The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Jesus Christ Day





p.s. Hey. ** JM, Hi. The whole world is a writer’s oyster, no? I’ve always treated it like that. ** David Ehrenstein, Happy birthday (a day late, I guess) to the Queen! ** Robert Siek, Hi, Robert! I’m excited to read it. Your book, that is. It looks great. Wonderful that you’re reading at Book Soup! It’s a great store, one of the biggest of the biggies of the long time indie bookstores, so that’s an excellent gig.It is just down the street from the Whisky-a-Go-Go and also the Viper Room, whatever that is nowadays. You’ve never been to LA? Wow. It’s, as you’ve no doubt heard, a giant, sprawling place that I personally love to bits. Where are you staying? The east Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park area is very cool for hanging. Do touristy shit. It’s good for that. As Tosh said, if you saw his comment, you should be okay with Uber or Lyft although be prepared to use it a lot because it is a very spread out place. Thank you so much for the great words about PGL. That really means a lot. It was really nice to get to glimpse you even briefly at the screening. You have a really festive end of year too. Enjoy every morsel! ** Steve Erickson, I read a little something about that guy, yeah. There’s a lot of that sort of thing in South America especially, I don’t know why. Eek, horror, on the accidental erasing. I might have mentioned this before, but that sort of same thing happened to me when I interviewed Leonardo Di Caprio long ago. There were bits recorded, but big gaps. I realised that immediately afterwards, and, by some miracle, my memory was so fresh that I just sat down wrote out the interview’s in between the bits from memory, and I’m pretty I remembered correctly, or at least Leo’s people never questioned the printed interview, so … ** Marcus, Hi! A very warm welcome back! Nice, working for Mr. Durbin and on Kevin, and great about the bunch of writing you’re doing. Sure, I’d be happy to be interviewed by you. Thank you! I’ll email you today so you’ll my email address. Take care, and, yeah, look forward to chatting. ** Nik, Hi, Nik. Wow, I missed a wad of comments yesterday for some weird reason. Good, great that you’re free now to devote yourself to the main thing albeit warily. Sure, Conjunctions is a great magazine, arguably the USA’s best lit. journal even. It has published a bunch of the best writers there are. Excellent that you’ll be interning for them. Certainly a worthy place to intern in theory. Mm, no, I’ve never worked for a lit. journal, I don’t think? No. I’ve published my stuff in journals, obviously, but that’s it. So I don’t know how that is, and I’ve never been published by Conjunctions, so I’m just a look-loo re: them. Hopefully the people you work will be cool. I’m guessing you’ll read a lot of submissions and filter them for the higher up editors? Is Brad still the editor? He must be. Sounds good, man. Do keep me posted about the films/screenings. We’re supposed to give a finished script for the series to our producers by Monday, so we are in a serious work crunch mode to get the script finished this weekend. I’m pretty fried right now and working day and night. Happy Thursday! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Did that documentary about Shaye Saint John get finished? I can’t remember. I think so? Enjoy the holidays at home. ** Misanthrope, I think being Timothy C’s friend is pretty up there on the ambition scale, ha ha. I haven’t seen the ‘Krampus’ movie for no good reason, but I think Gisele told me it’s pretty dumb ass but a lot of fun. Man, keep a close watch on yourself until you get that med back in your system. Don’t do anything crazy like get head-to-toe cosmetic surgery or anything. ** Okay. Since the big, arguably made-up dude’s arguably made-up birthday is the reason why we all have Xmas trees and will be festooned with wonderful gifts in a few days, I thought I should give him a Day that he deserved, and that’s it right up there, right in front of your eyes. See you tomorrow.


  1. JM

    Holy shit I think this post is hilarious. My fav of the Xmas season yet. This moth is flapping at my window because only my phone light is on. I sleep with my curtains open so that makes sense. Never had a plastic or a real Jesus in my house but did read the bible when I was about six in full yeah one of those kids. At least I got it out the way for harsher harder faster better learning to happen after. Keep the foot to the pedal, D., just not too hard.


  2. David Ehrenstein

    Jesus Christ was according to historical records that are no more reliable than folk tales was an itinerant Rabbi who raveled about the Middle East during a certain period. His purported sayings “The Gospels” were assembled a great many years after his death by persons who never knew him. The words and deeds associated with “The Gospels” are all admirable save for the Fig Tree incident in the t. Matthew “gospel” in which Jesus destroys a fig tree for no reason other than to demonstrate uis power. Bertrand Russell coted this as the basis of his “Why I Am Not A Christian” Pasolini reproduced this episode in his “The Gospel According to Matthew” Pasolini treat the Jesus story as a Folk Fable,making it as one with his “Decameron,” “Cantebury Tales” and “Arabian Nights”

    The appeal Jesu has for the literl minded and mentally unbalanced is that “he” makes “God” flesh and blood. A man just like us — only with magic powers. That Jesus was crucified — like so many”Prophets” on his time has been transformed into a myth in which he “Conquers” Death” and returns to see his followers once more.

    IOW, Jesus is a Zombie.

    The Myth of Chirst is of enormous appeal to anti-semites like Mel Gibson — who revel in suffering and death His “Passion of the Christ” is far more disturbing than Pasolini’s “Salo” but beause it’s an excuse to hate the Jews it’s regarded as “Family Entertainment”

    Those interested in exploring the serious aspect the the Jesus Myth — IOW Man and God in the same boy are advised to read Kazazakis’ “The Last Temptation of Christ” and see the great film Marty made of it.

  3. Robert Siek

    Hey Dennis,

    We’re staying at a Ramada Plaza hotel on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. It’s walking distance from Book Soup and not as insanely expensive as other surrounding places. And based on what you and Tosh said, I’m going to just do the Uber or Lyft thing and not rent a car. We’re only there three full days, so it’s not like we’re going to be driving all over the place. We’re terrible tourists. We didn’t even rent a car when we went to Guadaloupe earlier this year, and ended up being stuck at the place we were staying for dinner nearly every night because all the restaurants by the beach closed at like 4 p.m. But it was still a beautiful and relaxing place. One day we walked like an hour in crazy heat up a mountain on a main road with no sidewalks to get to this botanical garden place with a birds sanctuary where I ended up feeding nectar to a bunch of lorikeets all perched on my arms and shoulders. It was nuts, but I loved it. We were soaked with sweat though by the time we got there. Anyway, at least we know we can get Ubers in LA, so I’m good. I do want to visit Silver Lake and Echo Park. Maybe one day we’ll just go over there and wander around, have dinner there. We’ll prob go to a museum one day too. I have to see what exhibits are happening while we’re there. BTW, regarding Jesus, when I was a kid I had a recurring nightmare that Jesus was outside this door to the den/TV room in our house looking through a window in the door asking me to let him in, but he was dressed like/looked like Doctor Doom from Marvel comics, steel mask, green hood, and all, so I would be freaked out, like just frozen sitting there staring at him in the window and not saying anything. I would then wake up all horrified and thinking Jesus was trying to get me. Ha ha ha. I guess I was watching too may horror movies as a child. Well hope you’re having a splendid day. I’ll have to let you know how the LA trip goes come end of January.



  4. David Ehrenstein

    Plastic Jesus

  5. Steve Erickson

    As David said, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST makes SALO look wimpy as far as the amount of violence it contains. It has more in common with the New French Extremity than the films Pasolini, Bresson or Dreyer made about Jesus and religion, but the American yahoos it attracted would probably want IRREVERSIBLE or MARTYRS – not to mention BDSM porn – banned even though they’re far smarter films about violence. PASSION just feels like a Christsploitation made by some hack director in the ’70s if that had become a popular genre at the same time as films like THE BEYOND, but I guess it’s a symptom of Christians’ tendency to celebrate the torture and martyrdom of Jesus without realizing the perversity and ugliness of what they’re doing. /end of sermon

    Barbet Schroeder’s publicist said I can E-mail my questions to him c/o her, but she doesn’t know if he will have time to respond to me. I have sent them to her, and hopefully this will work out, but it’s up in the air now. At least I know in the future not to press the upper right hand corner of my digital recorder unless I definitely want to delete an interview. I once conducted an interview with Michael Haneke and found out afterwards that the recorder had broken halfway through; it never got published because I could only transcribe the first 10 minutes. Unlike your Leo experience, I wasn’t able to salvage it from memory. He was a very strange interview subject, refusing to answer many of my questions.

    Here’s my review of VICE:

    It’s proved to be one of 2018’s most divisive films, so take my very negative response with a grain of salt, but I found its 132 minutes a chore to sit through.

    Is CBD on sale every 10 feet in Paris? In New York, it’s become so hip that a friend told me she saw a yoga class where the participants take it before yoga and there are lots of cafes that add it to your coffee for an additional $4 or 5.

  6. Bill

    Hahaha… I actually never do the tree and presents thing, Dennis. (Grinch is my middle name, or something.)

    Hope the work crunch is productive… mostly wrapping up around here, and slogging through Whitney Chadwick’s surprisingly dry book on surrealist women. Maybe it’ll get better when we get to Claude Cahun.


  7. Sypha

    Nice to see the big guy get a day of his own on here, even if it’s fairly irrelevant. I was kind of reflecting on the Christ story a lot when I was writing HARLEM SMOKE, to the extend the book can be interpreted as a sort of dark parody of the Passion Play. Anyway, a Doobie Brothers song I remember from my childhood is springing to mind now…

  8. KeatoV

    Haha, “Lord and Savior.” What a trip. Love the Danzig gif. Crucify, throw me to the lions, burn me alive. I worship the Donkey Headed God. Religions really inappropriate conversation so Ill skip it. Don’t give a shit. Being a Christian is a huge mystery and Jesus is the most mysterious part of it. I hear a thousand tongues when I read his words and think 10000 thoughts. He blows my mind completely. I swear Ive seen the saints, Mary came to me and saved me with the broken hands of the pieta from a heart-attack one time and St. Paul calmed me down one night in a Berlin park. “I feel like my heart is being touched by Christ.” Always did like a nice Italian boy. Seriously though Blind Melon laughing naked in a river, that’s all really.

  9. _Black_Acrylic

    Re that Shaye Saint John film, I gave an interview for it recorded on my laptop camera but never made the final cut. Still, the director Larry Wessel sent me a DVD for my trouble. SSJ will live forever as far as I’m concerned.

    Here in Leeds I’ve just been doing a little Xmas wrapping and enjoying some family time. Enjoying the Jesus Day of course, it’s just the thing to get me in a seasonal mood.

  10. Misanthrope

    Steve, CBD in NYC? Smells like just regular weed to me when I’m up there. That’s all I can seem to smell there when I’m walking. Same with DC.

    Dennis, Yeah, I really misjudged this. It’s just such a hassle to call for a 10-day supply or whatever. My doc would do it without hesitation. But last time I had to do it, I ended up getting more 10-day refills after my regular visit for 6-month refills because they didn’t change it back and get rid of the one-off 10-day refill. It involved several phone calls and trips to the pharmacy to resolve it. I didn’t want the hassle. Had it been my bp meds, I would’ve called pronto. I just thought this little anti-depressant wouldn’t be a big deal to skip. I felt good today. I guess it’s over. But man, I felt fucking horrible for 3 days. What’s funny is that I take it for OCD and I swear I’m even less OCD now than I was before that last dose. Weird.

    This day, Dennis, is really interesting. I’m prone to hyperbole, I know, but this is one of the better treatises on Jesus and the myth around him that I’ve seen. Seriously.

    Hahaha, head-to-toe. Indeed. I wouldn’t mind a little liposuction on the love handles, though… 😛

    One more day of work and then I’m off for 5 days. My doc appointment is the 26th, so I took that day off. The President gave federal employees Monday off via an Executive Order (most Presidents have done that when Christmas Eve has been on a Monday). It looks like the government will shut down, but I’m on the “excepted” list, so I’ll be working next week and getting paid. We lucked out there.

  11. josh

    love you Dennis

  12. Keatean

    ive fallen in love with this little world
    the setting is oceanic and durasian
    the characters crushed and grining
    the lead ceasingly charmless manic and perfectly lovely
    the supporting cast a ragtag bunch highly sexed and prickly
    some great shots marvellous texturing
    peculiar objects and hints at angels in the alcoves
    like a bikeride to your boyfriends to lose your virginity
    bravo gentlemen youre stars

    art film you love to sponge up
    5 stars its a hit

  13. Nik

    Hey Dennis,

    The “day that Jesus deserves” is way anxiety inducing, lol. In a good way, obviously. The gradual presence of satan was really funny.
    Cool that you know Conjunctions. Yeah, I’m reading through some issues now and the quality of the work they get is bonkers. The person I talked with who runs the Bard office, Nicole, is cool. Brad is still the editor, he’s on leave from teaching for the year so he does everything in NYC. Yeah, the impression I got from Nicole was because I keep up with contemporary fiction she’s gonna have me doing more reading than manual labor and tedious work, which is a big ideal but maybe misread. We’ll see by January.
    Ah!! That due dates so soon, good luck! I was in that same spot yesterday, but obviously with the stakes x1000 lower. Do you have any xmas plans, you’ll have some flexibility with time by then, yeah? This break I’m mostly gonna focus on writing this story, and also seriously reacquaint myself with film gear, since the fear of looking like an idiot not-even-dilettante in this Peggy Ahwesh class hit me hard yesterday haha.
    Best of luck again by getting everything together by Monday!

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