The Old Haunts Lydia Knows. . . . . .

43028-v1-600x   volt_holt

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.

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The Old Haunts Lydia Knows. . . . . .

United We Stand

    american_flag

United We Stand. . . . .

United We Stand

A Most Excellent Film Festival

Down at the St. Louis International Film Festival, over the weekend. Of local interest, Alex Winter from the “Bill & Ted” nostalgia-wagon was by to glad-hand at a special late-night screening, not to mention promote his own line of directorial work.

He won a local award for lifetime achievement by the local film society of artists, academics, minstrels, and poets. . . . . a far cry from what he’ll always best be remembered, for. Mixing business, pleasure, and a cultural touch-stone of local fandom as I wonder if he ever gets tired, rehashing over his “Excellent Adventure” or “Bogus Journey”, depending on how you choose to look at.

Like they said in some “View-Askew” Kevin Smith moment, I guess the internet is an excuse to bat around porn files back & forth and otherwise cluster around movie nostalgia.

The world belongs to the fans– and hungry they are, for “fresh meat”. Or the carcass of Beetlejuice dragged-out in his old pin-striped suit as there’s putrescent juice left in the franchise, yet. Bloating potential and chock-full of squirming, squiggling maggots as I’d like to refer to film-can scavengers as something, nobler.

Beetlejuice is like the splattered possum of a misbegotten sequel no one quite gets around to shoveling off the super information highway of rumor, fan-art, and hope. Tap that vein– that rich, rich vein as I’m sure this blog is generating interest, somewhere.

On a softly-ominous portent “of what might be”, the Beetlejuice Rockin’ Graveyard Revue is closing-down at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida as you wonder about the remnants of hoosier heaven south in Tampa– and where the real fun’s at.

Easily transposed to the wilds of South St. Louis, Beetlejuice never dies in spirit and will walk among us so long as there’s truck stops, carnivals, and fireworks stands– and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be sleazing around your neighborhood, or in a word-processing program late at night on my home computer.

So say it once, say it twice– third time’s a charm– “SCREENPLAY, SCREENPLAY, SCREENPLAY”. The madness continues as you’re in store for no end of fun. As sure as the trailer rolls-up to my backyard to take permanent residence as you hear the barking dogs and banging trash-cans as Beetlejuice takes possession of myself, as muse– and won’t die-down until the money rolls in, at long last.

The epitaph on this one will be “The Final Word”. Sequel-juice! Sequel-juice! Sequel-juice! Because one good turn deserves another– and you can just call be “The Necro-Butcher” of WordPress blogging. See you again, right here tomorrow.

wpid-wp-1444570595675.jpeg   wpid-wp-1444570338888.jpeg

A Most Excellent Film Festival

Tales from The Crypt

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Attention, K-mart shoppers. ‘Tis the season– I remember it, well.

And who could forget– daisy baskets wrapped in orange & black crepe paper and the whiff of pumpkin-spice as the whole community came-out to celebrate Halloween as a children’s holiday. You had all the daffy classroom mothers dressed-up in cat-ears, slipped over their head like canted sunglasses and a purse full of car-keys.

And how kids stamped-around in the all-school parade, as safe and wholesome as the crossing-guard giving us supervised passage as that was the “G-rated” version, at least. It wasn’t “horrific”, exactly– but sappy and age-appropriate.

And then the adults had their fun. . . . .

Halloween was like the funereal version of Mardi Gras around these parts as you descended deeper into the gray, concrete wonders of city-limits. It was the season of moody autumn that looked like a Flemish painting as the gates at the entrance boded welcome in our skeletal season of menace.

And oh, what a crowd assembled around “Johnnie Brock’s Dungeon”. Wall-to-wall with costume racks that adapted flexibly through the passage of holidays in the aisles of this huge warehouse space. With the winking skyline looming in the washed-out sky and happenstance of casual traffic, it was a real night out on the town for what any occasion could be, taking the trouble to get out here where Halloween-goers went.

Nighttime– full of wild, animal spirits that brushed-up against something “vaguely disreputable” with its carnival atmosphere like ale-houses and burlesque theater without question of mature judgement or taste. Coming together in this culture of cars and tail-gating parties as you came here to be reminded of something you maybe knew years ago as a young teenager with hormones and bright, nervous sweat of inexperience.

To gain experience, or jab at the underbelly of splattered-death with the fake, rearing rictus of rotting teeth in molded foam-rubber. Flirting with extinction– like danger, or chainsaws sending scarecrow legs flying in the strobe-lights of a haunted slaughter-house as it was all lurid chills and the feeling of vague criminality. . . . . like gory Metallica shirts and grinning, skeletal repose in overgrown, yellowed-over wastelands of beer cans and empty chip bags.

It brought back memories–  the nauseous sick of candy and any hint or sign of romantic intrigue, or other novelties that hold kids’ fancy like those glow-in-the-dark figurines you’d fish out of a box of “Cap’n Crunch” cereal as you’d come here for inspiration, the fount of youthful energies “that never dies” and perhaps a bit of something that would jog your creativity for this “Beetlejuice 2” idea I have.

One time, years ago my younger brother and I were wandering around a Target retail store in November and spotted a “KISS” Halloween mask on mark-down. It was wispy haired as a black-maned skunk, nasty– with a long red tongue dipping down like a hot poker.

We mounted-it-up on a tin of Christmas popcorn as it looked like a severed head in some chamber of cheery horrors. We were howling with laughter, yet were ignored as tired drudges pushed their shopping carts, past– oblivious. It truly amounted to “the night of the working-stiffs” as we had our makeshift, vandalized pleasures. . . . . even pulling the mask over a pumpkin-scarecrow by the display near check-out so now you had this crucified fiend on a mismatched jean-denim body and bib-overalls.

Wal-Mart or “Wally-World” as others call it, like a theme park of family-fun as “oh, the joys of retail”. In “National Lampoon’s Vacation” the mascot for this Disney-Land like getaway was not Mickey Mouse, but Marty Moose as you pressed the button to hear a friendly message.

Cross the two at a Wal-Mart display, and you’d have this goofy moose transformed from a hapless corn-shucker to something Beetlejuice befouled. . . . . the friendly mascot now a grisly fiend in a flapped hunting cap with blood-shot eyes and a rictus of grinning teeth, bent over flung-around pork-steaks and tampons with a juice-streaked machete.

“H’yuk, h’yuk!!”

“Come dick along for the asshole savings and show two proofs of purchase as we motherfuck for lower prices, ALWAYS”.

Not only is the prerecorded message sabotaged, but the public shopping experience goes off in unscripted directions as Beetlejuice takes over the intercom– the manager slamming his fist against the two-way mirror glass.

It’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, six-weeks of holiday-themed savings as I guess “Beetlejuice lost it”. Would you?

poppedeyes   marty_moose

And so we leave you with Judge Alvin Valkenheiser for an old, hoary night of ooky-spooky irascibility and local ole’ fishing-hole justice. . . . .

Tales from The Crypt