Goth Juice: The Most Powerful Hairspray Known To Man

I don’t know the last time I was just an out-and-out shill for something, but I was pretty excited to pick up a container of GOTH JUICE last weekend, the new hairstyling product from Lush. It’s purple, it’s powerful, and it’s inspired (along with a companion product called King of the Mods) by the fantastic UK comedy, The Mighty Boosh.  Each tub claims to be “Made from the Tears of Robert Smith.”

Confidential to Gabe Dinger and Pete Ellison: Robert Smith is *still* not a member of the Smiths. Oddly, none of them were called Smith, which makes them the opposite of the Ramones, who were all named Ramone.


I loved this product and used it when my hair was short, and then one day, I went to Lush to pick some more up and my friend Andrea, who is now the lead singer of the great band Holy Grove, had to break the news that it was discontinued, and comfort me because I was crying in a soap store.  Zen teaches us that loving something means one day you will lose it, and you must always prepare yourself for that loss.


Although it is a couple of years old, I think this rendering of myself and my spouse at the center of the party in the pages of a sequence of Adam White’s Opi8 is worth sharing. I am depicted as my own midgetized version, but the dancing and haircut are spot on. Spouse is the tall fellow who looks like himself. Also pictured are author Tait B. on the left-hand side of the bottom panel, New York’s Billy K on the right at top, and the gentleman on the far left is Damian Ramsay, who left us last April but would have been 29 on October 28th.

The Bitter Tears of The Eternal Poseur

On the thirtieth anniversary of the first punk record that I heard, the Sex Pistol’s Never Mind The Bollocks, I find myself helplessly drifting off into nostalgic reverie, as the aged will sometimes do. When I was a teenager, I was 12 years too late for punk. Punk was dead and in a coffin in the King’s Road. But I had a haircut and some homemade t-shirts and I remember thinking: “It’ll be great, man, when everyone’s a PUNK and you go to the bank and the teller is a PUNK and the waitress at the restaurant is a PUNK and the COP is a PUNK and PUNKITY PUNK PUNK PUNK, and we will TAKE OVER.” And now, at last, my dreams have come true.

Everyone from movie stars to graduate students wears black, smeary eyeliner and has tattoos and a really nice guy at work is a 24 year old Cornell alum with a two-tone faux hawk. And it’s terrible. Really, really bad. When I spent my free time getting superfluous facial piercings and listening to questionable music, I felt part of a small, surly culture, but because these pursuits only involved a small cash outlay and willingness to risk infection, they eventually filtered down to the general population. The first time I saw an eyebrow ring/baseball hat combination, I knew it was no longer a mark of my people.

All I’m saying is: bike messengers, death metal kids, transvestites, animal activists, militants of all stripes and outcasts of all denominations: don’t be surprised when one day, people you have nothing in common with look just like you. I found it painful, and I hope you’ll steel yourself from that same disappointment.

Convergence 13

OK, be fair: It’s really not as bad as this. But it’s not that much better, either. Today I saw a magic recipe of top hat/frock coat/mourning trousers/WHITE SNEAKERS, and I had to wonder what’s going on in the world.

The lovely Kat deflected my admiration of her costume, claiming that it was just the dress she cleans the toilets in.

It’s a fair question- why get dressed for an hour to go someplace and stand around in the dark? And did you know that the slang for goths in Mexico is “Darks?” It’s kinder than my favorite euphemism, “Dark Dorks”.

On the good side, we did get to see an amazing acrobatic troupe called Kazum.

And here’s the backside view, which is also pleasant.

The man on the left is part general,
part bird.

This man on the right was imprisoned for five years, but spent his time writing his diary on a dinner jacket.

Two days in, questions still abound: Why are giant platform boots still necessary? Are big girls in corsets really fooling anyone? Why did Nivek Ogre perform entirely behind a scrim? Are the rumors true that it was really Clay Aiken filling in for the lead singer of Skinny Puppy?

I love you, Clay Aiken.

Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear

Judging by the referrals on my site meter, a lot of people are getting to my page because they are looking for pictures or information about Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear. Since I sometimes pretend to myself that I am providing a service, here is a good page from Wikipedia about Gloomy, a toy series and his creator, Mori Chack.
From his press release: Gloomy, an abandoned little bear, is rescued by Pitty (the little boy). At first, he is cute and cuddly, but becomes more wild as he grows up. Since bears do not become attached to people like dogs by nature, Gloomy attacks Pitty even though he is the owner. So Gloomy has blood on him from biting and/or scratching Pitty.

The moral: wild animals are dangerous, even when they are cute and/or pink. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a hippo will take your arm off if it gets a chance. I met a guy who was pulled out of a boat in Africa and badly maimed by the cutest, fattest hippo ever. Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek, but you absolutely should not ride him.

Many celebrities exhibit the same behaivor, appearing cute and harmless but lashing out when cornered, like Mel Gibson, Peter Buck, and that guy from Seinfeld.

Fun In A Bottle: Capsule Toys

Modern postscript: Please thank my 2006 Sony Clie for these crappy photos!  I loved that thing.  Maybe as much as I love my iPhone.

Here is the bank of capsule toy machines in Singapore, with a child pretending to fight a cutout robot. They are the sophisticated, collectible cousins of the machines that sell useless crap in American supermarkets. The uselessness of the toys is not different, nor their inevitable fate as something unpleasant to step on in the dark. There are some “rare” toys that are more desirable, and entire sets can be bought at stores at huge markups, just to keep from having to pump dollar coins into the machines. There is a large box next to the arcade of toy machines to collect empty capsules for reuse. Here are some of the most special displays.

dig dug capsule toys singapore

Sure, every kid wants a trinket of Dig Dug, a game from when his parents were in elementary school.

how how dog capsule toys singapore

How can you think that the sound of a dog barking is How How?” This is one of the capsule toys that doubles as a cell-phone trinket, for the 8 year old that wants to distinguish himself apart from just having a Nelly ringtone.

frog mobile capsule toys singapore

Please note some of the things the frogs say as they are driving their vehicles: “I love surfing!” and “I am No. 1!” That’s what it is to be an American.

wooly mammoth capsule toys

Why would a child want an automatically sliced wooly Mammoth steak?

san-x capsule toys

A capsule machine from my favorite weird Sanrio imitator, San-X. That bunny is also a mummy, or possibly he’s just horribly injured.

ban-dai panda capsule toys singapore

This one is a panda machine operated by another, tiny panda, and it reads “Let’s try to find our future!” If my future involves evil dual Panda overlords, I don’t want to find it.

bandai hentai capsule toys singapore

Little boys still like sex, right?

lion dance capsule toys singapore

When lucky dragons attack! Holy Shit!

golden dinosaur capsule toy yujin singapore

Step right up and get your Golden Dinosaur!

yujin nightmare before christmas capsule toy

Jack Skellington’s career keeps on going in Asia, just like Roy Clark’s does in Branson, MO.

hackman capsule toy singapore

This one was so mysterious that I had to plunk three dollar coins in. What was it? Am I really gonna get a hunched-over, vomiting cellphone charm?

hackman guitar

And that’s exactly what I got. This one is vomiting up a tiny Flying V guitar, which makes him the “Rock” Hackman. If you are what you eat, surely you are what you later vomit up.

hackman toy designer

Bizarre small-world postscript: A friend was in Tokyo a week later, and met Hackman’s designer, who sent me another a Hackman capsule. She explained that Hackman comes in twos, because when you are sick, your friend will come to your aid.


NYC Visit, 2006

The spouse and I have just returned from a trip to NYC, celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary.

It’s not so impressive that we have been married four years so much that it’s been consecutive. I celebrated a lot of it by following him from record store to record store.

A high point of the trip was seeing Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, and Nellie McKay in the Threepenny Opera.  Alan played Mack the Knife as a bisexual hustler. Nellie was fantastic as Lucy, and Cyndi looked foxy in her Pirate Jenny hooker-wear. Costume design by Isaac Mizrahi. I thought, I could put rubber pants and a priest’s collar on a chorus member as well as he can!

We had a great time attending a party for the Ron and Fez XM radio show. We sat in on the show the following Tuesday. If I had not looked at the message boards afterwards I never would have realized that I am an ‘unfunny hole’.

Our celebrity sighting this trip was Russell Simmons, enjoying a vegan brunch with an attractive lady the day before his break with Kimora broke in the Post.

We saw the Munch exhibit at MOMA, which included a painting that was just discovered in 2004.

We saw The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt at his DJ night at the Beauty Bar, where we were showered with candy and girl-group hits, so it was really a nice time all around.