(if you click the pics you can get a larger view and better detail of the makeup.)
Well, it wasn't the most graceful costume, but I did it in 10 minutes in the bathroom at work with some black and white creme makeup and a little fake blood. It got me some great looks on BART from the college kids dressed up like referees and pimps and "people from the 80's". It suited my purpose fine.
When Nissa picked me up from BART she didn't notice me at first then was a bit shocked, to which I told her "I got hit by a car." Nissa: "WHAT??!!" "No, I know, it's crazy...I thought I'd be dead, but after like five minutes I got right back up again..."
Note, the joke didn't exactly land because Nissa had been too initially shocked by the car hitting part...it's hard to play jokes on your wife because she's too emotionally invested...
I love Halloween. There's something immensely satisfying about walking down the street in costume, especially if you act like there's nothing unusual about your appearance. One of the high points of my evening was leaning against a pole with my feet crossed waiting for the BART reading The Metamorphosesby Ovid in zombie makeup. That had to be funny to someone.
For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated with being other people...it's actually where I'm most comfortable. I've always loved acting, but I've also always enjoyed pretending I'm someone else and then thinking of things that person/character might say... I was hoping someone would ask me what I was last night, I imagine the conversation would go something like this.
person:"What are you supposed to be?" me: "What do you mean?...Oh, no, I just got hit by a car. p:"Oh..." m:"Yeah, I figured I'd be dead, but like five minutes later I just got up and was fine....I'm incredibly hungry though." p:"For people?" m:"What?! No, no, not at all. Zombies have gotten a pretty bad rap in the media. I've got dinner waiting at home."
And part of me starts thinking of the possibility of a film or story in which zombies are just a misunderstood minority that can get a long with regular people...kind of like My Best Friend is a Vampire (sorry, no trailer on youtube...the broad strokes of it are that vampires aren't pure evil like most people think, they are a misunderstood group of people that happen to live forever and drink blood (bought from butchers' shops), any fan of Houseshould watch it, if only to find out how far Robert Sean Leonard has come (See Tape)), but for zombies...but I also realize that what makes a zombie a zombie is a certain mindless quality...of course there's always the caveat that the way movies portray things isn't necessarily accurate, but that's a pretty big hurdle to jump.
A large part of me would like to wear some different disguise every night when I walk home just for the hell of it...and I realize there's nothing technically keeping me from doing this...but there's also something that wants to wait for special occasions...
"Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys from Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. This is one of those rare punk tracks that is not only subversive and shocking and fast, but also surprisingly well constructed and thoughtfully composed. As a long time fan of music that has been labeled punk, one puts up with a lot of simple, repetitive instrumentation and less than thought out songwriting, but that's all part of it and kind of the point....with this track that thought is necessary. From the semi-psychedelic guitar intro to the frenetic 2 and 4 almost disco hi-hat in the verse, "Holiday in Cambodia" has all the loud, brash hallmarks of classic punk, but is also very inventive and unpredictable in its structure. Then, of course, there are the lyrics...an almost entirely coherent screed against Western complacency and Eastern brutality and totalitarianism that shows how, along with the shock for shock's sake elements, Jello Biafra was and is an intelligent and thoughtful songwriter. This is another song it seems silly to analyze (that's why I will more than likely never make the leap from amateur suggester to professional critic...I don't fully believe in it) so I'll just say, give it a listen, or, as is more than likely the case, listen again.
(P.S--extra East Bay credit, the picture for this album cover comes from the riots that ensued after Dan White, the city supervisor that killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone, got a suspiciously light sentence.)