction (MAN OF STEEL) and on-the-nose topical references to recent events (Nolan’s BATMAN movies). Yes, there are some cool shots (ok, like 3 of them) of some big humanoid thing doing some big cool kaiju stuff, but nothing to hold onto: just 30 min of falling debris and concrete slabs. Even the little kid in me would not be OK with that and would probably just prefer a Slurpee and the Marvel comic. The Monster is Zero.
wow i am so surprised they brought back the comet empire for yamato 2199 thrilled even anyone wanna bet money on bolar wars for next year its the thrill of a lifetime watching this incredible creative remake continue to evolve
Picasso was dead and Warhol was on the Love Boat. So Giger was the Star Wars generation’s first taste of living, breathing fine art. Of course, we already loved Frazetta and the Hildebrand Brothers and lots of other fantasy illustrators, but they were physical, escapist, and fundamentally dumb. Giger’s psychosexual biomech was steeped in the Surrealist tradition and deeply rooted in your own unconscious mind and body. That he could continually connect his personal vision to mass produced pop culture was one of the great gifts of the 20th century (fox). Alien might have made him a Famous Monster, but he became a human being to anyone who read the text in the Necronomicon via tales of his childhood, the suicide of Li Tobler, and an unobscured explanation of his techniques and creative process. Plus, he just looked so cool in those scarves, open neck shirts, and all-black outfits. Even as a little kid, I knew that Giger was an Artist; maybe the only one I felt I knew. And now, I just wish there were lots more like him.