>McCarthy’s The Road

>Originally posted December 07, 2006.

Every now and then you come across a genuine masterpiece. It could be everything from a goddamn silly ice cream (hail Piggelin!) to some amazing album/movie/ painting/whatever. This time, for me, it was a book. It’s a true rarity to find such a masterpiece as The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Armageddon. The final doom. Post-apocalypse. The sky bleeds ashes, wastelands prevail, all fish and birds are long gone dead and the sun, when it occasionaly shows, is bleak. The world is coming to an end, finally.

In the midst of chaos, confusion and despair we find an unnamed father and his son making their way through this barren earth. They follow the road that leads to the sea. People they meet are only after their flesh. Cannibals in the most vicious sense. The father and son have only themselves to rely on. That and their great love for each other.

Because in spite of all darkness and death, this is a story about love and it’s truly heartbreaking. The amazing composition, the multilayered set-up, the extraordinary prose, is what makes this novel the best book in 2006.

I travel by train for almost two hours every day. That makes for a lot of reading, and I’m thankful for that, because I read The Road in just a couple of days and it completely devoured me. So much pain, so much darkness, yet so much love. Perfect.

As one reader wrote:

“Don’t read this book on an overseas flight. You’ll find yourself, as I did, standing in the back of the cabin weeping.”

When reading The Road I think of demons. I think of Shogun Assassin and I think of classic russian movies like Stalker combined with modern, intellectual remakes of seriously dumb stuff like Bronx Warriors and Mad Max.

And when reading I always have this gut feeling, this dark brooding feeling, that somebody’s gonna make a movie out of this and I’m gonna have great expecations and it’s gonna suck so bad because there’s no way in hell that a movie can make this book justice. No way.

The Road deals with universal themes such as death, human nature and the condition of the world we’re in. It’s classic stuff, and if you know your Bible and shiver with delight when confronted with Old Testament quotes you will enjoy this for sure. This is doomsday reading and the clocks stopped at 1:17… A reference to John 1:17 in the Book of Revelations, they say.

This is the first book I’ve read by Cormac McCarthy. I’m dying to get my hands on his other ones, call in sick, disconnect the phone, shut off the computer and just plunge into darkness once more.

Recommended soundtrack when reading:
Godspeed You Black Emperor

>Bad Brains – The baddest!

>Originally posted December 06, 2006.

They weren’t meant to be. They were the ultimate contradiction in terms.

Bad Brains – black as night and bad as hell. They formed in Washington DC in 1977 as a jazz fusion ensemble, but then out of the blue pioneered the whole american hardcore scene being the fastest and most extreme band for years to come. Even today their old stuff kicks the shit out of most bands’ so called ‘hardcore’.

The intensity of their shows is still unmatched.
Click here to watch the Live at CBGB 1982 DVD in its entirety online!
It’s so good you’ll be a complete fool forever if you don’t buy the DVD right away.

>Bon Scott – Saviour of The Soul

>Originally posted December 06, 2006.

Haha, just look at this man! Look at his jeans way up high, so tight that his balls seem to be gasping for air…
This dude is on to something. Or was on to something, since this is the great Bon Scott who died rock’n’roll style in february 1980.

So what’s that got to do with anything? I almost never listen to AC/DC anyway.

Well, me and my good friend Micke (his online keyboard warrior name is WorkKills) had a very serious talk the other day. We discussed deep shit like how to gain control and freedom in your life, how to cultivate one’s independence, totally controlling your own time, living the life you really want to live, freeing your soul… The biggest problem here mainly being that we both work 8 hours a day. Fucking bummer.

What are you prepared to sacrifice? You have to sacrifice something valuable in order to gain something else, roughly speaking. Are you willing to live your life in constant poverty because you quit your job? Are you willing to leave your loved ones, your wife, your best friends, to live like a hermit… all for the sake of freedom? What about ending your life?

Stuff like that.

It was a good discussion and it was serious as hell. We didn’t reach any mindbending conclusions, but it’s really great to have these kind of talks once in a while. It makes you think even harder.

The best thing though was when Micke put on this AC/DC record and everything just fell into place. So perfect, so simple and so true. And so cheesy in a way.
But the fact is that the very essence of what we’d been talking about was put into words with such ease by the man with the tight trousers… Bon Scott put it this way:

My Daddy was workin’ nine to five
When my Momma was havin’ me
By the time I was half alive
They knew what I was gonna be
But I left school and grew my hair
They didn’t understand
They wanted me to be respected as
A doctor or a lawyer man
(But I had other plans)

Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll star
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
I’m gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll,
A rock ‘n’ roll star

Well I worked real hard and bought myself
A rock ‘n’ roll guitar
I gotta be on top some day
I wanna be a star
I can see my name in lights
And I can see the queue
I got the devil in my blood
Tellin’ me what to do
(And I’m all ears)

Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll star
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
I’m gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll,
A rock ‘n’ roll star
(I hear it pays well)

Well you can stick your nine to five livin’
And your collar and your tie
You can stick your moral standards
‘Cause it’s all a dirty lie
You can stick your golden handshake
And you can stick your silly rules
And all the other shit
That you teach to kids in school
(‘Cause I ain’t no fool)

The last verse pretty much says it all.

I’m not saying we’re dreaming of becoming rock stars, that’s not the point at all. What’s he really saying? Just listen to the words, the way he sings these last lines and then worship forever.

The essence of it all? Well, maybe something like do what thou wilt, do your own thing, do it yourself, don’t believe the hype… The standard clichés. You know all that crap. But why the fuck do you still sit around doing nothing then? Think about that instead.

Sometimes all you need is a dude like Bon Scott, telling it like it is, and then things seem just a tiny bit better.


(The song is called Rock ‘N Roll Singer and is from their second album T.N.T. (1975))

by Mattias Indy Pettersson