DEPT. of OVERWROUGHT UNDERSTATEMENTS

no worries she knows exactly what that thing she’s handling is

 

A POME for the NEO-VICHY

unpardonably dumb in

your vanity you believed the world-

Witch you helped

bargain for children  winking

he’d never  come for yours

 

 

LETTERS WITH ET

1

(a college friend of mine posted an appeal on FB for people to vote for his wife’s one-woman zoom-streaming play; I thought the clip I saw of this one-woman (dis)play was extraordinarily needy-bossy in an awfully familiar, and very mediocre,  Liberal-Reactionary way; in order to put on this (dis)play they built a “black box theater” in their living room:  sending ET a link to this (dis)play kicked off our correspondence for 2021)

 

On Sunday, January 3, 2021, 10:09:46 AM GMT+1, <ET> wrote:   

A black box theatre is ( in theory ) a good thing. It means the artists can turn it into anything they want without the architecture getting in the way. Unfortunately here they’ve made it look like a black box and don’t seem to have realised that this may work against whatever the text may be telling us.  

The approach to voting reminds me of one of those Guardian Reader’s book of the Year awards where we all voted for an author whose work we liked.  

One year it was won by a Brutalist. A BTL sleuth then discovered that the author ( can’t remember who ) had basically mobilised his social media crowd to vote for him en-masse. Nothing to do with the quality of the writing and all to do with how many followers you’ve assembled on FaceBook and Twitter. The competition closed down after that.

THIS  would be worth a watch – what am I saying? No it wouldn’t:

 

2

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 03 January 2021 12:16
To: <ET>
Subject: Re: ho ho hell

I remember that Brutalist vote-rigging scandal!

I’ve listened to some of  645ar’s  song you just sent me and, I have to say, it would be perfect for a David Lynch film (if lynch weren’t always trying to “have his cake and eat it too” by being “weird” while trying to remain commercial).  645ar’s song forces you into a kind of Uncanny Valley of the-unusually-irritating-as-performed-by-friendly demons that’s nearly nausea inducing… and catchy like small pox.  You can imagine the song during a scene in which a sweet-faced Appalachian grandma anesthetizes a shaved poodle in order to molest it. 

 

3

On Sunday, January 3, 2021, 3:40:46 PM GMT+1, <<ET>> wrote:

“if lynch weren’t always trying to “have his cake and eat it too” by being “weird” while trying to remain commercial”

That’s sort of what I like about him. I can do without the chic expensive adverts, the exhibitions where there’s maybe 3 good things in a sea of meh and the lapse into silly cliches ( the “decadent” world in Wild At Heart or playing Rammstein alongside flashes of lightning when it’s meant to be scary ) but I like the way he walks the line and for me the plusses outweigh the minuses.

I always wondered why directors do adverts but reading an interview by the Quay Brothers whose films are hyper obtuse versions of  Schulz, Walser or Lem and they say that one ad can pay for 6 months of studio rent and experimentation so I guess we have to live with it. I suppose it comes down as to whether you think it corrupts the art. I’m not sure with Lynch.

 

4

Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>

To: <ET>

Sun, Jan 3 at 5:37 PM

Oh I don’t mean “coherent” or “relatable” when I say “commercial,” I mean it as in  “in the end, deeply reassuring to the American consumer”… like a guided tour (in an air-conditioned coach with bullet-proof glass) through a “slum” where the tourists get to see exactly what they paid to see (but, rather than seeing drunken ethnics shooting dice on the corner, or beating their wives, the tourists get to see “surrealist” dwarfs talking backwards, or bokeh fires, flames lapping in slo-mo!). I thought the first half of Eraserhead (the production of which was separated, by a telling gap of years, from the second) was the most genuinely creative/ funny/ unsettling use of cinematic story-telling  I’d ever seen. But ugh, came the post-80s  syrupy Angelo Badalimenti soundtrack music, the ’50s-suburban-kitsch-targets, the Midwesternalia! Eraserhead was the (Industrial) Midwest that needed to be vivisected, not that corny shit that a generation of National Lampoon writers attacked more viciously/ funnier in the ’70s. Whoever called Lynch “Jimmy Stewart from Mars” was only encouraging his downfall. Bring back the Eraserhead Baby Prop! Bring back the Eraserhead Baby Prop! (Can we turn that into a chant along the lines of “WE WANT TO EAT!”?)

This is the ONLY IDEA that Lynch can make into a movie that will redeem him, in my eyes: a violent street gang of Chicago, c. 1987 (Crips? Bloods?)  become inexplicably obsessed with Caesar Romero’s child-bride Charo. Now THAT I would pay to see. Nothing else will do… 

PS My stomach just emitted a sound-effect that sounded exactly like a large man yelling “YO!”

 

5

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 04 January 2021 20:10
To: <ET>
Subject: Re: ho ho hell

A visibly decaying Lars von Trier kindly expresses my feeling about Lynch, then adds hilarious story: 18:59-22:49

 

 

6

On Monday, January 4, 2021, 11:30:21 PM GMT+1, <ET>> wrote:

 

There are many things to criticise Lynch for but criticising Twin Peaks for being what it is, an open-ended soap opera seems a bit perverse. No-one’s going to come back down that ladder for at least 50 episodes.

Presumably in the manner of all soap operas they would have carried on making it if the TV company hadn’t pulled the  plug – they got it right too the 2nd series is awful whimsy. I suspect if it was made today rather than be pitched as a soap opera  it would have ended after the murder mystery was solved and then they would have made a second series with nothing to go on bar a huge audience expectation  ( much in the way that all those successful box-set series develop today ).

Did Von Trier’s arm shake off at the end of the interview? Alcohol hasn’t been kind to him. I liked Breaking the Waves and the set-up of Dogville but his films just seem like Bergman’s only with more genital mutilation and middle-class self-absorption. I was willing that planet to hit earth by the end of Melancholia

 

7

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 04 January 2021 23:07
To: <ET>
Subject: Re: ho ho hell

I’ve realized I like von Trier most when he’s speaking softly and shaking! To show solidarity with his view on Lynch I’ll start drinking heavily and get back to you when my beard (which I have yet to grow) looks like that… and my double-chin very subtly vibrates. 

 

8

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 9:17:36 AM GMT+1, <ET> wrote:

Over the years I’ve thought since I have the biological capability I at least ought to try out a beard but after 4 days I’ve had enough of the sensation and shave.

Perhaps heavy drinking would help overcome that feeling and also be risky to attempt. Though having said that my father became alcoholic and still carried on shaving.

In other news a huge vagina on a hill has caused uproar in Brazil The vagina dialogues: 33-metre artwork draws far right’s ire in Brazil | Brazil | The Guardian

 

9

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 05 January 2021 09:16

To: <ET>Subject: Re: ho ho hell

My first response to news of the giant vagina (and the five-star Brazilian generals who’d like to hit it with a missile of the appropriate size) is that I’ve never seen a vagina that even remotely resembles that fiery splat on the countryside (cuntryside?) , but maybe I’ve been lucky. Not to get too personal, but even after my Wife decided to investigate the kinky novelty of removing all her pubic hair (after a brief period of disorientation I found myself endorsing the experiment with an unequivocal thumbs-up), her vagina is still massively more appealing than that violent post-Lichtenstein sigil. Maybe that’s what the Brazilian right-wingers object to? Maybe they’re being unjustly misrepresented by a SJW media (that municipal artwork does, in fact,  look like how I imagine a trans-vadge, after a stream-roller, to look). Maybe the Generals are shouting, in Portuguese , “You call that a fucking vagina?”

 

10

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 10:35:28 AM GMT+1, <ET>> wrote:

A good idea but the method pinning it to the hill so it looks like a starfish seems the strongest visual impression and detracts from what it’s supposed to be

We Brits can’t compete with the Brazilians on many fronts ( right-wing military fascism, bossa nova/samba, trees  ) but this ancestral effort

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Cerne-abbas-giant-2001-cropped.jpg  knocks the spots off ( Sergio Mendes music swells in the distance ) The Cunt on the Hill

 

11

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 05 January 2021 09:48
To: <ET>
Subject: Re: ho ho hell

I remember using that image in a joke ten years ago! Yeah, I recognize that instantly: that hard-on I invariably get before clubbing my dinner.

 

12

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 11:09:26 AM GMT+1, <ET>> wrote:

 

Or playing lacrosse

 

13

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 05 January 2021 10:16
To: <ET>
Subject: Re: ho ho hell

!

 

14

On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 11:51:55 AM GMT+1, <<ET>> wrote:

I’ve been to see it but I didn’t climb the hill and stand in the glans. It’s fenced off these days which adds an extra touch to the raging testosterone on display

 

15

From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 05 January 2021 11:00
To: <ET>

Subject: Re: ho ho hell

“Standing in the Glans”: well, that’s the title to your Autobiography sorted, ET!

 

16

<ET>>

To: ‘Steven Augustine’

Tue, Jan 5 at 12:10 PM

It’ll be vol. 4 of the autobiography as Karl Ove Knausgaard  has raised the bar for how writing your autobiography actually becomes your autobiography

 

 

******                               ********                                                                         ************

A FILM FOR MYSELF


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/507956291″>SHOW ME 4</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user1062950″>S-FILMS</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR [letters are vetted for cogency and style]

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