Monday, December 19, 2011
No Rules: JASON MICHEL
JASON MICHEL is a Pushcart Prize nominee, published author and the Head Honcho over at PULP METAL MAGAZINE and PULP METAL FICTION, where he has recently released an anthology of the best of PMM entitled Laughing At The Death Grin! and his newest novella And The Streets Screamed Blue Murder!
He has hopes one day of becoming a James Bond villain as he thinks he'd be good at it.
Jason, you mad man, welcome to Psycho-Noir...
THE PULP METAL MANIFESTO
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?" -Chuang Tzu
1: PULP METAL is imaginary.
PULP METAL is a figment of our imagination posing as a literary Gomorrah and downright fun place to read some of the most talented writers in cyberspace. It is a flight of disastrous fancy. An idea.
An ode to the imagination.
2: Imagination is the mind at play.
It is as amoral and as serious as child's play.
3: The only true freedom; the only true oppression is in the mind.
The only limits are the ones that we set ourselves in believing that we are a solid unchanging individual. Science is beginning to show us that the Self, as Buddhists have been saying for millennia, is a crock. We are a thousand people in a thousand moments and situations, even if we pretend not to be. The ego is a jealous god and deserves a smacked bottom.
So, make peace with your inner-fascist.
Crack open a beer with the serial killer inside.
Go for a date with the flirty secretary of the soul.
Is this not what we do as writers?
Manifesting these personalities into the world through our imaginary filter.
4: All concepts, art and language derive from the imagination of somebody.
Words may have evolved from birdsong, but it was imagination that connected them to objects. Those very same objects that are all around you as you read this. Those very same objects that you are made of.
Holy Shit, Batman!
5: Imagination is both individual and collective. The flow can go both ways. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Stan Lee, Ian Fleming, Homer, Shakespeare, Bob Kane, Karl Marx, Coca-Cola, Rowling, Dostoevesky and any other creator of art, ideology, image and ideas have left their mark on us, whether we like it or not.
Why let them have all the fun?
6: Your imagination is your most precious resource. Your wittiest joke. Your deadliest weapon.
"Imagination is intelligence with an erection." - Victor Hugo
7: Revel in your imagination. Tickle its feet. Jitterbug with it. Slap it around a bit. Make love to it. Revere it.
For too long our imagination has been denigrated to an almost worthless state that is not "real".
"It's just her imagination."
"It's all in your head!"
"Stop daydreaming and get back to work!"
We live in interesting times, as the ancient Chinese curse has it. There is the Faustian whiff of a hundred Revolutions carried on the breeze. History shows that in the cold light of the aftermath, all that is left is another dull shower of cunts at the top of the shit pile. Left or right, the story has the same final scene.
All in the name of ideas.
Don't you dare imagine something that doesn't contribute to productivity!
That is the death rattle of our epoch.
Unless it is for entertainment purposes, of course. Entertainment brought to us from a collective, safe and turgid imagination born in a boardroom and designed to pacify us before the commercial breaks and political campaigning comes on. Until it is time to shop, materially, politically and spiritually.
This is the world we live in.
No matter that imagination may just be our way to slow the downward plummet of this rotting smorgasbord of tired old ideologies, creaky economics and environmental angst.
Reclaim your imagination.
Do you know what this is, my fellow daydreamers?
This is fighting talk.
Some practical exercises of the imagination:
I have personally had experience of all of these exercises and found that some of them have contributed greatly to my writing and others are just cracking good fun.
*Disclaimer! Practice these exercises at your own risk as some people have gone batshit crazy because of some of these techniques. Don't forget to ground yourself back to the world with a nice cup of tea. Then again, what is life without a smidgeon of danger. Take responsibility for your actions and if caught, remember, deny everything!*
i. Learn the loci system of mnemonics and create your own memory palaces à la Hannibal Lecter.
ii. Read The Diceman then have a party according to the laws of the die. Watch the chaos ensue and observe your reactions.
iii. Be a creative prankster. Go to a book shop and sneak dirty poetry in self-help books. Confuse your boss: Once I was asked why I was wearing jeans at work which is not officially allowed (I was, but to my credit, they were black). I told the man that they weren't "jeans but just looked like jeans in the way that sometimes summer looks like autumn". The poor sap just turned around and walked out of the room. He has never said a word about my attire since.
iv: Read all you about Jung's Creative Imagination or Dali's Paranoiac-Critical Method, then create an imaginary world of your own and go walking through it, interacting with the characters of your own creation.
Write about your experiences.
A good way to start is:
1. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes. Tense every muscle in your face and body and then relax them telling yourself that "as my limbs get heavy I can go deeper and deeper into an imaginary state".
2. Visualize a staircase and count from one to ten with each step you take going down it, telling yourself that it'll take you "deeper and deeper into the state".
3. When you have counted to ten see a grand old door in front of you. Tell yourself to open the door and enter into your world.
4. As you enter your world utilise all your senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing as well as sight.
5. Off you go!
6. When you wish to come back just see the door again and exit. Go back up the stairs (counting back from ten to zero), then slowly open your eyes and slowly get up.
v. Here's a good one for atheists and agnostics (I, myself, am a radical agnostic. To paraphrase Husserl and RAW, all perception is gamble).
Learn all you can about the way of altering your state of consciousness, otherwise known as Ritual Magick. Read that old bastard Crowley, A O Spare etc (although the Victorian waffle is unbelievable and Grant Morrison's Pop Magic! is far more fun), then create your own ritual and invoke a famous character that everyone knows is imaginary and have a chat.
I once did this with The Silver Surfer and he told me that "The way of knowledge is the loneliest path of all".
Not exactly known for his fart jokes though, eh?
vi. Print out the IMAGINE! poster at the top of this rambling of a mad man and cover the world in an advertising campaign for the imagination.
Just IMAGINE what that would be like ...