All Gravel Roads. . . . . Lead to “El Duce”

 

 

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”

All Gravel Roads. . . . . Lead to “El Duce”

The Old Haunts Lydia Knows. . . . . .

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Laclede Square.

It held the bouquet of Paris, a Bavarian beer garden on the Mississippi. Maybe the artistic renown of Vienna. . . . . or maybe not.

Behold: the crack of a skateboard as a teenager flips a trick– flying against the terribly-blue sky and rolling away over the crunchy autumn leaves.

The sound travels flat and muted across the leveled bricks and gray slate of these square blocks, a neighborhood made distinctive for its tall, narrow houses like a local historical curiosity.

A remnant of the French empire signed-away with the Louisiana purchase, brokered by Thomas Jefferson’s debonair co-hort of marquee’s and enlightenment figures.

It all had a Continental air, a twinge of “Lost Generation” Paris.

And here it was—CIVILIZATION.

Pioneering rehab efforts and stylish revitalization of former urban blight, the finer goods and exceptional tastes for good wine and good food in this little sublet of old St. Louis city.

Now, the children of stockbrokers turned this into a playground of modern privilege– where the pot was sweeter, where wise noble savages held court over “think for yourself” maxims with a skateboard under one arm and a painter’s watercolor set in the other hand like Pablo Picasso, himself.

Halfway between upscale and crumbling—the crud of artistic integrity.

Like an action photograph or poster art that embraces movement inside the decay of late-stage modern capitalism. Now it was MTV and bonkers stoner-culture on the edge of urban redevelopment.

Movement and energy– rich and poor mingling as a true alternative.

Like the unnatural lump of packaged evil, the vague bar and club scene. You had a tattooed, long-haired oddball with John Lennon sunglasses and a short Hitler mustache who stood with his arms crossed in oppositional defiance. Underground movements and mad, eccentric Gothic genius as the angels wept, cherubs sweeping their arms up in the trickling fountains of the local park.

Poetry—beauty is on the street. Life had its bargain-priced compensations.

Black and white comics and underground zines. Every scrap and slip of paper. . . . . junk food packaging. A caricature of a skater in a bandanna smiling in a spurt of munched-down intensity, sugar and artificial flavoring inside this golden wrapper. Or gonzo, bonkers foam-rubber heavy metal gladiators inside a video-art project installation. A spray of pixelated hyper modern-culture, alien warriors in a foreign video-game. Ninjas and the art of stealth up and down these streets.

And here it was– civilization brought to the plains and lush river valley as the air carried the fragrance of Mississippi river mud.

The veins of Lydia Deetz run through this area.

Advertising “to die for”, that vague “IT” factor. Read this article about savvy product-placement.

The Old Haunts Lydia Knows. . . . . .

Closed-Door Politics at Warner Bros.

As outsiders to Hollywood board-room politics, I claim to come from nowhere else “but Bumfuck, America” as do most people. Just think: the swank suits, sunglasses, and constant industry shorthand talked into a cell-phone as they cruise down Hollywood boulevard in a fire-apple red convertible.

Or at least that’s the impression of agents. If not “industry suits”, maybe?

But in the world of Beetlejuice 2– and get this– you could see the offices as a kind of galactic room of maggot-like gladiators, debating over the fate of the movie and breaking what is known as “The Fourth Wall” and deliberating in front of the camera like on the wavelength of Darth Vader or whatever.

It’s none-other than GWAR– the foam-rubber monster shock-rock band. And if “buckets o’ blood” isn’t “gimmicky”, than what else is?

Yes, overlords unto cruel, crude fate as they summon in one writer after another and have them beheaded– even as the crowd gathers outside of the “Beetlejuice Returns” premier, hungry for a sequel “that hasn’t even been written yet”.

So a surreal exercise, a bit like that movie theater scene in “Blazing Saddles” with radical shifts in audience perspective– both the audience “in the movie”, and then one day when the film actually plays before a living, breathing audience.

And where is Beetlejuice?

Conked-out and snoring in a coffin as the movie-going audience starts chanting his name– a delay before the narrative starts– and boy, do we have some great surprises for you.

So keep following this blog and we’ll explore more ookey, kooky, creepy levels of all things “Beetlejuice” as we’re so glad to have you as readers.

Until then, “don’t you go changin'” and we’ll return tomorrow.

Closed-Door Politics at Warner Bros.