Sdtrk: ‘Dial-a-cliche’ by Morrissey
Once again, 19 July is upon us, which means not only is it another anniversary of this rambling wreck of a weblog, but it’s actually the fifth anniversary of ‘Shouting to hear the echoes’! That’s right. I didn’t expect it to go for a full year, much less five! Sometimes I get the impression that it’s not so much a case of that ‘it’s built up so much momentum, that it’d be extremely difficult to stop at this point’, but more like ‘it’s still going, but at points, it’s being ghost-ridden’.
I should point out that’s ghost-ridden, not ghost-written. Who else would intentionally want to write like this, about subjects like this?? I suppose I’ve found my niche!…
As I’m sure regular readers recall from previous anniversary posts, ‘Shouting etc etc’ was started back on Blogger in 2004, and transplanted to WordPress in 2006. After reuniting with Patrick, a mate of mine, he suggested that I start a blog, as the reason he started one was to keep family and friends apprised of what he’s up to, instead of having to send x number of Emails to x number of people. So I did! (Incidentally, he stopped updating his round 2007. What does that say?)
If, for some masochistic reason, you’re curious as to what the previous years’ entries were, you can now find them located under the appropriately-named ‘Annual rubbish avalanche’ category, found where the categories usually hang out.
And now, this year’s post:
100 80 THINGS I’D LIKE TO SEE AND/OR DO BEFORE ENTROPY TAKES OVER, aka, the Bucket List. Definitely not in order; airlifted from seeginablog.com. And you really don’t want to know how long it took me to compile and write this (hint: Months).
01. Visit the Tupperware Museum, Orlando, Florida
No, I’m serious. The Kitsch Value of a visit such as that cannot be denied. When you close the front door, does the building burp to seal in freshness?
02. Drive Sidore-chan and myself round in a Fiat 500, a pre-BMW Mini Cooper, or a Karmann Ghia
We’d probably have to dress in the height of Sixties Mod fashion to tie the whole experience together, but wouldn’t that be fab?? Answer: Yes
03. Ride a Vespa or a Lambretta
Having the Missus with me on a scooter would also be ace, but riding around would be near-logistically impossible, for obvious reasons
04. Visit Oscar Wilde’s grave, Paris, France
Well, this one’s a given. And hey, Reading Gaol is still in use!
05. Visit Ian Curtis’ grave, Macclesfield, England
Although I recently read some cunts stole his headstone — hopefully that’ll have been found and replaced long before I’ll get to see it
06. Visit Japan for two weeks
07. Visit the UK for two weeks
Now see, I was initially reluctant to list 06 and 07, as they encompass so many other activities found in this list. That’s as if I’d typed ’06. Do stuff’ and ’07. Keep doing it’… they’re catch-all events.
Think of it this way — had I not put those in there, though, this list would probably be twice as long, and filled with interminable minutiae. Cos, y’know, I never fall into that trap
08. Compile a Cd of my ‘musical’ material into however many Cds, and sell some copies
I’ve got about ten tapes (yes, tapes; these were done back in the heady days of analogue 4track recording) worth of… unique… Noise material that needs to be transferred into .mp3 format, and it’d be a crime not to release it out into the world. I could just upload the lot onto the Internet, but I’m old-school — I believe in the sanctity of actual Cds and their cases
09. Pet a deer
…provided they’re not coated with deer ticks, that is
10. Hand-feed a squirrel
I’d have to mind their claws, though! I understand they’re like little needles
11. Try my hand at falconing
Not only is there an undeniable mediaeval vibe to an activity such as this, but there’s a slightly sinister feeling that goes along with it. I mean, look, you have a bird of prey on your arm, that you command to go off and kill. When it comes down to it, though, for me, I’d feel like the lord of the manor; for the bird, it would just be lunchtime
12. Start, and finish, Finnegans wake
I once had a copy of ‘Finnegans wake’! I even had a book that was nearly as thick as ‘Finnegans wake’, that attempted to explain ‘Finnegans wake’! The book kinda requires 100% of your attention, which was something I couldn’t devote at the time
13. Write that pseudo-autobiography I’ve been meaning to write
Heh. If I started now, I might be halfway done in like five years
14. Get said book published
Which would be an uphill battle as well. It took almost four years for Elena Dorfman to get ‘Still lovers’ published, and that was just photographs. I’d probably have better luck a) trying to get it published outside of the United States of Prudery, and b) if I were to have set about this silly venture back when ‘Guys and Dolls’ had just come out, or at least when ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ debuted. But I’m getting ahead of myself, here…
15. Play a theremin
Arguably I’d be better at it than this fellow. Arguably
16. See a curling match
Don’t laugh, damn you. I think curling is cool. To me, it exemplifies Canada — weird, but a mild weird
17. See a cricket match
I know even less about cricket than curling, but seeing a match is something I feel I should do, despite rumours that some of the games last for days. I’ll just bring plenty of drinks and snacks!
18. See an actual football game with either Manchester United, Sheffield, or Juventus as one of the clubs
Seeing Man Utd now would be like when I finally saw Laibach in concert — yeah, I got to see them live, but it was when they were touring for ‘Jesus Christ Superstars’, their worst release. There’s no Beckham, there’s no van Nistlerooy… It’d be entertaining, I’m certain, but not as entertaining. I’d be willing to be proved wrong, however
19. Learn more Japanese and German
Ideally, I’d love to learn Japanese, German, French, and Scottish Gaelic, in that order, but that’ll likely occur when I get those upgrades for my brain installed
20. Visit Dealey Plaza
One Ballardian event — check
21. Visit Carhenge, Western Nebraska
Another Ballardian tourist attraction — check
22. Get Sidore-chan blessed by a Shinto priest
One of the precepts of Shintoism is the belief that all things, animate and inanimate, possess their own spirit, so you can pretty much suss the reason behind this entry. Maybe I’ll have found one in the state by the time I get Shi-chan a new body
23. See the Jaquet-Droz kids in Neuchâtel, Switzerland
As probably the oldest and most well-preserved automatons from the 18th Century, the Jaquet-Droz kids are a must-see. Plus, that Musician is kinda cute
24. Visit the Tsuburaya Museum
An entire museum dedicated to the works of Japanese television producer Eiji Tsuburaya? Fantastic. I can finally get that photo with Ultraseven that I’ve wanted!
25. Visit Portmeirion
Portmeirion, the famed hotel resort located in North Wales, where the landmark television show ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed. They probably have signs posted all over stating ‘ANYONE SAYING “BE SEEING YOU” WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE’
26. See, and hold a conversation with, at least one version of Actroid
We could interview each other! That would literally be a dream come true
27. Drive along the motorway that leads to San Marcos whilst Labradford’s ‘Up to Pizmo’ plays
There’s a certain length of highway in southern California that connects San Diego and San Marcos, which runs parallel to the North Pacific ocean. On my 2001 visit to Little Tokyo and the second RealDoll ‘convention’, there were a couple of occasions where I was driving along, glancing at the water, and there’d be fog hovering above it, and it immediately reminded me of the aforementioned song by somnolent analogue rockers Labradford. You can listen to the song here, and if you’re familiar with the area, you’ll probably ken what I’m talking about
28. Visit the French catacombs
29. Visit the ossuaries of Prague
If I had high-enough ceilings, I’d want a chandelier made of human bones as well. But that’s a given, really
30. Visit Habitat ’67
It still stands, you know. Now, how would one get a job in Montreal, so one could potentially move into a unit there… hypothetically speaking, of course
31. eat at a Yoshinoya
Anyways, >>1, please listen to me. That it’s really related to this thread.
I went to Yoshinoya a while ago; you know, Yoshinoya?
Well anyways there was an insane number of people there, and I couldn’t get in.
Then, I looked at the banner hanging from the ceiling, and it had “150 yen off” written on it.
Oh, the stupidity. Those idiots.
You, don’t come to Yoshinoya just because it’s 150 yen off, fool.
It’s only 150 yen, 1-5-0 YEN for crying out loud.
There’re even entire families here. Family of 4, all out for some Yoshinoya, huh? How fucking nice.
“Alright, daddy’s gonna order the extra-large.” God I can’t bear to watch.
You people, I’ll give you 150 yen if you get out of those seats.
Yosinoya should be a bloody place.
That tense atmosphere, where two guys on opposite sides of the U-shaped table can start a fight at any time,
the stab-or-be-stabbed mentality, that’s what’s great about this place.
Women and children should screw off and stay home.
Anyways, I was about to start eating, and then the bastard beside me goes “extra-large, with extra sauce.”
Who in the world orders extra sauce nowadays, you moron?
I want to ask him, “do you REALLY want to eat it with extra sauce?”
I want to interrogate him. I want to interrogate him for roughly an hour.
Are you sure you don’t just want to try saying “extra sauce”?
Coming from a Yoshinoya veteran such as myself, the latest trend among us vets is this, extra green onion.
That’s right, extra green onion. This is the vet’s way of eating.
Extra green onion means more green onion than sauce. But on the other hand the price is a tad higher. This is the key.
And then, it’s delicious. This is unbeatable.
However, if you order this then there is danger that you’ll be marked by the employees from next time on; it’s a double-edged sword.
I can’t recommend it to amateurs.
What this all really means, though, is that you, >>1, should just stick with today’s special.
32. eat at a MOS Burger
‘Mountain, Ocean, Sky’ is what Wolfgang, a friend of mine who emigrated to Japan, tells me the first three letters of MOSburger stand for. He also states that they’re expensive burgers, and not very large. Nevertheless!
33. befriend a raven
What would be more
anachronistic ace than having a raven perched on your shoulder practically everywhere you went out of doors? Probably entry no.11, now that I think about it.
Also, on further consideration, I’d have to have sturdy leathern pads sewn onto my cardigan shoulders, so that whatever bird lands there isn’t clamping into raw flesh
34. Visit Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France
I was fascinated with this place long before I saw it in Onimusha 3. An island in a bay off France’s north coast, centuries of erosion formed the island, as well as creating a small natural land bridge that connects it to the mainland. Since the 10th century, various religious buildings were established there, such as a small village, a monastery, several chapels, and an enormous church that crowns the island. Technically, at low tide you can walk across the mud flats to get to Mont St Michel, but as the tides tend to come in extremely quickly, they don’t really advise that
35. Learn how to cook my favourite Japanese dishes
Maybe I should’ve prefaced this one with ‘Learn how to cook, period’
36. Get a tattoo
I’ve been wanting a tattoo for years; I designed a somewhat-overdone one back in the Nineties that had a bunch of Industro-Gothy-Occult crap going on with it, and I don’t think it reflects who I am now. Whatever that may mean, exactly. But there was this other design I’d cribbed and modified of a stylised silhouette of a black cat, with the number 23 embedded in the middle, that I’d go with if I had the money to get it done. Still haven’t decided where I want it, however — it’s not as if I dress where you can really see any exposed body parts…
At one point — again, back during the Nineties — I was speaking with a coworker at one of my old jobs. As he was new to the place, he told me that he was also a tattoo artist. I informed him that I wanted a UPC bar code on the back of my neck, ‘so I could beat the Government to it’. He laughed in response, telling me that some of his customers were skinheads that wanted the same kind of tattoo in the same place. My idea gained twice the ironic appeal! Too bad that my ponytail would cover it up, though
37. Ride a Segway
Unfortunately, these weren’t exactly the Wave Of The Future that a lot of people hoped they’d be, but as long as they’re in production, that’s fine
38. Ride a Wheelsurf
The potential for personal injury is higher than that of a jaunt on a Segway, but Wheelsurfs look soooo cool
39. Visit the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
‘Our one-of-a-kind treasures include:
* The plaster cast of the torso of world-famous Siamese Twins, Chang & Eng, and their conjoined livers
* Joseph Hyrtl’s collection of skulls
* Preserved body of the “Soap Lady”
* Collection of 2,000 objects extracted from people’s throats
* Cancerous growth removed from President Grover Cleveland
* Tallest skeleton on display in North America’
40. visit the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany
The stark innovation of this design school is truly an ideal for living
41. Stay in a capsule hotel for a night or two
I know, I still have to do a post on capsule hotels for the ‘This was the Future’ series
42. find an economically-sound way to work from home
As I despise interacting with The Common Man, I figure that the less time I’m out amongst people like that, the less stressed-out I am, and the more I’d be able to get accomplished. Now, getting paid under those conditions as well? That’s the ideal
43. See the Tower of the Sun, Osaka, Japan
It’s like some sort of scary mecha-bird from a Seventies tokusatsu series! Japan was weird in the Seventies. Hell, everything was weird in the Seventies
44. Stop round to a Scientology centre… y’know, before they all get closed down
45. Fill out one of their questionnaires with the one billion boxes
They used to own a building in Royal Oak, and one time while passing by it, I was handed one of their infamous questionnaires by a rather cute lass with short hair. I’ll have to check if I still have it in my filecabinet. The curious thing is, even if you answer the questions with the most positive answers possible, they’ll still say you should come in to schedule some auditing sessions. Funny, that
46. visit some abandoned NASA launchpads
Third Ballardian holiday spot — check
47. Have some professional photos of Sidore-chan and myself taken in a studio
Now, we realise we’ve already had professional pictures taken of us by Elena Dorfman and Stephan Gladieau, but those were back at either No.23 Deafening silence, or Deafening silence Plus. Shi-chan and I want some done in an actual studio. I’m sure we could rig up some mechanical arms, or a series of ropes and pulleys, in order to take photos where the Missus is standing, among other things. Perhaps in that environment, she can drive me around in a Fiat 500, a pre-BMW Mini Cooper, or a Karmann Ghia!
48. have a glass of absinthe
As a rule, I don’t drink, but I’ve always wanted to experience the Green Fairy, and join the ranks of Wilde and Crowley
49. Attend a fencing match
Back when I was attending Wayne State University, one of the few classes I enjoyed was fencing (I got a B+ out of it). Seeing an actual match would allow me to see how the professionals pull it off
50. Get back into studying the runes
Back in the mid-Nineties, I first started getting into runes, which was back when I was really getting into Seventies Industrial music / vampires / serial killers / Pagan culture. Then I realised that even though Asatru wasn’t christianity, it was still an organised religion founded round a specific mythology, so I gave that up. However, I’m still fascinated by the mythology overall, as well as the alphabet/divination tools that we call runes. I suppose you can say that wanting to learn them is rather like how I want to learn different languages (see No.19).
To that end, I’m interested in Ogham as well, but good lord, one thing at a time, there
51. view the original Tenniel illustrations for ‘Alice’s adventures in Wonderland’ at the British Museum, London, England
Despite the fact that Charles Dodgson was a mathematician with a lolita complex, I’ve always enjoyed the surreal Victorian-era qualities of ‘Alice’s adventures in Wonderland’, to the point where I can’t picture it without the Tenniel engravings. On one of Mr & Mrs Zip Gun’s travels to England, Mrs Gun said that they had the opportunity to view them, but their schedule was a bit tight. Frankly, I’m surprised they haven’t published them in a sort of book! O, wait
52. Visit the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
O, how convenient; I just realised that it’s in the same state as the Mütter Museum!
53. collaborate with Masami Akita
Going by a tenth of the Merzbow backcatalogue, you’ll see he’s done more than a few collaborations. It almost seems like he’ll collaborate with anyone, really; which figures into his entire ‘gotta put out 500 releases’ ethos. I mean, if he’ll work with Bastard Noise, he’ll work with anyone. Just sayin’
54. visit the Bladensburg duelling grounds, Bladensburg, Maryland
Exactly how much blood is in that soil, do you think? How many ghosts haunt the field?
55. Visit the Winchester Mystery House, California
160+ rooms? Staircases that lead to nowhere? Doors that open to nowhere? What fun!
56. Visit Carnaby street, London, England
The nexus for Swinging Mod Culture, during its Sixties heyday
57. try on a full suit of samurai armour
When Derek & Steph visited Japan recently, they saw various suits of armour during their visit to Osaka castle. Steph told me the suits were actually rather short. Hmmm
58. witness a mensur match
Not much chance of this occurring, unless I make some connections *wink wink*, but a clandestine version of fencing that deliberately has its opponents draw blood? That’s definitely a must-see. Until then, this is about as close as I’m undoubtedly gonna get for a while
59. own a piece of land in Scotland
Perhaps through this organisation, although fellow iDollator PB Shelley mentioned it might well be a scam. Grrr. If there’s any vestige of truth in it, though, that’d be something kinda remarkable, wouldn’t you agree? Unless I had to pay property taxes on it, in which case, I’m not bothered
60. dye my hair black
Contrary to popular belief, my hair is not actually black; it’s a very dark brown. Also, through about a decade of chemical straightenings, it’s actually getting lighter, which just won’t do, so I’d like to get it done in a nice blue-black. Some of my friends have protested, saying it would look strange, but to me, dark brown looks strange. The only trick is — how do I not dye my burgeoning and much-loved grey hairs??
61. Visit the gravesite of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton the First, Colma, California
The United states doesn’t have a surplus of eccentric characters that other countries do (Britain, I’m looking in your direction), but Emperor Norton I was a fine example of one
62. eat at a sushi restaurant with one of those conveyor belts
‘Hrrm… do I want another couple pieces of squid nigiri? I’ve already gorged myself on eel, shrimp, and sweet shrimp as it is. On the other hand, that’s some good stuff. Maybe I’ll just HEY WAIT SQUID COME BACK’
63. hit one of those portable ramen vendors
I’m more of a soba and udon man meself, but getting a hot bowl of noodles directly from a cart vendor would be a fun experience. Although I’m sure soba and udon carts exist as well
64. tour North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel. Heh, not bloody likely
In speaking with zszsz’s girlfriend Melissa once, we reckoned that there’s an entire micro-society squatting within the confines of those massive walls. Living day to day, children never having known life on the actual ground, bartering for pairs of jeans, using rivets as currency, that sort of thing. A bit like the infamous Kowloon walled city, only more vertical and… pointier
65. see a bunny show jumping match
Yes, bunny show jumping. Ahh, Denmark
66. Visit Easter island
It’d be a bit like visiting an outdoor art installation, if you think about it. Albeit one with gigantic stone heads. They say that you can also see several partially-carved Moai heads in the cliffside, where their creators never got a chance to finish up. Truly impressive
67. Visit Centralia, Pennsylvania
O, come on. Who wouldn’t want to visit a deserted town situated above a coal fire that’s been burning continuously since 1962? Most of the homes have been razed! Plumes of smoke periodically issue forth from the ground! Roads are buckled due to extreme heat! ‘The underground fire is still burning and will continue to do so for the indefinite future. There are no current plans to extinguish the fire, which is consuming an eight-mile seam containing enough coal to fuel it for 250 years,’ Wikipedia says. This entry really should be first, all things considered
68. book a room at the Chelsea Hotel, New York, for a week-end
I’d especially like to stop round the rooms where Sid & Nancy, Stanley Kubrick, Dee Dee Ramone, William S. Burroughs, Jean-Paul Sarte, John Cale and a passel of the Warhol superstars stayed in, and soak up the ambience
69. Visit a ring of standing stones
Stonehenge is good, but any druidy stones will do. All told, I’d prefer to see the ones round Avebury in Wiltshire, which is the village where they filmed the bizarre Seventies-era UK ‘kids’ drama, ‘Children of the stones‘. Apparently Julian ‘Krautrocksampler’ Cope lives close to Avebury, which totally figures
70. Visit Shimizu Kannon-do, Ueno park, Japan (a Doll consecration area)
According to an article originally posted on The Japan Times, now reproduced here, Orient industry, manufacturers of the Candy Girl series of Synthetiks, uses the area twice a year for a Buddhist memorial service, in order to consecrate the souls of Dolls that are no longer needed
71. Visit at least one NSK embassy
Neue Slowenische Kunst, the virtual nation-state that features Laibach amongst its foremost members and promoters, is part art project and part sociopolitical experiment. As they say themselves, the state of NSK exists both within and without physical borders. They have their own postage stamps, passports, and ephemera, and they have embassies in eight different countries to date, and stopping round one is a definite goal.
Which reminds me, I still need to apply for passports for myself and the Missus
72. see at least one performance of ‘One versus one’ performed by the Noordung Cosmokinetic Cabinet
NSK also has an arm of theatre productions called Cosmokinetic Cabinet Noordung, and their main project is a must-see, as you’ll see. ‘In 1995, it presented the capital project “One Versus One”, a show that opened on 20 April 1995, with restagings taking place every 10 years, the first one being on 20 April 2005. The show will play until 20 April 2045. The place of those actors who die in the meantime will be taken by a mechanical symbol, their spoken text represented by sounds (melody for women, rythm for men). In 2045 these symbols will be shot into zero gravity space in a capsule. This action is intended to finally abolish mimetic theatre and establish the rule of non-corporeal art.’ I mean, wow
73. see the G-CANS drainage system, Japan
While it’s empty, durr hey
74. see the Cerne Abbas giant, Dorset, England
A Pagan symbol dating back to at least the late 17th century, the Giant is an enormous chalk outline cut into a Dorset hillside that stands 180 ft high and 167 ft wide. Theories as to what he represents range from a parody of Oliver Cromwell, to a representation of Heracles, to the site of a fallen Danish giant. Couples that hope to conceive a child make love whilst atop the giant’s penis to this day. Personally, I’d just like to see him so I can jump up and down on his cock!
75. meet Hiroshi Ishiguro
LOLOBVIOUS. Even just half an hour of hanging out and talking shop with the man behind Japan’s contemporary humanoid robotics developments would be incredibly memorable, needless to say
76. meet David Levy
This man’s almost as big of a Synthetiks advocate as I am! Only he’s managed to publish a book. But is his significant other Synthetik? Noooo! So I suppose the score is 1 – 1, then
77. see Hans Bellmer’s first and second Dolls at whatever gallery they’re at
See, this is the sort of visit that would qualify as a pilgrimage, really. Hans Bellmer, as you’ll recall, was a Surrealist artist from the Thirties, who was said to have been influenced by iDollator pioneer Oskar Kokoschka, and assembled two different life-sized Dolls for models and muses. If I’m not mistaken, the second Doll resides in the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, but I’m not sure of the location of the first. Naturally, I’d love to see both; the first, because she was the first, and the second, cos she was the new and improved version
78. visit the Giger bar in Chur, Switzerland
A bar entirely designed by Hans-Rudi Giger? Yes. This one is in his birthplace of Chur, although the first one is currently located in Château St. Germain, Switzerland. Originally, the plan was to put one in every major city, and they even built ones in Tokyo and New York, but they closed down, leaving the Chur and Château St. Germain ones still operational. Wouldn’t you prefer the Giger Bar franchise to be successful worldwide, as opposed to the boring and silly Hard rock cafe?
79. take a train somewhere
I’ve been on like three airplane flights (Alabama, California, and California, in that order), but I’ve never been on a train. From what I gather, being on a train is rather like being on a plane, but on land. Or like an incredibly long bus. Or even like a submarine… on land. Isn’t technology amazing?
80. visit Dunderave Castle, in Argyll, Scotland
There’s a certain ancestral significance to this place that piques my interest in it, but if I explained any more, I’d have to kill you
But like I said, I’ve found a niche. A Synthetiks / Sixties design / rambling / Anglophilic / Japan-centric / overly-verbose niche. I quite like this niche, actually, and hopefully you do, too…
Here’s to another five years, then! Thank you for reading. 🙂