Hail Satan! A review

N and I saw Hail Satan! on Friday night, a documentary about the Satanic Temple. Without knowing much about it I’ve been looking forward to seeing it for some time.

While it covered the brief history of this organization and its founders it was, for the most part, focused on the ST’s fight against the imposition of Christianity in public spaces in the US and the meaning of that imposition.

It is the creeping notion of Merica as a Christian nation that they are standing up against. The symbols of a certain type of fundamentalist Christianity which are seeping (and have been for some time) into every form of public life. Prayers in politics and schools, crosses and other symbols in public spaces.

You see Christian theocracy just creeping into our government, and it is our duty to stand up to this.

This film particularly focuses on the Satanic Temple’s stance against the large monument installed in the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.  In protest the ST proposed to erect a statue of Bephomet. Their smart, tenacious fight filled me with hope and love.

There are so many scenes in this doco which highlight the differences between the “good” and “godly” Christians and these “evil” Satan worshipers (they’re not). The Satanic Temple people are intelligently and compassionately standing up to idea that America is a Christian nation and fighting for rights of all; for equality and a voice for all people. They are doing so by taking the piss out of the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of the conservatives. It’s shooting fish in a barrel really.

But they are not just taking the piss; they are doing good work. Each chapter, apart from fighting against religious intolerance and control, are doing acts of civil charity.

As an atheist I found this quote from director Penny Lane sums up really well why these people, all of whom are atheists and not devil worshipers, align themselves with this group:

LANE: It’s not just that atheism is boring. It’s that atheism in and of itself is not a kind of affirmative set of organized values. It’s more saying what you’re not than what you are. And as a lifelong atheist myself, I can attest to the fact that atheism doesn’t give you a community. It doesn’t give you a mythology, a sort of organizing set of principles or ethics. And it doesn’t give you a kind of way to organize yourself in relationship to others and make change in the world.

In summary it seems they are fighting fear, prejudice, restriction, superstition and nonsense with their 7 fundamental tenants (see above): compassion, reason, freedom, justice, the right to control one’s own body.

I came out of Hail Satan! filled with joy and optimism. These are my people. The misfits, the oddbods, the brave ones. The ones who want to fight back and will do so intelligently, with humour and heart. If Hail Satan is the opposite of Amen, then Hail Fucking Satan!

Cranky Feminist Pants

On Friday I took the day off work to attend a school dance performance Miss M was in because I was too vague/stupid to remember to book tickets in time to go to one of the two evening shows. Sigh. Bang head on wall.

I’ve attended approximately 3,427,189 dance performances since Miss M started dancing when she was three. I have included the handful of singing eisteddfods she has also performed at in that modest number.

It’s fair to say I have a love/hate relationship with these forms of *cough* entertainment. I’m still mentally scarred from the first eisteddfod where one of the other participants brought a full single canopy bed with associated accoutrement onto the stage for the child’s prop. I love the kids, I hate the competitive parents and the storm of bullshit they create.

Anyhoo… Friday morning I found myself back in beautiful downtown Frenchs Forest for the third time in a week. It’s not my part of the world but I did manage to wrangle two catch ups with friends who live roughly in that geographic area so it wasn’t totally wasted time.

This particular dance extravaganza is the Sydney North Dance Festival, an event designed to showcase the dance abilities of school aged children from the Northern Sydney area (I believe the clue is in the title). Maybe because I’m on the tail end of this parenting malarkey or maybe because I’m a crabby old cow but to me it just seems a good way to fleece a lot of parents and grandparents of $30. Because frankly you sit through an hour and a half of the little darlings dancing to watch your own little darling dance for no longer than three minutes. Oi vey.

Despite the previous five paragraphs this blog does not exist to purely complain about this entertainment spectacular but to allow me a little rant about one of the numbers. My alternative titles for this post were: “Are you forking kidding me: Is it 1972?” or perhaps “Andrea Dworkin is rolling over in her grave”.

Let me draw you a picture: The dance routine starts of promisingly enough. The song is Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Going To Take It. Not in my top one million songs but compared to the rest of the drivel it gets a thumbs up from me. The group is little kids, I’d say years 1 or 2 at primary, lots of girls and five boys. I notice two kiddie electric guitars placed strategically at the front of the stage. Using my Sherlock Holmes level deduction skills I assume they’ll be part of the dazzling finale for this rocking little piece.

Then it hits me and I KNOW exactly how this will end and I want to scream NOOOOO. Somebody, not me because that would be a public hazard, burnt their bras for this. Don’t do it…. please… think of Germaine Greer. But they did it anyway. Yes two of the boys picked up the guitars and did their little rock moves at the sides of the stage. But that wasn’t enough to end the routine; the five boys lined up, in a boy band fashion, and did a little pantomime of a boy band performance… while the girls simply did a pantomime of being cheering fans.

What’s wrong with this picture? Jezuuus forking Christ it’s 2019. Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Gwen Stefani, insert another five bazillion kick ass female rock stars here… Why are we still representing rock/music as a male thing and females as the passive consumers/fans/groupies? I wanted to weep but I also wanted to smash things. This dance was choreographed by a (I’m guessing, young) female primary school teacher who obviously seems to have slept through the entire little blip in history I like to call feminism. WTAF??!!

I was seething. To cheer myself up I left the theatre wondering who came up with the Lyrical style of dance which seems to be the dance choice du jour. If you don’t know it just imagine girls (with the occasional boy) twirling in a meaningful manner to songs by Adele. I tend to think of it as depression in dance form.

There really should be a bar, a free open bar, at these events.

Falling Slowly

A fellow blogger and Frank Turner fan (hi VB) messaged me to bluntly ask “will you be posting again soon?”. Good question VB. I’ve been a shitty blogger for a very long time. Ideas float past and I briefly consider writing something and then they vanish over the horizon. VB’s prompt made me think that I should write something, but what…

So last night I saw one of my favourite musicals Once for the third time and the signature song came to mind as I started to write this.

It’s been an interesting six months in my dating life this year – since I broke my own “never dating again” (who was I kidding??!!) rule. Of course the year started with the unexpected gift and then heartache of meeting A. We remain friends and he has moved in with his gorgeous new girl and I’m so very happy for him – it was worth the hard decisions we had to make. (I’m so fucking mature I hate myself.)

Since then there were the two Js. The first seemed perfect. Political, musical, lived a life.  Gave mindblowing conversation. First date was a big fat intellectual WOW! Big potential. After a bit of promising texting he disappears into a cloud of middle aged existential angst and I decide I can’t possibly do this shit ever again. We saw each other a few more times and he’s a great bloke but I put on my mature hat again and let it go (let it go… sing it with me now…).

Added to the friendzone.

Then comes along the second J. From the start some odd serendipitous snap moments (You have adopted kids? I have adopted kids!). I can’t say too much about this J because if I told you I’d have to kill you. Let’s just say he opened some doors onto some rooms. My guide into a world I’d wanted to explore but didn’t know how to get in. We had some motherforking adventures. Bucket list moments. But he’s as ready to have a relationship as I’m ready to marry Donald Trump so off I go to dig out my forking mature hat AGAIN. FFS.

Friendzone getting bloody crowded folks.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, something wonderful happens. First date with N was nice. We ordered the least first date friendly food you can imagine (chicken wings and nachos) and giggled at ourselves making a mess. I tend to feed off the energy of others so the two extroverted Js probably made me seem more outgoing than I actually am. N’s quiet energy made me quiet. But right away I liked his sweet smile and gentle confidence.

Over the past couple of months we’ve grown into each other, spending more and more time together. It’s been so easy. No bullshit. Just doing things together because we enjoy each other’s company and enjoy similar things. OK… he’s into electronic music which has never been my thing. Not enough guitar solos I keep telling him. But he’s in a band which plays children’s electronic instruments and one of these “instruments” is a Donald Rumsfeld doll…. how can I possibly resist that level of crazy?!

original

He’s smart, funny, sexy, musical – seriously musical, knows who Nick Cave is (sorry, in joke), patient, thoughtful, makes the best bloody gravy I’ve ever had… am I gushing, I’m gushing. It’s all a bit glorious really.

So I find myself six months into my never-dating-again-year … falling slowly.

Funeral Playlist

So my sister has been WhatsApp-ing me from NYC this morning, convinced she is about to die of botulism. She’s not. I asked her to send me her funeral playlist just in case. Which led me to think about my funeral playlist. I posted a list in 2008 on the original DKG blog and thought I’d revisit and revise. Here’s the 2019 DKG Funeral Playlist.

1) The Guests – if Antony’s version is ever recorded then I want that played first, if not Leonard Cohen’s version will do nicely.

2) Dream a little dream – The Mamas and The Papas (no other version – EVER).

3) Bird on a wire – Perla Batalla’s version from the I’m Your Man CD. (“Like a bird on the wire, Like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.”)

4) Soul to squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers off the Coneheads soundtrack. Well, obviously a RHCP song must be played at my funeral. I couldn’t rest in peace otherwise. This song is in some ways the essence of RHCP. It’s perfection.

5) Satisfied Mind – Jeff Buckley from Sketches (For My Sweetheart The Drunk).

6) Enjoy Yourself – The Specials. I cried when they played this at the Enmore in 2009 (how the fuck was it TEN years ago??!!). “Enjoy yourself… it’s later than you think.”

7) If Ever I Stray – Frank Turner. This could be changed/deleted in future but right now it stays. Also it’s my funeral so I can have two FT songs if I want to.

8) Photosynthesis – Frank Turner. Because I’ve never wanted to grow up and I hope I never will. (That’s what I like to tell myself…. is being immature the same as not growing up?)

9) Born With A Tail – Supersuckers. Because FUCK IT!

Captain Marvel Rocks

OH! Spoilers. Blah blah! If you haven’t seen Captain Marvel and want to see it without knowing stuff about it don’t read any more and come back later. Otherwise I guess the headline makes it obvious how I feel about it. Anyway read further at your own risk.

It’s a well covered fact that I think DC should be banned from making movies. Their superhero movies are utter shite. Considerably less entertaining and fulfilling than I imagine a Barnaby Joyce sex tape would be.

If I ever needed any more proof, and I didn’t, I now have Captain Marvel to hold up to Wonder Woman. Everyone knows how much I love WW and how much I was looking forward to the new movie last year… and how bitterly disappointed I was with the end result.

Well I won’t be turning my WW tattoo into a Captain Marvel tattoo any time soon but the movies are like chalk and cheese and CM is a the cheese; a delightful creamy luscious double brie.

I saw it on Saturday afternoon and I was fully expecting to snooze through it because I’d had little proper sleep the night before and I was tired and out of sorts. But I didn’t. I watched every second, alert and certainly alarmed because it was FUCKING AWESOME.

Captain Marvel is everything I wanted Wonder Woman to be. Fun, entertaining and best of all NO FUCKING LOVE INTEREST. Some of you may snigger about me complaining about love interests but they’re not always necessary and unless they’re a good, important part of the story (I give you Deadpool) they are totally unnecessary in a superhero movie because for fuck’s sake, if you’re busy saving the world surely flirting would be low on your list of priorities.

So the no love interest thing is a biggie for me. It’s completely not an issue throughout the entire movie, not a wink, not a single moment of flirtation of any sort. Can you believe it?

I tend to complain about movies over 90 minutes these days because I find too many movies are way too long for no good reason but CM clocks in at 125 minutes and not a minute is wasted and it certainly doesn’t feel too long.

It’s set in the mid 90s so of course the music is kickass. The 90s references are funny for us oldies and baffling for the young uns. The characters are great and there are lots of laughs and the right amount of action. In short it is bloody entertaining. For my money it’s worth the price of admission for the Stan Lee/Kevin Smith cross reference. Everything else is just a bonus really.

So all the thumbs up for this one. Bring on Endgame. Like Big Kev, I’m EXCITED!

Also: Goose the Flerken. Genius!

I can’t find a Frank Turner song for this situation

I met someone.

I actually met him four years ago. I remember that day so clearly. Our eyes met and a bell rang inside me and I didn’t know what it was but I heard it.

Over the next four years I’d see him at the various places where his brisket was legendary and our eyes would meet and the bell would ring…and my life would continue with the memory of his smile and the twinkle of his eyes.

So to find us both single in January, and that he had also noticed our spark from that first meeting, was a little bit rom-com magical.

I felt like I had manifested a list of my perfect man. All the boxes neatly ticked. I could even forgive the RHCP aversion and vice versa. So much happiness.

Except he lives a 90 minute drive away. We both thought it could be managed but the reality is it can’t. Not in the long term. It’ll just get much worse as feelings grow bigger and the distance doesn’t grow smaller.

Walking away is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s been a two month bubble of joy and it’s been popped by the harsh needle of reality and it fucking hurts.

Motherforker it really hurts.

Life is a clusterfuck isn’t it? And Frank Turner hasn’t written a song for just this particular set of circumstances which is most shortsighted of him.

This song is going round and round in my head, though I can cry and have a lot. The association with the Supersuckers is obvious but fuck this song rips my heart out.

https://youtu.be/yeXmjVNfCaw

Throwing in the towel

This week I threw in the towel on something and wow, it feels great. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages but stubbornly I’ve persevered. I’m not saying there isn’t some regret, some measure of guilt but fuck it, it’s worth it.

I’ve been reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run for approximately 4,000 years (well it feels that way) and I’m only half way through. I had been so looking forward to reading it but it turned out to be a trap…a quicksand trap that sucked me in and then slowly drowned me in tedium.

Look, I assume there was an editor involved but frankly they were asleep at the wheel. This book is sooooo slow and so repetitive and so dullsville I came to the conclusion I would die of old age before I finished it.

For a rockstar autobiography (much like Tex Perkins’ – who at least had the decency to keep his short) there was little sex or drugs and look, if we wanted to know about the music we’d just fucking listen to it. While his life and the music business is relatively interesting it’s not THAT interesting. I want the dirt man…a little dirt…give us something for fuck’s sake.

Maybe I’m just not a big enough fan. I’d classify myself as a middle sized fan. His songs are so evocative of a certain American fantasy. His version of Tom Waits’ Jersey Girl – again a fantasy of some sort of American sad/romantic dream – makes me feel all the feels to the point of pain at times. Fucked if I know why; the feminist in me hates the underlying idea of that song.

Nevertheless I’ve loved seeing him live and his music is smart, heart hurting and often brilliant.

But this book seriously made me lose the will to live. I had thought I’d lost my love of reading. I’d toyed with the idea of just stopping but I hate to give up on something potentially good (I give you three and a half years of torture known as my relationship with The Joker as exhibit A).

This week I finally decided to throw in the towel. Enough is enough is enough. Guess what? It wasn’t me, it was him. I immediately started reading Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman (because fuck knows I need some tips) and I’m flying through it and loving it.

So good to recapture my love of reading. I really thought it’d just be me, Facebook, Netflix and this neverending book forever together from now on. Sorry Bruce, maybe stick to songwriting buddy.