Started September 9th, 1994
This is where I write about things that provoke "odd"
feelings in my mind. You know, those times when you stop, look
around, and think "now THIS is really weird!"
Those times when you're watching something and you get a creepy
kind of feeling like you've just seen something extraordinary-
but you just can't quite figure out what the hell is going
on that makes it so extraordinary? That disquieting sensation
you experience when you look at a mess of colors and it suddenly
resolves into a flower, or a Dobbs head, or a wing nut? Or when
a complete stranger walks up, hands you a spatula, and walks away
without a word? Or when a coconut falls right on Gilligan's
head for no apparent reason? You know. Those funny things that
go "bump" in the mind. This list is of things I have
done in successful pursuit of this "oddness".
And here you are:
Rent (no, I am NOT kidding) the movie Bambi. All by
yourself. Go down to the damned video store and rent it. Okay,
so the forkboys laugh and the freckly cashier girl gives you a
sick look. They all just suck anyway. Get the movie and drive
back to your house. Or your dorm. It doesn't matter. As long as
it's quiet and you won't be disturbed. Connect a cable to the
video input of your VCR, so that when you're not playing a tape,
the TV is black and the audio is silent. No white noise or
dancing snow! That's an important element! Now put
the tape into the VCR, turn on the TV, wire the audio through
your stereo, and (this step is crucial) turn it up very very
loud. Turn off ALL the lights. Cover up the crack under
your door if you need to. Make it (and this is important too)
pitch black except for the TV! If your TV is small, get
very close to it. Damn your eyes! Get close to it, you
pansy! I want the static to make your eyelashes stand on
end!! Are you that close? Good. Now fast forward past the
FBI crap and the advertising drivel, right up to the opening credits.
That song should be screaming out your speakers. If it
isn't then turn them up, dammit! Are you deaf? What?
Okay, good. Now watch this movie with a clear and open mind. Pay
attention to the rain, and watch the snow and leaves carefully.
Are you getting this? Listen intently to the background
noise behind the music, down below the sound effects. Concentrate
on that. Use that sound to set the tone for this movie.
Watch it all the way through now, no fast forwarding. Fast forwarding
through Bambi is for sissies. Take this movie like a
man!! Then, when it's done, (and I mean completely done, no
stopping until the image fades away) press stop so the TV
is black and the audio is silent. No sound or picture should disturb
you! Lie there (or sit there, if you prefer) and let the aftereffects
of the movie roll around in your head. Now mess with the camera
angles and mess with the delays. Pretend that you're watching
countless hours of footage that was cut from this release of the
movie. Things that ol' Disney wouldn't even consider showing.
What happens when "flower" gets angry? What would you
see if you were watching the twins' birth? What did "man"
look like? Instead of following Bambi when the hunters came, follow
his mother. Watch her stain the snow red and become a hide and
several pounds of meat. What did it look like when Bambi had to
take a dump? When he was shot, he didn't bleed or appear wounded
in any way- yet he had trouble walking. Exactly where was he feeling
pain, and how? Imagine walking through a world where every sound
is buoyed by a background hiss and an occasional crackle or pop.
Where your footsteps and breathing and eating make no noise
at all, yet your voice is exceedingly loud. Feel anything
"odd" about this movie? Feel as if there's something
hiding behind the thick, shadowy trees? A voiceless, formless
beast that none of the animals are aware of? A beast that devours
reality and fuzzes the borders between living people and
mindless objects? It turns rain into a living thing, rival
deer into evil automatons. With a loud bang that seems to come
from thin air, it turns a talking bird with eyes and limbs and
fears into nothing but a falling mass of blue feathers. When someone
dies, they simply disappear! In a few minutes you could
lose five years of your life, and learn nothing!! There's
something here that none of the artists intended, an "oddness"
that accidentally creeped in around the deficiencies of their
storyboards and the limits of their animation, and the fact that
they had to design everything so that it would appear a "kids
movie". You may catch it or you may not, this "oddness",
but if you do it sure is creepy. If you don't, you need to pay
more attention to the backgrounds and stop wasting time cooing
over how "cute" the characters are. Oh, hell.
Maybe it was all the vitamin C I had, sending my brain into shock.
Maybe it isn't there, any of it. But I tell ya, it sure
Go to the Capitola Mall. Walk down the aisles until you come
to the big fountain. You can see one of the exits about a hundred
yards away. That distance is your gauntlet. Lean out over the
fountain and look into it. Stare at your reflection. Feel a scream
charging up inside you. An itch that must soon be scratched, an
electrical force that quietly pries at the door to your mild-mannered
mall-walking self. Think of what a scream would sound like echoing
around the mall. Temporarily drowning out the noise of the fountain,
ceasing all conversation with a tangible snap. If the scream
comes, you will have to run that 100 yards accross the
mall and out the door with scores of startled eyes drilling holes
into the back of your head. As you burst into the sunlight of
the open world and dash around the corner and back into anonymity,
you will for some reason feel lucky to have escaped alive.
Hmmmm. If you're too much of a social neatnick (read:chickenshit),
just think about doing it. One way or the other, I tell
ya, it sure feels "odd".