The blog of author Dennis Cooper

196 lunchboxes




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. At least one of the major candidates for sure. That ‘TOSotW’ trailer is really exciting. Can not wait. ** Sypha, I still haven’t cracked Season 3. I’m still waiting for something that’s currently overcrowding my brain to move out so there’ll be room. I’ve heard of Shenmue. Unless memory fails me, I don’t think I ever spent any time on a Dreamcast console. It sounds extremely up my alley, I must say. And I have a computer, god knows. Oh, man, now I want it, and I’m trying not to slip into something time-consuming (see: Season 3). I’ll go tiptoe around it and see if I trip and fall. Thanks, James. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Glad you dipped in and liked your dip. Well, I can only speak from my experience, but making films with relatively quite small budgets — 125k for PGL and teeny-tiny in LCTG’s case — like Zac and I have, we’ve had no interference whatsoever in the work from our two producers. So, theoretically, unless your film is going to cost a lot-ish or something, it seems pretty plausible that you could make the film you want as you want. Yeah, zero or less than zero interest in that Cher thing. Either reinvent ABBA songs or accept that the originals are definitive. ** Quinn R, Hi, Quinn. Welcome, and it’s very good to meet you. Ah, you’re a fellow Joy Williams fan. She’s just the best. Thank you very much for your kind words about my work and the LHotB books! That’s really heartening. I’m obviously really interested to read your conversation with Kevin. I’ll go do that as soon as I’ve launched this post. I’d really like to read your own work. Is there any available online or anywhere? How are you liking Berlin? Yeah, the next time I get there, it would be really nice to meet. Also, if you get over here to Paris, let me know, and we can hit a cafe or something. Again thank you a lot for coming in here and talking with me. For sure feel more than free to come in and comment whenever you feel like it. It would be a pleasure for me. Take care. ** Amphibiouspeter, Hey! I’m happy you liked the VanDerBeek work. No, Paris is really into itself, understandably since it’s as beautiful as a city can be, and they have strict laws about tearing down buildings or doing extensive revisions on their facades. Coming from LA where tearing down/replacing is a constant — which I also love, actually — it’s quite interesting. I used to get back to LA fairly often. I have an apartment there. But in recent years I only seem to go ‘home’ once or twice a year, almost always at Halloween because that’s when LA is at its best, well, if you’re me. Do you get to LA? How do you like where you’re situated? ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Who, me? Oops, sorry about the DJ sameness. I think you were probably supposed to dance your way through it and prioritise muscle movement over brain food. I’m not surprised New Order pulled in the frat set. Those ‘revisiting past glories’ shows tend to do that for whatever reason. And, as a fellow tall guy, yeah, things have bounced off my back and head in those situations too many times to count. Sorry, shorties. Dude, you’re acing the tests left and right. I can feel your shoulders relaxing from way over here. Mine too in their own way. Yeah, not sure how busy or not I’ll be. Might be on the busy side, but text me, and let’s see what we can do. Cool, you can be the frat guy at the PGL events. My stuff doesn’t tend to pull in the beered-up frat set, so that should be quite novel. ** Okay. Someone here suggested I do a lunchbox post a short while back. I went in search, and, based on what was available and interesting, I wound up deciding that lunchboxes speaking for themselves was the best way to go. So there are a ton of them up there. Do what you will in their regards. And see you tomorrow.


  1. Amphibiouspeter

    Hey DC,

    Whoah these are beautiful! The Ramones/Quiet Riot/Marilyn Manson type ones make my wonder – were these brought out as genuine merch at the time? Or was there a kind of retro/ironic tin lunchbox revival? Or were they kind of collectors-only items? I had one in 6th form with dinosaurs on it which I thought was kind of retro/ironic, but it only took like two weeks for me to leave it and let it get mega mouldy. Out of sight out of mind I guess is the lunchbox flaw.

    ‘Paris is really into itself’… yes ;D. Jokes aside I have some great memories of Paris and agree it’s a beautiful city. I’ve never been to LA, or the US at all in fact. For some reason it’s not a country that’s really interested me, but more recently I’ve thought I’d like to go to Chicago, Nashville, also Oregon and see the lakes. Ive spent the last few years sort of bouncing between Glasgow, London, Lisbon. I don’t love London but I always end up back here just because I have a job I can go back to. It’s starting to get old though.

    Cool – have a good day

  2. David Ehrenstein

    The “Dawn of the Dead” lunchbox is my favorite. “Whatcha got for lunch Timmy?” “BRAINS!!!!”

  3. Tosh Berman

    The lunch box brings back memories. I think my lunch box was very limited from kindergarten to second or third grade. I recall “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” which I had as well as the Disney Zorro. To this day, I’m drawn to the lunch box, but I don’t want to collect them because I feel I would easily turn into an obsession. On the other hand, a lunch box never made me feel hungry. I don’t like the smell of a lunch box when you open it. Did you have a lunch box, and if so, what was the product/show? Interesting mix of subject matters. I’m presuming that they are still making the lunch box.

  4. Bill

    I blame my recent disappearance on fireman duties, Dennis. Stan VanDerBeek’s work is pretty amazing, definitely have to check out more.

    I don’t think I’ve ever owned a lunchbox. Do French kids use lunchboxes?

    Saw “Sorry to Bother You”. Not unflawed, but many clever and funny ideas.


  5. Sypha

    Yeah, I had a lot of lunch boxes when I was a kid, mainly Nintendo-orientated ones, like Super Mario Bros. and Zelda, along with stuff like the Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, and so on (hey, I was an 80’s kid). Almost 100% positive I had the first Dark Crystal one featured in today’s entry, as it looks very familiar to my eyes and I know I was obsessed with that film when I was a kid.

    I never had a Dreamcast either, which isn’t surprising as I’ve long been a Nintendo loyalist and tended to shun Sega products back in the day. But Shenmue is certainly interesting. The game begins around December 3rd, 1986 and, if you’re still playing on April 15, 1987, you get the bad ending, so essentially you have around 137 game days or so to complete it. My friend tells me that later on in the game your character gets a part-time job and has to spend time driving a forklift doing menial labor for hours, ha ha. But if you’re playing the game and feel the need to play something more exciting there is an arcade with vintage video games of that era that you can actually play (such as SPACE HARRIER). The plot of the game is pretty silly: some kind of nonsense about the protagonist’s dad being killed by some martial arts master, and him trying to avenge his father’s death: but the environment the game takes place in is fascinating.

  6. Steve Erickson

    That “Bee Gee Robin Gibb” lunchbox makes him look so adorable. I remember these kinds of boxes when I was a child, but I wish I could recall if I used a plain one or one with my favorite TV show’s image.

    Leather Nun’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)” is my favorite ABBA cover, in large part because it brings the gay undertones to the surface and changes the music from pop to Goth rock. If Cher got SOPHIE to produce an album of leftfield house ABBA covers, it’s possible that might be far more worthwhile than copying the original instrumental sound so closely.

    I’m going to post another end-of-the-month Spotify playlist in various places, including here, tomorrow morning. I’ve realized there’s an art to compiling these and I need to think about transitions between songs and genres rather than just randomly clicking on songs I like as fast as I can.

    You probably know this, but Armand Hammer’s PARAFFIN finally became available in digital form today! I spotted no less than 4 Wu-Tang references, plus one to their Wu-Tang Records proteges Killarmy (plus, of course, the song title “Rehearse for Ornette.”)

  7. Nik

    Hey D!

    Yesterday, I accidentally commented on the blog from the day before the VanDerBeek post (Who is potentially one of the most crazy innovative video artists you’ve shared that I’ve ever seen), so I’m just gonna copy and paste some stuff from there into this post.
    Oh, no, do not worry about the story criticism. While I of course would love to hear some, I am super empathetic to being really busy and unable to read friends pieces. Hope you’re pleasantly floating in the work swamp!
    I’m totally in love with this post. I used to be totally fascinated with the designs of lunchboxes growing up, I remember staring at them all hypnotized at lunch when I was very young. Looking at these now, I definitely still have that same capacity for oogling over these images, probably in a different way now.
    Plus, I’m at Bard! Arrival has been relatively smooth, this week is really just about signing up for classes, meeting people, all that. So far the school seems like a good fit and has the sort of people / classes I came here for. The middle of the woods thing is going to take some adjusting to. I think I’m going to be taking my fiction workshop with Mary Caponegro. Do you know her work? I’m reading her short story collection “The Complexities of Intimacy” right now, and it sort of reminds me of TMS or Gary Lutz’s work in its “every sentence is refined to the point of confusion”-ness, so way crossing my fingers for it to work out. There’s also a New York School Poetry course that sounds, you know, pretty fantastic, but they only let you take one written arts course at a time, and I’m choosing focusing on writing fiction with good teachers over poetry courses my first semester, without a strong interest in becoming a poet. I can always steal the syllabus from a friend lol.
    I really want to see the PGL Screening this Tuesday, but that’s probably gonna be impossible for the obvious reasons. Bummer. Hope it all goes well!! Ah!!

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    I saw Bruno Dumont’s L’Humanité tonight and was hugely impressed. Very grateful for the recent Dumont Day on this blog, which I’ll shortly revisit to find more examples of his work.

    Dundee’s soon to open V&A is advertising for contact centre workers to take customer bookings and man their phones. I was all ready to apply, thinking my long experience with the bank would make me a good candidate. Then I was warned off that by my mum who thinks another full time job on the phone would be a bad idea, and I’m very much inclined to agree. Thanks to my redundancy and benefits I’m okay for money just now so will focus my energies on getting the creative mojo back.

  9. Corey Heiferman

    Dennis this post is all I dreamed it could be and more. Thank you for taking me up on a flight of whimsy and putting in so much work. I’ve tied up a lot of loose ends on this USA trip and have made new good memories in places where I’ve had rough times in the past. I wish you all the best on your trip. It’s a bummer that I’ll be missing the big Lincoln Center show by one day but somehow this seems more poetic or whatever than missing it by two days or three weeks or something like that.

  10. Shane Christmass

    Hey DC—

    That Sparks tune did make the cut in Rollercoaster.

    Check it out:

    Email the best mailing address to me at

    dambala_wedo at


  11. Shane Christmass

    Hey DC

    ‘Big Boy’ by the Sparks did make the cut:

    Best to send the mailing address to me here


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