Bachelor Flop-House

Well, I guess “that marriage arrangement” didn’t work out.

Here today, “gone to hell”.

Even as Beetlejuice sits morosely on a lawn chair in an apartment complex, moping like a little boy. All you needed was a pink flamingo in the yard—halfway between Las Vegas & Florida, maybe just here in Missouri for wild, spun-out times.

In a state of twilight “hangover”, his SUPER POWERS aren’t too super at the moment. Maybe just need some whiskey and a snort of cocaine to clear his rotten cobwebbed head, halfway dead “and right next door to hell”.

Just like “a piece of meat that keeps on living” as he ought to lay down on the mattress flung in the corner. Or maybe just watch some low-rent daytime t.v. with the ambulance-chaser ads and “for profit” rip-off colleges as “the big score” was a bust, this time.

As if looking up in the air and apprising “a better reality”, perhaps MORE VIGOROUS than cheap “family feed-barn” all-you-can-eat pizza buffets and the prizes you win out of gum-ball machines.

Life is like an empty beer bottle……. “you always know what you’re gonna git”.

For it’s THE GRIND of “living death” as society sets you loose with E-Z credit financing and no safeguards on huge Visa/Mastercard bills. Narrowed options on the marginal side of Jerry Springer existence, unresourceful and sensationally-vacant.

Slithering further and further down the cultural drainpipe….. as the inviting ground gives off the stink of rotten mortality like a yawning pit.

Beetlejuice scratches his crotch, then “gets up to piss”.

Chicks equal trouble….. misadventure leads to “the same damned place”. You can’t “take it with you”, even if you earned it. And storms rumble on the wing, a whirlwind of manic crescendo as the parking lot now starts getting pelted with hail.

Good day “to stay in” and whack-off. Happy Birthday, cretin.

That success will kill ‘ya!

Advertisements
Bachelor Flop-House

Monolithic Messaging

Back in “The Paleolithic” age of my own elementary school memories…… Well, I’ll tell you.

“Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue”….. I KID YOU NOT.

Imagine having a couple of local t.v. network affiliates and large blocks of syndicated programming along the “bush-league” UHF band and you get to understand the world of video-tape, audio cassettes, and clunky camcorders.

It was basement/bedroom video projects and Nintendo “Game Genie” code books in paperback— as it looked to the school bus set rumbling home unto sun-dappled industrial leather-scent.

Hollywood, here we come!

Or it could be that way “in young imaginations” with vast unknowns.

Life was a lot more “closed-circuit”, our mostly-filtered, curated link to the outside world. With “BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO” as your witness, your only guide to anything exciting was an address in the back of a splashy “junk food” entertainment guide.

Lots of edgy “cyber” covers with 8-bit digitation “wipe-out”— like “surf’s up dudes”—and bad middle American haircuts, mullets mostly.

(– “Write away for contest rules”)

Like, wow. Maybe even a national tie-in with “Pizza Hut”…..

(– “For a limited time, only”)

In 1990 it was earth-shattering. Monolithic messaging, you could say.

In the ultimate cross-over of Saturday morning animation properties—and broadcasting on all channels, simultaneously with industrial-strength emphasis, with a prerecorded message from the very President, himself— it was advertised months in advance, in cooperation with all the networks through a cartoon jamboree extravaganza.

Bringing you this joyless public-service message to “JUST SAY NO”.

Seat-to-seat, back-to-back, admonishing you white little wastrels “to stay off crack”.

Why, “in the name of the very social fabric”—UHF channels of “Praise the Lord”, The Home Shopping Network, and endless rerun commercials for chia pets and “Clap-on, Clap-off” THE CLAPPER for hard-of-hearing senior citizens, if not personal injury attorneys.

Truly, could it survive the era of “The Simpsons” with snarky, smart-ass comments?

The emerging gold standard of humor was the kind of thing starched-shirt parents “tried to steer us from”, a world of corporal punishment and suspendered grandpas singing barbershop quartet.

It was a self-defeating cycle of moral lassitude—thereby using entertainment “to piss off your elders” and the world they tried to shield you from.

Gothic dance clubs where stylish ladies wore leather pants, halter-tops, and sunglasses as they rocked to the thumping beat of laser-light “Batcave” Inferno. THE PEER PRESSURE “could not be beat”.

Wanted excitement? Say his name three times. . . . . REV UP YOR BIKES.

 

 

HEMP FOR VICTORY….. Semper-Fi “OR DIE”, “WITH MUNCHIES FOR MISCHIEF”.

 

“Brats Question Authority”…..

Monolithic Messaging

Nightmare Before Christmas

  

“Nightmare Before Christmas”. . . . . and we’re not talking BLACK FRIDAY super-sales and crowd riots.

In fact, the internet has taken much of the bite out of retail shopping as surely as the spirit of Christmas has turned into consumer-crazy pandemonium.

Nothing but jolly Christmas jingles for six weeks straight, scarcely when the forks and knives have clattered down on Thanksgiving plates and Americans are already out the door and descending on the mega-malls and box-stores, products of instant gratification bigger than the maniacal eyes as gloved hands beat against the plate-glass windows, waiting for the stores to open at 5 A.M.

And what about your local retail mall outlet?

Well, some are blessed more than others. . . . . . but this one is nearly-empty.

And there is “our Batman & Robin duo” IN COSTUME

Yes, Beetlejuice subcontracted out as “Santa Claus” with Lydia as his helper assistant, a surly elf in a jingling green cap stubbing out a cigarette as the manager waddles by.

It’s yuletide redneck commercialism, with the jet-black volcanic edge of a punk princess on the far-flung experience of what makes America such a strange, deth-rocker juxtaposition of roof-top aerials, local cable-television, and sin.

No, Lydia won’t sit in Santa-Beetle’s lap but she will stand to the side, her arms crossed and her eyes rubbering around at the cat-calls with her own righteous sense of absurdity.

And there the foul demon sits on a throne surrounded with puffy cotton-snow, knocking back from a bottle of whiskey and ripping his snaggle-toothed, mush-mouth with the back of his hand as he leers, calling out to customers and laughing like a Mardi Gras fiend.

He shakes an empty, wrapped box—festooned with striped-wrappers and a red-bow, and hurls it off to the side where it rolls and knocks in the back of Lydia’s green, buckled boots with the twisting toe-curls.

What did she do to deserve this?

In fact, it’s an extracurricular project for her college anthropology class on the subject of Santa redneck zombies and the American fool. Her dissertation—namely that zombie and monster films “are about keeping the lurching rubes” away from the citadels of civilization, like bourgeois fear of the hard-pitted country yeoman “CRASHING THE PARTY”, eating your brains even.

Not unlike the phenomenon of the Tea Party in American politics, though she puts “the liberal” in LIBERTARIAN as a matter of course, with little skull and “Hello, Kitty” pasties.

In her Christmas canon, Santa is a robot “and lives on the moon”—as derived from a Japanese animated series, dubbed into English and played on her iPhone.

Last year, ole’ Beetlejuice ran “a failed tree lot” when the scheme was basically stealing the Christmas trees right from living rooms when the owners weren’t around, dragging it out the busted window with the scrunch of branches and falling Christmas ornaments and flickering lights as he drug the cord behind him and out to his idling pick-up truck.

PRE-FAB Christmas trees.

Fabulous? Hardly.

But Lydia snapped pictures. Her “strange, unusual friend” and partner in “field research”—more like a dark trailer in the middle of unincorporated St. Louis county on the outer heaths of this Midwestern hell, the river like a sluggish, glinting worm-slick and above it all, the shining star of near-past winter solistice.

“Zombies ate my neighbors”. . . . . or maybe just “fascination” stalls your but, mostly-untyped manuscript as she fulfilled her inner voyeur for the sullen, sordid, outrageous, and vaguely criminal.

An indifferent “second party” to all the madness, as the spherical dome of world & sky “had no comment”, other than her chuffing breath fogging the air as Beetlejuice cussed and swore and violently swept aside the nest, acorns, and squirrel shit that had invaded his aluminum-tin domicile.

Be his name, “SATAN CLAWS” as hapless oaf of dark principalities and Wiccan prayer-god of “smoke, and glowing red coals” like a demon of destruction and vile oaths, like a laughing miscreant flicking a BIC lighter next to an unlit forest fire.

(Maybe it was just the septic tank, blowing-up like a mushroom cloud)

But here at the mall. . . . . MUZAK. The meat-blossom of the fetid air and the hell of subcontracted wages as she could think of better places to be. Maybe the “Meow-Hawns” cat café, where you could play with adoption-friendly shelter cats while glugging down steaming espresso brew and staring off into the endless sidewalk of night on the other side of the glass.

It was said “the mouth of hell” was guarded by a lion—and maybe it was just the blonde, tangled nimbus of Beetlejuice motor-mouthing the anti-climax of the season. . . . . even as “Edward Scissorhands” tended shop at the “Sally Field’s Cookies” in a cap and apron, snipping his fingers together in idle misery.

It was a Tim Burton world, baby. Watch that festive snake-head poke out of the package like a jack-in-the-box jester and freak out the custodian poking at the marble floor with a mop.

Only the guards behind the security monitors “knew if you were naughty or nice” but they were mostly snoozing under a collision of doughnuts and sweets.

That tinsel glow, “just so”. . . . .

A HAPPY NIGHT “IN HELL”.

Nightmare Before Christmas

1-900-CREEP

Yessir, the world had limited entertainment options “back in 1988”. Telephone “Party-Lines” were a thing– or getting lost in the labyrinth of an automated-system “for a thrill”. . . . . though the real shock was when your parents got the phone-bill. “in this world of worlds”, what do you think you, or I, or anybody “would dredge-up out there”?

      

  

Beetlejuice’s phone-line sits, “mostly unanswered” as it’s another “get-broke-quick” scheme. He’ll be “an internet millionaire in no-time”. . . . .

  

 

1-900-CREEP

Karma, Purgatory, Bureaucracy

  

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.

Karma, Purgatory, Bureaucracy

Lydia, Updated for Present Day

 

Lydia, Updated for Present Day

1988—it was a long time ago.

You can’t really play too much of “a recycled teenager” without some stylistic changes.

Sure, there’s the question if too great a number of the MTV generation “ever grew up” or if we live in an extended post-adolescence with tiny jobs, an abundant service economy, and definitely TIME TO PARTY.

Many of us keep listening to the same music we did back in high school. . . . . . but there’s a question if we’d still wear the exact articles of clothing.

Many 40 year-old’s couldn’t well fit into the same Metallica t-shirt or at least wouldn’t wear it well. And it’s not if most Metallica fans turned into investment bankers.

I can’t really think of Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz ever “selling-out”, really. But would she still wear the same shapeless black rags and spiky head-piece?

Not likely—or it would just look weird 30 years on.

But an artistic, dark soul would still wear the sort of dark, punk-rock accoutrements. I’m thinking a black sun hat, t-shirt, and jeans like the photo below—incidentally a slice of the local population around here in our very own St. Louis.

So how do you weigh the reality of “working”, or holding-down a job?

There’s one answer to that—THE “GIG” ECONOMY.

Front whatever kind of bullshit you want, but there’s a niche for any kind of service. And that means more than working at “Build-a-Bear” though it’s a job Lydia might try out for like, A DAY before getting fired.

If you remember, she makes her way around as a local personality working on DIY t.v., maybe a bit of radio at the local community stations. When she’s not doing that, or maybe running a YouTube channel she makes extra money by giving live tarot readings via web-cam with an air of intrigue and langouring mystery.

Stretch that job out while living with a couple of house-mates and possessing a liberal arts degree, maybe you can “fake it” until “you make it”.

Cyber-space calls, meat-space is tacky. But tours of the strange & unusual can pass as a vocation, if you’re creative and “a little loopy”.

So it is among the hard feld-spar and open lots, where skaters flip tricks and the depthless blue sky hangs above as old media is recycled into newer, strange organic forms. Personalities weave in and out of her languid, sarcastic day and she never loses her dramatic air, bobbing in and of the screen like an apparition in a Bram Stoker novel.

Trust me—many can get away with this well into middle-age or later—as where do you go when there’s no role models or hero’s—only television sound-bytes and the even more evanescent online-hype?

And who could rightfully succeed in such a media environment? What single point of hard, diamond-like concentration does it get to push a personal brand, a line of consumer products?

Let the freak show begin. . . . . she’s just the ticket-taker.

As for Beetlejuice? The star of the story—and you’ll know “IT’S SHOW-TIME”.

Lydia remains the well-grounded “voice of reason” and keeps this film anchored. Her most welcome-return will certainly be anticipated, or else the sequel “was never meant to be”.

And by plucking the petals off a black-rose and creamy white fingers with black nail-polish, she’ll wish you luck.

 

Lydia, Updated for Present Day

Rock & Roll Star

lydia_contour   puke

Rock & Roll Star