Wednesday, December 24
by Audley Strange on Wed 24 Dec 2008 10:17 AM GMT
Since it wos Xmas I decides ta bully Da Webster inta readin' me "Da Stand" Stephen King's epic American allegory. I likes King, I fink his book "Da Shining" is a classic horror tale an' should be considered in the same way that Dracula is considered a classic. I likes lots of his stuff so I wos lookin' forward to "Da Stand."
Wot can I say 'bouts a book dat was published in 1978 dat's not already been saids in da last 30 years. Hmmm... How's about..
"Da Stand" is a goat surfing banjo dart?
Bet's no one has ever saids dat bouts "Da Stand." Sticks dat on da cover an ye'll sell a few more copies Mr Steve, by my calculations about 12 more!
Now dat's out da way, let's get back to da book.. If ye hasn't read "Da Stand" and is lookin' forward to it da followin' talks 'bouts da plot a lot, somes may fink "spoilers" udders may fink "savers".
Da Stand is on da surface anudder tale of "da ends of da world" in which a disease called "Da Superflu" or for some strange reason "Captain Trips" which may well be a reference to Arch-Hippy twangster Jerry Garcia of Da Grateful Deads. Da idea of namin' a disease dat wipes out most of da U.S.A after such an acid-headed string plucker, if I is right, is an interesting one as I will makes clear later on.
Anyway choke choke splutter splutter gasp gasp die, starts da book as Stoo Redman an' his cronies gets infected by one of da mob who gots infected at ground zero military base somewhere outs in da desert. Den da book introduced a whole array of characters from Larry Underwood an ego fuelled wreck an' z list popstar through Fran Goldsmith, who got's knocked up by her boyfriend and cries a lots and Nick Andros, a deaf mute, who can writes and is actually the smartest an' most straightforward character all the way to da Big Antagonist... Randall Flagg who is like a cross betweens Jim Morrison an Charlie Manson wif added supernatural evil. So dese characters are endurin' da collapse of civilisation an' after da flu kills off everybody else da dreams begins an' Randall Flagg, evil super-hippy "Da Walkin' Dude" begins ta assemble his crew of dodgy misfits as da udder characters, da "good ones" is dragged by a dream to a place in Nebraska where a really old annoyin' woman called Mother Abigail waits for 'em.
She's a totally of her nut Yahweh cultist who babbles on an' on in a mostly annoyin' way. However da poor "good ones" gets dragged deeper an' deeper inta her spideys web. Dey pick up udders along da way. Nick picks up a kind of Lennie Small style lackwit called
Tom Cullen. Larry loses a neurotic junkie called Rita an' picks up Nadine Cross, who is like all sexy an witchy an' her familiar, a feral kid wif a big blade called Joe. Stu picks up an' annoyin' git called Glen Bateman and they heigh ho onwards towards da emerald city... umm cornfield wif da old Jesus freak.
Dey keeps pickin' up more as dey go on. Fran an' fat self-hatin' resentment filled nerd boy Harold Lauder meets up wif Stu an' Glen an' dey just hit da road Mother Abigail. Then the mad old witch ups an moves to Boulder colorado. Finally they gets there an they begins ta live like it's some kind of idealistic 1950's small town Americana. Meanwhile Randall Flagg picks up Lloyd Henried, a murderous dim witted stoner and would be cannibal. Trashcan Man a derganged pyromaniac an' they goes to Vegas an' sets up a community dere.
Da second part of da book deals with Old Abigails increasin' paranoia an' mentalness while her paradise community gets set up. If ye is finkin' Jonestown, well so wos I. But no! Wot happens is dat Harold gets more mental and alienated, we find out dat Nadine Cross is savin' her jennies for Randall Flagg an' da two of dem colludes ta do bad fings. Da old woman wanders off due to some kind o' theophany an' the main protagonists arrange a lot of meetin's an' send spies out to check out Randall Flagg's operation. One of dem is Tom Cullen, da feeble minded guy.
Nice heroes eh? Flagg knows 'bout them though an' sends out crews to intercept em. Meanwhile of his "own free will" Harold blows up a meetin' place an' kills Nick an some extras. Him an' Nadine decide to holiday in Vegas an go off.
One of Flaggs interceptor dudes kills one of da spies an' Randall gets peeved at him. Oh I forgots, Flagg is also fond of crucifying people, dat's mentioned a LOT. Da udder spy gets caught and kills herself an' den Abigail sends out four more spies wif NO equipment, an so Stu Glen Larry an some udder guy called Ralph I finks buys it and buggers off, no questions asked.
Meanwhile Harold has a bike crash an' Nadine leaves him so he blows his head off. Then she gets knocked up by Randall but ain't pleased and badgers him into chucking her out a window.
Stu breaks his leg an' ends up nearly dead his buddies leave him an go to Vegas where they gets jailed an sentenced to execution. Glen is first and gets shot by Lloyd. Den Larry an Ralph is is dragged out for public dismemberment when Trashcan who has got fried by radiation drags a nuke into da scene. Den Yahweh turns up an sets da bomb off!!!!! Everyone in Vegas gets dead. THE END. Well not actually but end of da entire conflict in da book.
So dat's it really. It's a weird one I'll tell ye. Y'see as bad as Flagg is meant ta be, Yahweh comes across like somefin' out of Lovecraft. First of all by plaguin' da survivors wif dreams of his high priestess who dey is drawn towards, den nukin' Las Vegas like it wos Sodom. His fiendish plan is as dark as Flagg's is meant to be. Da allegory is dis, god smites who he wants an' will even commit a massive atrocity sendin' in his own followers ta be part of it, cos he's mental!
However dere is somefin' else goin' on here. It's as obvious in dis as it is in "It". It is da idea of 50's America as Paradise lost (but in dis it is somewhat regained at an aweful price). Da symbol of a hippy virus dat infected da nation and wiped out small town America turnin' it into da commercial cityscapes of places like Vegas is blatant. It is as much an allegory for the end of Kings childhood notion of America, one dat is popular amongst paleo-conservatives like Alex Jones. In it Heaven is represented by a binding of church an' state. A small town strongly guided by Xtian morality (and the arbitrary whims of mad prophets) an the ideals of the constitution an' the bill of rights. Dis book's pro-Yahwehsaryan ideals suggest dat they will be achieved by any means necessary, and da guilty and innocent will all be wiped out, save for the chosen. Besides dat Flagg an' his cronies look like kids entertainers.
It's overlong, badly paced an' frankly unsatisfactory, which is a pity.
four thumbs up outa ten.
Tuesday, December 16
by Audley Strange on Tue 16 Dec 2008 12:04 AM GMT
Hullo folks. Anudder week of Temple of Doof begins. Dis is da penultimate week of dis story line an den da festerin' seasons is upons us. As ye cans imagine Da Webster expects some time off to to scoff and booze an' monkey bondin' an stuff, but I saids NO WAYS! So he's gots his works cuts out for him dis week in order to gets a couple of days off hahahahahaha. He has ta finish dis storyline AND puts Xmas Cakin' as well as doin' his interlude before 2008 ends and Canto 4 begins. Will he do it? Da smart money says no, but den I has never claimed ta be smart an' he can be a bloody minded an tenacious individual who gets pleasure outta provin' people wrongs. Anyway enjoys dis weeks, I mights drop in anudder note or two before me big end of year review buts since I's got a busy schedule ahead stealin' presents from people on da days leadin' upto Xmas I mights not. I is tryin' to beat last years record of gettin' 20 letters in newspapers written 'bouts me bein' a heartless fug who ruined Xmas for some junior monkeys. Everyone of dem makes me laff, so dis year (ta save me from teeeeaaaars) I's gonna rob from da speshuls.!!!
Monday, December 8
by Audley Strange on Mon 08 Dec 2008 06:32 PM GMT
Hi folks. My apologies for my recent lack of updates. It has been one thing after another, what with Audley's Annual Halloween Holidays real life nonsense, new computers, illness, paper shortages in art stores, "Temple of Doof" has dragged on with little output on a daily basis, for that I apologise, since I do know some of you are out there, silently reading and hoping for new updates on a regular basis. Still ToD will be finished before the new year (I got lots of paper today ink pens and nibs today finally) at which point I will top it off with Xmas Cakin', there will be an interlude with Kevinel and B.L.Z. and then in January I will start Canto 4 now called "Tossing Pennies at the Damned". Another multi-part storyline which will in essence tie up all that has gone before in a big bow. It will give explanations as to who most of the main cast actually are and what they are up to and reveal some unanswered questions while furthering Audley's ascent through Hell and leaving new questions.
However, here's the thing. I need any of you who read this to give me some feedback with regards to the following. Canto 4 will be very labour intensive, since half of it is set in Daath which requires a more realistic style of art than Hell. As such I'm wondering if people would rather I kept with the monday to Friday schedule and the occassional lapse, or prefer me to just update 5 pages once a week, which gives me a bit more time and flexibility?
Any feedback would be most appreciated.
In other news. I have a new computer, finally and have set it up in my new "study" with my drawing board and all being well I should get back to a more prolific output than as of late.
Monday, December 1
by Audley Strange on Mon 01 Dec 2008 01:23 PM GMT
Ah despite his 3 day hallucinatory poisoned madness an' sufferin' Da Webster did not unfortunately turn inta patient zero for any forthcomin' Zombie apockylisps dat some of us may have been hopin' fors an' is well agains an gettin' back to its. Pity, but next time I'll use some real necromancers radder dan dem poofy antique dealers McAbre and D'Abolique. Anyway... week 6 starts a week late and yes dere is furder problems already. Da next 3 days is fine, we is aheads by dat, but at da moment dere seems ta be a shortage on Bristol Board in Filthwegia so Webster has runs out of paper. He assures me it won't be much of a problem, but den he assured me last week he was fine. I wouldn't have tried to turn him inta a zombie if I suspected he was sick!.
Chow for now.
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