The Labyrinth 2.0

17 07 2008

What brutal sprawls of twisted deathmaze encroach on our precious isle of Manhattan!  What beast-infested nooks and crannies where taxis dare not roam!  What great food-trapping beards that outgristle and outgrease any post-coital Minotaur!  What cheap and chokesome wat’ry beers!  What uninspired zombie throngs that barely conceal contempt for opening bands that aren’t half bad!  What bony, unwashed sternums unearthed by plunging V-neck collars!     

Sign marking the condemned’s entrance to their existential Inferno

To think, that even I, Caligula, could find myself in that phantom world of non-dreams and overshopping at Trader Joe’s, merely by falling asleep on the B train en route to Urban Outfitters, is too hellish an ordeal to dwell on. The human disease, thy name is Brooklyn. I shall have to put the episode behind me if I stand any chance of recovery. But the memories of clove-breath and misappropriations of irony, the gnarled syntax and pizza parlor stabbings, will haunt me for a lifetime, nay, into the afterlife.  

To say nothing of the short stories that hold together about as well as a fistful of diarrhea.  

—Caligula

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I’m Gone For Just Two Millenia…

1 07 2008

And look what happens to my precious Rome!

Oh sure, to you it’s some neat touristy diversion, minor ruins, a chill place to sit around and get high with the Australians from your hostel.  But that was my temple!  In 40 A.D., man, the blood ran down those steps and people recognized me for the various gods I undoubtedly am.  And today when I peeked in the archway the Danish teenagers fucking inside wouldn’t even let me take a Polaroid.  When did I lose my touch?  When did my palaces of torture crumble into desrepair?

The rest of the city was likewise depressing; I was run over by two taxis and a ten-year-old on a vespa.  Yet I did catch a glimpse of an opulently dressed man on a balcony—from what the locals say, he seems to have taken up my mantle of narcissism and  eccentricity.  Sealed away in an untouchable private country (imagine the hidden/forbidden pleasures!) and essentially equating himself with the Creator, his word is law; he commands unconditional worship.  It’s good to know Rome is still under the sway of a man so made in my mold:

—Caligula





What Have You Done For Me Lately?

30 06 2008

As a flight academy grad used to people trying to shoot me out of the sky, I’m glad General Wesley Clark had the cajones to take a huge steaming dump on John McCain’s military experience malarkey.  Basically, he said, crashing your plane into a lake in Vietnam doesn’t qualify you for the presidency. *ZING* 

After I cackled over that envelope-pushing takedown, though, I got to thinking maybe Clarky didn’t go far enough.  Remember that McCain crashed his plane twice before the war even started.  Oh, don’t worry about avoiding those power lines, John, the taxpayers will be happy to shell out a few million to buy you another A-1 Skyraider.  

Also, if McCain was such a war hero, why did he get caught by the bad guys?  

McCain didn’t even use his shattered limbs to fend off Charlie

Why, when McCain could have been released early due to his father’s position as a top U.S. admiral, did he choose to hang around for five years in the Hanoi Hilton?  Hiltons are posh, swanky, luxurious places—Christ, I’ve never even been allowed near one.  If he’s such a super soldier, why didn’t he opt out of POW status and hop back in a new bomber and lay waste to Cambodia and Marlon Brando and turn the tide of the whole feckin’ war?

Speaking of which, if McCain’s such a military genius, how come we lost in Vietnam?  In fact, John McCain’s war record is 0-1.  Every war he’s fought in, we suffered a humiliating defeat, which he unequivocally accepted.  Not inspiring a lot of confidence there, buddy.  

No, John, if you want to be commander-in-chief, you’re gonna need Rambo as VP.  Hell, you might even learn something …quitter.

—Nero

 





Caligula’s Dreamlog #5: The Nightmare

25 06 2008

Ordinarily, waking to the drab world around us is a bothersome chore—how horrible it is when one’s bladder brings about the end of sleep at noon and demands access to one’s carved marble water closet—but this morning I could have kissed even the toilet lid with gratitude.  And I did, because I woke up with my face in it, right as this nightmare reached its happy conclusion:

THE DREAM

It begins, innocently enough, with me using pliers to extract my own teeth while the Supreme Court hands down a delightful decision: no death penalty for child rape.  So far, so good.  Hordes of beautiful trusting children start filing into the murky basement the justices and I have selected for this gleefully macabre affair: time to celebrate the rule of law!  

I dig the pliers into my gums to pull out a bloody tooth and make the children cower in reverent fear, but what’s this?  I pull out a piece of candy instead.  A laughing child snatches it away.  I try again: more candy. Soon the children are clamoring all about me, and individually wrapped candies are pouring out of every orifice I hold dear (all of them).  I try to beat the ragamuffins off, but every would-be blow turns into a hug by accident.  They love it, and smother me with that love.

“Scalia!” I cry out to the bench, which seems to grow ever more distant in the brightening room.  “Help!  You owe me!”  Scalia also looks concerned with this state of affairs, as the murky basement has finished turning into—gods preserve me—a Whole Foods supermarket, with hippies wearing nothing but hemp vests streaming through the aisles, studying the nutritional information labels on every item they consider.  But even as the other judges fade from sight, Scalia tramples over the children to hand me a beautiful gleaming handgun before falling off the dogpile and turning into a …it gives me an awful warmth to say it…

a unicorn.

OH, FUCK

Sobbing, I fire the gun repeatedly, but it’s already too late: the once proud weapon is just a rainbow in my fist that emits only sunflowers and Mozart sonatas.  All the pristine civilization man has achieved in spite of my work raises me above the children and hippies, and I soar, riding clouds of of high culture, love, peace, innocence, respect, and compassion, never to find my way back to the nadirs of humanity I had so proudly pioneered.

ANALYSIS

Judge Antonin Scalia is all that stands between us and a nightmare world of pure harmony.

—Caligula

 





Brand Subconsciousness

17 06 2008

Facebook community, Caligula is so sorry.  Sorry I coded an application so special, so visionary, so geared to your fickle yet stunningly limited 18 to 25-year-old imaginations.  An application you should have loved, god damn it.  But now I’ve heard your whiny voices, and I’ve gone and pulled the plug on HotLists.  Just too ahead of its time, I guess.  No, you shut up.  You Generation Y-ers turned out to be nothing but Generation Why-ers.  No, worse than that: Generation Liars.  Um….Generation Criers.  Generation Pli—whatever, you get the idea.  You were not the high-concept hedonists the mainstream media led me to expect.  You must be in denial: deep down, you don’t even care about branding, do you?  Disgusting.

If you’ve got a better idea, you probably stole it    

Someday soon you’ll understand what I was trying to accomplish, but by then it will be too late.  “How can we identify ourselves without invoking Jessica Alba and Starbucks?”  Here’s a hint: you can’t.  Good luck getting through life without telling people you’re all about Family Guy…Generation Die-ers.  

Get it?  because…I’ll kill you?…ah, fuck it. 

—Caligula





Happenstance

11 06 2008

Moviegoers!  Caligula begs you to cease your pop-culture assassination of M. Night Shyamalan.  True, he is no Hitchcock, as he is unable to chill the nether-regions of the loins and soul, but being bludgeoned by his stilted messages and cring-inducing cameos provides the sick thrill of blunter abuse, a heady mix of mockery and condescension.  He’s like a boyfriend that beats you until you cry and laugh with gratitude and acknowledge that he has every right to assume he’s the Messiah.  And “The Happening” will be his greatest triumph of audience flagellation yet.  SPOILER ALERT: a description of the film’s ending follows below this delicious custom Mark Wahlberg desktop.

Buzz about “The Happening” would have you believe that the twist is: there IS NO TWIST.  But the false prophets of Hollywood do not have the augury training of your favorite Roman sadomasochist.  I have read the signs (ha! get it?) of sparrows and bluejays in the sky, and I have learned what torture Shyamalan has in store for us.  The twist is that there IS a twist when everyone thought there was NO twist.  That glorious, swarthy bastard!  

The climax unfolds thusly: Just as Mark Wahlberg and his terrified family are about to be devoured by the King of Trees (it will make even less sense when you watch it), all will go black.  Slowly, Marky Mark wakes up out of a fog and finds himself on a couch in a room strewn with gauche costumes and hair products. The New Kids on the Block stand around him, and his brother Donnie leans down to speak: “Marky, buddy, wake up!  You were having some kind of terrible nightmare!  Now let’s go out there and ROCK!”

“Go out there?” Marky asks.  “But I quit the New Kids.  It’s over.”

“Yeah,” says Donnie.  “But this is our 2008 Reunion Tour!”

Marky looks at the camera with pure horror in his eyes: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

And his wail crossfades into the sounds of a sold-out arena show by the New Kids on the Block. The last half hour of the movie is basically a low-quality concert DVD, and one of the most brilliant cross-promotional hackjobs you’ll ever see.

 

The New Kids on the Block need be neither New nor Kids to strike fear into your heart

Yes, Shyamalan could have really outdone himself this time.  Viewers would have found a new nadir for cinema.  The critics’ faces may have melted off when this ending rolls into focus.  

Unfortunately, even they will have vacated the theater in disgust by then.  

—Caligula