Monday, December 27, 2004

Offering myself sexually to Diamanda Galas (!)

(The following is self explanatory. My parents, should they visit this site, might not want to read what follows. I printed this out and sent it to Ms. Galas after posting it -- I have yet to hear back from her. I have updated this entry, so you read exactly what she read).

Dear Ms. Galas

A rather odd piece of fan mail, this, but, uh, I’m hoping it’s more amusing than dangerously weird.

Read recently in that old Re/Search issue, Angry Women, that you’d always wanted to fuck a man up the ass, but had had, at that point, no volunteers. It seems quite possible that after you said that, a huge queue of willing weird males who craved the distinction of being sodomized by Diamanda Galas formed at your doorstep and that the comment has been one of the few public statements you regret having made (my apologies, in this case, at being so tedious, and so late, too!). In fact I would be shocked (but somewhat proud) to discover that in the 12 years or so since the book was published that I’m the first and only man to speak to this point; I hope you’ll let me know if such is the case. Anyhow, I kinda got this feeling after reading your comment of obligation; and thus –

For the record, I’m not really presently interested in anal play per se, nor do I have a weird celebrity fetish going on, tho’, heh, in the crowd I move in it would make a fun story to tell, far better than my having hugged Damo Suzuki or having given an Ultraman monster to David Byrne; in fact, sexually, you, uh, intimidate the hell out of me. (You’d have to promise to at least make an effort tot be gentle!). However, since I read a fascinating bit of theory (years ago) by Leo Bersani, “Is the Rectum a Grave?” (which I highly recommend – a short version of it appears in an anthology, Reclaiming Sodom), I’ve been inclined to agree with Bersani that a lot of straight men have repressed/denied such sites of pleasure, that homophobia possibly involves a fear of non-phallic sexual pleasure in the male, and that a sort of liberation can come from reclaiming these taboo sites (do you know Robert Duncan’s poem, “The Place Rumor’d to have been Sodom?”). Theory can lead one to odd places at times. In fact, in my intensely autoerotic acidhead 20’s, in addition to other odd things I tried, I bought dildoes and vibrators and did indeed experiment with penetrating myself, learning to take intense pleasure, at the time, from anal stimulation; I eventually got bored of it, dropping it from my own routines, but I did always think it would be interesting to be fucked up the ass by a woman wearing a strap on, and indeed think it probably is an experience every straight man should have (which comment you make in said interview)… It’s come up in conversation with a couple of female lovers, but we never actually went there, alas. I remain an anal virgin.

For the record, tho’ I’m somewhat bright, I am underaccomplished, not particularly powerful, and rather overweight, such that you might think of Ned Beatty in Deliverance in the heat o’ things... Frankly, I, uh, imagine I’m not your type. However, the offer stands: when you’re next in Vancouver, if you want my ass, it’s yours. Uh, I guess we should start with coffee…

Admired your most recent CDs and enjoyed your last Vancouver show. Thought of you on watching Pasolini’s Salo at the Cinematheque this month, too; his identification with the victims in that film, his compassion for them in the face of such cruelty, reminded me very much of your work, and I commented to a friend with me (who’d also been at your concert), “I wonder how many times Diamanda Galas has seen this film?”.

Curious, are you a John Cassavetes fan? It would be interesting to me to know your reactions to his work (I recommend everyone see Faces, at the very least). What about the novels of Cormac McCarthy? I recommend Child of God...

I can be reached at; you can also see my blog, , wherein one may find pics of me, if you’re curious. If you reply to this, and I am not in fact the first man to offer up his ass to you, do let me know how many (tens? hundreds?) have gone before me, if you took any of them up on it, and if it was an interesting experience, okay? (If I may post this info on my blog, let me know. I’ve posted this letter…). I’m really quite conservative, believe it or not… Heh.

Allan MacInnis

Thursday, December 23, 2004

No Fun at Christmas

Just saw No Fun play the Railway Club and all I can say is, Jeezus, they still do Gorgo ads. I first saw them doing Gorgo ads when I was a teenager watching Soundproof on cable-access latenite TV in Maple Fuckin' Ridge. Who put the "U" in Underachiever? No Fun, is who -- an apparent 30 years into their musical career and they are no better (and no worse) than they ever were. They still don't have a record contract, they still play to tiny crowds, they still make fun of themselves and they still seem to be enjoying what they're doing. They even look the same -- Leahy's lost a little more hair and David M. is slimmer, but they remain No Fun, and their set remains 80% toss-offs and things that are cute for about a minute (like the ditty where Marlon Brando replaces Rudolph in towing Santa's sleigh), 10% moments of near brilliance (a Christmasized version of "Major Tom," say), and 10% as-close-to-genius-as-doggerel-and-pop-tunes can come. (There were always two or three songs on every cassette that seemed essential: "Work Drink Fuck Die," "Be Like Us"... some of you must know what I mean...). Their Christmas-themed rewritten set-closer of "I'm not taking Suzy to the Be-in" aside, tho', they never really transcended their opening number tonight. As I slouched depressed over my beer, wondering about current relationship issues and the advice of a counsellor I'm seeing, wondering if I'll ever meet a woman I can be with, and generally feeling totally sorry for myself and glad for the alcohol, they launched into a carol to the tune of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful": "Oh come all ye faithless, cynical and joyless..." I didn't get it all down but their chorus was "Oh come let us be morbid, oh come let us be morbid, oh come let us be morbid, Chrii-ist my head." Truly delightful. I loved it, it cheered me up almost instantly, for a few minutes anyhow, just enough to keep me drinking and hanging in for more, which seems to be pretty much the whole of No Fun's ambition. I'm glad they're still out there, but they hold the record in my book for neither shitting nor getting off the pot. In a way, there's something quite impressive about it. On the other hand... Well, why say it, it is what it is. I wonder if they'll do No Fun on Drugs anytime soon?

Now I'm gonna go see if I can find "I'm not taking Suzy to the Be-in" on Soulseek. You never know, I found the Spores "Narcs in my Pants" the other day. Whattaya mean, you don't know who the Spores were?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Random Noise

The other night at my bookstore job I picked a blues album at random from the section and listened to a side: Son Seals. I discovered today that Seals died on that very day. Oo-ee-oo.

Counselling is irritating. It ain't quite what I expected. Perceptive guy, anyhow.

Bergman retrospective at the Cinematheque soon! The Passion of Anna on the screen (my favourite Bergman, tho' it's nice to see Shame and his other island dramas will be playing. I'd like to see Through a Glass Darkly on the screen, too. And maybe The Silence, tho' I think I saw that once before at the Cinematheque, years ago).

Gonna go lie in bed and read Nicolson Baker's Checkpoint, the only imaginative work as yet to deal with the un-publicly spoken (but oft-privately spoken) thought of assassinating G.W. Bush.

Heard from the big frizzy haired guy at the Granville Book Company that there's a new Cormac McCarthy novel due out this spring or maybe summer, which I've confirmed online... It's called No Country for Old Men and the days to the release are being counted down on the Cormac McCarthy fan site. Discussed fave McCarthy imitations. He suggested James Carlos Blake and I recommended Niall Griffith's Sheepshagger and then I bought my book and left...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Missing Man Finds Himself

It's amazing what the internet can do. A man suffering from a sort of amnesia went online and discovered he was missing and had a family who were looking for him. He still doesn't recognize them, but they've been reunited... Found the story linked off the Fortean Times website -- the "Breaking News" section is an excellent source o' daily amusement.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Lady in MY Radiator

...the lady in my radiator appears to be an avant-garde percussionist. And here I was, hopin' for Kim Deal. Damn.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Seven; Fishing

Stayin' home watchin' Seven and smokin' pot a bit, hoping to cheer myself up after a long day. So fun to THINK about the relationship between the pieces of that film, to regard Mills and Somerset and Doe as archetypal figures and to play with the opposites the tale constructs itself around, setting cold, firm self-control against vice and corruption; and the desire to engage with the world, to try to make a difference, to FEEL about it against the desire to retreat, surrender, observe without passion or concern. Four poles on which my soul is sometimes stretched, and hey, it all coheres so nicely, too -- a finely crafted machine, perfectly in line with its themes (how can my friend Liz hold narrative-driven stuff in such disregard?). Kevin Spacey -- more of a figure of the director-within-the-film than Somerset, despire the closing aphorism -- even explicitly invites people to think about the "meaning" of what he is doing, to read into it. It's bravura cleverness, to be sure, and it does pat itself on the back a bit, but it's still a rich little text. Helluva term paper to be written about it, at least; if anyone out there (all three of you who might read this) actually knows if anyone has done it, pass it on to me.

Uh... what else? All the big ocean fish are almost dead. I guess I ought to give up cod -- I'll be muttering to myself as an old man about how ashamed I am to have eaten the stuff, knowing they're extinct, which is lookin' like it might be comin' up unless fishing is pretty much stopped in much of the world. I dunno -- don't tell my vegetarian friends who eat fish, tho', okay?

Some entertaining science stories to cheer you up after that here. Scroll down til you learn about herring farts. Intrusive (but I guess cute) polar bear ad may pop up, look for the X to close it.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Bush and the Environment

It's too depressing to write much about, but here's a link.

Articulate US soldier writing about the battle of Fallujah and guerilla warfare here.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Toys for Bob Ostertag

Having seen Mr. Ostertag perform with Pierre Hebert this fall, as part of their Living Cinema project, I am well-aware of the importance of wind-up toys to his compositions. I had a funky battery operated toy from Japan, a Skull Ball, which I barely ever used. After a brief e-mail exchange, I mailed it to him as a gift and today just got the following e-mail from him: the skull is awesome! THANK YOU!!! - bob ostertag .

I have given Bob Ostertag skull, I guess one could say. I have officially added this to my roster of anecdotes involving encounters with quirky celebrities, alongside hugging (or rather being hugged by) Damo Suzuki, telling David Thomas that his beard makes him looks like Philip K. Dick, recommending the films of Dusan Makavejev to Annie Sprinkle, and giving an Ultraman monster to David Byrne. (For obvious reasons, I leave my bathroom stall encounter with Doug Bennett off the list -- see October's "Bummed About Doug" for that). Ahh, the conveyed grace, the joy of basking in the warm aura of celebrity... tho' it's a fairly eccentric notion of celebrity I'm pursuing. Oh, and I've collected autographs from Otomo Yoshihide, Umezu Kazutoki, Makigami Koichi, Hal Niedzviecki, and Ruth Ozeki, too.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Napalm in Fallujah?

It doesn't seem possible but there are stories spreading on the net about the use of the banned weapon, napalm, in Fallujah. There are also tales of armed drones -- robot warriors -- being used. Is this Vietnam or Robocop?

The rally in Vancouver was of minimal interest. 200 or so people, a few chants of "Go home Bush" and "1-2-3-4 We don't want your racist war," and a comedian in a Richard Nixon mask pretending to be GW Bush and justifying his policies, while using garbled pseudoBushisms (misunderstandardize, things like that). I left as the union singers came on -- I don't chant and I'm not much into acapella folk songs at rallies, what can I say. Later in the night we toppled a statue of Bush, just like the one in Ottawa. I wonder how many statues of Bush got toppled, across Canada?

Napalm. I don't fuckin' believe it.

Edited to add: the US has admitted to using napalm in Iraq, except it's not actually called napalm; it's a similar substance, the Mark 77 firebomb. It's still a gasoline-gel weapon that melts people -- fire dropped from the sky.