last night we watched the movie stoked
, a documentary about mark anthony "gator" rogowski. he was one of the first professtional skaters (skateboards) in the '80s, a poster boy for skating and vision street wear, & a vertifcal skating legend. but eventually he began to lose his popularity, especially when street skating started to dominate the scene. with his career fading, mark started to spin out of control... ending in rape, murder, and incarceration.
here's an old juicy story from the village voice
... it has some details that weren't in the movie (like the fact that gator & brandi appeared in tom petty's "free fallin'" video).
so michael moore
has a new movie due out soon: fahrenheit 911
. it explores the deep bonds between the bush family and powerful families from saudi arabia: not just the saudi royals but another family you might've heard of: the bin ladens.
miramax, the once-upon-an-indie film company that was swallowed by disney awhile back, financed the film. but this week disney forbade miramax from distributing the movie.
moore cried foul, saying that disney was pulling out because they didn't want to piss off the jeb & the bushes. eisner denied that, spouting some baloney about how disney doesn't want to be deal with political material.
FAIR has a more intriguing suggestion
: disney doesn't want to piss off the saudis, because eurodisney has its own ties to the saudi royal family. (they also thoroughly debunk the assertion that disney is apolitical)
i met her on our first week of freshman year, college. for whatever reason (i think she was in a class with one of my floormates), she ended up on our floor & hung out with a few us in the lounge for a while. i ran into her again the next day and we spent some more time together then... soon we were hanging out often and became close, as close as i'd been to any female outside my family.
she was pretty, smart, and friendly to the point of unintentionally coming off as flirty. that last bit was very important: girls like that always caught my eye when i was lonely and starved for attention. so of course i immediately became infatuated with her, and before too long i was convinced i was in love with her. maybe i was. probably i was.
she figured out my feelings pretty quickly. but she said she wasn't interested in me that way, and no amount of talking, moping, or anything else would convince her to give me a chance. i could never figure that out, and i resented it a bit. but she was one of my best friends, so we kept hanging out... no matter how depressed i got or what horrors i could imagine, i always clung to that hope that someday she would "realize how great we would be together". which naturally only made it all hurt more.
i'd been infatuated before, and i'd been rejected before. but in those cases either the girl never found out about my feelings (if i ever even spoke to her), or the girl would reject me & there'd be a hard break, where i would grow very melancholy for a day or a few, and in that time would get over it. at least enough to function. a lot of the time also i would distance myself enough from the girl that we wouldn't speak much anymore. it wasn't pleasant, but the rejection was easier to take if i didn't have to deal with the girl in question.
this time it didn't work like that. there was no hard break. i was too close to stop talking to her, & i still hoped she would give me a chance. so instead of one moment of rejection (which i had coping mechanisms for, as awkward as they were), it was a long period of continuous rejection that lasted a year. to this day i think that was really unhealthy for me, probably the last thing i needed now that i was in college trying to break out of my shell and explore the new freedom that comes with going away to school.
(i feel the need to point out that she was an extremely nice person who never meant to hurt me. i'm not even sure how much she did hurt me: i probably did most of it to myself. but the effect on me was the same.)
when i try to go to bed at night, often it's hard to shut my brain down enough to fall asleep; i just keep on thinking & can't get distracted enough to drift off. that has always been the way. but during this time my nocturnal thoughts would take a turn for the nasty. i would work up these elaborate un-fantasies, nightmare scenarios where she would say & do awful, malicious things to me for no reason... tell me she hates me, decide never to speak to me again, hell i hardly remember the terrible things i would imagine her doing, but i do remember lying in bed awake at three in the morning, four in the morning, fucking six in the morning, bringing myself to tears because i was so freaked out that she didn't love me, wouldn't even give me a chance at romance... i couldn't turn these thoughts away or shut out the voices. it was like having recurring nightmares, except i got even less rest because i didn't have the benefit of falling asleep first.
i was young and foolish. i did stupid things. and i grew jealous, intensely jealous, of other men she became involved with... so she hid them from me, which only made it worse when i later found out (not that there were that many, but there were a couple). one time she asked me what i'd do if she turned out to be a lesbian (a serious question; she was young & confused too). i told her i didn't know what i'd do... & i might even kill myself. jesus, what a guilt-trip to lay on the poor girl... what terrible pressure.
i even started smoking pot for her. not because she asked or pressured me to; she knew that i still had a straight-edge streak leftover from "rebelling" against the tie-dye-wearing, jimmy-buffett-listening yuppie pseudo-hippies from high school. no, i started because i peer-pressured myself
into it, as if she would have a sudden change of heart if we had one more way to bond together. now, she had nothing to do with why i continued
smoking, but i started in some lame attempt to impress her.
one night a few months after we met (i think we'd even been hanging out that night), i was drunkenly talking to her on the phone & i ended the call with "i love you". i immediately regretted it & wouldn't have said it sober. but i said it, so i panicked. i'd seen enough bad fiction to know that "i love you" is not something to say lightly, so i freaked out like now things would start going horribly wrong (like they'd been so right in the first place). turns out she hardly even noticed, because "i already knew you loved me" she said. that was the first (& so far only) time i ever told a woman i loved her (excluding family, & perhaps also exclusing anonymous love letters, which aren't the same at all), & it didn't do much for me other than add to my ever-growing stack of traumatic memories. nothing happened, nothing changed.
this went on for awhile. i was on a college campus surrounded by gorgeous young women... some of them were quite pleasant to look at or even stroke myself to, but i wasn't really interested in them because they could never live up to the fantasies that i'd built up in my mind about how perfect life would be if "she" would ever give me a chance.
a few months later, another phone call: somehow our conversation turned to my relationships with women. she took a position of encouraging me to pursue women i like rather than suffer silently (not the first time i'd had that conversation with someone, nor was it the last by a longshot). somehow she didn't realize that this whole conversation was about her
(i was pretty certain it was a coded conversation... yes, she was a little flaky... just flaky enough to hurt me without meaning to), & it went so far that she somehow convinced me i should try to kiss her.
i had hope again (after all, it was her idea
), so later that day i made my move & went in for the kiss, in the hallway right outside my room. it went horribly... as soon as she saw me moving in she turned her head, and i glanced off her cheek. it wasn't one of those hollywood moments where the woman resists until the kissing starts but gets caught up in the passion of the moment... she deflected my advance & i effectively bounced off her cheek. there was no kiss, only awkwardness (i would have to wait more than a year for my first kiss).
she felt terrible for her part in setting up that tragedy, but for me it was one of the most traumatic moments of my college years (the others being when i got carjacked, & when i got arrested for possession). my mood went into a deep tailspin... a few days later, realizing i was desperate for some kind of change, some symbolic gesture to represent that i had at least some control over my life, i got a haircut. that was a big deal: so far i'd had a full head of long hair, & this was the first time since high school that i got it cut short... i had the sides & back shaved off (as was the style at the time), got the rest trimmed to the top of my ears in a "bowl cut". thus began my haircut cycle of cutting the top short, then growing it out, then cutting it again.... i'm still in that cycle today.
the haircut worked: somehow it helped bring me out of that funk. but still there was no hard break; i didn't get over her. no, that happened in february, & my feelings for her lasted throughout that summer. i even took a greyhound out to BFE that summer to visit her in her tiny hometown of like 600 people.
sophomore year she moved off-campus, so i didn't see her quite as much. i finally got over her in late september, but only because an encounter with another woman managed to distract me: after a long night of hanging out & drinking with girl #2, we ended up laying down together & girl #2 even placed my hand on her breast (outside the shirt). turns out that after girl #2 sobered up she wasn't so interested in me anymore (or maybe i just scared her off), so that didn't really get me anywhere. but at least the spell was broken & i was finally able to move on.
we remained close friends, although the awkwardness always remained, despite the fact that my love, or infatuation, or whatever it was had dissipated. plus, i was now fully able to resent her for having refused me for so long, something i couldn't really let myself do while i still thought i was in love with her.
not too long after that she started dating, & the three of us would hang out... i became fairly good friends with her new boyfriend, although i was never 100% comfortable with him and could never figure out what he
had that i didn't... eventually they got married (i drove down during the summer for the wedding, apparently one of her only friends who bothered to do so)... then she got pregnant... by this point we'd been drifting apart & after graduating i didn't keep close contact with either of them (i've similarly lost touch with many of my college friends). last i heard they had two kids, but that was a few years ago... i wonder what they're up to now.
for a long time afterward i dealt with the psychic fallout from all this, & to some degree i'm sure i'm still dealing with it now. of course there were good times, happy moments together that i wouldn't want to give up. but with all the intense pain, dragged out over a full year, plenty damage was done, self-inflicted or otherwise. eventually i found other women who would
give me a chance, & while usually those ended within days or weeks, at least i got to kiss them (& more) before they rejected me... & some of those even turned into fulfilling relationships... after all, i have a girlfriend now who i care about deeply & i'm very happy with (except for the long-distance aspect).
but in all that time i've often wondered what went wrong, what went right, & most importantly whether i was even in love at all. i thought i was at the time. i had a closer personal bond with someone than i'd ever had before. but it was all so painful & disillusioning. is there such a thing as unrequited love? love is supposed to be a good thing--fraught with the pain that always accompanies human relationships, to be sure--so how could something as frustrating, tortuous, & one-sided as "unrequited love" be real love? if it's not real love, then wtf is it? just some grandiose form of infatuation?
even worse, if unrequited love is not real love--if the one time i truly thought i was in love, i was mistaken--then how could i ever know if i found the real thing?
these kinds of questions nagged at me for a long time, & since i was never really in a position to come up with solid answers they just drifted to the back of my mind. now that i'm actually in a committed long-term "couple" relationship, i find that i've never really dealt with these outstanding issues that have been fucking with my head for almost 10 years (i started college in the fall of 1994).
after spending most of the morning typing all this out, i'm leaning toward the conclusion that yes, i probably was in love. and because it was so agonizing, ever since i've been fighting myself not to let myself become that vulnerable again. sure, i've been infatuated with plenty women since then, & fell for some of them pretty hard. but as irrational as it is, maybe on some level i've avoided opening myself up the way i did back then, as if doing so & just letting it happen, just accepting that i'm falling in love again would cause my girlfriend to turn on me, to deny me in the way i was denied all those years back.
which is totally crazy. but these sorts of things tend to get crazy, don't they?
now i might be full of shit. but it makes sense, at least right now.
greg & the people at punkrocknight have been kind enough to post these photos from the genitorturers show
. some are a bit blurry but you can see some of the costumes, strap-ons, and a glowing dildo protruding from an ass.
this won't be so much a genitorturers review as a collection of observations, notes, and anecdotes, because there will be little here with the cohesion of a full review.
i showed up maybe halfway through the opening band, pitbull daycare. both bands consisted of vocals, guitar, bass, drums (i'm always amazed at how desperately people cling to this format for their bands) & played "industrial rock" as typified by stabbing westward (with less electronics) or any of the dozens of similar bands out there. the opening band had at least a dash of electronics, like they'd open up a song with an interesting sound before turning it into a rock track. the genitorturers had virtually no electronics. without their distinctive "goth" dress and subject matter, neither band would be very distinguishable from any other rock/metal band out there. so needless to say i wasn't very impressed by the "music" side of the show (although nothing was so cheesy it made me laugh).
i stayed near the stage in between sets so it would be easy to move up front when the genitorturers played. dj rony spun some tracks; he tried to mix but hasn't mastered beatmatching (tip: there are many ways to mix without beatmatching... i know from experience. but if you're mixing one beat with another, they need to be beatmatched or they will trainwreck. i've been known to trainwreck on purpose but i rather doubt that was rony's intention). the band also soundchecked while the dj music was playing, which lead to some interesting sound clashes.
lots of people were dressed up in their usual goth regalia. some were not (like me). but my favorite audience member was the blonde, dressed in jeans and pink blouse like she just left the sorority house, but who was being led around on a leash by another woman. neither the yuppie clothes nor the leash would've stuck out in isolation, but together they made for a bizarre juxtaposition. maybe she just got off work or something.
eventually the genitorturers started. the band has three dudes on guitar, bass, & drums, the hot female (gen) on vox, and a couple actors (one of each gender) who would come out periodically in costume and be abused for a moment.
i was right near the front of the stage. directly in front of me was some guy who kept fainting... i mean he must've fallen or half-fallen 1/2 dozen times before he & his friends finally got the sense to move him away from the stage so he could sit down or something. i'm not sure if he was woozy because of the sight of blood or drugs he did before the show or what... i suspect it wasn't alcohol because drunks usually stumble while walking around, not while just standing still. gen poured water on his back & talked to him, but it did little good, & eventually he left the stage area...
surprisingly, although gen seems to be pinup girl for the band (just look at all the pics on their website
), she kept her clothes on throughout the show, never removing her corset, fishnets, or whatever you call those pants that look like panties except they're worn on the outside. she did periodically vanish backstage for a costume/prop change, but i was expecting her to slowly shed her outfit over the course of the show, or at least maybe cut her fishnets off.
of course, the disadvantage of seeing this at a public club for a rock show (especially here in the f'n bible belt) is the prudish public decency laws. i can only wonder if, given free reign, how much rowdier the genitorturers would be (if at all).
anyway, gen's clothes never really came off, although she rub on herself a few times and admittedly looked pretty good in her outfit, crouching or posing like a rockstar. the lewdness and nudeness came mostly from the actress, whose outfits usually included red tape over her nipples (stupid indiana laws) or, for one costume, fake rubber nipples.
some of the actress's costumes included a pseudo-fascist uniform, a nun, a geisha, a hospital patient outfit (complete with bandages and fake blood), and many more. at one point she spat stage blood at the crowd (getting some on my shirt, in my hair, etc). at another point early in the show, she was onstage & turned around to reveal a glowing dildo sticking out of her crotch... gen played around with it before finally pulling it out (it had a ball on the end that was inside the actress, so i'm pretty certain that was real penetration, not illusion) and giving it to the crowd. during the encore, the actress really surprised me by bringing out a half-nude local girl, laying her down, and pissing on her. they tried to obscure the money shot from view by holding a large REPENT sign in the way, but being very close to the stage i did see my share of labia. it's not every day you get to see snatch at a rock show (particularly a performer's snatch), so that alone probably made attending worthwhile (although i could have done without the urine itself).
all in all, there were plenty of dildos, strap-ons (though not as many as i expected from the photo gallery), spankings, simulated sex acts, rubbing of phallic objects on crotches (though again not as much as i expected), and unusual costumes. there was also some piercing, mild bondage, and in the finale they simulated driving a large nail through a rubber penis, complete with stage blood oozing out the tip.
so it was a good, memorable stage show, which is what i went to see. personally i could've used more fetish show & less rock band... you typically had to watch most of a song before anyone in costumes came out to get freaky. i'm extremely curious as to whether they held back because they were in the bible belt... there were definitely some freaky moments but there would be several minutes of "hey we're a rock band" in between. maybe if i want to see a real fetish show i need to do it at a private club (preferably not in indiana). but the genitorturers did pull off the combo of rock band/fetish show very well, better than i'd seen it done before.
urg... tough choices.
is returning to dnb night tonight at the melody inn
. i would love to go there & support sonicterror.
but there's a conflict. specifically, tonight is the first ever indy performance by the genitorturers
up through this morning, i figured i would go see enduser (even though i just saw him at the melody on march 27
). but now i'm beginning to think that i really should go see the genitorturers.
it's just $5, i know i will enjoy all the music, and i know the guy personally so it would be good to show my continuing support.
i have seen him within the last 6 weeks, and have probably seen all the other djs who'll be performing as well. plus, it's basically just a bunch of dudes standing in front of laptops or turntables... good music but not too exciting to watch.
i've never seen them before, i'm interested in checking out the venue (never been there before), and there will be crazy fetish people galavanting around stage half nude & doing god knows what onstage
(much more fun to watch than a guy with a laptop). plus, i might know more people there.
it's $12 ($7 more than enduser), and no matter how much i love their stage show, the music will probably be kinda cheesy, at least for my taste.
so.... great music with no stage show, or great stage show with cheesy (but not intolerable) music? that's a tough call. all other things being equal, i would probably pick enduser. but since i've seen him play a few times, including recently, & i've never seen the genitorturers, i think i need to pick them. i might be disappointed in the long run, but there's only one way to know...
just got a surprising email from unszene
dude, i think it was because you posted a link to my page that fucking MATMOS contacted me for buttons!!!! holy shit!!!
for some of you, matmos
needs no introduction. for the uninitiated, let's just say that they're about as popular as you can be & still be somewhat experimental. so to me or unszene, they're a "big name", though the average american has surely never heard of them.
i've never had any direct contact with the guys at matmos so that was a bit of a surprise, if indeed they found the link here (the only other explanation is that connie took one
flier for unszene's buttons to san francisco... where did you leave that again, connie?). i guess it's not a huge
shock, since i'm only two degrees separated from matmos (having met lesser and wobbly during my last trip to the bay, and having given both of them copies of maura's milk chocolate bath
), but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. it's comforting to think that people (other than my close friends) are actually coming to the site and getting something useful out of it.
and since i'm thinking of going back to the bay in august, maybe i really should
contact those matmos boys... it would be cool to hook up or even set up a show out there.