A renegade from the world of Beetlejuice, you could only know him as “The Panther Man”.
Up from the swamps of the southern outback like gutter-fried insanity, he mutters on. Not quite a military combat veteran, but “a wannabee” as it’s Tarzan USA pitted-up against a safari of feral jungle cats. . . . . all but in a loin-cloth, cammo-jacket, and spiked razor-back hair like some kind of wild hog, on two legs.
There have been pictures of “ground zero” down at an outdoors “Poison” concert, a mud-hole of stump-frump, dazed-eyed slope-heads looking like they crawled out of a Babylon latrine with bloody animal-bones and pin-prick eyes, your relative of the Florida boardwalk barnacle in an Hawaiian shirt and a pager, making drug deals.
But this is the St. Louis zoo, up north. “Big Cat Country”, in fact or the area closer to the sunset and golden roar of the highway as true as when the concrete was poured for this outdoor exhibit back in 1977. You have the roarin’ tiger, a circus poster of a ferocious maned lion like leopard-skin seat-covers and zebra Memphis-Mafia hats like pimps.
This, as the families walk by pushing strollers. Their mindset is more a relic of the stuffed-animal you would find in the gift-shop.
Out here, though– it’s about testing yourself “against that primal scream, out there” as a muscular-shouldered snow leopard trains past with its muzzle snorting through its whiskers by the wire-mesh cage, when it’s not lurking beneath a piss-soaked tree trunk like captured malevolence.
Part “Deliverance”. . . . . maybe “Prince of Tides”. . . . . THE PANTHER MAN slurs through an inner-monologue like Jerry Lee Lewis high on Hadycol and mountains of coke atop a piano, or maybe just the chipper, low-slung brightness of a mechanic in a Jiffy Lube cap and coveralls. The subject always turns to the killing-power of firearms, or bodybuilding, or fast cars down at the Tri-City Speedway.
Crack-brained incoherence, like “white-line fever” after an amphetamine binge. He grips a pocket knife in his teeth and hooks his fingers into the cage as he climbs up like “G.I. Joe” with the stealth of a panther.
It’s to prove his manhood, after-all. Like youthful exuberance and “BLACK CAT FIRECRACKERS” with a head muddy with alcohol and mischief.
He lives to tell the tale! Don’t mix vodka, orange juice, and a whole spleen full of “panther piss”. You could have your face end up on “COPS”.
Beetlejuice– THE DIRECT ANCESTOR (1986)
If all gravel roads lead somewhere, you wouldn’t be surprised to pass old, broken-down trailers in the neighborhood. And a fixture of riff-raffery, some of Beetlejuice’s low-down neighbors poking around a grill like a whiskey-guzzling musk-rat.
Brutal, lordly. NSFW– (“Not safe for work) as if a dude like this even worked.
It’s “El Duce” from the shock-rock beer-belly set. You’ll recognize him for his sadomasochist stylings, concealing his objectionable identity with a black hood and guttural offensive charms as he fronted “The Mentors” like THE KINGS OF SLEAZE festering on the Pacific Coast.
Langouring trailer-park women in leather and garters, his presumed harem as he bulges out his eyes like bonk-headed, glazed space mutants in foam-rubber monster costumes “demanding to be gratified”.
Indeed, “a threat to health, wealth, and morals” whose raunchy lyrics were presented before Congress in hearings by “The Washington Wives”, calling for restraint and decency in the music industry. Good luck with that– the only thing they succeeded in doing was getting “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” stickers on tapes & CD’s and probably just making the offending music THAT MUCH MORE ENTICING.
No matter what, you’ll always have the bottom-feeders like ole’ El Duce putting on shows and selling underground records out of a car trunk, a slap on your shoulder and an ice-cold beer in the other hand as he yuks it up like an unsubtle statement about America.
Just another misfit in the world of Beetlejuice “who fits”.
Call him “Uncle Perv”. . . . . though I think Lydia would remain wary to the proposition of returning to a motel with his guy. After all, she broke-off the marriage contract with Beetlejuice in the movie, spared from obscene fate, an X-rated boast.
If even from El Duce– who once sensationally claimed that Courtney Love offered him money to whack Kurt Cobain. Maybe a nugget of some off-color joke “grows with the telling” but watch as everyone attempts to cash in.
Like a dubious character witness, I wouldn’t trust him either as you can’t forget Beetlejuice “selling used cars” at the cemetery lot with the giant lit sign– the giant arrow pointing to “dirt-low” credibility, the rotten truth in all “the fine print”.
A foul trickster, free speech for the dumb as you can’t “outlaw evil”. Keep this movie PG-rated, IF YOU DARE. Or else my name is Jerry Springer. . . . .
Don’t “Shake Hands with SNAKE”
Karma, Purgatory, Bureaucracy
“Just another number”.
Be there “no Karma about it” but THE RECENTLY DECEASED will hit that old after-life office with the thud of paperwork.
(Reminds me of the ole’ Social Security office)
Franz Kafka couldn’t have said it better, whether just the victim is mad or “THE SYSTEM”, itself is even crazier. . . . . and remember, that guy in the “Metamorphosis” story did turn into an insect. OR EVEN A BEETLE.
A lot of people “kill time” in the waiting room, bearing the incarnation they took when “struck-down, mortally”. The visual cue—its own kind of karma whether you’re a shrunken-head on the leash of a witch-doctor as it didn’t end well for the big game hunter.
Don’t go smoking in bed, either—or take poison which will turn you into an icky, translucent green like the secretary behind the sliding window.
Perky, pert, and sarcastic—if not despondent in this perfect illustrated example of the mind/body and material/spiritual splits that cleaves the world into an alienated hell.
Ole’ Beetlejuice pops his head in and takes a seat. I’d imagine him probably sticking his hand down the front of his pants like Al Bundy in “Married with Children”. Half-resourceful or maybe just fool-hardy “no one will notice” as he lopes across the parking lot to grab a cooler of beer.
You’d imagine he’d only lose his place in line.
Solely the balance between evidence and lyricism can allow us to achieve simultaneous emotion and lucidity. . . . . but there he hollers at his loss.
In this last week, we’ve lost Chris Cornell—the singer from Soundgarden—and Roger Ailles—the chairman of Fox News. Only out of an episode of “Adult Swim” could these figures every encounter each other.
The moody rock singer leans up on the chair, hang-dog with his hands stretched over his knee while the right-wing chieftain tries to bluster and glad-hand his way out of federal commitment for dinner reservations “elsewhere”.
There’s only a few things certain in this life. . . . . death, taxes, and irate constituents.
End up here and you have to meet your quota of lingering, ghostly “overtime” back on earth. Spook the hell out of the living for a spike of adrenaline and ecto-residue that kicks into your early retirement, building enough parasitically-fueled power to ascend up the spiritual pyramid to eternal bliss.
Sounds like Medicare and Social Security.
You’ll pay though. . . . . they’ll take everything “but the squeal”.
Death. Taxes. Hollywood sequels. . . . .
Welcome to America. You could die laughing. . . . .
“No dream”, kid. This was your life! Remember to Linger in the graveyard and pick the daisies before summoning for pizza on the Ouija board.
Top secret military-research installations. . . . . particle accelerators. . . . . . chalkboards full of twisted math.
If you poke around scientific news, the world of theoretical “mad science” physics becomes ever more alarming. Half of it may be true, and scary to think. Curved space, holographic projections of hidden dark matter, black hole “event-horizons” that all wrap around and fold back into itself only a few like Albert Einstein can grapple with.
Of course, just what that has to do with the chunky Claymation “netherworld” of spiraling hallways and leering sand-worms is not immediately obvious.
But we take a bit of artistic and scientific license.
Still as mysterious as ever, the world of theoretical particle-things presents a barrier of the sheer unknown that twists-upward with crazier implications—but for the rest of us it’s Pay-Day Loans and teller’s windows—if not poking around the internet for the odd, strange, and unusual.
The world “just is” and pity to think that existence could collapse in on itself with strange misadventures in doomsday science. Mix that in with the internet “singularity”—or the idea that we’ll morph with our super-computers to form a cybernetic post-humanity of bits and bytes.
No doubt, someone will stake their claim to all this cloud-based “online information” and become a super gate-keeper, or broker, or master of earth through “the internet of things” or predicting where everyone and everything will all be at once.
Just think about it—if this cyber-wind of various bits n’ bytes and columns of numbers inside databases could be harvested by minute fractions of a penny—then turned around into currency speculation to eventually “call the shots” through warring banks of computers. . . . .
Scarier than you would think, especially when Beetlejuice’s nephew—a no-good fat shit in an evil clown-suit—ditches the technological retardation of his namesake uncle and takes his mischief-making freelance. There’s a certain smarmy sort of hacker or internet pirate you’d definitely remember from the early days of illegal “Napster” downloads who’d lean back in a chair and sip a jumbo Big Gulp from 7-Eleven and “live it up”.
Why? Because he can! Along with these little online screeds or declaration of cyber human-rights that sketchily justify why the internet can go on doing “exactly what it was doing” by illegal file-sharing and putting record companies out of business.
It’s THE MAN, man as morality has as much legal ground as that which can be whittled down by 1st Amendment arguments and stances on computer science.
Somehow through all this theoretical scientific and cyber-mayhem, if not a satellite-dish pointed toward the stars, a mist descends on this localized source of mayhem as dragons fly in and out between the St. Louis Arch in the nighttime sky as the fate of the world falls into the hands of Beetlejuice to clumsily “correct things” and be a hero—or else the netherworld and the living world “will be no more”.
Battling it out with Hugo—as Lydia and friends scramble around to fight an enabling corporate outfit that wants to turn St. Louis into a toxic waste-site as part of a bigger tax write-off scheme, closing down community broadcasting and the downtown homeless shelter.
Worlds collide, as Beetlejuice has been sucked down to Earth and gets entangled with one of Lydia’s harried “shut-in” fans, a caper gone wrong with a stolen suitcase of money as local bikers get involved and THE PLOT THICKENS to all collide downtown on THE NIGHT OF HELL as history sometimes calls upon “one man”, but Beetlejuice is laid-out in the sewer, jerking-off.
If the stakes couldn’t be any scarier, it’s comedy gold with the world in the balance in this rambling, unlikely tale and product-placement romp. Truth is stranger than fiction and inspires the development of this crazy script into something wholly original and bizarre.
Keep watching kids—and Beetlejuice will never disappoint. If you believe in him and say his name 3 times hilarity will ensue for first-rate bargain-basement entertainment.
Never outdone or out-matched, the blog continues like sheer mental masturbation
“Dirty Balls”, have I.
ANGST SELLS. . . . .
To think, how a certain degree of what (post) adolescents recognize as “the misery index” is merely self-fulfilling prophesy.
Young & idle translates to “oppressed and self-conscious”. Like a snake eating its own tail.
What of Friday night—wanting “everything at once”, “everything louder than everything else” as you find hints of “an answer” at some lonely, yearning night down at some rock concert flea-pit.
The lights—the excitement—the danger—the best that a $5, all-ages show can offer you and the mob looking for something, maybe “but never quite finding it”.
In a nutshell, that’s “the scene”.
You mostly likely never heard of it until marketers pick up on a hot property and sell “the sizzle”.
While really, “the meat of the matter” is constant, dreary nights kept tabs on by a minutia-quoting obscurist who hung on at every show, perhaps “having no where else to go”.
So knock on the tour bus window—“Uh, is there like—anyone COOL in there?”
For everyone else, there’s the fashion accessory.
Take the flannel shirt of the Seattle “grunge” movement. The point is, it was off-the-rack clothing simply meant to be unostentatious before marketers start selling their own $4000 items as a status symbol “for the outsider, looking in”.
The reason money means anything is precisely because few have any of it—and rarified, carefree-ness “is the good time that takes itself away” if you were to ask anybody.
For everyone else life proves to be a purgatory of “getting over”, working, or “hoping to be somewhere else” as it’s a thin gruel, indeed.
The personal, they say—“is political”. Or at this age, finding “your own tribe” as everyone sorts each other out through “vibes” or “mental wavelength”.
And remember—if you can correctly spell “poseur” it means YOU ARE ONE. Otherwise, the sleepy scene “doesn’t think much” and you are only “overthinking it”.
So why not listen to records? Or better yet– for the economy and your constantly ebbing-sense of self-esteem—GO BUY SOME RECORDS?
A bricks n’ mortar business is more substantial and longer-lasting than most scenes—as why work hard at something when you can otherwise buy yourself out a seeming shortcut?
And watch as online commerce closes down local business, as you’re left floating as a lone node in cyberspace.
I guess, then. . . . . we must show existential courage.