Archive for March, 2009

The Idiot Parade

March 30, 2009

We are surrounded by idiots in this world. Brainless, pointless, useless, mouthbreathing fuckheads who, by their very existence, hamper our evolution as a species.

You know who they are. You see them everyday. They’re blocking your way in traffic, not knowing whether they’re taking a left or a right or, when they do, either too oblivious of their surroundings or just without the simple courtesy or conscience necessary to put on a goddamn blinker. They’re clogging up the supermarket aisles, standing three abreast, staring slackjawed at the Ho-Hos and Ding-Dongs, completely oblivious to the line of people standing there hoping, praying to squeeze by. They’re on their cellphones constantly as they blow through stop signs and red lights or stand there annoying an entire bank queue with their drivel. There’s entire convoys of them driving scooters through Wal-Mart as we speak, bearing down on the Doritos display like a horde of glassy eyed, brain damaged wildebeasts.

And they have no idea you exist. Nor would they care if they did. Because it’s all about them, don’t you know? “Did I just cut a guy off in traffic, forcing him to take out his entire undercarriage on the median strip? Oh, well. Sorry, Heather, what were you saying about last night’s episode of Wife Swap?”

The Idiot Parade is about these people, this constant, endless procession of everyday morons who, by their astonishing lack of intelligence, morals and basic cognizance of others, make even the simplest, most basic tasks of our our lives a neverending, miserable hell.

Today’s example: A cro-magnon wannabe who, while shopping at a local supermarket, tied his feral, out of control dog to a pole outside the entrance. Not across from the entrance, or at the corner, or near the adjoining sidewalk but right outside the doors, within feet of the actual exit. So that every time anyone left the store who didn’t have that distinct odor of stale human fecal matter that he’s come to identify with his mentally defective owner, the vicious, howling mut starts a frothing monsoon of barking and snarling that would make Michael Vick proud.

Little old ladies were flinging their plums into the air with shocked terror, clawing their hair nets out and screaming. Children skinning their knees and palms as they dove to the pavement to dodge the rabid beast. I think he tore a skirt off of one woman as she went past. The entire walkway in front of the place was littered with broken eggs and crushed orange juice cartons as people abandoned their groceries in a mad scramble to get away.

So, yeah. That bastard wins Fuckface of the Week hands down.

And the parade goes on.

Remember What Stuart Adamson Said

March 30, 2009

“Stay alive.”

Of course, he eventually killed himself.

I’ve tried to make sense of this from time to time. Of course, I understand a song lyric is just a song lyric and an anthem like that, however powerful, does not define a lifetime. It doesn’t provide some sort of magical Guitar Hero Sheild against the shit life can throw at you. Epsecially when you’re dealing with such issues as substance abuse, failed relationships, estrangement from all the friends and family you’ve come to believe no longer care whether you live or die.

When you’re that weary and alone, not even the music can reach you anymore.

Which is sad, because Stuart had so much to offer. You look not only at the official discography of The Skids and Big Country to see his song writing and guitar playing skill but to the extensive amount of material that has been released in the form of eight Rarities albums, many of which via Ian Grant’s Track Records. Some of them are better than others, of course, and the very first one contains some amazing gems like the Restless Natives soundtrack and songs like When A Drum Beats and Over The Border. On each of them, however, there is at least one example of the heart and soul that Mr. Adamson put into his work, that philosophy and, dare I say it, hope that seemed essential to his art. Belief In The Small Man, as one song title said. I always thought it was in there in some form.

So maybe that’s what baffles me, in the end. I wonder if all the positve imagery was just bullshit. Maybe I’m not looking close enough and the optimism faded away with the failure of Peace In Our Time. I look at Driving To Damascus and it becomes harder to see much faith. Your Spirit To Me, for example.


    “There’s only seconds of your life
    That really count for anything
    All the rest is killing time
    Waiting for a train.”

The man’s troubles have been well documented so I’ll not detail them here, once again. Suffice to say, there were times when life became rather grim and painful for him, like it does at times for all of us. Thus, I never judge a man and his final decisions, however much I wish there had been some other conclusion to the story. A different tune, another song.

I miss Stuart, I really do. It seems every time I hit shuffle on my iPod, within the first dozen or so songs there is always something from The Skids or BC to make me smile. Out of Town, the other day. The demo version of The Crossing the next. Restless Natives in it’s entirety on a long drive home just recently.

The music, at least, is still alive and that’ll have to be enough, I guess. Nothing can ever change how I feel when I hear that music, those anthems. It soars now as it ever did.

As for Stuart? Well, here’s hoping he managed to find his Eiledon at last, somewhere out there.

Here’s hoping we all do.

The Horror

March 28, 2009

Things have been dark here at the Compound lately. Sometimes the months just before Spring hits are the worst up here. Melting snow makes a muddy mess of the environs when the days are warm yet there are still nights when you’d swear it was still early February. A sort of late winter depression sets in and you just don’t feel like going out very much and you find yourself hiding away, hoping things will get better.

But they don’t, really.

I’ve not been very social lately, I confess. I know, I know. You look at Ken Socrates and you see a Man of the World with associates and connections on every corner of the globe, an man as comfortable crashing a black-tie event at a local embassary as he is with a group of doomed and hopeless drunks huddled around a barrell fire behind some shady local Chinese restaurant.

Little do you realize what a solitary existence a man like myself really leads. A combination of a general anti-social nature and the necessities of a writer make for what some would consider a very lonely lifestyle. Those few genuine friends I do have all seem scattered about, miles away from each other, except for those rare occasions we find time to gather and commiserate with one another.

Thus, my current state of existence, holed up in the Bunker, doors locked, shades drawn, a ready stock of blood pollutants, music, literature and films to entertain when the quiet becomes too much for the mind to bear.

So I’ve taken to watching horror movies as a past time. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in these days. Maybe it’s the only sensible response to a deteriorating world creeping ever onward to potential apocalypse.

One thing I’ve learned is that Americans no longer make the best horror movies. In fact, we’re not even in the running anymore. While we crank out recycled garbage like Friday The 13th or generic formula hackwork like The Uninvited, the European film industry has been producing out some amazing work, some if it profound and outright astonishing.

Take the Swedish vampire fable, Let The Right One In. Not only is it perhaps the finest blood sucker film ever made but it’s an artistic masterpiece, subtle and sublime in tone and content; emotional, shocking, touching. An absolute, utter classic.

Dead Snow

I’ve also just watched Dead Snow, a Norweigian Nazi-Zombie gorefest that owes a bit of it’s flare to stuff like Evil Dead 2 but is just so well done and so much fun it makes you giddy with bloodlust.

If you want a more intense and disturbing experience, the French have that market utterly fucking cornered. Having seen both Inside and Martyrs in the space of one week, I can honestly say that I’m glad I have a strong stomach. These are haunting, brutal films that show humanity at it’s bloody limit, pushing the envelope of the horror genre to it’s very edges, challenging it’s audience to the extreme. For my money, Inside was the better horror fim but Martyrs will stay with you longer as you ponder the meaning behind the profoundly disturbing events portrayed within. Neither should be considered a “date movie”.

Unless it’s Squeaky Fromme you’re dating, that is.

So that’s the update from here. A long time coming, I know, but now you see why. I’ll try to keep things around here more current as time goes on and, hopefully, the mood improves.

In the meantime, you all just hang in there. We’re in this together.