Hojo family gathering + Yuki Onna [Snow woman]

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‘Realising he was fighting a losing battle, Hojo burnt the monasteries and returned to his castle where, along with 34 family members, and two hundred and twenty retainers, he committed mass suicide.’

I’m used to medieval nobles like Vlad Dracula and Dan the 2nd dying in battle, being unafraid of death as long as their adrenaline was up, but to casually go back to your castle and gut yourself, and force the rest of your family and your servants to do the same, is pure Japan. Maybe pure Ancient Egypt too, I’m not sure.

Actually, it may have been common in many cultures for the servants to die too, but…where’s the sense in killing off your next of kin?

Even in the context of medieval Japan, it doesn’t make sense.

The reputation and continuation of your Clan was considered paramount, but it was also a matter of honour to kill yourself after losing a battle.

Contradiction: killing yourself and your family does not help you to continue your Clan. Unless you’re killing off your cousins?

But then, other warriors would surrender and join the other side in order to preserve their Clan.

I think that happened a lot in the warring period, which I’ve just found out about from a book I picked up in the library.

Most history of most countries is pretty brutal, but 1430’s – 1620’s was the time you couldn’t go anywhere in Japan without being mugged, raped or slaughtered.

Same goes for Romania.

That was all a long time ago now.

I lived in Japan and they’ve definitely mellowed since the 1400’s. And become more creative too. Look at how many weird folktales they’ve got. Look at all that manga.

Have you ever read or seen Yuki Onna [Snow woman]? Continue reading

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Hungarian Dracula

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Impaling a village of saxons, including priests, kids and mums, and then sik gan fan at a table nearby [alone] is something only the 15th century could find time for, but it’s been done now, everyone knows Vlad, yan yan, everyone, even the guy from the Buffy episode of Dracula played Vlad in a TV movie and if you are gonna write Dracula 2 then it’s better to go Hungarian, oh goh dut.

And 10th century Hungary beats 15th mostly cos it wasn’t really Hungary yet and

the future Hungarians were still doing raids

mostly on Northern Italy as that’s where all the painters

were and the idea of a Hungarian sweeping in from Russia

speaking a language similar to other cold people

e.g. Finland, Estonia, Lithuania

but being secretly otherworldly

is a good one.

So far I’ve found three guys who could play the role of my Drac, they are:

Alpan

Alzar

Kruszan

I think I’m leaning towards the last one as he’s the only one who wasn’t a king, he was more like the Hand, yet he was also a brilliant military commander so he would have seen blood and guts and Bulgar swords stabbing at his horse, so he’s the guy and the

thing I need to figure out now is what would someone like this be like after 1120 years of being a vamp, or not a vamp, something similar to a vamp [he won’t drink blood, he’ll dig his nails under the skin and rub firmly, his idea of sex]

would he still carry the brutality of the 10th-15th century timeframe

would it be worse now that he’s not human

would he be lonelier and lonelier in sync with the growing morality of humans in general

as his total lack of morals slipped away from his country’s traditions? Continue reading

The Haunted Palace // The Pit and the Pendulum [thoughts + spoilers]

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Like all Poe/Corman films, the plots of Haunted Palace and Pit and Pendulum are quite similar. We’ll try the lighter of the two first…

Film: The Haunted Palace

Starring: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr, a painting of Vincent Price, interchangeable villagers

Setting: An old American palace

Plot: Several women are zombified and impregnated at Vincent Price’s luxurious American palace, but some of the villagers find out and burn him to death. Before he dies, Price borrows the Bush family strategy and vows revenge via a future relative who will look exactly the same as him.

A hundred and something years later, a relative who looks exactly the same as Vincent Price arrives to claim the palace he just inherited. The villagers tell him not to stay there, it’s haunted, it’s remote, it’s draughty etc., but Price defies them and stays there until his evil ancestor starts to possess him [with the help of the butler].

Subplot: The wife of Vincent Price takes one look at the creepy painting above the fireplace and immediately enquires about the nearest Holiday Inn. On hearing that the village has a pub, a graveyard, a smoke machine and that’s it, she tells Vince they should leave anyway, but he says nonsense, the palace is great and will make an excellent sex den.

Sub-sub plot: Interchangeable villagers ignore the lack of jobs/daylight in the village and focus on something more achievable i.e. the persecution and possible burning of Vincent Price.

Subterranean plot: An unknown monster waits in a hole in the basement of the castle. It waits there, in that exact spot because Vincent Price keeps bringing naked women for it to stare up at, just like those old men who stand under the transparent stairs in the Causeway Bay Apple Store. Yup, the old Gods may be ancient and glorious with powers beyond human comprehension, but they’re still base enough to sit and gawp at some extra’s muff.

Notes:

I watched this film the day after I saw The Pit and the Pendulum. And the week after I’d watched the House of Usher.

A lot of these films blur into one, and it’s especially true of The Haunted Palace + The Pit and the Pendulum. Continue reading

Psycho Holosuite #Issue 1 [Out Now]

psycho holosuite7-2

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Zine: Psycho Holosuite [Issue 1]

Pages: 80 [print version], 90 [e-version]

Contributors: Berit Ellingsen, Frankie Sachs, Soren Melville, Thomas Stolperer, Marc Horne, Tyson Bley and me [Oli].

Release date: Now

Notes:

Well, after printing this thing 5 months ago and watching it sit in a box in the corner of my living room doing nothing ever since, I can finally say, man, it’s out.

By ‘out’ I mean available for order in stripped down e-form on amazon, and on its way in glorious zine form to the following places:

Atomic Books [Baltimore]

The Coming Society [Hong Kong]

Sticky Institute [Melbourne]

Housmans [London]

Book Thug Nation [NYC]

Molasses [NYC]

Quimby’s [Chicago]

There are still 4-5 places we’re gonna add to this list, but you can find out more about these confirmed stockists here.

All of them are decent and well stocked with zines from all kinds of people, so even if you don’t like our one, you probably will like at least one zine there.

Also, if you want to order a copy, just e-mail us and we’ll see if there’s any left.

What’s in Issue 1 of this zine?

Well, there’s: Continue reading

Uchujin Time Strip

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In many ways Susan Sarandon was more than just the lub interest from Bull Durham and the ex-wife of Tim Robbins, she was also the mind interest of sub space aliens who conducted experiments with/in/outside of time.

 

It had started, the Sarandon interest, when a stray signal from Earth swerved and poked itself into sub space by mistake…and ended up on one of the screens inside an alien base only eight sub-parsecs from the Sol System [not that distance really mattered].

 

Alien: What’s this?

Alien 2: White Palace.

Alien: Well…I don’t like white, and I don’t really like palaces…wait, who’s that?

Alien 2: The one with the stick?

Alien: No.

Alien 2: The one with the hills?

Alien: Yes, who is she?

Alien 2: Susan Sarandon.

Alien: Wow.

Alien 2: I know.

 

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RULE 17 of Chrono-strip-experimentation:

Always seek permission from a representative of the subject’s world, even if that representative seems to be out of their depth.

If refused, ask another.

 

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The sub space aliens ordered the face cream, pulled out the temporal hacksaws and grew four tongues [two as back-up].

The face cream would take a few weeks to arrive, so they passed the time by watching the 14th century.

Their notes:

 

Black Death = efficient culling of general population, mostly peasants

Red Death = efficient culling of Italian nobles who worshipped something called Satan. Continue reading

Nihongo Mata

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It’s been a while, ten years or so, but there’s a honeymoon in Kyushu coming up so it’s back to the Japanese textbooks cos if I don’t know how to say, “which way to the island volcano?” then we’re fucked.

If we were heading to Tokyo or Osaka it wouldn’t be a problem, but we’re going to isolated places and I’ve been to Sado Island before so I know what’s coming. I know they only speak Japanese, formal Japanese too, the words with no end.

Last time on Sado, Aya was there so I didn’t have to say much. In fact, she specifically told me not to speak as my Japanese was bad.

It’s true, I had problems putting equal stress on the whole word.

E.g. I would say To-MO-mi, instead of To-mo-mi.

It’s quite hard to get the hang of cos English speakers are used to putting stress somewhere.

This time I will be better. I’m sure of it.

Oh Aya, whatever happened to her?

She was a bit pretentious, but so was I so we got on okay.

I remember we shared a futon in the Sado Island ryokan and I woke up in the night and she was staring at me.

‘Oli, what does Fibreglassy mean?’ Continue reading

Mum Raa searching for ryokans + peace in Kyushu

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The search for non-touristy ryokans in Kyushu was tough for Mum-raa cos he/she/it never read reviews

and

when he/she/it did accidentally they were never trusted cos he/she/it didn’t know who glassslipper27 really was and his/her/its henchmen [ex-henchmen] couldn’t hear any good or bad about them no matter how many times they smashed the funny-looking robot with letters that were not the same letters they learnt as a kid.

What was an acer?

Mum-raa knew but he/she/it was not telling.

not telling the henchmen

they were too malleable, both ways,

and besides, Mum-Raa was

too busy staring at pictures of the island volcano that everyone else in Japan seemed to ignore.

Good base, good slope, hard for hybrids to attack unless they had plot on their side.

Fucking lion looking cunt fucker ugly spotty little

Mum-raa bookmarked the island volcano with ‘potential home’ in his/her/its own language and moved back to ryokans cos he/she/it couldn’t sleep on the street, it was too dirty.

The site looked dated, like wordpress, but could still function

There were still pictures with 1980’s Japanese faces

It was something Continue reading