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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Please welcome to the world … Nick Toti’s The Complete History of Seattle

 

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Seattle art-punks Raft of Dead Monkeys represented the last vestiges of a time when the Internet didn’t yet contain every microscopic detail of a rock band’s existence. The band was active 17 years ago, but it might as well have been 70.

Formed in 1999, RoDM lifted their name from an Adam Sandler-era Saturday Night Live skit. The band careened through sets like a speared bull on fire, and their oft-profane lyrics were delivered by lead singer/bass player Jeff Suffering (née Jeff Bettger) with throat-scraping, neck-muscle popping fervor.

By the end of their two-year run, RoDM had gained significant notoriety thanks to two key factors: One, most of the band’s members were avowed Christians who’d started out playing in bands hosted by Christian indie-punk record label Tooth and Nail Records; and two, they augmented their sets with anarchic performance-art excess.

Both of those elements factor strongly into The Complete History of Seattle, a truly singular chronicle of Raft of Dead Monkeys’ place in a strange, under-documented time in Northwest rock history. Ostensibly, it’s a documentary. But it’s also a piece of performance art in its own right—and an examination of the sometimes nonexistent distinctions between religious faith and rock ’n’ roll catharsis.

The story begins with Tooth and Nail, a label that (by accident or design, depending on who you talk to) yanked so-called Christian music forcibly out of its self-built bland pop ghetto. While RoDM wasn’t a Tooth and Nail band, several members began in two of the label’s best-known acts, Ninety Pound Wuss and Roadside Monument. That affiliation killed RoDM’s chance to appeal in secular circles. But it ensured a readymade audience of Christians, who were either offended or liberated by the band members’ radical variation of the religion. Raft of Dead Monkeys smoked, drank (in moderation), swore and embraced Jesus.

Along the way, RoDM played insane gigs peopled by male strippers, go-go dancers and a performance artist who devoured then vomited heaps of bananas. The band formed a demented side project (the Dave Bahnsen Militia, aka DBM) that skewered the fascist tendencies of the conservative evangelical Christian fringe. Fate also induced an intersection with the Paradox, a fabled U-district music venue that once played host to local and national bands and eventually spawned the Mars Hill megachurch.
Today a fair amount of crude video footage of RoDM exists online and Bettger has uploaded the band’s official releases onto a Bandcamp page. But great deal of RoDM’s history exists only as eyewitness testimony—fragmented informational breadcrumbs laid out in an attempt to fill in the blanks.

Writer/director Nick Toti amplifies those gaps, giving The Complete History of Seattle a tinge of the far-off and archival in its interviews. Band members and journalists are shot in iris-lensed black-and-white like living still photos from the early 20th century—and none are identified until after they’ve initially weighed in.

Toti fills other gaps with surreal visual bridges. A dark-haired madonna gives violent birth to a dwarf in a chimp mask. Odd reenactments of the DBM’s dimestore Riefenstahl parody unspool in slow-mo. True to its title, the movie even includes a quick but thorough account of Seattle history through the prism of sacred and profane that formed the city’s contradictory roots.

The Complete History of Seattle frames its disparate threads in the broader context of humankind’s quest for meaning, and that lends the film a strange but palpable universality. Toti cobbles together his own path through the Raft of Dead Monkeys story with a combination of trace evidence and his own perceptions. The end product is weird, pretentious, inspiring, fragmented and impossible to shake off. And if that isn’t a perfect summation of a spiritual quest, I don’t know what is. — Tony Kay, City Arts Magazine

 

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“…a documentary that could very well blow your mind.” — Jake Utti, The Monarch ReviewThe Monarch Review

“Nick Toti takes this story beyond a talking heads doc, and deploys Errol Morris-esque vignettes, which are then funneled through a nightmarish Dusan Makavejev strainer. The Complete History of Seattle is a wholly unique endeavor.” — Chris Knudsen, Spectacle Theater

“Aesthetically, much like the band it focuses on, The Complete History of Seattle is definite art-house fare, an audio-visual collage of creepy re-enactments of Raft’s stage show, choppy VHS footage and found photos, and interviews with the participants.” — Charlie Zaillian, The Big Takeover

The Complete History of Seattle doesn’t just eschew the band documentary formula. Nick Toti’s film, which is mainly about 90s Christian experimental punk group, Raft of Dead Monkeys, binges on the genre and then simultaneously craps and barfs it back up. Believe it or not, this is not a criticism. It’s quite refreshing and exciting to watch something from a typically formulaic genre and not have any clue where you’ll end up.” — Jessica Baxter, Hammer to Nail

 

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The Complete History of Seattle
Visual Scrapbook

“The Mass of St. Gregory”
by Adriaen Isenbrant

 

“Madonna and Child with St. Anne”
by Masaccio

 

“Saint Gregorius Magnus”
by Giuseppe Vermiglio or Daniele Crespi

 

“The Last Supper”
by Leonardo da Vinci

 

“St. John of the Cross”

 

“The Crucifixion”
by Hans Memling

 

by Matthias Grünewald

 

“The Death of Chatterton”
by Henry Wallis

 

Hotpants College II

 

“Mary Magdalene”

 

ISIS

 

“St. Sebastian”
by Il Sodoma

 

“Milk Chuggers”
by Craig Doty

 

“St. Teresa of Avila”

 

From “Animal Locomotion”
by Eadweard Muybridge

 

“The Final Judgment”
by Hans Memling

 

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Interview with Nick Toti, Director of The Complete History of Seattle
by Delores Falswich

This interview originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of The Carthage Lantern and is reprinted with their permission.

Delores Falswich: How did you discover Raft of Dead Monkeys?

Nick Toti: The first concert I attended as a teenager was a Christian punk band that played at my family’s church. For a brief-but-formative period after that I listened almost exclusively to Tooth & Nail bands. I read an article about Raft a year or two later–around the time I stole a friend’s copy of “The Communist Manifesto” and first heard the word dada.

DF: So you’ve been listening to them from the beginning.

NT: No. I read about them and was fascinated by them from as early on as anyone in the Midwest could have been, but I had no way of listening to them. I didn’t actually hear their music until a few years later when I had my roommate illegally download the DBM e.p.

DF: What made you decide to make this documentary?

NT: I have a friend who decided to pursue theatre because he found it to be the artform that most infuriated him. I feel the same way about documentaries. Music docs especially make for incredibly bad movies. I saw the Raft story as a chance to break from this trend.

DF: How so?

NT: It has all the elements that are needed to make a generic music doc–a cool band you’ve never heard of, an interesting hook (Christians gone bad!), even a sob story about the early death of one band member–but a work of cinema should do more than tell a good story. I saw it as an opportunity to make something epic and absurd and surreal that also explored ideas about the relationship between art and faith. The movie’s aesthetics needed to complement and enhance the paradoxes and complications inherent to the story. There was also something interesting in the fact that no one from the band was excited about making the movie. They all seemed to view Raft as this minor footnote that the world was right to forget about. So countering this relatively inconsequential story with this epic historical scope and gory apocalyptic imagery was something I found exciting.

DF: The reenactments–if that’s even the right word–are one of the most striking elements of the movie. Where did that idea come from?

NT: I knew from the beginning that there wasn’t enough live footage of the band to satisfy the needs of the movie. I took it as an excuse to experiment with a cinematic problem I’ve thought about a lot, which is the question of what a Surrealist documentary would look like. To some extent this movie is my attempt to answer that question.

DF: How did the band feel about you taking so much…creative license in depicting them?

NT: I don’t actually know. The band’s involvement didn’t extend further than the interviews and none of them have seen the finished movie yet. They knew from the beginning that I intended to make something more avant garde than most music docs. I was very upfront about that.

DF: You didn’t interview many people for the movie. Were these the only people you could find?

NT: No. In fact, there were three people I interviewed that were cut from the movie.

DF: Why did you cut them?

NT: The same reason you cut anything: it isn’t necessary for the movie you want to make. Two of the earliest editing decisions were to only use one camera angle (though we shot all the interviews from two angles) and to only feature men talking on-camera.

DF: So you interviewed women but then cut them from the movie?

NT: Yes.

DF: Why?

NT: [Silence]

DF: Do you not think that the women involved merited having their voices heard in the movie?

NT: I think that the movie I made is stronger because I chose not to include their voices.

DF: Isn’t that sexist?

NT: [Pause] I hope not…but think that, yes, maybe it might be? It was an important decision, though, and I stand by it. The presence of women needed to be felt in other ways in the movie.

DF: You mean in the letters?

NT: In part.

DF: What are the other ways?

NT: [Silence]

DF: Do you have any regrets about the movie?

NT: I regret that John Spalding–the Raft of Dead Monkeys guitarist who died of cancer in 2008–isn’t a more felt presence in the movie. I regret that the Paradox chapter doesn’t fully capture the pain and betrayal still felt by former members of Mars Hill Church. I only somewhat regret that I didn’t make it more clear that the voice reading the letters is the same Rachel to whom they are addressed–but I also find the unintended effect created by this confusion an interesting surprise.

DF: Is it fair to call Raft of Dead Monkeys a Christian band?

NT: If you’ve watched the movie you should realize that this is a very stupid question.

DF: Is it fair to call The Complete History of Seattle a Christian movie?

NT: [Pause] Yes.

 

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Links

Fandependent Films interview
Nick Toti on Losing our Religion podcast
Raft of Dead Monkeys on Bandcamp
The Complete History of Seattle on Facebook
Nick Toti on Vimeo
19 Notes on the Completion of History
Raft of Dead Monkeys & Mars Hill Church
The Complete History of Works Cited

 

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Videos

Trailer for THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF SEATTLE – A Documentary about Raft of Dead Monkeys from Matt Latham on Vimeo.

 

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An (Incomplete) Artist’s Statement
by Nick Toti

I hated music documentaries when I started making The Complete History of Seattle. Generally speaking, I still hate them.

The goal with this movie was to do the opposite of all the things I hated about music documentaries. No hero worship, no tearful goodbyes, no Henry fucking Rollins.

The structure of the average music documentary is painfully linear, as if cause precedes effect in any worthwhile creative act. The Complete History of Seattle is roughly structured as a series of interconnecting circles. Chaos begets control begets chaos. Everyone ends where they begin just to start something that feels new but isn’t. It happens to the band as it happens to Seattle as it happens to our sadsack epistolary narrator. Forever and ever amen.

The Complete History of Seattle may be more appropriately labelled as a home movie than a music documentary. Music documentaries screen at festivals and get distributed on Netflix. The Complete History of Seattle languishes in obscurity like the band that inspired it.

Generally speaking, I do not hate home movies.

 

 

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p.s. Hey. You have quite an awesome local weekend ahead of you should you accept guest host, filmmaker, and d.l. Nick Toti’s gift of this exclusive and richly detailed celebration of the birth of his long gestating and extremely cool documentary film The Complete History of Seattle. You can watch the film and explore all kinds of tangents just north of here, and please do, and, of course, please direct comments to Nick this weekend so he’ll know you were here and attentive. Thanks, folks, and big old thanks for the generous share, Nick! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I’m not sure where Bertolucci stands with ‘Luna’ now, and he did finally allow a DVD release, but a mutual friend of mine and his back in the 80s says he felt the film ventured too far into territory he feels uncomfortable with, although I would argue that his strongest films are strong precisely because he obviously lets them do that. ** Chris Cochrane, Hi, Chris. I’ve heard of Church of Betty. I think I’ve even heard them. Huh. Sounds fun. Thank you for being so understanding about the PS122 deal, and I’m very happy that it seems we can sort out a doable Plan B. I’m insane too. Bestest weekend to you too, pal. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. I thought ‘The Florida Project’ was okay, conventional and kind of hokey, but with real strengths. It’s not the film’s fault. I’m just tired of people acting/talking like semi-solid, slightly left of center indie films are more than what they are. The worst example of overrating, which I think I didn’t list yesterday, is the very tiredly thought out and rotely made and lunk-headedly stylish ‘Good Time’. Its fans seem like the film buff equivalent of diehard Trump supporters. Maybe I’ll check out the Nick Cave doc, but my passion for his work ends way, way back around the time of ‘Your Funeral … My Trial’. Everyone, Steve has interviewed Sophie Fiennes about her much anticipated documentary about Grace Jones, and you can read their tete-a-tete here. Oh, yeah, Ka5sh. The new EP sounds odd. Curiosity about it has killed this cat, so I’ll go hear where he’s meandering. New Ghost single? Whoa. Okay, I’m there too obviously. ** Sypha, Me too. I urged him to go back to the novel while also supporting his interest in making films instead too, since he and I are in the same boat. I’ll set the post up this weekend. Great, great, and the linking up at the Ligotti forums, etc. would be wonderful! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Cool, so glad you dug it. That’s not such a bad work schedule, yeah, and there seems to be an actual chance that you’ll even enjoy the job, and even find comrade customers with excellent literary tastes on maybe rare occasions. I’m not totally clear on what the club event is. Basically Zac and I hosting an event centered around our film work or something. PGL can’t really be shown right now, and I don’t think showing excerpts would work, but we could show LCTG and maybe even our never released music video for Xiu Xiu, and other stuff. We’ll see. My day was mostly working on the film script. It went pretty well. I’m hoping that our producer won’t want drastic changes on the TV series script — which I can’t imagine we would accept anyway since we’re pretty high on what we’ve written — so that I’ll have some time to keep going. But I’ll know the deal in a couple of hours. And I visited with Michael Salerno, OB DeAlessi, and their little kiddo Milo in their new home way, way out on Paris’s very edge. I hope your weekend flies by very richly. How was it? ** KeaTON, Hey. It is. Ha ha. Sounds like you chose some dashing costumes there. I hope every other costume falls by the wayside. Have the funnest. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Yeah, I think I mentioned around the time of your ‘Threads’ post the odd coincidence of my having made yesterday’s post concurrently. Good poster. Irresistible, I say. Excellence! ** H, Thank you, h! I’m okay. My back is pretty much better, and my jet lag is fading. I’m reasonably fit as a fiddle. I only watch those kinds of films on planes at this point. That’s the only time I can stand them or feel curiosity about them for some reason. ** Nik, Hi, Nik! Thanks, bud. The house I grew up in had a huge basement, like a large underground house with cement walls, ceilings and floors, and I was always daydreaming about it and making haunted houses down there and stuff. And when I was a kid, and it was the Cold War, many of the parents of the other kids in my neighborhood built bomb shelters in their backyards, but my parents refused to build us one, and I was in a fairly constant state of anxiety about that. The theater version of ‘Jerk’ is better than the story, actually. The story almost seems like a script for the theater piece to me now. Gisele does all kind of things with puppets. Too many varieties to go into here. But … there’s a piece of hers and mine which is more like an installation that was in the Whitney Biennial one year that’s a boy robot and his hand puppet delivering a creepy monologue. (Here’s a little video preview thing that shows it and has Gisele talking about it.) And our second to most recent piece, called ‘The Ventriloquists Convention’, was a set at, yes, a ventriloquists convention and starred 10 of the most respected German ventriloquists plus dummies custom made for them. (Here’s a trailer for it). So there are two examples. I will be getting feedback from the producer in almost exactly 90 minutes from this very moment. Thanks, man. ** Okay. Make yourselves scarce from the p.s. and delve into Nick’s film and its surroundings now, thanks. See you on Monday.

18 Comments

  1. Nick, this looks incredible. Will definitely check out soon. Any chance it will be in a San Francisco arthouse venue soon?

    Dennis, it’s been another exhausting week. But I did read Paul Willems’ very nice Cathedral of Mist. Do you know his work? The title story of course reminded me a little of This is How You Will Disappear.

    [First, in a long time. Ha.]

    Bill

  2. I’ve never seen GOOD TIME, but it was extremely popular in New York both with critics (it topped Film Comment’s 2017 poll) and audiences. I disliked the two Safdie brothers films I’ve seen; I know that HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT is based on its lead actress’ memoir, but after seeing it, I thought “Wow, she lived through a bunch of cliches about junkie street life.” I did like the song Oneohtrixpointnever made with Iggy Pop from the GOOD TIME soundtrack.

    I’ve been a Nick Cave fan since age 14. I have a strong memory of buying one of his albums at the local mall the day my third year of high school began. And while I think he’s had ups and downs, SKELETON TREE is one of my favorites.

    On a second listen, the Ka5sh EP sounds smarter and better, like he’s doing cosplay in various current hip-hop styles very knowingly.

    The ideas I have for my found footage film ID have been going in the direction of incorporating material from those “famous rappers and singers belong to the Satanic Freemasonry Illuminati conspiracy” videos that are filling up YouTube. I’ve been doing a bit of research and came across a website from a practicing occultist who actually likes music and videos with magick imagery and references: http://www.imageyenation.com. I am not personally interested in this stuff on the level of believing in it or wanting to perform it, but I think it functions as a store of imagery that has power in our culture, and I appreciate the perspective of someone who 1)has fairly good taste in music and seeks out songs and videos with magical imagery or that are just really weird and 2)sees occult references as a positive sign and can interpret Portishead and Jay-Z (of course, given that his videos for “Run This Town” and “On To The Next One” and T-shirts with Masonic symbols pretty much started this whole fad) songs in that light knowledgeably.

    The Ghost single and video “Rats” have no overt Satan references, just lyrics about rats overtaking humanity, but the singer is playing a new character now.

    Kid Cudi also has a new single called “The Rage”, the first music he’s made since checking into a mental hospital in the fall of 2016, but I would like it much better if he didn’t sample the entire chorus of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” Especially because he has produced his own albums, can play guitar, keyboards and drums and has never relied much on samples in the past.

  3. David Ehrenstein

    April 15, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Fascinating stuff, Nick. You can learn all I have to say about rock documentaries” (“Rockumentaries”) in the book Bill and I wrote Rock on Film

    Does the name “Raft of Dead Monkeys” come from the last shot of Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre The Wrath of God”?

    <A HREF="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHF7b326ydg&quot;? they sound a tad John ale to me.

  4. David Ehrenstein

    April 15, 2018 at 3:43 am

    they sound a tad John Cale to me.

    Todd Haynes is currently at work on a documentary about The Velvet Underground.

    • Hi David,

      I’ll see if I can track down your book. I’m actually starting work on a new movie about another musician, so it could make good bedside reading. The name “Raft of Dead Monkeys” comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch with Adam Sandler. The Herzog reference would have been equally fitting, though!

      I don’t know if a Todd Haynes Velvet Underground movie sounds good or not. I haven’t been crazy about his latest work (this most recent one I still haven’t finished…only got about 10 minutes into it). If he uses Barbies to tell their story, I’ll be the first in line!

  5. Nick, holy shit this looks amazing and super intriguing – I will check it out! Thanks and congrats.

    Dennis, Coopster! What’s up amigo? How was your US trip? Fun? Not too much jetlag? Mine was pretty cool; in between work-stuff I managed to cram in snowstorms, rainy Boston sightseeing, great shows at the MoMA and Whitney, kickass vegan food (oh dude I have a vegan-mexican address for you for your next NY trip, it was something else), bookshops and some lovely chilly sunshine, all the while reading The Grapes Of Wrath which I did not remember was such a socialist and humanist work. Man. So good.
    I also just watched Laurie Anderson’s lovely film ‘Heart of a Dog’, and was wondering if you’d seen it – I think you’d like it. She’s such a great one.
    So, yeah. That’s me. What’s new on your end?

  6. Nick Toti, Congrats and kudos, sir. This is epic. I bow to you. No, I really, really do. Awesome.

    Dennis, I love this today. I loved the bomb shelters yesterday. As I’ve said, I love secret rooms and tunnels and passages and all that. I really like the bomb shelters/bunkers where the entrances are really well hidden and hard to find.

    I think I’ve caught up on my sleep for last week, hahaha. Man, one night of bad sleep just wrecks me anymore. Of course, it’s usually at the beginning of the week, so I’m fucked most weeks in that regard. Ugh.

    Fingers crossed for that back getting up to snuff sooner rather than later.

    I’m reading Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go.” It’s pretty good. Just finished Chabon’s “Moonglow,” which was pretty fucking stellar. So much better than his last one, “Telegraph Avenue,” which was a bit too precious. This one, though, is ace.

    Once I finally finished Self’s “Shark,” which was excellent, I’ve been on a roll, reading the fuck out of books. I think having this new novel to work on is part and parcel of that too. In a sense, I’m “back in the game,” if that makes sense. I like it.

  7. Hi!

    Yes, I feel like this is a huge advantage of working there – that I’m actually interested in at least some of the customers, based on what kind of books they buy. It’s a pity that I’m replacing the woman I’m replacing because I met her on Thursday and we talked a little and as it turned out, she’s excited about so many of “my” topics (prostitutes and addictions, first and foremost) – it would’ve been nice to work by her side. She mentioned a Hungarian documentary I didn’t know (about designer drugs or more like their users) and I watched it yesterday. It mostly depicts the area where I’m working right now, actually, and the whole atmosphere of it is very Hungarian, present day Hungarian. It’s got English subtitles and it can be watched online. Here’s the link if you find yourself interested: http://film.indavideo.hu/video/f_diz
    Other than this, I mostly just read and spent time at home. I’m mentally preparing myself for a long week of work, haha.

    Even though it’s not perfectly clear just yet, the club event sounds absolutely thrilling! Will you have a meeting with whoever is planning to organize the event soon?
    What did your producer say about the TV series script? I very much hope you’re not expected to make big or numerous changes!
    And I also hope you had an amazing, fruitful weekend! How was it?

  8. Hi Dennis,

    Thank you again for hosting this! Also, it was great meeting you in person at your screening! I’m in Chicago right now for a silent film festival where an older movie of mine was featured. Next week I’m heading up to Milwaukee to start work on a new movie about a musician named Sigmund Snopek III who’s been flying under the radar since the late sixties. These music documentaries just won’t leave me alone!

    I hope you’re doing well and that the rest of your Los Angeles visit was appropriately rewarding, if not more so. Talk soon!

  9. @ Nick, this is all so good. Kudos for going above and beyond the usual VH1 Behind the Music type approach. Our art zine Yuck ‘n Yum is putting on an exhibition in Seattle very soon, if you’re still in that neck of the woods at all. Interregnum opens 3rd May at SOIL Gallery and features a few DLs from this very blog.

    • Hey. Unfortunately, I won’t be in Seattle. I’m not from the area (in fact, the only times I’ve been there were either to work on or screen this movie). I had already heard of your show and told some Seattle friends about it, though. I’m friends with OB de Alessi and saw her posting about it. Glad you liked the movie. If your zine or shows ever allow for a video component, I’d be happy to contribute!

  10. Hey Dennis,

    How are you, man? Can’t even remember the last time I was here, which is pretty shameful, but also, the way things go, I guess. But this weekend my copy of Dodie and Kevin’s Writers Who Love Too Much anthology finally arrived and it’s been so nice to reconnect with so much stuff by starting there and working outwards along various psychic tendrils… Culminating just now in my first view of the trailer for PGL. (Gah, I really haven’t been paying the right attention in the right places.) It’s incredibly exciting. Is there any chance of a London screening? Apologies if you’ve already answered this nine times, like I say I’ve been all the wrong places, humming all the wrong tunes.

    In truth I’m a little beaten up since we were last in touch. My physical health’s been rocky (in a distinctly non-Stallone sense) since the summer so I’m low on energy. I’ve been having a bunch of tests in hospital and stuff is getting figured out. I don’t think it’s that serious, probably, it’s just enough to have a tedious impact.

    Work-wise I managed to get my long-planned stage adaptation of Jubilee done, in Manchester and London, and it was good I think and did fine. Nearly killed me but it would have been a cool epitaph, so. Also the Jarman estate really liked and supported it which was awesome in itself. Plus I got to work with Toyah Willcox who was full of incredible stories about the original film. — Other than that, work is kind of a toxic area right now, for reasons that I can’t say anything about publicly, but a dark fucking thing is going down and tbh I’m kind of pinned to the floor with the weight of it. Sorry, I know this sounds paranoid; it really is just that I can’t put any information in the public domain. I’m sort of half OK / coping / along for the ride, and half scared / heartbroken. I have no idea what happens on the far side of it. — In the context of which, I have to say, it’s beautiful to drop in here and see the glorious obstinate persistence of this quiet corner of dissidence and resistance and a belief in art as a moral terrain. I can’t think of any meaningful cultural territory in London right now that doesn’t feel utterly compromised and basically fucked.

    Bright side: Griffyn and I got engaged. He’s stuck in the US right now but as soon as he comes back we’re going to marry the fuck out of each other. Weird when the most radical gesture one can think of making is so hopelessly bourgeois but, you know. Strange days indeed.

    Good to see you, man. Thanks always. x

  11. Katie Jean Shinkle

    April 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Dennis Cooper,

    I want to send you a copy of my new book!
    Where could I send it?
    Glow to you through the ether of the Midwest!
    KJ

  12. Hey Dennis,

    I’m unsure if you’ll ever see this, but everyone in the comments write as if you’ll read this, so I figured I might write a quick comment. I just discovered your work last week after looking up the lyrics for the Deerhunter song “Helicopters”. I learned they were inspired by a short story of yours, so I came to your blog, read about the George Miles Cycle, and picked up Closer as soon as I could. I read Closer on Tuesday, Frisk Wednesday, and Try Thursday. I started Guide Friday but I had to stop because I think I got an emotional whiplash from all those books back to back or something. Anyways, I’m reading The Dream Police right now and it’s giving me my fix of your writing without fucking me up as much as Try did – in a good way. I was biking to the library today with The Dream Police clenched between my teeth cause it’s raining out and I didn’t want to get the book wet and my hands were full, but I was worried I might get teeth marks in the library’s copy from biting too hard, which is when I realized how perfect it is that I might be scarring one of your books with bite marks. But the book’s fine, no damage. Anyways, I wanted to thank you for your writing, which has really helped me embrace myself and my sexual identity. So thanks!

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