The blog of author Dennis Cooper

111 crowds




p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi, D!!!! Maybe Christians equate Metal with Satan or something and think Christian Metal bands are fighting fire with fire or something? I don’t know. Christianity has always been a total mystery to me. Gaspar might go to the cast/crew/friends screening of the ‘Jerk’ film next week, and, if he does, I’ll ask him. I visit the very, very few Emo social media sites that still exist once in a while, mostly because I like how they write in the forums, and there are a bunch of over 25 hold-out Emos on there. They tend to be very grumpy and mostly seem to want to tell the young Emos about the good old days and criticise them for being know-nothing sell-out frauds. Not pretty. You have the Maunz/Soto book! Mine is supposedly en route. It’s cool? Love finding me a friend or acquaintance who’ll go with me to see Vaginal Davis perform at the Pompidou tonight, G. ** David, Hi. Into every life, a little doom must fall. But I probably would have wiped mine too and suffered in silence. Oh, fuck, now I have ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ stuck in my head. But I guess some good will come from it. Thank you for reading half of my book and being so kind about it. Friday = your oyster. ** Tosh Berman, I have not dissimilar memories when letting my mind dwell upon Les Disques du Crépuscule. Interesting: your script. No, I’m not into my books becoming films. And not only because that one, ‘Frisk’, was so terrible. (I had no say in that, you’re right.) I like that my novels are novels. I feel like they’re only meant to function as reading experiences. For a while Laika, the great animated movie company, had the rights to ‘God Jr.’, and they had very exciting ideas about how to adapt it, and I liked that, but it never happened. Otherwise, I always say no when people ask for the rights. I don’t mind when filmmakers want to make short films based on my short fiction for some reason. There’ve been a bunch of those. Anyway, that’s just my weird headspace. Your project sounds exciting. What is the process of you working with another writer on that like? ** Bill, Yeah, their stuff looked so cool. I thought Olivia’s ‘Suave’ title was appropriate. Yay! Your gig! Everyone, Mr, Bill Hsu recently did a concert with some cohorts under the rubric Bjll Dingalls in SF, and most of us couldn’t be there, and Bill’s music is awesomeness, and I’m happy to tell you that there’s now a video of said gig on YouTube that you can watch. Here. Great! Thanks for the wish about the producer meeting. I’ll need it. ** _Black_Acrylic, Excellent! Too happy? How is that possible? Too happy? We should all be so lucky. Thanks for the Kafka link. He’s always good for a picker upper. ** Misanthrope, It was Thanksgiving! Enjoy its continuing surroundings. Wow, Shai, that would be something. I should do a GoFundMe thing to raise enough money to hire a private detective to find all the long lost d.l.s if that wasn’t so extremely creepy of me to even consider. My weekend has possibilities, we’ll see. That Mercedes driving woman sounds very cool. ** T, Hi, T. I can see Les Disques du Crépuscule and a bath being good friends, it’s true, interesting. Hm, I guess I really like voices that are kind of broken and fucked up like, say, Gram Parsons or Elias in Ice Age or … people who can’t really sing well but do beautifully anyway. But I do like a really good rock shouter/crooner. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick is maybe my favorite singer ever. I’m not a big fan of Brussels, but I need to give it another try. Awesome: I love that Masao Adachi doc. It’s by Philippe Grandrieux, who’s an amazing director in general. Very nice score. I can’t think of how to describe my yesterday, so you’re right. Hope your Friday is a slippery slope. The good kind. xo. ** Jeff J, People I know are kind of evenly divided on ‘Titane’. I don’t know anyone who loved it. I was talking to a friend last night who said they liked it, but they just thought of it as stupid, fun roller coaster. Giselle did say she liked it, but she didn’t say that with any passion. I think the Dash Snow doc is only on MUBI. (Well, I saw it on soap2day. Do you know that site? It has the vast majority of films that get released there viewable for free.) Ryan Trecartin has a Vimeo account where a lot of his recent videos are housed and watchable. He’s such a genius (if you ask me.) Thanks about the producer meeting. Hopefully the very least the glass will be half or, dare I hope, 3/4 full, but we’ll soon see. ** Okay. I decided to stack up 111 crowds with a certain amount of thought and care and see what happened, and what you see up there is what happened. See you tomorrow.


  1. _Black_Acrylic

    Ah, today’s post is enough to make one feel nostalgic for swarms of strangers being packed together like sardines in enclosed spaces. What a time to be alive!

    The new episode of Play Therapy is online here via Tak Tent Radio! Ben ‘Jack Your Body’ Robinson serves up Sci-fi soundtracks, fairground thrills and some Italo curios too.

  2. David

    My favourite sentence in your book was ‘so those words I used were leaks…’ imagined said by somebody autistic… intelligent beyond their years… almost condescendingly….. Skipping back several years… I’m at the O2 arena London… the crowd in the raised section fold into each other… only I can see the face that forms amongst…. arms, bags, this and that become 2 eyes… there is sort of a nose and definite mouth… as I walk to find a decent standing place the eyes follow me…. sometime later the lights go down and Manson appears amongst a throng of dry ice… the crowd goes crazy as he bellows… “Do you love your guns?” “God?” “The government?”…… Santa has handed out many a gun over the years… there are a list of wishes in my head…. I’ve snatched the dead dandy lion spore on many occasions…. the wishes include such things as the taking of ‘Mother earth’s child’ and an end to this damned awful existence… then in a flash I’ve wished to get somewhere on time, merely that…. When I was a boy I had bleached hair it looked great…. this one time it went wrong and I wished I could go back in time…. I still do wish I could go back in time… and believe that’s a possibility…. when you die something happens right?

    I wonder if you saw the ongoing volcanic eruption in La Palma on the news… and thought ‘that’s timely given my book…. the crater and all… the lava…..’ If god/the devil…..a higher intelligence were to form a face amongst….. what might ‘it’ say to you Dennis? what is it saying?

    Gacy killled Timothy Jack McCoy on my first birthday…. it is assumed…. so it was poignant to hear of your obsession with his last victim Robert Jerome Piest…. between us we have the stretch covered…. ’33’ victims…. that number often crops up…. the age of christ when he was executed… Mcveigh as well 2000 years later give or take…. 33 Chilean miners were rescued on the exact anniversary of the Andes air crash…. the eating of the flesh and all…..

    Meanwhile your book is in two halves… I’ve not had to tear it up as I once did with somebody elses book years back in a temper…. that would be impossible as it is an e-book… some Jon at my side meekly whispers in the sweetest tones “It wasn’t me this time….” ah little grey…’ his exact imagined words to me on October 30th 2018….

    The book was great… you of course are brilliant…. a piss ant mind…… thank you

  3. Dominik


    Big crowds are fucking scary.

    Maybe, haha, not a bad idea! Now that we’re talking about this, I looked up some related bands and was surprised to find Skillet among them. I don’t know their work in any depth, but I do know some of their songs, and for some reason, I never put them in this category in my head. White metal. Huh.

    If you do end up asking Gaspar, please let me know what he says! The screening sounds even more exciting, though! When is it?

    Those old emos sound dreamy, haha. It must suck, though. Belonging to a near-extinct species.

    The Maunz/Sotos book is beautiful. It keeps meeting my every expectation. I hope yours arrives soon too! I was actually really surprised that mine was here this fast.

    Have you found anyone who felt like some Vaginal Davis action tonight? Probably needless to say how fast I’d say yes if I’d be a bit closer.

    Love like that one plush poodle hidden among all the real poodles, Od.

  4. Tosh Berman

    Your post today reminds me of when I last saw Morrissey live at Hollywood High School some years back. At one point I decided to leave my seat and go into the standup area of the theater, and at that point, Morrissey took off his shirt and threw it in the audience. The Shirt floated over my head, and when I looked in front of me, I saw a crowd of faces with a blank look heading toward that shirt, and therefore my very body as well. At the time I was having shoulder pains, and I was thinking ‘this is it, now I will die.’ I didn’t, but still, I’m not that comfortable with large crowds in a rock n’ roll show.

    I totally get what you are saying about your books being turned into a film or script. For me, a book is a book and a film is a film as well. I didn’t write TOSH thinking it will be a film whatsoever.

    Saying that my book was optioned and I’m working on the script with that filmmaker. It’s a fascinating process because basically we sit across from each other and go through scenes in the book and see if we can bring it to life in the script in a visual manner, etc. Sometimes he’s the driver (typing) and I’m the passenger yelling out dialogue and thoughts. Lately I have been the driver, and he the passenger. It works and I really enjoy the process of working with someone on a project like this. Especially on a book, I wrote. In a way, I have a member of the audience (the reader) commenting on the work I have done. Also, Nick (the filmmaker/writer) has knowledge of script language and understands how to present the work to a producer, etc. None of it is a turn-off, but more an entrance to another world. I’m enjoying the process or the journey. Right now, it is very intense because my mom is very ill and now living with us. The Golden Years are not so hot.

  5. Bill

    Thanks for the video plug, Dennis!

    These crowd scenes are rather nostalgic. I know they’re happening again, but I haven’t been in one in awhile.

    Do you know Little Joe, the queer cinema journal? After a 5-year hiatus, there’s a new issue:

    As usual, a lot of intriguing pieces: Shu Lea Cheang, Edward Owens, John Greyson, Peter Strickland on Holly Woodlawn…

    How did the producer meeting go?


  6. T

    Hey Dennis. Gosh this looks like one crazy gathering… I would say that I’d want to be there but I feel like I’d get crazy anxious and maybe these things are better when they’re observed through a laptop scene. I got really into the stop-start kinda thing with the mix of gifs and images, it feels a lot closer to how my head responds to being overstimulated, compared to, like, video, but then that’s just a personal thing.

    What else did I want to say, well firstly Iceage and Gram Parsons are new on me, and I will go on youtube this evening to rectify that. Hear you on fucked up voices, I dunno if it’s obvious, but I really like Siouxsie out of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ vocals for that very reason. Also gonna note down Philippe Grandrieux’s name for future viewing… Lastly, I’ll be up in Paris again tomorrow and potentially for the early part of Sunday too if you’re free! I should send you an email. I’ll get on that now. Enjoy Vaginal Davis tonight if you end up going, xT

  7. wolf

    Dennis!! Yes, crowds!! So weird how being part of a crowd can feel completely awesome and exhilarating but switch to pure nightmarish in the blink of an eye. I do miss crowds though, or maybe more accurately the ability to be in the middle of one without wondering what proportion of the people around are antivaxxers. I’ve been going through those quite comical mental 180s when in the bus or tube, noticing someone’s face and thinking “damn, that’s a nice face” and then one second later realising that the fact that I *can* see their face means they’re very likely an asshole. Ha! The moral dilemma! So, yeah, this is a good day to gaze at in hazy nostalgia, because what I probably miss most of all is staring at human faces. Crowd images are completely fascinating, right? So many personal stories going on at the same time. There’s been a boon of Sergei Loznitsa movies on MUBI which we’ve now almost all seen, and they are, for crowd-face lovers like me and perhaps you, the most wonderful things. State Funeral (about Stalin’s funeral) is just astonishing, not least because for some mysterious reason an impossibly high percentage of the crowds’ faces are the types that could have been 40’s Hollywood superstars. Incredibly intense and impossible to look away from. The men at least (for some even more mysterious reasons the women’s faces are very bland and puffy). They all kinda look like soviet archetypes in the Mayakosky vein. The more recent movies have lost this so something must have been going on in the 50s that created astounding bone structure (beyond the shitty diet). I really recommend those films if you’ve not seen them. Blockade is wonderful too.
    Mh, so, speaking of seeing human faces, this little Paris trip is not really happening it seems, for Reasons, which bums me no end, because I was really looking forward to hanging out with my buddy Coop! We might still be able to figure out some January outing but I’m not too sure… what a total bummer. Well, we’ll just have to make do with virtual hugs for now! Of which I hereby serve you up a supersized portion, with fries: ((((!!))))

  8. Steve Erickson

    My laptop’s suddenly crashed four times in the last week. I fear I will have to bring it to a repair shop on Monday – I E-mailed one today, and I’m waiting to hear back.

    I thought “Crammed Discs” when yesterday’s page first came up, although the labels are rather different.

    Do you remember the unblack (Christian) metal compilation that Tumult Records, run by someone who worked at the defunct Aquarius Records, was planning to release years ago? They changed their mind in response to criticism from the black metal artists they work with.

  9. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – Loved being caught in the crowd scene here today. Really nice rhythm to the way the GIFs and still images flowed together. Felt appropriate for Black Friday here, which I managed to avoid entirely.

    Thanks for the Vimeo tip on Trecartin. I’ve bookmarked it to view soon. When does your interview with him happen?

    Recently found a used copy of Ashbery’s Henry Darger-inspired long poem ‘Girls on the Run.’ Just started reading and enjoying it so far. Are you a fan of that one? Feels like maybe it’s a bit of an outlier for him? I don’t know anyone who’s read it.

    How was the meeting with the film producers? Hoping the news exceeded expectations.

  10. Misanthrope

    Dennis, I’ve been in a Guns ‘n Roses crowd like that before. RFK Stadium in DC in 1992.

    Weird how all those kids in that one pic wanted to answer the teacher’s question. That’s gotta be a first. Or last.

    Thanks for the Morrison, btw. That was sweet of you. 😉 😀

    Yeah, ol’ Shai. Just kinda cut everybody off without an explanation, never to be heard from again. So weird after all the late night AIM chats, staying up to all hours talking about everyfuckingthing. Oh, well. Life goes on. Or something?

    Ha, it was Thanksgiving when I was typing that comment. Not anymore.

    Another bonfire tomorrow night at my friend’s house. I bought a variety cake, 4 different flavors cut into quarters for it. I come out and David’s done jump in it and eaten about a quarter of it. I just laughed. I didn’t tell him it was for the party and not for the house. Something about it cracked me up.

  11. Will Decker

    Oh sh*t I WISH Doug & Noel weren’t Suicide Dead. Or Scott or Tony or Bobby unreachable. Or Frank probably dead. No more crowds for me. Whisky & Rum from now on. Exercise in the park & watch the skateboarders skate.
    Hello Dennis, I just read the review of “I Wished” in The Nation. W

  12. David Ehrenstein

    “The French Dispatch” is the most relentlessly twee of all Wes Anderson’s films. It’s like a Joseph Cornell box on acid. Not to everyone’s taste — to put it mildly.

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