Thursday, 24 September 2009

I'm so cool my boss had to fire me

It was sometime in April, six months into my first bout of unemployment when I first realised I wasn't alone in my struggle. I was reading the paper at my friend's house when I came across this cartoon, and thought "...My life has become a Dilbert comic." At that moment I felt a great affinity with Dilbert. This comic summed up six months of being on jobseekers; it was shit, but it was funny in a fucked up sort of way. Quite often sitting in the jobcentre I'd start giggling, but I'm still not entirely sure what about. Needless to say I'm still on the dole and so are plenty of my brethren, so I've decided to write an article about jobseeker survival which I'll post up next week, I just need to take some pictures of hot art students first. The column below can serve as a starter dish before the main course. It's a little story about the lengths people are driven to to scrounge up a few pennies. There are plastic charity dogs with more money in their bellies than I have in the whole world and it's very important to always try to twist their heads off when you walk by. Never give in to those filthy hounds.


By Slater Wilcox

Having been somewhat noodled by the economic recession, redundancy, and the subsequent slim pickins of the benefits system I recently took matters into my own hands to scrape together a few extra pennies. No my friends, I wasn’t quite ready for a job. Fuck that shit. Nor was I quite ready to start selling my silky soft artist hands for use in dark alley handjobs. Before I reached those sorts of levels I thought I’d try my hand at little of the ol‘ “unpaid voluntary work”; a bit of the under the counter, hush hush, job ‘n’ knock work. You know – benefit fraud.

I put out the word on the streets and soon I had a call from my sister saying that I could do two days work, Friday and Saturday, at a pheasant shoot in Devon, cash in hand, free lunch and port. Not very vegetarian of me, but fuck it I wasn’t going to eat the little bastards. Thursday rolled around, I got all my shit together as to look the part – moleskin trousers, studded wellington boots, and the shooting jacket which belonged to my brother-in-law’s grandfather. I spent Thursday night thoroughly loose on booze, so that come seven o’clock Friday I woke up to my alarm like an enraged bear who had been rudely awoken from heavy sedation. I couldn’t see properly, I stunk, and I just wanted to smash, kill, destroy. I briefly lay there feeling angry at the world before remembering that I was going to spend the day hitting trees with sticks and sending countless innocent animals to their deaths. I felt somewhat better and got out of bed.

Turning up at the farm where the shoot was leaving from was like going back in time 100 years. Tweed everywhere, deerstalker hats, moustaches. One of the trainee gamekeepers turned up in his work van, down the side was printed “British Mole Catchers”. I shook my head in disbelief that people actually get paid to exclusively catch moles. We all congregated in an small barn which I noted had a quaint little log fire going in the corner. We received our instructions and then the seventeen of us “beaters” entered the small horse trailer which was decked out with two benches on either side and five horizontal bars running through the middle divide (later the 300 odd dead birds would be hung from these). The back was closed up, shutting out most of the daylight and we were then towed away by a shitkicker in his John Deere tractor. It felt like something sinister was about to go down, maybe it was just the raging hangover turning me into a weenie wimp, but I was getting a distinctly Nazi Germany vibe.

Basically the seventeen of us "beaters" spent the day rounding up pheasants from a series of pleasant locations, hitting everything in sight and waving our flags till the feathered bastards flew off to their deaths at the hands of some toffish, hooray henry prick with a shotgun. It was in a maize field I had my first “Schindler’s List” moment. The maize was up to my neck and every so often I’d see a bird fly off towards the guns and blast out a trail of shit behind them. I couldn’t see them, but the noise of the hen pheasants was all around me “pee! pee! pee!”. I didn’t feel too good anymore, those upper class shitheads had already killed enough to boast about, this was just getting greedy and murderous. A couple of hens came running through the long maize towards me. I held my flag tight to my side, looked the other way and let them run past. I would be known as “Slater Wilcox the Merciful” to their chicks, if they survived the next day that is.

The day slowly progressed in the same fashion, until it was time to get my blood money for the seven hours I had put in to the avian Final Solution. I was tired, cold, I had eaten too many pasties and my wrist hurt. I was given my envelope containing the hard earned cash. My spirit broke as I pulled out four crumpled up five pound notes. The same amount given to the feral 7 year old whom earlier in the day I had seen take a shit about 200 yards from where I was standing in clear view. My morale was crushed, and I just wanted to leave.

I had already agreed to work the next day so I went at it with a hardened heart, knowing I was getting paid about £2 an hour. Fucking pheasants, fucking toffish cocksuckers, fucking feral 7 year old shitter, fuck fuck fuck. Another seven hours went by at a painfully slow pace, another 300 birds were shot, 1600 cartridges were fired, £25,000 was shelled out by the Hooray Henry pricks for the weekend, and one Slater Wilcox went home feeling truly plucked for measly £40.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I only have two interests: Worshipping Satan and Big, Jagged Hunting Knives

Over the next couple of months I'll be posting old Lucida Console articles until I've ran out and have to write a whole new issue. urgh. This here is the Recreating Predator article from issue two. A story of tense homoeroticism played out in the chilly Autumnal air of October 2003. I remember sitting in my geology class the following morning feeling strangely smug at having been shellacked in shit 24 hours before. I was one cool dude who was too damn hip for that classroomful of rock dorks, so I ditched the geology and embraced the shit. Shit 4 Life.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Poop Deck Thrashers

This article was supposed to be in issue 9 of Lucida Console, but i doubt it'll ever get finished so here ya are with a snippet of shit about skating in boat mould. Not the best thing ever written. Thanks to Zack for the one good picture.

In the beginning there was the Word, and the word was cowabunga, dude. With the spirit of righteous shred master Bart Simpson possessing us, Mile High, Short Crust, Raw Rocket Dog and myself went on the a much needed skate adventure. Boredom was in need of a good kick in the cock, so we decided to try to locate the sketchiest spot in the whole of Cornwall. There was rumour of some totally radical abandoned boat moulds behind Asda in Penryn which needed our immediate shredding attention.

The rumour proved to be true and we tried not to have a cow as we climbed thru the fence into the shitty industrial wasteland where the boat moulds were. As well as being sited next to a gypsy hangout, the boats are surrounded by old oil drums, rusty metal poles, and general industrial shite which wouldn’t look out of place in that scene in Robocop where that guy melts in toxic waste. But ay caramba! these boats were fun. As an addition to the excellent transitions, climbing up the 10ft frames into the boats was a fantastic workout for our already perfect physiques. Spunky young men like us don’t wade knee deep in amazing babes because we’re dweebs, eh?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I fell down and hit my head

This mammoth piece was written when I still was being "educated" two years ago. If you can stick it out it's almost worth it. Even it's just for the stolen NOFX quote to end the whole thing. This never made it into the zine because of it's size - it's a goddmamn horsecock of an article.

Your loyal author goes off the rails, gets himself a Christian brainwashing, and then gets Satanically un-brainwashed before finally learning nothing.

Much like Jesus’ humble beginnings in a makeshift bed, my quest for spiritual enlightenment started when I fell asleep under a blanket of sand only to be awoken by two starry-eyed twelve year old boys who thought I was a dead tramp on the beach. In true vagrant style I offered them some tasty booze from out of my bag, which the thirsty little dogs proceeded to slam down their throats faster than a shithouse rat. They chatted to me about bikes for about ten minutes before leaving me to go back to sleep. A little while later they woke me up again, gave me £1 and told me to take care of myself. It was at about the same time that I decided to join a church to straighten out my life. I was uncertain which one would lead the best path to righteousness, so I joined three just to make sure.

“Alcohol and Religion - the two greatest downfalls of mankind.” Friedrich Nietzsche

The aim of most Christian based faiths is to secure a place in Heaven by converting as many people as possible, kind of like that deal at the snooker hall where if you introduce a friend to the club, you get in free. I must have been sending out some pretty strong signals into the atmosphere because a no sooner had I started thinking about which religion to choose, I pretty much immediately received a knock at the door from those relentless crusaders - the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I always take a couple of copies of The Watchtower when they bring it round, and I’ve always found them to be charming in a simple kind of way, but I had never thought of the Jehovah’s Witnesses as suitable religious courting material. All of a sudden I was seeing them in a different light, they became a real option. I decided to show an interest in what they were telling me, and after it became apparent that I might get them a ticket into Heaven, they offered me a copy of What Does the Bible Really Teach? Which outlines basic Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. We shared our goodbyes and I said I’d try and read some of the book before they came back.

Now, I don’t know if it was things like “The world as a whole is beyond reform. The Bible reveals that the time is near when God will eliminate the wicked world during his war of Armageddon...” being referred to as “good news.” Or if it was the writing style bordering on comic genius and total insanity, but something about becoming a Jehovah’s Witness didn’t resonate well within me. It was a bit too fixated with death. It wasn’t really my thing, they had nothing to offer, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be indoctrinated into their gang.

They might have guessed this would happen so they pulled out their trump card – a shimmering, beautiful, young She-Witness called Sophie to try and brainwash me in my own home. They pretty much had me by the balls and I was all theirs. I sacrificed all rationality and spent the next couple of weeks learning the ins and outs of Jehovah in an attempt to impress her, impress her enough so that we might get all lusty outside of marriage. Then someone must have clicked their fingers because I saw what was happening and snapped out of it. There were easier ways to get girls, so I stopped coming to the door whenever they came by and eventually they stopped coming to the door too.

After that unsuccessful episode, I decided to get back to basics. Maybe the Jehovah’s Witnesses were a bit too “out there” in their ideologies; I wanted to become a better person without having to worrying about apocalyptic firestorms ruining my hairdo. So I spoke to my friend who goes to the Emmanuel Baptist church near my house. He told me that I should come along and that the people there are really nice. So that following Sunday morning I skipped out on sleeping, had a shave and put on my best clothes and went along to the Church with a completely open, unbiased mind.

We got to the Church early so I could meet some people and have a look around. The place reminded me of a school gym; high ceiling, pine floor, what appeared to be a miniature swimming pool behind the altar. I asked my friend why there was an 8 foot swimming pool at the back, hoping that there’d be some sort of religious pool-party after the sermon, but he just told me, “It’s the Baptism pool.” In my ignorance I failed to realise what Baptists actually do. I should have cast my mind to Southern Baptists in America; the righteous preaching, the full body submersions, and the trance-like appreciation of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It would have prepared me for what was to be a painfully awkward two hours of Christian fundamentalism.

Nearer 10:30 the place had filled up to about 200 people, eager to score their weekly fix. Everyone was all smiles; dressed in calming shades like lilac and cornflower blue. It was like a sickly sea of niceness. I was still relatively comfortable at this point, even kind of enjoying myself. Everyone was being friendly to me and seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying. Even when the minister came on and talked for a while I was feeling pretty good about everything being said. But then we sung the first song. When I was in primary school singing hymns was one of my favorite things to do. The natural symbolism and simple songs with a message were kinda sweet. However, I didn’t enjoy singing songs like “I want to be, Holy”, “Make my Heart pure gold”, and “Thank you for the cross, my Friend” It felt, horribly corny and ill-thought out. Thank you for the cross? What the hell? Why would you thank someone for the thing they were murdered with?

Things became progressively worse after the first song was sung. People started singing with their arms outstretched, rocking back and forth. The band started using bongos and chimes, like in a cheesy boyband video, and the songs got more ridiculous and difficult to sing, “I’ll give you more than a song Lord, because a song is not all that is what’s required.” My powerful singing voice was quickly reduced to the inaudible whinings of a weenie wimp.

Thankfully, some genuine entertainment was to come – full body immersion, Baptism ceremony! Rather humorously, the lady’s last name was Angell. I asked my friend why she was being baptised so late in life, and he told me that Baptists don’t believe in Baptising children, they wait until adulthood so that the person can make the choice for themselves, which I thought was fairly reasonable. Anyway, she got up on stage, gave the standard spiel about Jesus becoming more important to her after some challenging point in her life, then the minister dunked her fully clothed just like a filthy little kid who doesn’t want to be washed, schloop! I couldn’t help but let out a little giggle when she emerged like a happy, wet dog.

At this point I knew Baptism wasn’t for me. It was overtly in-your-face, sickly sweet martyr worshiping. I was looking for more of a traditional religion; old church, pleasant hymns, and no people acting all crazy and possessed in the aisles. The real deal-breaker came when a girl’s voice peeped up from behind me wanting to give an impromptu testimony. It was the standard, I was incurably ill, I prayed, Jesus told me not to take the treatment anymore, I got better, medicine is rubbish. The best thing was that the illness was any rush of adrenaline made her pass out. I was sitting there for the whole time she spoke with my fingers crossed desperately wishing and hoping, but no luck. I wanted out. The ceremony finished, I told my friend it was good, but the songs made me feel awkward and I skipped off home feel empty and sad.

So far, Christian based religions had proved to be entertaining and kind of laughable, but failed to give me that funky-feeling which I desired. I found myself agreeing with eighteenth century writer, Tom Paine who referred to Christianity as “Christianism” as to give it that ring of an irrational sect rather than a semi-respected organized religion. Instead of trying for third time lucky, I turned my back on Christ, and checked out Satanism. Hell, why not give it a shot?

Unlike the Kingdom of Jehovah you don’t get Satanists just knocking on your door, and unlike Baptists; there isn’t an obvious Church in your town. Satanism required a little bit of groundwork, and I liked it. I discovered that Satanism isn’t just the preserve of 14 year old girls who like bad black metal; the whole theory is based around anti-stupidity and pro-reason. No eternal damnation, Armageddon, or vaguely homoerotic worship, this was rational ideas presented in a cool way like it was rebellious, and smart.

Founded by Carnival type Anton LaVey in California in 1966, the Church aims for social-Darwinism which means phasing out stupidity, ignorance and violence and creating a more enlightened generation of people. They seem pretty big on “exploring personal skills, talents, and inventiveness.” One section of the information pack encourages young people interested in Satanism to “Learn to play an instrument, paint or build a robot. Use your brain and your heart to find out what is right, what is true, and what makes you stronger.” Maybe it was the brainwashing, but it just seemed like a really good piece of advice. I felt like Satanism, despite its connotations, was a sensible and quite respectable way to lead life. But before getting too involved and shaving my head, I wanted to talk to someone with experience. So I got in touch with a UK representative of the Church of Satan, Matt Dencappo (Most Satanists change their names when they join, and funnily enough, founder Anton LaVey’s son is called Satan Xerxes LaVey). We exchanged some emails, wherein I asked a couple of fundamental questions asking whether Satanism provides any direction for people, he answered blandly, “Those adults looking for a god to make them feel better about their existence, or pending lack of existence would really not find any happiness within the Church of Satan, unless of course they conclude that the gods they are seeking are actually themselves, but then they would be Satanists.” Ok, I think that he meant I’ll only realise direction from within myself, not some fictitious god. But I started to worry. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough to be in Satan club. If I couldn’t understand one stupid email, how the hell was I going to grasp any relevant theory at all?

He talked about some interesting things like how children will grow-up and realise that religions like Christianity and Islam are essentially damaging, life-hating afflictions, and move on to something more like Satanism. But I just thought, surely if these children see two religions as damaging, they’re hardly going to want to join another one. Finally, I wanted to know what his views were on why a normal person might want to become a Satanist. He told me, “Satanism offers very little to the average person on the streets. The Church of Satan doesn’t want the average; we want the extra-ordinary, productive misfits who know they are different from the rest of the herd. Those dynamic, intelligent and creative individuals who do throw in their lot with the Church of Satan will be privy to a plethora of opportunities and receive un-paralleled support in their innovative endeavours. Those who do not belong with us will receive nothing but registered membership.” Whereas it seemed as if Christianism was open to any old moron wanting to find answers, Satanism was this little elitist club that was vigorously selective in whom it lets into their ranks. Like the kids in school who decide who’s cool and who’s not.

I started going off Satanism, and had a moment of clarity while reading about satanic writer Aleister Crowley’s impressive amount of STDs. I thought to myself, what the hell am I doing? I don’t need to join some stupid religion to be a good person, maybe take some of their ideas and philosophies, but don’t align myself with a bunch of kooks. I finally felt pretty good about myself; I had explored a path to enlightenment, and chose to go my own way. It’s not that I don’t believe in Jesus Christ, Satan, or whoever, it’s just I care about other things. The World could certainly use some miracles, but until then I’ll put my faith in human beings.

Gentlemen, Start Your Boners.

So after a year of inactivity, creative slumps, redundancy, hemorroids, jaeger bomb liver damage, hard thrashing, lovelessness, and other trivialities of life; Lucida Console issue 9 is gradually being put together. So far there's an article about skating in a boat, a drunken interview with Exeter punk rock hot rods -The Cut Ups, and an article about sleeping on an attractive girl's sofa. This blog is just here to try to keep some sort of creativity going by mostly posting up stuff from three years ago. Slater or myself will update this every Friday and maybe some other days inbetween. PEACE.