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Drawing Blood

Posted on 2006.01.27 at 14:33
The madman scratches the surface--the artist draws blood.

My dearest friend and muse made a very astute observation on her blog: "The machine to control the way women look is one of the most powerful cartels in the world...there are millions at stake in keeping women uncomfortable in their own skin." The observation is painfully valid, but it's not only women who find themselves crushed in this vise. From our first breath each of us have been trained to loathe our nature. Our culture celebrates surface over substance. All but a few brave souls are terrified of scratching the surface and seeing an ugly truth--or worse, discovering there is nothing beneath the shiny veneer. As Hubert Selby, Jr. observed (he was a compulsive scratcher), the only thing more dissolute than the American Dream is the death of the American Dream. When the dreamer realizes his defining paradigm is nothing but an illusion, an existential crisis ensues-- "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

We are bombarded by messages that target our self image. The gospel of consumer culture is that we need to do more than upgrade our car, wardrobe, or computer--if we want to be happy and successful we must upgrade ourselves. Billions are spent on commercials that tell you-- "You're ugly, fat, not desirable, but buy our product and you can be an air-brushed god/goddess--primmed, waxed, plucked and heroin chic. Digitally enhanced eye color, silicon augmented breasts–"Be all you can be!"-- as if resembling these "role models" were even genetically possible. If you're a man, use our razor to shave off the animal. Wear our cologne with pheromones distilled from pulverized wolf testicles, and women will flock to you and offer up their orifices. Take this little blue pill and thrust away for hours. You may die of heart failure, but your fantastically enlarged member (which resembles a boiled sausage thanks to our patented penis pump) will still be hard when you're nothing but a stiff in a pinewood box.

Give me curves, natural breasts, a face etched with real character lines. More than that, give me a soul capable of etching character lines!

The "love yourself our way" cartel will never be satisfied with a mere pound of flesh. It wants to undermine us body and soul. "Buy into our religion and your ugly, sinful, animal nature will be given a facelift." Say "Hallelujah" and join the beautiful people at the right hand of God.

I'm one of the unclean, one of the shadows given a sharper edge by the spotlight. That's why I cheer for the monsters in horror movies and novels. Nice fangs and glowing eyes! And your motivation?–to be pure (an element, not an accident), to follow your nature, to celebrate the awe and horror you inspire by being yourself. Being a monster is innately subversive--being beautiful and honest about the snarling beast within is heroic. Dorian Gray descended to Hell when he failed to face the monster in the mirror. The answer to his moral dilemma wasn't to obscure the abomination. Salvation lies in facing the monster--saint before sinner, beauty juxtaposed against the grotesque, and realizing I am all of this and more. More than light, more than shadow, the sum is greater than the parts.

"I have long exercised an honest introspection, the exquisitely painful approach to wisdom. Self-scrutiny, relentless observation of one's thoughts, is a stark and shattering experience. It pulverizes the stoutest ego...Man can understand no eternal verity until he has freed himself from pretensions. The human mind, bared to a centuried slime, is teeming with repulsive life of countless world-delusions."
–Paramahansa Yogananda.
(Sounds like P.Y. was a fan of H.P. Lovecraft.)


(Anonymous) at 2006-01-30 02:26 (UTC) (Link)
I am so grateful to have you as my path and soul mate.

- Mistress Muerto
rescue_angel at 2006-01-31 16:19 (UTC) (Link)
Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed reading this entry as well as the one about giving birth to your writings. Well written and so interesting! Couldn't have said it better myself.
rjcrowtherjr at 2006-01-31 21:37 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much, Devila, for your wonderful words and for reading with me! Rescue_Angel, thank you also, and I very much enjoyed reading your blog. You really know how to make a man weep, especially a man who loves the beasts of hearth and field as much as I do.

Mistress Muerto, I would be nothing without you.
--Love, R.M.
Justine Musk
moschus at 2006-02-03 07:08 (UTC) (Link)
Can you imagine what would happen to this society if we all rejected the gods of advertising and learned to embrace the monster?

things fall apart
the center cannot hold...

By the way, got a note from my editor Liz in which you (and your wondrous handselling abilities) were definitely being appreciated. :)

Have you read CELL? Reading it? Love to know your thoughts...

rjcrowtherjr at 2006-02-05 20:57 (UTC) (Link)

Yes, I can imagine! It's all about embracing the monster, and not being subsumed. When you embrace and integrate, you can shift between the Dionysian and Apollonian as water changes states, but never give up the purity of being water. Of course, "Imagine" by Lennon came to mind with your words--and I cannot hear that song without tears coming to my eyes.

I picked up "The Cell" the day it came out--salivated over the cartons with their "Do not break seal on boxes under penalty of death" warnings for two weeks before the street date. Flesh eating zombies, a dedication to George Romero and Richard Matheson (the latter presumably for his living dead masterpiece, "I am Legend"). But now that I have the book, I haven't cracked it yet. I've been buried in rewrites, and trying to stay focused. I wanted to polish a few scenes in "Crucifer" before letting you, and hopefully, Clive Barker, read it.

Congratulations on delivering your second manuscript to Liz! I know it's going to floor her. The moment you send me a copy--I'm begging on my hand and knees before the Goddess!--I'll plunge into your world. After reading "BloodAngel," I can't wait to see what wonders burst from your soul!
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