Posts Tagged ‘love’

News From The Flood – # 3.1 Full Circle

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Stop The World, We Want To Get Off

Stop The World, We Want To Get Off

Super Ego III article continues here.

Notes are lengthy, and confused. Screenshots were scattered to the winds, overnight. Updates will appear here throughout the day.

<3

So, where were we? Re [Thinking] Cap:

  • LL is laying out on a beach somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.
  • CK is loosening up considerably, through Ego Ignition.
  • GG is a few steps further down the line, having had the fun and is now just left with the debt.
  • Mr + Mrs Maury Stokis are happy with their prize, en route to Colombia, South America.
  • Perry White is unhappy with
  • Jimmy Olsen the alchemist, who transformed "exclusive pictures of the biggest chemical factory fire in history" into a Broken Leg and twelve rolls of melted film.
  • Lana Lang & Son Ricky are over the moon, though, as
  • Superman has sent an autograph, with love.

Righto. The players are on their marks. Pedals to the metal – Silver Car Time!

Strap in and let’s hit 88mph together.

It’s 1983 right now and we’re back up in the clouds, the Ivory Tower at Webscoe Industries.

GG is between a rock and a hard place, due to his ego-driven mistake; a big, fast, loud, Red Car. Suitably chastised, this lovable-man-on-the-street-who-just-can’t-get-a-break has no choice but to go along with the Webster Siblings and their evil plan to control the Coffee commodity price.

GG is confused. How?

Vera Webster takes the reins.

"The Weather…Vulcan is the weather satellite our government put in orbit to monitor the weather -"
[Vera Webster – SuperEgo, Condescending]

"BUT…if someone were to re-program it, it could do much more…"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Conspiring]

"It could MAKE weather -"
[Vera Webster – SuperEgo, Closing]

"Storms…and floods –"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Whispering]

"Blizzards! Heatwaves!"
[Vera Webster – CEO, Dreaming]

"H-H-How do you do that?"
[Gus Gorman – Pawn, Petrified]

"Like everything else in the 20th Century, Gus…you push buttons."
[Ross Webster – CEO, Convinced]

Phone Home @ Smallville Grocery

Phone Home @ Smallville Grocery

The template is set and GG is now fully owned by the corporation. Ross Webster – CEO makes his instructions clear. There can be no slip-ups, no paper-trails. No connections back to the company!

He must hack the satellite from the middle of nowhere, somewhere he has never been before.

And with that, August Gorman is packed off to Smallville, where Webscoe Industries has another wholly-owned subsidiary, Wheat King. The same company that produces the machines to harvest corn in and around the Tri-State Area. It is here that GG will hack the mainframe and gain access to the satellite telemetry system after sneaking in under cover of darkness.

But there’s a problem, in the form of Super Jock, Brad Wilson, now enjoying tenure as a Night Watchman at the Smallville Wheat King building. Luckily, our boy GG remains a man of resources and has the right tools for the job.

GG informs Super Jock of a rushed order, an overnight emergency, a flat tire on the highway and a missed flight. Telephone calls at 4AM and angry bosses. If this special order doesn’t get installed tonight, there will be hell to pay. Brad isn’t trying to hear any of that noise though – he has more pressing concerns in a gargantuan hangover and a shitty life.

And lo, like an angel sent from Heaven, GG opens his suitcase to answer Brad’s prayers.

Helio Gus, Would You Like To Play A Game?

Helio Gus, Would You Like To Play A Game?

Our boy is buzzed in and this unlikely pair set about an evening of heavy drinking.

You’ll note the interesting selection of names on some of the bottles, especially Booth’s London Dry Gin.

Exotic cocktails a-flow as August Gorman finally succeeds in getting the security guard to pass out. With one long, final pour, GG empties a bottle of vodka into Brad’s glass, which is immediately slugged. Our ex-football star definitively succumbs, tipping, and falls head over heels out of his chair.

GG leaps up, triumphant.

Triumphantly drunk. Weaving, he makes his way to the server room, entering a broom cupboard as he goes. Finally, destination reached, our lovable rogue sets about hacking the system. There’s a catch though – two keys plus two short arms and a useless foot do not a Satellite Hack make.

Again, despite titanic blood alcohol levels, our man has a plan and the system has been accessed. We are now treated to a montage of chaotic scenes as Drunk Gus works his way through the computer. We see how ATM machines are re-programmed to spit endless streams of paper, a shot of the Bloomingdales billing facility printing erroneous envelopes and the resultant marital strife.

Fat Fingers & Flash Crashes?

Fat Fingers & Flash Crashes?

We cut to a bird’s-eye view of a regular morning in Metropolis, as cars and pedestrians battle each other for turf. Traffic signals switch back and forth as GG’s fingers brush keys.

Red lights flash, coloured buttons blink on and off, tapes whirr and bi-i-ig machines hum into life, take control, make changes.

Chaos, the world now out of order.

Drunk Gus hiccups, and finally locates the Vulcan Satellite interface.

Meanwhile, down in Colombia, South America, Mr + Mrs Maury Stokis have arrived at an idyllic mountain village, replete with white stucco church and local market.

Basket-weaving women sit in the sun and happily offer their creations, animals scatter and zip around on dusty paths, children play, laughing and we see a wedding is taking place here today.

Love is all around.

Profits For Killers

Profits For Killers

Yes, the simple life does indeed seem lazily perfect, as we travel with Mr + Mrs Maury Stokis through the picturesque Colombian village.

Inside the church the other happy couple are completing their vows as our husband and wife from the Big Apricot enter.

At this very moment, outside, a street vendor notices a change in the weather – as suddenly, inexplicably, raindrops arrive. Our basket-weaving ladies know when to call it a day, shutting up shop and dashing through the flash storm for Home.

Inside the church, candles are being extinguished as strong gusts sweep down the aisle. The foundations begin to shake. Masonry and tile crashes down from above as the frescoed ceiling piece fragments, then shatters, showering the wedding couple and their guests in bricks and dusty rubble. Screams are muffled by the crashes outside.

We hear horrific, unnatural sounds as we see trees wrenched out at their roots, before being tossed about by the wind like toothpicks on a dark afternoon.

More Screams. More Darkness.

Cut to the NEWS.

"CHAOS! HA-HAAH! If I laugh any harder I’ll split my sides!"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Skiing]

Ice King upon his Throne

Ice King upon his Throne

Back in Metropolis, the perpetrators are amassed at the foot of Ross Webster – CEO’s personal ski slope, built up on top of his personal penthouse.

Here we see a log cabin, a veritable chalet, adrift with snow, sitting pretty up in the clouds above the sprawling summer heat of the city below.

"Poor little Colombia…’The most awesome display of natural power ever seen’ – HAHA!"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Quoting]

"Bubba, do you realise what we’re on to?"
[Vera Webster – Super Ego, Rising]

"Do I? Haha! Every time a drunk sobers up, he’ll be drinking Webster Coffee!"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Strutting]

"Why stop at coffee? A cup of coffee gets the world off to work in the morning…but what keeps the world working?"
[Vera Webster – Super Ego, Rising]

""
[Lorelei Ambrosia – Psychic Nutritionist, Thinking]

Looks are exchanged. Super Ego is taking control. Ross Webster – CEO is intoxicated by the power in his hands.

Today, the Coffee. Tomorrow, the Oil! is the bestial chant emanating from this gruesome twosome, embarking on a despotic fantasy with frightening speed.

It is with thanks, then, that our lovable-man-on-the-street August Gorman arrives, in high-spirits despite the hangover for what he has done. A happy Gus is reporting the startling fact that life struggles on down in Colombia, South America – agricultural destruction and financial ruin has been averted!

The Lousy Do-Gooder Ruined It!

The Lousy Do-Gooder Ruined It!

We learn that Superman happened to fly by in the nick of time, saving the day. No real surprise there, for acts such as this quite simply constitute his job description. Regaling the others with an impromptu flying show of his own as he summarises what they missed, GG once again incurs the wrath of his employer.

Ross Webster – CEO is roaring. The perfect plan, dashed! Inconsolable, he cannot understand how failure has so unwelcomely crashed this party. Furious, Ross Webster – CEO knows what must be done. But how?

Indeed, it is no easy task. Can a Solution to the Superman Situation even exist on this earth, he ponders?

Vera Webster – Super Ego is of no help this time, however, merely asserting conventional weaponry to be a moot point.

Supposed Dumb Blonde Lorelei Ambrosia – a character whom we know in private enjoys challenging the work of Immanuel Kant as opposed to giggling – drops the S-Bomb.

To wit: Superman Our Saviour is allegedly afflicted by one and only one weakness – Kryptonite.

Ross Webster – CEO is a man reborn. Yes, yes, yes! Use the satellite to get a reading on Kryptonite’s particle elements, of course! Aflame with ambition once more, The Man barks orders.

An Intense Heat Fusion

An Intense Heat Fusion

GG is to immediately liaise with the Webscoe Industries R&D division once the satellite has located the remnants of Krypton.

Analysis of cosmic dust to be performed, particle elements to be identified and reconstruction to take place. Once complete, Gus must deliver this synthetically-simulated green stuff to the Man of Steel personally.

It is at this point in time – delegated the primary action item of Killing Superman – that Gus feels renegotiating his contract is a fair call. A bad move however, when dealing with angry elitists.

"Gus, if there is anything I hate…it’s greed."
[Ross Webster – CEO, Fuming]

Having been subsequently reminded of the concept of Federal Prison, a reluctant, heavy-shouldered August Gorman slopes off to do his master’s bidding. Literally.

Finally, a short scene at The Daily Planet shows us Mr + Mrs Maury Stokis have returned from their vacation, and they are most displeased.

Maury, especially so, given the neck brace he wears. Threatening litigation and turning the air blue with curses, Maury wants satisfaction. Perry White is unable to give it to him.

"But it wasn’t our fault! It was an Act of God!"
[Perry White – Explaining]

"…in a church?"
[Mrs Stokis – Unbelieving]

Back with August Gorman, we realise there is just one small problem concerning this latest task.

How can one possibly expect to get close to the Superman?

Supe Is My Best Friend, He'll Be There!

Supe Is My Best Friend, He'll Be There!

The unbiased, professional guardian of the planet is not exactly listed in the Yellow Pages. And given his role, a set agenda / daily schedule is most probably not available through his secretary. As luck would have it for our seemingly charmed GG though, there is now another way.

The new, upgraded version of Clark Kent – who as we now know is not afraid to combine Black with Yellow to look after numero uno / himself – exposes a chink in Superman’s normally impenetrable defense.

CK’s desire to have causes him to mix business with pleasure. We saw him risk his secret-identity at the Bowling Alley when he "sneezed" to help Ricky pick up his spare.

He is materialising, becoming just another flawed, desire-driven, normal human being.

So it’s really no surprise upon arriving in Smallville that we find our hero putting in a personal appearance at Ricky’s birthday party.

CK! You dog, you.

In Smallville once again, it seems Lana Lang has quite the popular boy in Son Ricky. Thanks to the Caped Crusader, this young man’s birthday has been transformed into a gala event.

The whole town is here, wearing their Sunday Best, laughing in the sunshine and clapping every now and again. The stage is set not only to honour Superman with the Key to the City, but also just to say "Thanks!" for saving the birthday boy Ricky from a grisly end at the hands of a Wheat King combine harvester. It is at this moment that a bottle green Jeep surges through the crowd, military insignia on display as General Gus hops out with authority. He strides up the steps and immediately opens his mouth.

"I just came in directly from the Pentagon…and you better believe, there’s a damn good reason that I did. Because G-a-w-w-dd has given us one of the greatest gifts…in the world! CHEMICALS! Now you people, you like to go sit in Church on Sunday don’tcha?"
[General Gorman, Orator]

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

"uh, Yeah…"
[Crowd, Weak]

"You LIKE to sit and watch the SUPERBOWL, RIGHT?"
[General Gorman, Marching]

"Yeah!"
[Crowd, Stronger]

"Sit on what?! You sit on…MOLDED. PLASTIC. SEATS. Molded, to your WELL-FED behinds!
Now I don’t have to tell yuh, that ‘Merica leads the world in High Grade Plastics! We cannot afford a Chemical Plastics GAP!"
[General Gorman, Preaching]

"No!"
[Crowd, Agreeing]

The speech continues for some time, as progressively perplexed looks plaster the faces of the other dignitaries.

Finally, General Gorman wraps up the tirade and approaches Superman to thank him on behalf of the President. You see, if the Man of Steel had not put out that mysteriously sudden fire at the Chemical Plant, we would be looking down the wrong end of a serious gap in molded plastics.

CK Embraces the Placebo Effect

CK Embraces the Placebo Effect

Superman is presented with the chunky green crystal by a visibly nervous General Gorman. It seems to have no immediate effect as the Caped Crusader returns to his seat, puzzled yet polite. We cut to a shot of beastly Vera Webster, who is clearly not surprised by yet another Gorman Blunder. As the nervous GG looks on, our hero simply returns a smile and repeats his thanks.

Cut to the Black and Yellow Telephone Box fixed to the wall outside the Hotel Gateway, and we really do begin to feel sorry for August Gorman as he phones HQ.

Unsurprisingly, on the other end of the line, Ross Webster – CEO is unsympathetic.

Dropping the phone, we feel neither the Richard Nixon nor the Henry Kissinger photograph on Ross Webster – CEO’s mantelpiece are capable of cheering him up at this point.

Concludes March 17th.

News From The Flood – # 3 Orion’s Belt: TimeLoop

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

At Rock Bottom, RP realises: Time 4 Change

At Rock Bottom, RP realises: Time 4 Change

Thinking Caps on, please.

We eat, sleep and live a consumer culture. It is us and we are it. In this world, you get exactly what you ask for and no more.

Apparently, we are living in times where our wildest dreams are readily attainable – each and every one of us can get their slice.

I find myself leaning towards believing this statement. Indeed, why not? For here I sit, giving form to thought. Creating and extrapolating, percolating, roaming the Elysian Fields of Heart and Mind in this public manner.

And all the while wearing a very comfortable pair of shorts.

You see, that quite frankly is my dream. Wearing shorts all day, every day.

So there you have it, I am living my dream.

According to Facebook, everyone on there is also. Pages and pages give testimony to the myriad shiny, happy, beautiful people with so many glittery things to take pictures of, compare with. So that right there is a good couple million people marked under the Happy Cows category too.

And it’s not just online where everyone’s a winner, either. No way.

Earlier, a short trip out into the wild resulted in a brief encounter with the natives. A noisy trio of men were spotted drinking beer and partying it up for Fasnacht, all dressed up like a Rocky Horror Picture but sadly not a girl in sight to Show. Still, they seemed content enough, dancing around a couple of large effigies that had been rigged up to a streetlamp.

In high spirits and living life to the full, that’s a dead cert. Right there, on the cracked cement outside the local bar. Face Paint, firecrackers and big brass instruments, all of which they enjoyed to the extent of waking this particular writer from a greasy sleep laced with nuclear reactors and smoke.

So! No question what side of the Dream they’re living on, either.

Yep, Life is Good.

We’ve all got everything we need and that’s the end of that.

Huh? Wassatchasayin? Japan? Say Again?

Oh. Okay. Sure well, there is that, okay. Sure sure sure. There is that.

Other things too. But that’s…those are…Natural.

Besides! You can’t let these things get you down.

"That’s life!" – isn’t that what they say?

Generally delivered with a sage shrug of the shoulders, too. Or maybe a wink of the eye, a ruffle of the hair, a pat on the back. A kiss on the cheek.

A frightened, grasping hug on the couch in a dark living room.

Plenty of variation exists, you see. We use it a lot. This reassurance, this little pick-me-up when we’re feeling down about the state of things – it’s our Go To move.

Lately, though, one thought holds the attention, claw-deep:

How did it come to this?

Daily danger, violence, wreckage. Explained away as the very essence of life itself.

Each day a flip of the coin in the Fortunes of War.

Just how exactly did we arrive at this point in the History of Mankind?

As usual, big questions are being asked. We Humans tend to ignore such things, due to time constraints. You’ll have noted from previous articles however, that this is no longer the modus operandi employed by our staff.

'88' or Bust!

'88' or Bust!

So, logically, we must set out on a trip through time. Before we jump into the DeLorean though, let’s take a quick look at where we stand, right now.

Time Travel is a tricky thing, and if we don’t pay attention, we might end up lost. With that in mind, allow us to formulate a quick placemarker.

2011 – Year of The Nostalgia.

Exhibits, if it please the jury:

The 80s Revival we are witnessing in Fashion and Music. Add to that the 60s Revival we see manifested through various human / civil rights battles being fought by the so-called underclasses of society, i.e anyone in a minority or a position of no power.

Do we need to even mention the stop-I-feel-sick-and-hey-btw-I-swear-I’ve-been-on-this-ride-at-least-once-maybe-twice-even Merry-Go-Round that is a Globalised Economy?

The Space Race, too, has been revived. Again, we find ourselves inundated with news, theories, anything to do with the next steps for Mankind.

The next conquest. The next rock to colonise. The next shining example of our amazing technological advances, like that singular Moon Landing in 1969.

So the question that follows of course, is Why?

Where’s all the new shit?

Aren’t we like, cutting-edge? What’s up with all the recycled rebop, the same ole shuck ‘n jive we’ve seen a thousand times before?

Still no Clean Energy?

Where’s Doc Brown? I want my "Mr Fusion" Flux Capacitor, not my MTV.

Has anything truly original happened in the last 42 years?

No.

Kings and their Castles

Kings and their Castles

What?! But why?

Money.

Really?

Yes.

Oh. Wait, what?

Really?

Yes.

Got it?

Good. We can now move on to Superman III.


A quick refresher:

We observe a longstanding theme throughout this whole adventure; that of the original Tin Woodman from The Wizard Of Oz. The man without a Heart.

Us. Homo Colossus, Modern Man. The Island.

Icebergs. Isolated, cold, cut off and cast far from our roots, always searching, always on the move. Small, superficial glimpses of who we are just mere glints on the surface, as the true quality, the real depth, lies permanently relegated.

The stabilising form that makes us human is permitted to exist only in dark water, far below.

Occasionally we bump into others; but the manner in which we travel dictates the journey is a solitary one. We collect and fill our lives with useless attachments like so much flotsam and jetsam along the way; yet there lies within a gaping chasm at the center that remains eternally unfilled.

Time for the Road Less Travelled

Time for the Road Less Travelled

Call it as it is: to think the deeper human need can be satisfied by any one thing existing on a purely material level is an exercise in futility – and ultimately, madness.

Sadly, it is precisely this exercise we are forced to undertake literally every time we open our eyes.

Just like The Rolling Stones said, I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction). Yet nonetheless, every day we try.

For it is simply all we know. Production / Consumption. Nothing more, nothing less. Supply / Demand. Economics, Life by the numbers.

Now, you will have also seen recent synchronicities – here, here and here – highlighting the concept of Home. We have seen numerous subtle reminders and winks in the multicontextual layer hinting that we should perhaps:

Phone Home. Get in Touch. Make Contact.

But with who?

Good question. First, let’s ask the Superman, as he seems trustworthy enough.

Of him we understand this: our friendly Man of Steel with the curly forelock and superhuman ability exists as a secondary, hidden identity to the surface glint that is Clark Kent. We noted last Sunday that CK is the boxy, rigid, conformist to the grooved-out, wavy cat that is Superman.

CK is a likeable enough chap: kind, courteous and reliable – the superficial glimpse into the real being. We also know through our long-term relationship with the character that he is at the same time almost maddeningly nervous, jumpy and shy.

The Daily Planet - Now with 50% Less News

The Daily Planet - Now with 50% Less News

Apply the logic and we see how CK makes a pretty good Iceberg.

A true superstar, in possession of incredible ability and unfathomable potential, yet living a life subdued, soulless and lackluster. A being incarcerated, held prisoner under laws decreed and handed down by environment.

Despite the handicaps forced upon him, CK remains upbeat and positive at all times. This in turn occasionally acts as a source of annoyance for his mortal peers – who find the stresses of life somewhat more taxing than our restrained reporter.

During the opening chaotic credits of Superman III, we find evidence supporting our theory as CK addresses a Burning Penguin situation on his way to work.

Disaster averted, our hero then proceeds to purchase a copy of his company publication. True to form, our calamitous klutz succeeds in ripping half a newspaper from the dispenser. A momentary observation, a small positive noise; and the situation is accepted. CK continues on to his morning route, whistling all the way to work.

Meanwhile, across town, we join August Gorman, played by Richard Pryor, who has embarked on a career in the strange new world of computers. Remember, we’re in 1983 right now. The scene opens to the interior floor of a skyscraper, which as we note from the sign is home to the Archibald Data Processing School.

'Good Lord! How did you do that?'

'Good Lord! How did you do that?'

RP is making excellent progress; so much so in fact that the ADP Instructor is equally impressed by the rate at which he learns.

What is actually clear from the scene is that neither of them know too much about how computers work.

This is the theme running all the way through Superman III: we are consistently treated to references and allusions, feelings and subtle gestures each indicating the uneasy, entirely new and perhaps even alien relationship between man and machine.

RP and his Instructor confidently fill the cracks with wonderment and pride however, and we see it’s the start of a beautiful career for August Gorman.

As human eyes are bathed in the green glow of the terminal machine, we realise captivation has just occurred.

Gee Lois, You Going Somewhere?

Gee Lois, You Going Somewhere?

Zip through midtown traffic now, and we arrive at the iconic offices of The Daily Planet, official newspaper and the unofficial beating pulse of Metropolis.

We join the gang who are assembled in the office of the editor, Perry White. Jimmy Olsen, Photographer, and Lois Lane, fellow reporter and the long-time recipient of CK’s affection, are also present.

Mr White is attempting to call bingo numbers, assign stories and field questions from his excitable staff. We learn that CK has received an invitation to attend his High School Reunion back in Smallville as he asks the boss for permission to cover the story at the same time.

CK feels it’s just the ticket, and frames the piece:

" Big City High-Flier returns to childhood home, shares success story! "

We intercept the smirks between White and Lane as our boy continues to sell the idea.

Perry White eventually relents, telling CK to take Jimmy with him too. Lois then puts in holiday papers herself, informing the group she is off to Bermuda for a well-earned rest.

With CK’s "on/off will-they/won’t they" girl waving her bikini in his general direction on the way out, our hero contemplates this new development and is clearly unsure as to how he feels about it.

No time for that right now though, there is work to be done and there is NEWS to be reported – and so the Boys exit stage left and head out to hop a bus to Smallville.

The scene closes with an exasperated Perry White getting mad at the Bingo numbers. He wonders aloud:

" Can’t we get a computer to do this for us? "

Morning Campers, and Happy Pi Day to you all! [update – video removed / now direct link to site]

Beautiful, no?

Refreshed then, let’s dive straight back into the deep, cool world of Comic Books and Super Heroes.

Automatic Deductions Make Life Easier.  What?

Automatic Deductions Make Life Easier. What?

If you recall, August Gorman unearthed a knack for computer programming whilst attending classes at ADP.

We rejoin the character, played by Richard Pryor, who has started a new job at Webscoe Industries, a multinational corporation, where he works in the Data Processing Unit.

We learn from the initial scenes that Gus reaches disillusion at an early stage – upon receipt of his first weekly paycheck, in fact. The vast array of taxes, "benefits" deductions and "future planning fees" has ripped his take home to shreds and he’s not a happy bunny.

"What the hell is this? Supposed to get $225 a week. This says $143.80. Howumisposedtoliveoffthat?"

How indeed, RP?

A far cry from the promises of the white-collared businessman advertising Big Bucks on the matchbook, no?

Luckily, our man is of a resourceful nature and his analytical, questioning brain has the bit locked firmly betwixt its teeth. Later, in the cafeteria, August and Co-Worker are hanging by the Coffee Machine.

E = CM *(1.5)

E = CM *(1.5)

They are still discussing the payroll system, and Co-Worker tells Gus he’s actually getting even less, due to rounding.

Gus wants to know what happens to all the fractions of cents during this rounding process each month, as salaries are netted out against deductions.

His [one-eyed, as we see from the still] colleague informs him that this excess money just goes "off somewhere, out in the system".

It is here and now, in this moment that August Gorman makes a connection. This lightbulb instant of clarity hits him like a thunderbolt from the blue – right there, as the clock strikes 13:33.

Returning to his Terminal, Gus makes a few in-system changes, squaring his relationship with The Man.

Back with CK and Photographer Jimmy, we encounter a problem as their Trailways Bus – marked #25123 – takes us through the cornfields that line the path to towards Home. A roadblock ahead; cop cars strewn across the highway and smoke rises ominously in the distance. The Bus slows. It seems there is a disaster in the making. Whilst Jimmy rabbits on, CK’s spidey-sense is Perk-Perk-Perking!

CK & The Quick Change @ PO

CK & The Quick Change @ PO

Stepping out of the bus, CK lets Jimmy lead the way. Ever the newshound, JO reckons this is a golden opportunity to write himself a page in Mr White’s good-books. A major crisis at a Chemical Plant is unfolding, and as we all know – where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

We note from the central still [pictured right] two specific objects situated in the foreground of the Blazing Plant:

  • Newsvan – Channel 27
  • Helicopter

More on that later.

Right now, a plan is required and luckily we have found a hero in Jimmy Olsen. He takes charge, informing CK he’ll move up to high ground to secure the Pulitzer shot. This is of course A-OK with our Smalltown Boy, who must locate a place of solitude in order to transform. And Quick.

The duo splits, and CK improvises, turning this parked POlice Car – registration #DN433 – into the Telephone Booth du-jour.

It is now one explosion after another as the event builds momentum. After saving a couple of stranded scientists by creating an impromptu emergency slide with a reactor flue, Superman locates the Fire Chief and informs him that this blaze is out of control. At this precise moment, the disaster is compounded as we receive news from the Fire Fighters at Truck #L329 : the Water Supply has inexplicably been exhausted. SM zooms around the Chemical Plant to ensure all staff are evacuated, as this baby is surely fit to blow.

Meltdown at the Plant.

Just Add Water.

But wait, what’s this?

An interior scene: we are in a laboratory filled with machines, gauges, switches and monitors. The occupant of this room refuses to leave, and proceeds to tell Superman why.

Behind a large, reinforced glass partition that divides the room lie hundreds of glass beakers filled with a lime coloured substance. We learn this is Beltric Acid, a normally stable compound that becomes highly volatile at temperatures greater than 180 degrees.

Extremely volatile. With the fire raging in the background, time is clearly of the essence.

Luckily, SM is a Man of Action as much he is a Man of Steel, and our hero immediately leaves the scene. We fly through the countryside for a spell, over beautiful cornfields of yellow through skies of blue, heading towards a large, natural lake.

Which Superman promptly freezes using simply the power of his lungs.

Wrenching this now gigantic slab of ice from its moorings in the earth, the Caped Crusader returns to the scene of devastation and dumps the whole thing over the flames. Tears of joy (Jimmy "Ouch I think it’s Broken" Olsen), Sighs of relief (White Coated Scientist, played by Pat Starr), and laughter (Firemen, Police, other helpless Authority Figures) is the collective response. The day has once again been saved by our Boy in Blue.

We can now go rent a shitty tux and head to our High School Reunion in Smallville, to finally hook up with the other kids who graduated amongst the Class of ’65!

1965 All Over Again!

1965 All Over Again!

Remember how Lois went off to Bermuda, bikini in tow?

The Moon is full as CKfree of any personal entanglement – arrives at the dance and immediately recognises many old faces. He spends some time in polite conversation with an ex-teacher, bumps into a few tables and chairs whilst doing so, and then –

A radiant streak of yellow flares across his field of vision. There she is.

The most beautiful, the most popular girl in school. The Homecoming Queen. And a really nice person with it, too.

Eyes lock as Lana Lang lithely approaches across a sea of dancers. CK excuses himself and moves toward her.

The Couple-that-never-were spend some time catching up, and it’s clear the chemistry is still there. Unfortunately, so is Lana’s old flame and high school sweetheart, Brad "USA! USA! USA!" Wilson.

Wilson spends some time humiliating CK just like the good old days, and the reunion is complete.

Our man CK remains stoic, however, and later the non-couple enjoy a dance as the DJ plays Earth Angel. We fade to black.

In the morning, CK gets some background on his old friend as they clean up the school gymnasium. He learns she is a single-mother now, and life is indeed a daily struggle. It isn’t easy, she says, not having a man around the house to help her son, Ricky, along the way.

Gee Lana, this really is Great Paté !

Gee Lana, this really is Great Paté !

Ever the gentleman, our hero suggests they spend some time together. Lana happily accepts and over the next couple of days the old friends get reacquainted – although neither occasion proceeds without incident.

At the bowling alley, we immediately notice just how pimped out CK is looking. Extra slick tonight in Black and Yellow, it seems the small altercation with old rival Brad at the dance has put the fire in our friend from Krypton!

CK is clearly interested in more than just friendship with Lana, and we see a new side to the Smalltown Boy: Ego.

He wants something.

Of course, the nerdy newspaperman we all know and love is still there – after helping Ricky score his first strike (as well as the respect of his peers, crucially) – the Clumsy Kal-El knocks over the ashtray as he hits the step, spilling dust and receiving a put-down from a drunken Brad for his efforts.

Nonetheless, the now seemingly stronger, ego-driven CK has scored a point here. And he knows it. Smiling, he sits back to enjoy the rest of the evening as Brad skulks away, vanquished.

A Trio of Harvesters on the Horizon

A Trio of Harvesters on the Horizon

The next day we’re out in the countryside, enjoying the warm sunshine on a picnic. Ricky is off playing with the family puppy, so CK and Lana share some time alone.

Again, here we see Combinations of Kent – the old CK who eats Dog food then shrugs it off, happy and laughing, making jokes, goofing around – and the new, who is all business and ready for some afternoon delight.

Sadly, it is a case of No Time For Love, Doctor Jones! as Ricky is suddenly nowhere to be found. Spidey-sense kicking in – his glasses crooked, out of place – CK hears the distant whine of Buster the Dog. Trouble out in the field!

By this point you know the drill. Excuses are made, private rituals of change are performed, and the day is once again saved by Superman and his "Wavy Forelock" focus.

Aaah Gorman!  Another week, another check.

Aaah Gorman! Another week, another check.

At the same time, back in sprawling Metropolis, another week has gone by and the Payroll Department at Webscoe Industries has been running the presses at full tilt.

The internal mail cart rolls around, and we find GG sheepishly informing Wages Man that he should maybe take another look, as there should be a second envelope for him.

" Yeah, uh, I put in a Voucher for uh, Expenses. "

Sure enough, a second envelope appears. With trembling fingers, August Gorman tears along the perforation.

Upstairs, reading his Financials and reclining at his desk in his Ivory Tower, Ross Webster – CEO is having his morning disturbed.

The interruption comes in the form of his Webscoe Industries Accounts Manager, who is reporting an issue in his departmental accounting record.

"Embezzlement!" is the anguished cry, as The Man finally looks up from his paper.

Coffee Engaged!

Checked the NEWS this morning and there’s nothing positive / truthful, so the only sensible option is to climb once more into our Silver Car for a jaunt back to 1983 – coming?

Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices

If you recall, Gus Gorman rectified an injustice by hacking his company payroll system and diverting excess money to an expense account set up in his name. This in turn triggered an anomalous report which was then kicked all the way up to The Man himself.

We must therefore pay a visit to Ross Webster – CEO, who until a minute ago, was enjoying Just Another Day In [his] Paradise. Sadly for him, something is rotten in his state of Denmark and by Golly he’s going to get to the bottom of it.

"Give me that again old buddy. Run it by me just one more time."
[Ross Webster – CEO, Reclining]

"Eighty-five thousand dollars – "
[Simpson – Accountant, Trembling]

"Missing!"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Interrupting]

"…Embezzled, Mr Webster. Stolen from the firm!"
[Simpson – Accountant, Indignant]

"BY WHO! THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO KNOW! BY WHO! WHOM…"
[Vera Webster – Sister, Roaring]

"Vera, get a hold of yourself! [sotto voce] Nobody else ever will…"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Sighing]

Ross Webster - CEO sees the future too.

Ross Webster - CEO sees the future too.

Clearly, feathers at the top have been ruffled. There are however, no leads, adds Simpson – Accountant lamentably.

"In the old days we kept books, we kept ledgers…If someone wanted to rob you, they would walk in with a gun and say Stick ’em up! But now, they get these blasted computers to do their dirty work, they -"

Ross Webster – CEO cuts him off. The seed has been planted; we are not seeing anger at this redirection of funds – we are seeing admiration.

Ross Webster – CEO is momentarily disheartened; clearly a young go-getter with the stones to put something like this together will surely be an expert in covering his tracks, no question.

GG rocks up.

Big Red Car

Finding this particular free-market believer / entrepreneur will be no small task, of that Ross Webster – CEO is certain. Moving towards the window with Simpson, we hear an approaching vehicle pulling into the Webscoe Industries parking lot.

The two gentlemen break conversation and peer down from above.

Below, GG steps out of his new whip, just as Happy as Larry. We notice immediately how a new toy, this Red Car, has transformed him. There is now most definitely a slide in his glide and a dip in his hip as he hops out on to the mothership.

Up in the clouds, Ross Webster – CEO, our grey-suited elitist, is smiling.

Bingo, he thinks to himself.

Later, downstairs and settling into his chair at his post, GG receives a message from a colleague – The Boss wants to see you.

Those dreaded words. Just like in school, except a visit to the Principal’s Office rarely meant hard time in the slammer. That’s why we graduate, before going into work, no? Upstairs we go, and a nervous August Gorman is in the foyer of The Man, passing a framed picture of a Mercedes Gull Wing Classic as he enters the seemingly empty room.

"Okay, uh, Mr Webst, hungh! MR WEB, uh, Mister Ster, Sir, Mr Webster, I did not…Mr Webster."
[August Gorman -Employee, Spinning]

"Mr August Gorman…"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Exhaling]

"AAAH! SIR! August Gorman here! Listen..I don’t wanna go to jail because…they have robbers, and rapists, and rapists who rape robbers -"
[August Gorman – Employee, Counting]

His mouth runs involuntarily, dropping uneven excuses as he wobbles over the plush carpet. We see a large fountain in the center of this cavernous office and closing the distance is Ross Webster – CEO. A man partial to an interruption, he interrupts.

"Mr Gorman, I just want to ask you one question. You’ve been a naughty guy, haven’t you?"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Smiling]

"I, uh – "
[August Gorman – Employee, Fear-Full]

"Come on, admit it! You’ve been just a liiitle bit naughty, haven’t you?"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Striding]

"…I uh, I kind of -"
[August Gorman – Pawn, Unknowing]

"Oh…that’s alright pal! I understand. I can um…what do the young folk say today? Dig where you’re comin’ from, brother…?"
[Ross Webster – CEO, Pointing]

"You want to be r-r-rich! I was born rich. Never worn the same pair of socks twice."
[Ross Webster – CEO, Drinking]

In Control: Super Ego = Escalation.

In Control: Super Ego = Escalation.

And so it continues, and from this we see clearly Ross Webster – CEO knows an opportunity when he sees one. After flattering GG for a short while, the boys get down to business. Money.

It occurs to The Man, you see, that if our boy can harness the power of the in-house system so easily, what’s to stop him making changes on a slightly larger scale, for the good of the company?

Vera Webster – Sister arrives to add weight to her brother’s proposal. August is surprised by this fierce lady, and mentions to Ross Webster – CEO that he wasn’t aware his mother worked here, too.

To describe Vera Webster as fierce would be an understatement to the highest degree. Her mere presence drives men to insanity – chaotic thoughts, delusions of grandeur, knee-jerk reactions 24/7 and a seriously homicidal temper are all popular weapons in this character’s arsenal. Maladjustment Incarnate.

So it follows then, that as she arrives on the scene, the true plan is revealed: .

The Daily Planet - Chaos as Usual

The Daily Planet - Chaos as Usual

Under the watchful gaze of his dominant sister, Ross Webster – CEO outlines the plot: to control the global weather system via satellites currently in orbit, using GG and his incredible understanding of computers to hack the on-board telemetry systems. Facing certain jail, Gus Gorman submits to the Super Ego and compromises his beliefs, his inner compass of Real Right and Real Wrong.

As if to highlight this major change, we smash cut to the offices of Perry White for some irony – the "lucky" winners of the Jingo!, Mr + Mrs Maury Stokis, are having their picture taken.

Maury is totally excited.

"I can’t believe my luck! This is the first time I’ve ever won anything!"
[Mr Stokis, Bingo Winner]

"You won my hand, Maury…"
[Mrs Stokis, Bingo Widow]

"Yeah sure, but this is the first time I’ve ever won anything valuable…"
[Mr Stokis, Super Stoked]


Continued: News From The Flood – # 3.1 Full Circle.

Sinking About Sings # 2 : Music

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Bad Religion - Against The Grain - 1990

UP Next : Band Camp

Following last week’s heavily Saturnian post, I thought it might be prudent to move away from the world of fisticuffs and plunge headlong into true passion: Music. So let’s begin true to form with me happily dodging my duty as a writer. Here’s Bill Shakespeare :

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

This piece speaks so much louder, so much more resonant now than back in High School.

Remember? I switched off the TV NEWS.

Bill is, through his mastery of language, sharing a very important lesson with us here I feel. If we have done our homework, we will have realized that we are all, at many levels, trapped in a material world.

You don’t need the likes of Madonna to inform/remind you of this; you simply need to look Up and Around. You see it, hear it, feel it every single day.

In the Real World, Reality Matters.

It’s unavoidable.

Or is it?

Digging a little deeper, we can infer another, older and most definitely buried meaning to ‘material’. Drawing once again on the legend of Osiris , we happen upon the tale in which his nefarious brother, Seth , tricks our Favourite Son/God into trying a coffin on for size.

No, really.

Evelyn Paul -

Last One In Loses His Kingdom!

They’ve been partying all night and everyone at the banquet has had a go, only to find the dimensions just do not suit. The evening wears on, until finally Osiris steps down from his throne, always game for a laugh. As it happens, this beautiful coffin, custom built by Sneaky Seth and inlaid with the finest gemstones truly does fit our King. It fits him so well, in fact, it is described to envelop him like his own skin . You can see where this goes, of course.

With Osiris reclining, Seth jumps into action.

Cackling gleefully, the coffin is nailed shut by Saturnian Seth and Brother O is quite literally sent down the river. Into the Nile the coffin is thrown, at which point our hero is temporarily lost to his loving wife and Moon Goddess, Isis . The world is plunged into darkness as our heroine weeps for her estranged love.

Jonathan Black has made an excellent observation in his book on the layered symbolism in this myth.

He points out what now seems obvious. It wasn’t of course – so thanks for your work and insight, Mr J Black.

This particular stop on the timeline of Osiris represents the marriage of consciousness to the material – as Osiris is sealed in the coffin that fits him like skin – God / Consciousness / Mind is forced into The Coffin / The Body / Matter . Totally, unequivocally, awesome. Right?

So you see where we’re headed: Consciousness is within and without; it’s ubiquitous, omniscient. But most of all, it was here before we were.

So once you accept this, you Real Eyes, in this world, the only direction left to go is inwards & upwards.

And with that, it’s back to Bill Shakespeare. We take another look. We see a new meaning.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Feed your heart; kill your appetite .

Focus on your heart. The spiritual side of You.

Feed it: Meditate.

Forget the material. Kill your appetite.

Deny it: Meditate.

Materialism is just junk in the Grand Scheme of Things.

So with that in mind, let’s dive headlong into the moshpit and let it all just fucking go with a couple of punk rock reviews on some seriously visionary supergroups. First up – the bandwidth eater at the top of the article – Bad Religion’s 1990 mindblower, Against The Grain .

The first thing you’ll notice about this album is the killer artwork. It speaks to you. It says “Hey! Nature Not Bombs!” right away – something we can ALL get behind.

This emotion is evoked within us through the use of colour and contrast. The majority of ‘stalks’ in this field are actually Rockets, pointing skywards and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Against The Grain - 1990 - Front Sleeve

Rockets n Corn: USA USA USA!

You feel urgency in the dark picture this paints in your heart.

Indigo/Purple for the rockets is a good choice as it emanates a dusky, two minutes to midnight feeling, given the object this colour fills. All this bad juju gets you yearning for a beacon, a light shining up and out of this prospective darkness.

And there it is. In the middle – right there in the center – a bright starburst of golden yellow gorgeousness, a real ear of corn thriving amongst all of this man-made violence.

Relief!

Finally, the artwork is rounded off and linked back to the album’s title – as punks around the world identify with truly going Against The Grain. The sunburst yellow center points in the opposite direction.

A-ha! So there is another way, the teenage me mused as he picked up the CD in Tower Records, way back when.

Colour and Contrast: Purple and Yellow.

Rockets and Corn.

Remember how we said Osiris was a fertility God?

Corn is a symbol directly associated with Osiris throughout the ages.

Funny, no? More in a few – just sharpening my shovel.

Well, it’s later so where are we? Oh yes, Osiris shining brightly from the center of the cornfield, so bright that golden rays emanate from this particular stalk, perhaps even withering the surrounding, conformist rockets by killing their energy source.

Truly RA-dient, don’t you agree?

On to the back sleeve, where the Corn continues.

This time we find Osiris’ Calling Card mounted in a skull n bones / crossed swords / hammers formation, an arrow rounding off the symmetry.

Against The Grain - 1990 - Back Sleeve

Corn & Arrows: Old Testament Jehovah?

This insignia again rouses something within – a call to arms: into action we must go!

The belligerent and bellicose like an insignia, you see – just look at any soldier’s sleeve. There you will find any number of archaic symbols woven together in intricate detail, each describing the metaphysics of their respective contributions to war.

Sneaky Symbols abound! So what is this one saying?

Well, again, it’s simply the back sleeve – so it’s a continuation of the overall theme – War. It has been well documented and can therefore be said that the general depiction of God, in terms of that exceptionally feisty set of accounts, The Old Testament , was of a warlike nature. There are countless tales of massive violence and bloodshed in these pages. So even though we are looking at a logo defined by its apparent aggression, we can see how the concept of God is referenced here too.

But this piece is focusing on music, not war. We prefer to listen to the universe’s pretty piano pattern as opposed to the monotonous, marching bang of the war drum. With that in mind, let’s flip that insignia of the 7-Leaf Corn and Arrow above into a simple X / 24 / 42 by squinting a little.

And so we must take a look then, at Greg Graffin , Bad Religion’s lead and arguably the intellectual giant amidst a den of intellectual giants.

GG is a master geologist who received his PhD (Zoology) from Cornell. He teaches Life Science 1 and Earth & Space Sciences 116 at UCLA. And that’s just for shitzngiggles. When at work, GG is a lyricist with such a firm grasp of the metaphysical pen that he cuts right to the heart of the matter within the first line of a song, should he choose to.

He then transfuses that intellect into stage presence as he asks his questions of the audience – either by ripping them new earholes during a song or via so-called idle chatter between pieces. Let’s dip in to his world via the first track, Modern Man :

Wiki Fair Use - Greg Graffin at The Starland

GG @ Starland Ballroom - 2007


I’ve got nothing to say, I’ve got nothing to do
all of my neurons are functioning smoothly
yet still I’m a cyborg just like you
I am one big myoma that thinks, my planet supports only me
I’ve got this one problem: will I live forever?
I’ve got just a short time to see

modern man, evolutionary betrayer
modern man, ecosystem destroyer
modern man, destroy yourself in shame,
modern man, pathetic example of earth’s organic heritage

when I look back and think,
when I ponder and ask why
I see my ancestors spend with careless abandon,
assuming eternal supply

modern man, evolutionary betrayer
modern man, ecosystem destroyer

modern man, destroy yourself in shame,
just a sample of carbon-based wastage,
just a fucking tragic epic of you and I

Fitting in with this season’s fashions quite perfectly, don’t you think?

GG’s anger at the state of what we have become.

The concepts of modern man ignoring the true beauty of his existence – and therefore purpose – in this material world: to return to the source.

A return to Consciousness, mindful living. To strive for wisdom. To set yourself on the path toward Enlightenment.

Waking up and finding your long-dormant Total Consciousness within, trapped inside this organic body.

The same Total Consciousness that was forced into carbon-based, plant-like matter when Seth sealed Osiris in the coffin / skin / human form .

I could now administer a silver bullet to my weekend and go through this album track by track. Taking on the job of deciphering Bad Religion on any level is a task of truly Herculean proportions, so you’ll forgive me if I move on to the next supergroup. I will most certainly revisit this though, when time permits.

I will, however, leave you with this, the crowning glory of this particular squint down the rabbit hole.

Unity!  The Mayan 'G'

Greg GRAPH-in?

You’ll note I took shots of the cover art on graph paper.

You have hopefully also noted that we have another GG on the radar following last week’s article. The GG this time is a big fan of space (this probably also applies to last week’s GG), and lectures on pertinent ideas and theories in his spare time.

G is the 7th letter of the alpha-bet.

In the Maya Culture it represents Unity / The Great Spiral .

So it’s with great joy that the true nature of this album cover is unveiled.

Behold: Greg Graffin, the man at the center of BAD Religion, really does want us to pay attention.

Mankind: Destroying ourselves in shame for as long as I can remember. MM. The 13th letter of the alpha-bet. We then end up with 26 , or Z , the Omega.

Bands with a message like Bad Religion are imploring us to wake up. These guys have been doing it since 1979.

Don’t let Modern Man hit that specific destiny at Omega Point.

How about this year, 2011, we destroy our Selves and find Joy instead?

Reach for the stars.



Billy was a Lunatic Just Barkin At The Moon


UP Next: Operation Ivy and Lagwagon.

Peace out, more later.

Scales.

xo