벌레 일지 WORMDATE: L3: 2,564 – 311,289: 7 – 2,481: 76% – 49%
Not much to report from these parts. Coming to the end of my Evolutionary Biology and Medicine class. My second vaccination date has been moved up a week. We’re trying to hit 80% full vaccination by the end of October so a lot of dates were moved up.
I watched Squid Game. I enjoyed it. Ultraviolent satire of capitalism? How could I not?
Squid Game feels basically like the same family of stuff as my book. Genre, I guess? I was never wild on calling things a genre. To me, “genre” feels like something to help arrange a bookstore, part of the marketing department, or as a way to help academics scour through a text in search of influence or whatever. And mainly, I think texts are sometimes influenced by other texts but sometimes they’re just looking at the same thing. But whatever — I’m not really against the idea of genre. Whatever works for you. The term just seems a little off to me though. Maybe I have too much affection? This genre or subgenre or whatever feels more like family. But, like a family I have something in common with. A family I like.
As a grouping, it’s kind of like, in no particular order, Clockwork Orange, Cube, Old Boy, Battle Royale, Technicolor Ultra Mall, Squid Game. I might also chuck some Ballard in there — maybe High Rise and Kingdom Come– but Ballard just seems a little different. And whatever it is, it is 100% definitely not cyberpunk. It’s a lot of things. None of it is that. And yeah, cyberpunk can be violent and anti-capitalist but cyberpunk is just different.
In my mind, at least. Very different.
Swear to god, no idea how I ever got lumped into cyberpunk.
I’m sure you can think of a few other examples of what I’m talking about though. Death Race 2000. Snowpiercer, maybe? That sort of thing. Though my book came out before some of that stuff, that’s the basic family of stuff and the sort of stuff I was into and trying to do.
But it’s an odd little family. Like it gets called a lot of things, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, satire, and all of that is kind of right and also just kind of totally wrong. Back in the day, I called the group ultra-violence. I could be totally wrong but I think I was the first person to name that family and maybe still the only person who sees it as a category or subcategory or whatever. Fuck knows, the term never caught on! I just wanted to call my book and the sort of things I liked and thought it was a part of something. So “ultra-violence.”
And ultra-violence didn’t really have to do with the amount of violence. A lot things can be really violent but not “ultra-violence.” Had more to do with it being both violent and about violence — and the violence being gratuitous because, well, violence always fucking is — and the violence should not be glorified. It should be really bluntly violent. Maybe even stylized blunt. It should often be stupid and pointless violence. Hard to watch or stomach in places. And not just because of the violence but because it hits you in the heart. The violence should also occur throughout — in interactions that are not typically thought of violent.
Aside from the the type, style, and purposes of the violence, I also thought ultra-violence needed to be have some method of mind control, an element of humor, and probably some aspect of satire. The work has to implicate the reader/viewer, the medium itself, and violence as spectacle and entertainment — even as it did the thing it was against and, as it did that thing, it should also be subverting it. Hard trick but important.
I think people hear “ultra-violence” and think of things like torture-porn like Saw or whatever, which I just think is kinda crap horror, or things that are just violent other things. Never been that to me. It’s probably a subtle difference but I do believe in this difference. Like, I know what I did, what I did deliberately, and the family I felt a part of and wanted to be in — even if it lacked and still lacks a real name. So, yeah, called it Ultra-violence.
And, with Squid Game, I think there’s a new member of the family. I’m happy it’s aboard. And it has many of the same problems our little family of delinquents has but I’m happy it’s around all the same. I think maybe I’m should be jealous of its success. A bit like – oh, so now you want ridiculous ultraviolent critiques of capitalism? Harumph! Poor me! IGNORED!!! Satan knows, I’ve seen people have that sort of reaction on much softer ground. But whatever. Just good to watch the sort of shit I’m into watching. I liked it pretty well.
Aside from that, I’m thinking of having a coat made. I really miss an old coat I had. Been missing it for a while. Just an old houndstooth thing that I picked up at some shop in Toronto called Cabaret. Man, I loved that shop. And I loved that coat. Here I am in like — I don’t know 2007-2008, not sure, at a bar in The Market with that coat.
Still have and use that shirt, that tie, that hat, those gloves. But that coat? That coat is gone. A cat pissed on it. That cat is dead now. Sadly, I had nothing to do with that. I was, however, very happy to get the news that the bastard had died. I like cats but that particular cat? No. I hated that cat. He was a real asshole. You have no idea. Just a total prick. I still hate him.
Rot in hell, Bruno. I’ll see you soon enough.
Like, I will know I’m in hell when I see that cat.
So yeah, that’s the sort of thing I’m thinking about having made. Might go darker though. Not sure. But trying to find pictures of that coat, I found some old pictures online.
Like this one:
I’ve got to me in my fucking twenties there. That was at a fashion show of some kind. They had a booth. I’m not sure if it was fashion week, FAT, or just a random show. But it was that era, long before influencers, when fashion had no fucking idea what to do with bloggers. Like were they media? Trespassers? A problem or an opportunity? Weird period.
I don’t have a lot of what’s in that picture. I still have the tie and the hat. I miss that suit – got it secondhand thrifting and then altered at a tailor and I really liked it. I think I just used it as a work suit and it just got run into the ground. Can’t remember tho.