Richard: I’m not an expert in substance abuse because it’s not abuse if you show up to work on time. However, I have a theory that J.R.R.Tolkien is a gateway drug.
It starts innocently enough with a summer reading of The Hobbit. Your interest piqued, you plow through the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the fall. Then you start The Silmarillion, get 20 pages in, say to yourself, “What the hell?”, and move on.
Within a year, you’ve devoured all the Ursula K. LeGuin and Roger Zelazny Barnes and Noble has to offer and find yourself in the Piers Anthony aisle. You start trolling websites for bumper stickers like, “You shall not pass!”, and the next thing you know, you’re buying non-ironic replicas of Bilbo’s ring with inscriptions in Elvish. WHICH IS NOT A LANGUAGE YOU CAN LEARN ON ROSETTA STONE AND IS THEREFORE NOT AN ACTUAL LANGUAGE. (Please tell this to those who make wedding vows in Klingon and/or Esperanto.)
Eventually, you have to purchase an étagère to display your Dwarven dust-catchers. This one looks downright tasteful compared to many I’ve seen — sturdy and nicely proportioned — but something about it seems vaguely SkyMall-ish. And while the dagger and figurine and dragon are nicely arrayed, I wonder about the coin collection: necromancy and numismaty seem unlikely bedfellows.
If you’re looking for a Grindr bedfellow with a passion for fantasy and five-dollar blinds, you could do worse. But remember, honey: there’s no Betty Ford for this kind of addiction.
Eric: I’ve just returned from vacation. Bear with me while I get back into the zone and try to frame a Sphinxter joke.
Our recumbent He-opatra can say it ain’t so until frogs fall from the sky, but this bed is a shrine, a big gay altar to a young Egyptian dragqueen. Pharaoh Fawcett-Majors, I’m guessing.
As such, being plagued by decorative restraint is a curse easily broken. Bring on the oil lamps, I say. Dust off the gauzy linen sheets. Don’t scrimp on the slyly pornographic hieroglyphs and jokey cartouche. Paint a big red smear on the door. Flaunt your big black Annubis and don’t be afraid to stick out your asp.
Even though it isn’t quite enough for this space, that amazing technicolor bedspread brings only one thought back to my mind — I love Andrew Lloyd Weber. I hope someone sets his work to music someday.
And I would never say it isn’t so.
Richard: Holiday decor is a tricky thing. Personally, I think you ought to go balls-deep, or don’t bother going at all.
I get this ball-centric attitude from my mother. She never worried about decorating for Halloween or Thanksgiving, but when we awoke on Black Friday (then known simply as “Friday”), out came the boxes of garland and gewgaws. By nighttime, we’d decked the halls, the tree, and anything else that didn’t have a pulse. Then, on January 2 — or sometimes January 7, if mom was feeling Catholic — back in the attic it all went.
It’s hard to get a sense of this room’s overall look, given the angle of the photo, but I have a feeling mom would be disappointed with the trimmings. Sure, the tree-in-a-box is nicely color-coordinated, but where’s the rest of the holiday crap?
There ought to be miles of tinsel Scotch-taped to the banister, and holiday drapes (two, please) tumbling off that $2.99 cafe curtain rod. Slap a low-wattage electric candle on the window sill while you’re at it, and squeeze in a micro-nativity set or two. The McMansion Family kitchen should be awash in bright red poinsettias to counter the hyperbeige walls, and the counters need to be lined with an assortment of Kirkland’s finest nutmeg candles. Call me old-fashioned, but if it doesn’t smell like the egg nog delivery man vomited all over the joint, it’s just not motherfucking xmas.
David K.: I’m not sure what happens to gay guys during the holidays, but without a doubt the interior bizzaro factor jumps exponentially during Christmas time. We’ll feature some doozies during the next week, so stay tuned.
In the interim, please click here to see some of our greatest yuletide horrors — from Lurid Dig’s deeply hidden vauls. And MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!
Eric: Dear Santa,
In a last-ditch effort to move onto the Nice list, I promise to behave until the end of this review.
No musings about your full sack.
No smirking about why you’re so jolly.
No wisecracks about only coming once a year.
Damn I mean darn, this is harder, I mean more difficult than I thought it would be!
All I can think is that those Olan Mills backdrops ain’t what they used to be.
Scrooge it, I mean screw it! If I spike the eggnog maybe you’ll slide up my chimney…
After all, nice boys may get trains under the tree, but naughty boys get to pull them.
Or so I’ve heard. Ahem.
If I can’t have Channing Tatum, I guess I’ll just wish a Merry XXXmas and Happy Nude Queer to all.
The Elfish not Selfish,
PS. As you can plainly see, my mom doesn’t need any more perfume. Or jewelry. Or….
Shawn: I feel like this is a set piece from a big reveal moment in an early ’80s De Palma or Lynch movie, just with the novel turn that it’s set in Missoula and not La La Land. I mean, there’s gotta be a copy of Fleshworld lying around there somewhere.
This is where the villain, bent on revenge, explains his malicious plot.The ghostly woman on the TV is clearly a loved one — almost certainly wronged and crying out from the grave to avenged — her image forever on pause. All the best cinematic traumas involved some sort of childhood trinket/symbol, in this case ably essayed by a miniature Trojan Horse pregnant with meaning and menace. Horses represent transformation and transcendence (Goodbye horses, I’m flying over you…), and so the equine theme carries over to the walls — the goal of escaping the material world evident.
Snack food placed anywhere else than a cupboard is inherently unsettling, but snack food on a bureau in a bedroom? Diabolical. You’d think that the creepy peeping drapes would be the top-off, but no, it’s the eerie storm-blue bed linens that leave me dreading the thunder’s rumblings.
Richard: Hollywood’s thin veneer of glamour is such a let-down when you see it in real life. Sure, all those after-parties for the Academy Awards seem chock-full of piss-elegant beautiful people, but take a peek behind the green curtain, and you’ll find a bunch of average, everyday folks laboring under fluorescent lights just to keep the fragile illusion afloat.
This is one of those backrooms. During business hours, a hardworking schmoe named Phil lives behind that cluttered desk, his claim to fame being that he discovered Eve Plumb in the checkout line of a TG&Y some forty-odd years ago. That was his high-water mark.
Since then, Phil’s been struggling to keep his head above water. When his wife divorced him (for the asshole who discovered that Urkel kid), he moved his few belongings into this basement office and never left. He awakes every morning to see the wedding gift he received from his Uncle Herb: a painting of a weekend home that Phil and his non-existent loving family will never own. Just to the left sits the only thing that keeps Phil sane: a collection of every movie in which Eve Plumb has appeared, each DVD organized chronologically by studio.
Phil’s only client — one of Flo’s incompetent competitors in those Progressive Insurance commercials — occasionally stops by for a chat, but it’s hard for Phil to receive guests. He’s written so many treatments on his IBM Selectric that his file cabinets are overflowing, and every flat surface is piled high with half-baked sitcoms and reality TV pitches. Making coffee is an Olympic event.
At night, Phil sleeps on the weight bench he rescued from Linda Blair‘s trailer on the set of Exorcist II: The Heretic. In his dreams, he soars gracefully over Mulholland Drive, chasing his next sure thing.