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January 28, 2011

KFC'S SECRET RECIPE


Not many of you know that I like to cook, even though I'm not very good. When I lived alone in Tucson I had the opportunity to experiment and I came up with some monstrosities that, fortunately, only I had to taste.

Now I share with you the eleven famous herbs and spices of KFC's secret recipe, which have escaped from KFC's vaults and made their way to the Interwebs, where nothing can be kept secret for long. Here they are, in case you want to make something tasty to eat.
1 teaspoon ground oregano.
1 teaspoon chili powder.
1 teaspoon ground sage.
1 teaspoon dried basil.
1 teaspoon dried marjoram.
1 teaspoon pepper.
2 teaspoons of salt.
2 teaspoons paprika.
1 teaspoon onion salt.
1 teaspoon garlic powder.
2 tablespoons monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Before frying, add the mixture to the chicken of to the bread crumbs mixture. I would add a teaspoon of cumin, my favorite spice, but that's up to you. Bon appétit.

January 26, 2011

THE ADVENTURES OF CARLOS MAL IN THE CITY OF EVIL

I came to Mexico City because they told me that the French consulate was here. I live in Hermosillo, a town in northern Mexico lost amongst deserts, a city with no water and no law, with something close to one million inhabitants; the streets are narrow and traffic lights have their own life, a life in which they decided to not fucking work for the benefit of anybody.

Lately it seems that there are more cars than people in Hermosillo. A gallon of gasoline costs the same as a full meal, drivers do not know what the turn signal is and major streets are blocked forever because the government is building ugly and awkward bridges everywhere.

I had never been to Mexico City. I am 30 years old, so whenever I mentioned that fact, many looked at me incredulously. So when the paperwork people told me that if I wanted to see my wife again I had to go to Mexico City, my blood ran cold, but I them firmly grabbed my crotch (it really hurt) and said "Rock on, here we go".

The flight was a joke. Previously I had only taken a plane to Paris and back to the desert, so nobody could call me an expert on air travel. My common sense told me that the trip would be short, but I never imagined that it would take longer to go to the airport from my house. It tool me less time to go through three or more weather and two time zones. What Louis CK says is very true: everything is wonderful and nobody is happy, we can fly up in the sky, comfortably seated and reading magazines, and yet we complain that airline food is bad or that there is not enough space on the plane to stretch our legs.

"Carlos, we can take you to Paris in a single day without you having to go on a filthy boat, terrified, for weeks. But the trouble is that you'll have to travel inside a box with breathing holes. And we'll only give you a twinky and a box of juice for the entire trip."

I would immediately say: "Where do I sign. Let's go."

I arrived in the City of Evil at night. My uncle Mando came to pick me up and he took me to his house in a city in the State of Mexico. Apparently it is normal for each day of work or school to be considered tourism.

The Paris metro had prepared me a bit, I knew I had to buy tickets and I knew that I had to follow the signs by their colors. I could read the maps inside the cars. What I did not know was that taking the metro at eight o'clock in the morning in Tacubaya station was similar to the preparation of surimi.

After feeling like Indiana Jones (I had to avoid being crushed by the subway's door ) I arrived at the French consulate building in the Polanco neighborhood, which, they say, is one of the least ghetto parts of the city

But of course, since 2009 I have a mild Yaqui curse (I'll write about this in a later occasion), so at the time I got there a fire alarm rang, so the building was evacuated. I have photographic evidence of this: the people who are behind me in the picture below are the employees of the consulate.

It was just a fire drill. I told you, the curse is mild.

After waiting two hours I was face to face with the employee who was going to decide my fate. It was not hard to imagine this scenario: the guy has lived in Mexico City for years with a salary in euros, paid directly from France. Not bad, but he misses Paris a lot. His bad mood is derived, probably, from the fact that all day, every day, he must be behind a crystal wall giving everyone the keys to the place where he wants to return. It's like being the keeper of Monica Bellucci's bedchamber.

He reluctantly gave me, at the end of the brief proceedings, a paper and a promise that my visa would arrive in 15 days at my home in the desert.

After that it was time for me to enjoy my visit!

So, what I did was take a couple of pictures in front of the Auditorio Nacional, like this, one, standing next to the mausoleum where rest the remains of the great songwriter Joaquin Sabina.


Or this very lame picture , with just the National Auditorium in the background.

And that was all. With that ended my glorious promenade through the city. I did not see the Angel, the monument to the Revolution, did not go to Chapultepec, nor to the Museum of Anthropology and History (which was all that I have ever craved about Mexico City); I didn't even see the Zócalo, the supposed heart of the nation. There was nothing that spoke to me about pre-Hispanic past or of the dark glory of the Colonial times. Only glass and concrete buildings and streets that were not as crowded as I imagined.

My cousin's boyfriend, David Borchardt, was my Virgil, he accompanied me throughout the trip, He waited for me outside the consulate, and all for the juicy reward of nothing. He's a very nice guy.


Back in the State of Mexico, I noticed something interesting: the consulate had kept my Mexican passport, which was my only current photo identification. At that moment I knew I should have renewed my driver's license and that I should have gotten a new voter card, but I am a rockstar who believes that destiny is like a Roman chariot full of dynamite, so I went to the airport just like that, and as if it were a chrome, shiny FBI badge, I showed the airport authorities my expired driver's license and continued. At a second checkpoint I did the same and proceeded to sit in a comfortable place by the window. In two hours I arrived in the desert.

Fifteen days later I took this photo:

For those who do not want to click on the picture to enlarge it, I tell you that in my hand is my visa to go to France.

And surprise, readers. I write this from Paris. ;)


November 29, 2010

LESLIE MALSEN


Leslie Nielsen died today. I can only think about taking him back form the cold clasp of the Hours in the most logical way: by giving him my thirty years of youth in a portrait that steals him to a fairer age.

This is a photograph composed by my face and his equally. That this blasphemous, repulsive chimera grants him life eternal.

Nah, just kidding. He was hilarious and for me he was one of the great names in comedy. May he rest in peace in the spherical corners of Nothingness.

September 25, 2010

PAGAN FIRE: THE BOOK OF JOB


According to the Book of Job, why does a righteous man suffer?

"Because God's God and shut up, humankind". Really. Basically it says that you can't ask God to do what you want. God Himself says: "Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?" (Job 40:8). And then proceeds to mock our whining by saying things like: "Where were you when I created the world?... Oh yeah, I remember. NOWHERE. God is sort of a dick in the Book of Job. It is, no contest, my favorite book of the Bible. (Carlos Mal Pacheco in a Q&A forum).

Inception

The book of Job was written in India millenia ago; it probably was a pre-brahamanic folktale (this term must exist, brahamanic, pre-brahamanic, am I right?). As the Gnostic Christ in the theories of many a filthy hippie, the book that occupies us of traveled slowly from India to the Middle East around the years of the Egyptian or Babylonian diaspora of the Hebrews; I don't know, com, who's counting the Diasporas? Not I.

Why did the Hebrews include this Indian story to the body of their most sacred book? A reasonable explanation would be provided by the original tale's formative character. The dialogue as technique is most effective to establish a rhetorical preamble that eliminates how tedious a theoretical sermon is. The reader by feeling like the witness of a conversation. It is Plato's method and one that was used throughout the entire Middle fucking Ages.

The Book of Satan

Satan appears in Job for the first time as a concrete being, not as a lame-ass allegorical snake or a spirit diluted in ambiguity. In Job, Satan appears as an angel of the Host Celestial that struts and prances around God and around the world. This Devil is neither a devil nor the Prince of Darkness, nor the fallen angel; he is the primitive Satan of the Hebrews: an angel that puts itself in the way of the righteous to prove the serfs of Yahweh. It is God's tool, an angel just like that of Death, like the one of Revelation, like that of War.

I enjoy imagining a world parallel to ours in which the Archangel Michael, the warrior, becomes the Devil of a whole civilization instead of Luzbel. This monument to Saint Michel in Paris would be fucking way more heavy metal in that other world:


Justice Divine

Satan is fascinating in Job; he successfully tempts the Creator and causes him to have an identity crisis. It's as if we were dealing with a couple of immature youngsters. Satan and Yahweh bet on the faith of a man against the tragic loss of everything that he loved. These very goddamn bizarre events contradict our idea of a God that is omniscient and kind; it is true that the suffering of Job does echo the innocent who dies for no reason, it is reflected in the poor of the world, which in spite of honesty and hard work they can't escape the whirlwind of misery. It is also true that Job's tenacity is admirable: he refuses to curse God, even after all his losses.

But good ol' Job is not a stupid idiot. Although he indeed does not curse God, he does pose the question: "What have I done to deserve this?" Job and his sketchy friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, have this theory that Job did something that made Yahweh super-angry. This is an error that is in reality the very center of meaning of the whole book, and in the end, it has turned into the spiritual center of all my life, a center that I have turned into a catchphrase that I do not hesitate to use in any occasion, and those who meet me have undoubtedly heard me say it:

"How unfair is God!"


The voice of God

When I say that God is unfair I say it as someone who has read the Book of Job, not as someone who gets angry with their parents because they did not let them go out, then slams the door and lies down on the bed and throws an embarrassing tantrum.

After the lamentations of Job and the theology-to-go that he and his friends practice in the street, God says "That's it, yo!" And it begins, in chapter 38: my favorite part of the Bible: Yahweh, pissed-off, tells us that we should stop being idiots: "Who has given Me anything so that I should give them back something?" God compares Himself with the Leviathan and the Behemot, two indomitable beasts (some interpreters compare these monsters with a crocodile and a hippopotamus, respectively; the two most lethal beasts of Africa). He asks us if we were there when he invented dew and the colors of the evening. What a dick.

YHVH is not a god of science and reason. The God who dictated the laws of the Pentateuch to Moses and the wandering Hebrews was the crafty and methodical Satan, according to Blake, the Gnostics and according to myself, Carlos Mal. God-Yahvéh, the most absurd, hyper-crazy God of Creation, the architect of the Big Bang and the one that spoke with Job, is like one of those old-school Haitian dictators of the 19th and 20th century: huge, powerful and fucking mental as a monkey in flames with scorpions made of broken glass running through its veins.

And that's why, kids, bad things happen to good people. Because God says that shut the hell up. It's not even necessary to obey God, not even to respect Him or to fear Him. There is no credit, bonuses, coupons for Him. Well, at least it was like this until a carpenter was born in a miserable shantytown in an equally miserable patch of desert on the middle of nowhere.

More than an avatar of God-Yahweh, this prophet in flip-flops, this Yoshua, a.k.a. Jesus "Christ" bin Yusuf, looks to me more like an anti-Yahweh, a Satan-Prometheus extracted from all the books of the East and spilt over the insipid salad that was the leftovers of the dying Hellenism... But this is for my next post, which will have the bad-ass title of "Pagan Fire: Jesus Christ".


MINI - COROLLARY:

The Dead Sea Scrolls give the Book of Job this ending:

...and he is the king of all reptiles. Job answered and said to God: I know that you can do anything, and you do not lack power or wisdom. I spoke once and I will not revoke it, twice, and I will not add to it. Listen then and I will say to you; I will question you and you will answer me. I knew of you only by word of mouth and now that I have seen you, for this I will be obliterated and destroyed and will turn into dust and ash.

Don Luis de Gongomal and Argote.


September 10, 2010

CARLOS MAL DRAWS "AL GRITO"

I don't think anybody has asked me to make a tutorial on how to draw comics, much less ask me about the process of creating the comic strips that I publish on a weekly basis at algrito.com, (the Spanish language webcomic that my pal J.C. Soto and I begun back in January), but I don't give a shit. Here I leave you all with a step by step review of the manner in which my creative juices congeal into art.

July 24, 2010

SUNDAYS OF OPUS: BACK IN MEXICO

I came back to Mexico in December of 2009 and I have been busy since then honing my drawing skills and exploring my love for photography + Photoshop. Here I present you what I like the most of what I have produced from December, 2009 to July, 2010.

Nick Cave


Bérénice entre Amapolas


Storybook Melissa


Le comte Gaston de Raousset Boulbon


Animal Hands Jones


Bérénice Fumaa

Tractatum Berenikeus


Bérénice Blanchenoire

June 2, 2010

DO NOT PUNCH PEOPLE IN THE FACE

Do not punch people in the face. If at any given time you find yourself in the situation of being able to choose whether to punch somebody in the face and not doing it, please, choose option B: i.e. not doing it. It is not only because I want to be the ambassador of Peace and harmony, but also because there are a lot of disadvantages which we don't reflect upon on a daily basis.

Bad movies have taught us that it is hilarious when a character that feigns shyness (oftentimes a woman) punches the bad guy in the face ever so solidly, preferably before a TV crew. The sequence goes more or less like thus:
VILLAIN THAT HAS BEEN DEFEATED BUT WILL REMAIN FREE: That's right, Joe Adventure, this time you thwarted my plans, but you have got nothing against me! HAHAHAHA!

WOMAN (girlfriend or wife of our hero): Suck on this!

She punches the guy right in the fucking mug.
This incredibly tiring trope makes everyone feel satisfied, because it gives the "good guys" a form of primitive justice that the Law will never give them. There's a less violent variation of this sequence of events, it is very common in cheap movies targeted for children, I'm talking about the trope "a viscous, semi-liquid, repugnant substance falls over the villain as punishment for his sins". We all remember one or several Disney movies with a scene depicting this.

But the point here was not to talk about stupid tropes, but to beg you never to punch guys in the kisser. Not only you people are exposed to the very real risk of breaking your fingers or to suffer serious infections (it seems like human saliva is really nasty), but also it happens that movies and serialized TV fiction that we watch never show these acts as having realistic consequences. In these cases, a punch in the face is something from which one recovers calmly, like nothing just happened. Things break and tear inside one's face, an you need days or weeks to recover.

The only TV series that convinced me in regards to punches in the face was Lost, because since the beginning of the story we were told that the Island where the characters lived had healing powers.

What can I say about Bud Spencer and Terence Hill's classic film Double Trouble? Too many punches in faces. And we grew up watching this, with the idea of a ounch in the face as the highest deed of heroics. Batman punch people in the face, he didn't use no measly guns and bombs like his cowardly counterparts. Ergo, to pummel someone in the teeth was not only acceptable: it was heroic.



Well, we have to change our minds. Think about it. Think about all the things that happen to those who are subject to fist-punishing in the lips. Walk a mile in their shoes.

Do not punch people in the face. It is wrong.



Above you can watch a new comedy classic. Don't be fooled, dudes and dudettes. Punches in the goddamned face hurt a fucking lot.

May 4, 2010

CINCO DE MAYO: WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT

"Las armas nacionales
se hán cubierto de gloria"
(The Nation's arms have
been covered in Glory)"

There's a commemorative bust of poor general Zaragoza at Hermosillo's Plaza Zaragoza. Every year, when Cinco de Mayo is around, the generous Government of the City renews the motto of the Battle of Puebla in golden-paint covered styrofoam letters. Each year, when I used to live there I went to visit the bust AND TORE OFF THE FUCKING SHIT OF AN ACCENT THAT FOR REASONS THAT ESCAPE MY INTELLIGENCE SOME STUPID IDIOTIC MOTHERFUCKERS ADDED TO THE WORD "HAN"!!!

Ignacio Zaragoza, evidently a nerd of his age (check out the glasses and hairdo), led a group of Mexicans to what would be known as the only battle The Mexican Army actually won against a foreign force in national territory.

The incredible feat of not being utterly devastated by invaders on the battlefield would happen only once, in Texas, in the shameful victory of The Alamo, where the army of Santa Anna fought a handful of gringos, cornered like rats in a lousy adobe house.

When I married a French woman I though "Cinco de Mayo is going to be aaaaawkwaaaard ♫". It's like if she had married a descendant of nobility and they had to celebrate La Prise de la Bastille together.
I, getting married forever to a French woman.

Interestingly, my wife turned Mexican immediately and change her colors; now her cheers go to us Mexicans and our many senseless, hopeless battles. Let me just tell you, dear readers, that that is very cute, and that makes of her not only the best secretary I've had, but also the best wife ever.

Did I already mention that she's French and sexy?

I bet you didn't know these facts

  • Dude, you don't know shit about The Pastry War, do you?
A few decades before the Battle of Puebla, France and Mexico had been involved in the infamous "guerra de los pasteles" (Pastry War) The comical name of this war gave us, elementary school students, the impression of the opposing troops attacking each other with whipped cream pies, like in those goofy movies of yesteryear, and not with very real, hot, lead bullets or with sharp blades sunk inside everybody's intestines.

In reality this "pastry war" was a very tense naval conflict that was caused by some Mexicans treating very badly the French population of Mexico City. One time a group of Santa Anna's soldiers ate a bunch of pastries without paying for them and that was the last straw for the abused Frenchies. A French float obliterated San Juan de Ulúa and Veracruz until they forced the Mexicans to sign an I.O.U. An oldified and über-badass ex-president Guadalupe Fucking Victoria, first president of Mexico, was one of the diplomats involved in the matter, who, all Yoda-like, was in control of the situation at all times.
  • You also didn't know that Benito Juarez is probably to blame for the French Intervention. But he's still cool, chill out, dudes.
Benito Juarez, the Motherfucker of the Americas, canceled the payments being made to France after the Pastry War. The War of Reform and the difficulties facing his term forced him to cut the spending budget and to cancel all foreign payments temporarily. England and Spain were cool, but France is no Payday Loans store, ladies: France was ready to fight the Mexicans and their debty manners.
  • Fuck nay, you did not know that Napoleon III was a goddamn mega-crazy Confederate racist, like those guys in Alabama who have no teeth and play the banjo and marry their kin, but French and handsome.
The English and the Spaniards withdrew their ships; they had decided to play it cool and let the no-longer-paying Mexicans save a little money. The French stayed, but not because they wanted their million pesos, fuck no. Napoleon III wanted Mexico as a colony because he planned to support the Confederates (the bad guys) in the U.S. Civil War. He wanted the South to win. If Juarez, Porfirio Díaz and the bunch of undisciplined, angry Mexicans had not had posed resistance, Barack Obama would not be president today, because the Confederates were not planning on abolishing slavery in the USA, not even as a joke.
  • You did not know how many Frenchmen were defeated by Zaragoza's.
There were more or less some six-thousand Frenchmen in the Battle of Puebla. Zaragoza had roughly the same number of men, but Porfirio Díaz had another five thousand, and who knows how many more soldiers and civilians participated during the whole conflict using guerrilla tactics. Napoleon III did not learn the lesson that we Mexicans fight dirty.

  • Just like in the "Niños Héroes" ordeal, we all think that "Mexico won". I'm sorry dipshits, we didn't. You didn't know either which country in Latin America has the worst, most sucky army ever.
The Battle of Puebla looks like an isolated victory, but the war was very long, and to consider that we're such bad-asses because of Cinco de Mayo is a little bid depressing because, at the end of the French Intervention, Benito Juarez was exiled in the USA, half of Mexico welcomed the French with open arms and we had the Second Empire (with Maximilian of Habsburg). Another lost war for our sad country. At least we're not Paraguay, the worst soldiers in History: they lost two thirds of their adult population during the Triple-Alliance War in the 19th century, and the slaughter continued with The War of the Chaco and the civil wars.
  • You definitely didn't know that Zaragoza did not buy in glorious battle, but amidst vomit, diarrhea and fever.
General Ignacio Zaragoza died only four months after the Battle of Puebla. He died of tiphoid fever, a kind of salmonella poisoning caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. What a nerdy way to kick it. Zaragoza left this world while Alice Lidell listened to a story that would become Alice in Wonderland; while Mrs. Lumière gave birth to the first of the fathers of cinema and during the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War.
  • At least the French weren't left intact. What a measly consolation!
General (and Count) Lorencez, Zaragoza's rival caught himself the yellow fucking fever in Mexico! He went back to France and then died after a long, miserable convalescence. Also, because he got distracted in Mexico's war, Royal Shithead Napoleon III lost Austria in the Seven Weeks War against Germany. What an idiot. To be a cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte didn't count for shit.

I hope you have learned something. Read it to your children, ladies, so they know more about this date, which gringos think commemorates the Independence of Mexico. Bunch of ignorant shits.




February 15, 2010

FATE OF BLOOD (SINO SANGRIENTO), A POEM BY MIGUEL HERNÁNDEZ

From blood that comes from blood I come to be
I come, like oceans also come from water
the color of my soul is that of poppies,
my fate is just like poppies of misfortune
I come from crimson poppy-spawning poppies
My fate and I do crash, a grisly goring.

Some creatures came before
and came from lands of sand where nothing grows,
and more than one have come
with raging horoscopes,
under a moon that's turbulent and evil.

A stroke fell down to Earth
and set a bloody footprint in my life,
a planet of saffron in heat fell down,
as well as an angry crimson cloud,
a wounded sea fell down, a sky fell down.

I came to life pain-stabbed,
a knife was waiting for me to arrive,
a milk that was bad was given for me to suckle,
the juice of a sword that was mad, homicidal,
and in the sun I first opened my eye
And the very first thing I saw was a gash
and it was a sad one.

Blood is out to get me, so hungry and fierce,
since the day of my founding,
and even before I was
uttered, pronounced, shoved,
into this greedy wasteland by my mother.
It pulls me by my feet, and by my side,
hard and harder each time, towards the pit.

I fight against this blood, and I debate
against so many claws, so many veins,
and each body that I stumble upon
it is another splurt of blood, another chain.

Although they're light, the darts of oats
add to the ensigns of my chest:
on it I had the love of farming,
and my soul that is a fallow
has deeply furrowed
with irrevocable wounds my hope
with the death-wish of my plow.

All the tools are watching me:
the ax has left me
recondite marks;
the stones, days and desires
they dug springs in my body
that were swallowed only by sands
and melancholies.

The chains are bigger and bigger,
the snakes are bigger and bigger,
bigger and crueler is their power,
bigger are their rings around me,
bigger is their heart, bigger is mine.

In this bedroom filled with nothing,
where only visits meet,
the peck and the color of a crow,
a handful of letters and written passions,
a fistful of blood and a death I keep.

O fulminating blood,
O climbing roar of purple,
sentencing that sounds at all hours
under the suffering anvil of my temples!

Blood has given birth to me , it has imprisoned me
Blood reduces me and makes me larger,
a building of blood I am, of plaster,
that tears itself down and then it rises
on the scaffold of my bones.

A dead bricklayer made of blood,
rains and everyday he hangs his shirt
in the surroundings of my eye,
and every night with my soul,
or even with my eyelashes I carry him.

Blood is growing, it enlarges
the expansion of his foliage in my chest
that, overflowing poplar, gets out of hand
and in several grim rivers it falls undone.

I see myself suddenly
wrapped in its angry torrents,
and I swim against all desperately
like against a fatal stream of daggers.

His current drags me enraged,
it tears me to pieces, sinks me, runs me over;
I want to separate from it, I fight it,
but my arms are taken with it,
and my desire, it goes away with my arms.

I will allow myself to be washed away, in pieces,
since thus has been ordered to my life
by the blood and by its tide, and by the bodies
and by my own star of blood and gore.

I'll be a lonely, swollen wound
until in my swelling I am
a corpse of foam: just wind and nothing.

Miguel Hernández


February 14, 2010

ALGRITO.COM


The first line of the Mexican National Anthem says: "Mexicanos al grito de guerra el acero aprestad y el bridón" (Mexicans, to the cry of war, take on your steel and your steed), which means something like: "Mexicans, when someone tells us there is a war going on we have to get our hands on a weapon and we have to also get a fine-ass horse."

After six years in Tucson, Arizona, after a Masters and a Ph.D., I can finally reap the fruit of so much hard work and study. Of course, after turning into an expert on Hispanic Literature the most logical thing I could do is to start my career as a comics artist.

And yes, a friend of mine offered me the opportunity of doing what I always dreamed of doing: to earn money with my drawings.

And I have been doing that since January, when we started algrito.com, a weekly webcomic written by JC and drawn by me. We have slowly earned a number of visitors and each time this number grows.

Besides, during and after my trip to Paris in the Summer of 2009 I started also my other project, La República de Sonora, an ambitious graphic novel about Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon, something of which I will write in a later occasion.

Here I leave you with some examples of my artistic process for algrito.com. The complete , colored, versions are on the website. I invite you ladies to visit the website each week for a new comic. I salute you, faithful miladies.



February 3, 2010

IDEA: MUSIC FOR A SHORT FILM I WILL NEVER SHOOT

Do not steal my idea, please. I came to me after watching the very entertaining Shoot 'Em Up, with Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci.

The short film will be named Park Chan Wook, in honor of a very bad-ass South Korean filmmaker. I might use Quentin Tarantino as the tagline.

Some bad-ass-looking dude who is also a good person at heart (like Johnny Cash or Nick Cave... alright, let's call him Johnny Cave or Nick Cash) wakes up one day to face the zombies that plague the world, and who have left him and a few others as sole survivors on Earth. This will be juxtaposed with people arguing, afterwards about the rampaging, murdersome slaughter that madman Johnny Cave has done believing that the world was full of zombies, when everything was in his head. I plan to make a cross between the typical zombie flick with the sadly commonplace school shootings in the USA. You see? I am controversial!

The original in this short film smothered in clichés is that my intention is never to show a firearm in it. Each time that Johnny lifts up his gun to blow a zombie's brains out a lightpost, a bush, a car, any thing will be covering up the gun. During the short Johnny and his colleagues will use all kinds of weaponry... that will never be seen on screen.

This is not only an effort to be original and absurdist, but also it is a measure of economy, because it is really expensive to buy prop guns. I have tried on ebay and I have failed. Well, my wallet has failed.

Anyhow, in this post I want to document the soundtrack of this short. I will leave here videos or mp3 links in case you ladies want to listen to something cool, but I am sorry to tell you that this entry is mainly a mnemonic resource for myself. If you do like awesome tunes you're more than invited to listen, and if you feel like it you can even share your opinion about this foul idea.

Have a great day.

Intro music:
Klaus Nomi - The Cold Song, from the Opera King Arthur by Henry Purcell.

Cool scenes with swords and guns:
Mado Robin - Sopra il sen la man mi possa from La sonnambula by Bellini.

Jussi Bjorlin & Robert Merrill - Au fond du temple saint, from Les pêcheurs de perles by Bizet.

Maria Callas - O mio babino caro from the Opera Gianni Schicchi, by Puccini.

And that is all.




January 15, 2010

CENA (SUPPER)

by Baltazar de Alcázar (1530 – 1606)

In Ronda, where I live,
lives don Diego de Sosa,
and i'll tell you, Inés, the most
wild thing you've heard of him.

This gentleman used to have
a butler from Portugal,
but let's eat, Inés,
first, if you'd like.

We have set the table;
what will be for supper is ready;
the wine and cups and now:
what's left is to start the party.

Slice the bread. It is good
The salad tastes like Heaven
the meat, with its garlic,
can you see how stinky it is?

This Inés is by itself praised;
there is no need to praise it ourselves;
only one fault I find in it:
that it is swiftly over.

Pour the wine, and for your life,
bless it first:
I have this devotion
of blessing my drinks.

It was good, Inés, that sample;
it was frank, But what do I do?
A florin is worth each gulp
of this pink wine.

The tavern in the corner
sells it some times;
great consolation is to have
the tavern as a neighbor.

Bring it here again, make it two,
now that we can't help it.
Happy that who'd have the whole bottle
to better serve God!

The salad and the meat
is gone; what is next?
A sausage, O great lady,
worthy of veneration!

How plump and pretty it comes!
What elegant garb she has!
I suspect, Inés, she comes
so we end ourselves in it.

So there we go, make way and get to it,
the road is not wide, I tell you.
Don't pour water in the wine, Inés,
lest the belly gets upset,

Let the aged one join us,
so you can eat better;
God bless you, your intake,
is like the one that of advice take the Wise.

But tell me: Don't you love and value
this sausage, rich and famous?
How it is spicy the little traitor!
That much of spices it must have.

How it is full of pine nuts!
A sausage of courtesans
and roasted by those hands
made to fat pigs.

Om my God that you could put it
in front of the very King,
in the end, a lawful pig,
that swells its empty gut.

Let's taste what it's in the pitcher,
high, celestial liquor:
it is not like the rosy one,
and is not quite like it.

How smooth, how transparent!
What a rank, odorous body!
What a palate, what color,
all with such finesse!

My heart is about to burst
with pleasure and I see you
and how you're doing. I consider
that you must be content.

But the cheese is finally here,
and the mushrooms come along,
and they both come in asking
for the pitcher and the cups.

Taste the cheese, it is extreme:
cheese from Pinto is no match;
and the olive is quite good:
it can row on its own worth.

So do, Inés, what you do;
give me that full leather.
Let's drink. Supper's done,
forgo of the table cloth.

Now that we have eaten
so well and with so much gusto,
it seems like it might be just
to go back to the story I was telling.

Well, you know, good Inés,
that the Portuguese fell ill...
It's eleven now, I'm very sleepy;
let's leave it for tomorrow.

---

Please, if you understand Spanish, consider reading this delicious poem in its original language.

December 19, 2009

PAGAN FIRE - HAPPENINGS


Originally published on El Imparcial on May 30, 2004.

To Pablo Ayala

It is possible that everything that occurs around us is due to a will or our will trying to bring order to a sort of chaos. The opposite of the natural is the sophisticated: It happens when our intelligence plays God and pretends to shape the terrifying world that surrounds us.

Our history of hysteria is proof of the existence of a force in disorder that we haven't and we won't ever dominate. Everything is product of an exalted rationality that is unable to comprehend the essential designs of human nature. We are evil.

Our physical fate is decomposition, and our moral fate is degradation. But this is not necessarily terrible: our dignity and humanity reside in our struggle against the evil that enslaves us.

But it seems that we try to apply that code of salvation to all of our activities. In arts, anomalies have always been classified as ugly (the aesthetic version of evil).

After World War I, the artists of the world lost their last marble, and with it, the lat thing that united them to the machinery of classicism. A world of rationality was being torn apart in a barbaric turmoil sponsored by progress. And artists, whether they like it or not, more than members of society, they are a symptom of it.

A happening is a form of art that appeared in the middle of the 20th Century as an open attack towards the core of artistic appreciation. A happening consisted of an arbitrary act with aesthetic intentions that involved involuntary spectators: it was art in ephemeral display outside the art galleries. Here's an example.

More than thirty years ago, a truck parked in the middle of Madison Square Garden in New York. From it two naked women and an artist came out. He rolled out a very large roll of white paper over the asphalt. Then he sat down before a little toy piano.

The women painted themselves from head to toe with blue paint and, to the rhythm of a single note of the toy piano they started rolling over the paper on the floor. When the music was over, after being seen by hundreds of astonished witnesses, they took their materials and went away the same way they arrived without uttering a word.

The key of these strange acts is a desire of toppling the notion of reality, fiction appropriateness, time, space, everything. What an artist strives for through a happening is, in truth, to destroy the world, to reduce it to rubble. They are worshipers of chaos, of disorder, of the adverse. A happening is a beautiful, invisible crime.

In academic terms, (i.e. boring) a happening is the expression of some of the members of the artistic avant garde, which is long dead and buried. But the happening survived, even after cubism and the very terrible abstract impressionism died.

A few years ago a U.S. American Bulgarian artist put thousands of yellow umbrellas along a highway. Another one put his poetry on the colossal lights of Las Vegas. Modern happenings take advantage of the gullibility of mass media and commercial advertising. Our crazed times let everything work.

Artists nowadays shouldn't endure the notion the separation of the real world and the world of art. One doesn't abandon the planet by entering an art gallery. But many artists keep thinking that art in an angelic halo that sanctifies all of us. As long as art is a human activity, it can be as noble as carpentry or as abhorrent as the act of murder.

Happenings are rough impacts, kicks in the teeth of reason. They are a signal of the fact that the barrier between art and the world is false. Art is not that big of a deal. The world neither.

Protest against the death of Ronald Reagan,
a happening of El Club Chufa.


November 11, 2009

MY PROVERBS OF HELL

THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL

Scary thoughts: A tattooist apprentice. The surgeon's first operation ever.

A MEMORABLE FANCY:

What if Jesus had a song released and we don't like it that much? Would we lie to Him and ourselves and consider it the best song ever? I think we would.

A MEMORABLE FANCY:

A single guy will receive a visit from his mother. He fears she will find his expensive, ultra-realistic latex sex doll, but he doesn't want to get rid of it. So he buries it in his backyard.

Does he feel like a murderer? And when he digs it up... is that like fucking a zombie? I think part of his soul would have died at this point.

A MEMORABLE FANCY / THE VOICE OF SATAN:

A circus acrobat, famous for his amazing feats on a tightrope high in the air goes shopping. He trips on the sidewalk and falls on his knees with his grocery bags tightly pressed against his sides.

He weeps. He weeps and cries like never before.


October 31, 2009

FAREWELL, TUCSON: LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY

Living in the prison that is Tucson is very peculiar to me. After finishing my PhD classes I saw myself in the position of not having to spend any time with anyone at all. My classmates kept on with their lives and, by my own request, I was assigned to teach the evening and night classes.

After a few months I noticed I could come and go in the building I work without being noticed. Everybody else had normal hours of work, they saw each other in hallways, offices and around the building. But nobody ever saw me because when their day ended mine just started.

Let me give a piece of advice, fellows: Living in Tucson without a car is unconceivable. The streets are built for cars, not for people. "But Carlos, dude, you could have bought a car, couldn't you?" Don't get me started. Paying insurance for a piece of shit car or being charged 200 dollars for brake repair doesn't really suit my style.

Not having a car and not being in touch with the world outside my students, has limited my social life to my wife's phone calls and the three days each month I spend in Hermosillo, where I limit myself to one night out with my old friends and some time with my family. In Tucson I do nothing.

My students, on the other hand, are strange territory. I never go out or make friends with them. In the first place because I think it is the healthiest way to conduct my professional life, and secondly because I think it's becoming increasingly difficult for people to empathize with me and for me to empathize with people.

Yesterday, the store clerk of the place I go buy my cigarettes asked me if I was forgetting something. "Milk? Eggs? Alcohol, perhaps?" When I told him that I don't drink alcohol he paused for a second and asked me if it was something religious.

Because, of course, one has to be a Mormon or a Muslim not to drink alcohol. That's how people have fun, don't they?

So, why is it that I don't have fun like that and why am I not like "the people"?

I wouldn't like to be called a teetotaller, much less straight edge. I more of a guy who doesn't get it. I do understand the passion for drinking, because I smoke tobacco, and I too look for excuses so I can smoke and I spend money that I could use in something useful instead and so on. I do get that. what I don't understand is that I see that my world spins and orbits around beers. And I find this sad and vulgar.

some of my acquaintances go to parties here and there, every weekend. In fact it kinda sounds cool, a gathering of friends, everybody happy to see each other, the music is nice and so on. Imagine my excitement when I was invited to my first non-kiddie party: it was the birthday party of some popular girl in my classroom. I was in second grade of secondary school. I was eleven.

Of course, nobody was drinking, but it was painfully evident that everything going on at that party was a pantomime of an adult party. The music was regional and "grown-up". We were all competing against the very loud speakers in order to be able to maintain a conversation.

Probably a lot of us wished we were a few years younger so we could start playing instead of being painfully trying to perform our role as pre-adults.

A lot of time had to pass for me to go to a party again. this time it was in preparatory school, second semester. I was 14. People were drinking now; in fact I had to baby-sit a drunken friend. There were more parties. I got bored every time. why do people dance to the rhytm of music they don't like? Why do they get so excited when they hear the word "party" if when they're at it I notice they're just as bored as I am, sitting on a corner, unable to talk?

I know why. It is called alcoholism.

We all know that the first thing an alcoholic does is deny that they're alcoholics. Since our youths we're spoon-fed with the notion that parties are fun and that we can find beer at parties. Little by little parties become something secondary. what "the people" want is to drink with someone, because there's nothing sadder that a guy who buys some beers and drinks them by himself in front of the TV.

Another thing that intrigues me is the ambition of getting drunk. "Let's get shitfaced!" "Let's get hammered". I am addicted to nicotine but I don't find the idea of intoxication alluring at all. I will never tell a friend: "Dude, let's smoke our asses off until we both get nosebleeds".

Let me be clear: this is not an apology of cigarettes. I know they're bad and dangerous; I'm not stupid, I'm just addicted, and pleasure is the boss. Considering this one could say "If pleasure is the boss, so that's why we alcoholics do what we do, asshole!" yes, it's true, that's what I assume. But I do not understand why they're not being honest with themselves.

Why do they need to wrap the compulsion for drinking with complicated social rituals? Why is it that drinking has to be taken to the extreme all the time? Imagine a world where beer is served with the food, with the family. Oh yeah, that was the original idea of beer. It was like wine. But invented by regions in the world without a great deal of grapes. In that case I would drink it too. well, to be honest I wouldn't. Beer tastes like earwax combined with grass.

If you have read my long diatribe you' probably noticed that I sound like an old man: I complain about the loud music and those damn teenagers having fun at their parties. What the fuck? Am I 90 goddamn years old? No, I don't, but I just don't get it. I mean it, I just can't. Not a single one of you guys.

I'm not coming to your parties unless you have a karaoke machine with cool songs. Or unless I really love you; I'd make the effort, I'd compromise. Or if I want something from you; yes, I'll go to your party if there was something I wanted from you. If you have seen me at one of your parties after 1997 that means I really really cared about you. Or you had a cool karaoke machine.

In the Spring of 2010, if everything goes according to the plan I will be in París, where the young people also are an enigma to me. They go to clubs in order to meet people and dance, when I prefer to meet people (not really) in calm places where one can talk about interesting or funny things instead of dancing like electrocuted orangutans.

It is 2009. I'm 29 years old, and I have lost touch with you and with the world. this doesn't make me better than you. This makes me different; actually it probably makes me a little worse than you as a person. But I don't give a shit. I only want to curl into a ball under the sheets with my wife and perhaps the cat, jealous of me in the other side of the bed.

And all of you can go to Hell.

October 23, 2009

"WHY ARE ALL TERRORISTS ARABS?": DEBUNKING AN IDIOTIC EMAIL CHAIN LETTER

Let us start this new series of discrediting idiotic emails with a humble petition: DO NOT SEND ME EMAIL CHAIN LETTERS.

I see email as some sort of telephone. Sometimes I write a friend to say hello, or I write an email to my wife telling her that I'm going to be at a meeting and I'll arrive a little late. See? Just like a goddamn phone.

It never happened to me that someone calls my house phone and says to me: "Carlos Mal, did you know that the Virgin Mary is going to grant you a wish if you call fifteen people right after this call? And I'm glad it doesn't happen.

But in emails it does happen. Why it happens is beyond my understanding. Not long ago I received a very sad email chain letter, it was about a little girl who had allegedly been badly burnt during the ABC Daycare incident in Hermosillo, Mexico, my hometown. But when I saw the "FW:" on the email's subject I thought: "Fuck you and multi-fuck you, asshole who started this chain...!" Why? because the sole fact of this being a chain letter made me suspect —nay— realize, that the message was bullshit.

The terrifying photograph of the injured little girl was actually that of a Polish girl who had been in an accident on 2005. I don't know what in the World of Reptiles this person wanted to get out of this by saying that the girl was from my hometown.


Let's go over one that, while it isn't technically a chain letter (it doesn't demand you to send it to anyone) , a lot of people think is funny and distribute it widely amongst their "friends". Here's a complete transcription of the chain letter (the original is in Spanish):

¿Why are the terrorists Arabs?


Have you wondered why all terrorists are Arabs and why they're willing to commit suicide for the sake of their convictions?

Well, let's analyze this:

1- Whores do not exist there.

2- It's forbidden to drink alcochol.

3- Bars are forbidden.

4- Television is forbidden.

5- Internet is forbidden.

6- Sports, stadiums, parties, etc. are forbidden.

7- Honking horns is forbidden.

8- Eating pork is forbidden.

9- There's sand everywhere, they don't even have quad bikes to have fun with.

10- Have you ever tried fishing in an oasis?

13- Bedsheets instead of clothing.

14- They eat only with their right hand because they wipe their asses with their left hand (as if life needed to be more complicated).

15- Screams of agony because your neighbor is sick and there are no doctors to assist him.

16- They cannot shave.

17- They cannot shower.

18- Foreign music is forbidden.

19- Radio is forbidden.

20- Their barbecues consist of donkey meat cooked over camel shit.

21- Women have to use dresses that look like bags and they use veils all the time.

22- They never see tits! Not even by chance!

23- Your wife is chosen for you by another guy.

24- Your wife is kept wrapped for so long that after six months you realize she has a beard!


So, suddenly someone tells you in a very convincing manner that once you die you will go to Paradise and you will have everything you ever wanted and everything you didn't have in life....

Now tell me, and be honest...


Wouldn't you strap a bomb to your fucking balls?


And here's where we're supposed to burst into laughter.

There's a curious problem when talking about Arabs. Arabs are not only the people of Saudi Arabia (they're Saudis, for clarity), but all of those who belong to the many cultures that speak the Arabic languages. Nevertheless, this text seems to describe those who, functioning as terrorists, are willing to "commit suicide for their convictions". Even if the phenomenon of suicide attacks is not exclusively the deed of Muslims or Arabs (do the kamikaze ring a bell, gringos?) the rest of the points indicate that the author of this "joke" is referring to Muslim Arabs. Let's see if he's right.


1. "Whores do not exist there"

They do exist there. And everywhere. To believe that is like saying that because marijuana is illegal in Mexico there's no marijuana there. Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest and more complex networks of human trafficking in the world.

2. "It's forbidden to drink alcohol"

This is true. But what's also true is that not every single Muslim follows the Qur'an to the letter. The normal progression of culture has caused that, in general, the people of the Muslim World drink little to no alcohol at all, but this doesn't mean that the drinking of alcohol is absolutely non-existent. People in Turkey sometimes drink (although Turks are not Arabs, because they speak Turkish and they're a very unique and complex country, even considering that practically everyone there is Muslim).

3. "Bars are forbidden"

This is an extension of the previous item. If a bar is a place where alcohol is served, is not that they're forbidden, it's just that they don't need to exist to begin with. But if a bar is a business where one goes to drink something else (a cup of coffee, tea, etc.) or to smoke, then yes they do have bars.

4. "Television is forbidden"

This is ridiculous. The Taliban regime banned television for a while in Afghanistan (a country with a majority of Muslims), but sorry, idiot author of this joke, Afghanistan is not an Arab country. Another country that banned TV was Papua New Guinea, where they have around 2'000 Muslims only and it's really far away from the Middle East. We have to take this fact into account here: there are more satellite channels in Arabic than in Spanish. Take that, bitch!

5. "The Internet is forbidden"

Puuuhlease. Arabs, Muslims and Muslim Arabs use the Internet all the time. it is true that there is censorship, but not unlike the censorship in China, Cuba and Iran (again, not an Arab country). If the Internet is forbidden then where the fuck did the ten visits that this blog has received from the Middle East originated? ¿From goddamn ghost laptops? I don't fucking think so. (Two of the visits came from Saudi Arabia, and I didn't include the Arab countries in Northern Africa).




6. "Sports, stadia, parties, etc. are forbidden"

Come on, people, don't you remember Saudi Arabia's soccer team in the eighties? Other Middle Eastern countries (some Arabs, some not) with official soccer teams are: Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Syria and Yemen. Where do you think they play, in swimming pools? Fucking of course, they play in a stadium, idiot!

By the way, this is the design for the future "Sports City" in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.




7. "Honking horns is forbidden"

Okay, this point I find very, very mysterious. Does the author of the chain letter refer to honking the horn of a car when women pass by? I pass. It's a good thing they can't do this, in case they can't.


8. "Eating pork is forbidden"

This is true. For those Arabs who are Muslims. For the many Arabs who are Christians it is not, even if they normally don't eat pork, simply because the pork industry does not exist in their regions. They're not missing out, in my humble opinion.


9. "There's sand everywhere and they don't even have quad bikes to have fun with"

Mmmmh... Let's see...

Sand everywhere? This is Kabul, Afghanistan, where they don't speak Arabic, but I suppose that it's a country that comes to mind when terrorism is mentioned...



Sand everywhere? This is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates:



Yeah, there is probably not one quad bike to be found there.



10- "Have you ever tried fishing in an oasis?"

I don't see how fishing is so great. Even though, there's a lot of fishing in the Arab World: Morocco, an Arab country, has more fish than Argentina, the UK and France. In your face, bitch.

(Note: I have no idea why the author omitted items number 11 and 12.)

13. "Bedsheets instead of clothing"

This most probably refers to the infamous burqa. There are many variation in clothing throughout the Arab nations. Some of they actually obey very strict religious and social codes, but in other countries there are many other reasons for the specific clothes they use. Too many to cover here. By the way, the burqa was mandatory for women under the Taliban regime. Today it is optional for most of the regions in the country.

This is the burqa:



But women in Afghanistan normally look like those in the following photo. They don't look like they're wearing bedsheets, do they? Unless you're fucking crazy and cover yourself with scarves at night.




14. "They eat only with their right hand because they wipe their asses with their left hand (as if life needed to be more complicated)"

This is true, the Qur'an suggests the proper use of each hand, but, again, this is followed only by observant Muslims. When I was a fencer I had to shake hands with my left hand, because I had my sword in the other one. I never found it complicated, you lazy motherfucker.

15. "Screams of agony because your neighbor is sick and there are no doctors to assist him"

Allegedly, Kuwait has an excellent health care system, and so does Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Afghanistan certainly suffers of a scarcity of doctors and hospitals since the Russian invasion., the Taliban takeover and the USA invasion; but I reiterate: Afghans are not Arabs.

16. "They cannot shave"

No? All these dudes are Arabs. Okay, the third one is Iranian, but he's from "one of those terrorist countries":


It's true that it is considered sunnah (cool in the eyes of Allah) to grow a mustache and beard, but it is not mandatory. Furthermore, devout Muslims shave or trim their pubic hair (sometimes even their armpits) every forty days in order to keep good hygiene.

17. "They cannot shower"

This makes no damn sense. Why wouldn't they shower? The author must think that all the Arabs live in the middle of the desert. Please refer to the photos of Dubai and Kabul in item number nine.

18. "Foreign music is forbidden"

Even if popular music is censored in many Middle Eastern countries (which is not the same as 'Arab countries', I insist), this is not true in all of these countries, and local, national and international pop, rock and other genres are regularly and normally heard everywhere. In the nineties Egypt banned Heavy Metal music because they considered it "Satanic". But this is not bad: this is absolutely BRUTAL, yeaaaah!!!

19. "Radio is forbidden"

Another ludicrous statement. Even terrorists benefit from radio. There are thousands of radio stations with music of all genres, from traditional to pop, rock y hip-hop.

20. "Their barbecues consist of donkey meat cooked over camel shit"

Triple-fuck, no. Arab gastronomy is one of the most delicate, healthy and delicious in the world.. Just take a look at this beauty:



By the way, if there's still some doubt, the Qur'an says that eating donkey meat is forbidden.


21. "Women have to use dresses that look like bags and they use veils all the time."

What? Again? go back to item number 13...

22. "They never see tits! Not even by chance!"

Oh I think they do. Arabs fuck too, don't they? And they don't do it through a hole in a blanket. Let's compare. A Muslim is allowed to watch straight porn as long as the woman is not Muslim (which is not too hard, since there aren't a lot of Muslim pornstars out there); on the other hand, a Catholic incurs in sin when he watches porn of any kind: "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5, 28).


23. "Your wife is chosen for you by another guy"


NO. For Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims mutual consent is needed for marriage. Marriages can be arranged at childhood, but the wedding will happen once both consorts are fit for sexual intercourse and even then mutual consent is needed. Recently an eight year-old girl from Yemen divorced her 50 year-old husband arguing that her right of consent was violated.

24. "Your wife is kept wrapped for so long that after six months you realize she has a beard"

Once again, go back to item 13. Furthermore, the Qur'an recommends that women remove the hair from their upper lip and cheeks, legs and pubis, specially if this is for pleasing their husband..


The Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe, one of those
"bearded Arabs who use bedsheets as clothing".