By Claudia Siefen 

Familiarity with Khavn De La Cruz’s  film work arouses the faint suspicion that he offers his movies just to contain his other creative passions: writing and music. But these thoughts will vanish in just a second. It is interesting how strongly everything is connected in his work, that means, if he composes a score it only fits there and nowhere else. The same with his piano works for stage. Everything has its place and you can imagine Khavn as a wild musician, punching his piano and singing his mind to the heavens. That is the right imagination. Khavn likes to expressly underline the fact that he is a creator, fed by life and people. But I think it is sure that he is firstly a musician. He was lucky to create an own stile of rhythm, movement and speed and even if he sometimes gets cheesy there are still glimpses of individuality.

It is the sound of everything, the combination of vocals and tempi, even if the lyrics sometimes don’t make sense, but the sound of every single word creates a new expression. His music is a sort of rebirth of silent film music and all its intentions. Khavn wrote and played the music for Raya Martin’s “Indio Nacional” and he leads us there to a most accurate and nevertheless painful recreation of the silent film aesthetic. Khavn infuses his own movies with a maximal amount of theatrical magic. But he never neglects irony. With notes, lyrics and also pauses he is even forcing the fact that life is easier to deal with if you don’t take yourself too serious. Singing about “supergirls”, the “blood of the moon”, or being the “handsomest man in the world” one could say it has all been there before, maybe in Frank Sinatras best times. But listening to lyrics like “I’m so handsome I could die, I’m the handsomest man in the world and you better believe it”, sung with a bored and deadpan voice, yes, you better believe it. 

A Short Introduction To The Philippine Avant-Garde        

Whenever there is a national self-confidence you will find a national film industry. Nothing more and nothing less is needed to tell your own stories in your very own pictures. That confidence is not only leading to film production but also to a very own audience, not only visiting the local cinema to inhale some Hollywood flavour but also to taste the stories and spice of their own storyteller and artists. If this national confidence has started it will also create the perception of an international audience. But being recognized on the international market, well, film critics and other professionals know what that means. You have to attend the so-called “important” film festivals. There is never any need, if you want to meet the Philippine cinema, to buy a ticket and go there by plane, strolling the local cinemas in Manila or visiting the producers and directors you have once met. No, not at all. All the secrets are in hand of the curators. And those are fed with inspiration by the big festivals.

That is dangerous, but also to say: that is the way it is and the way it will be for the next years. Those big fish travel the significant film events pulling their strings there and introduce the rest of the world to the absolutely new and fresh cinema! But a new generation of filmcritics and other professionals is coming up concerning the senses for cinema. You recognize this not only in the way of film producing but also in the way of film commerce and how a certain film industry is reviewed by the media. It is not all the power to a handful of famous film critics anymore working for an even more famous and sacred film magazines. There still is a significant importance to keep your eyes open and the hidden roules I mentioned are still there but to be broken. Yes, a film industry needs an audience. In order to grow and to produce, maybe  something like  art, there is always someone needed to watch it. And there is no one more brutal and more straight than a groupe of people that wants to be satisfied in their need of entertainment!

Behind the scenes of “Aliwan Paradise” (1993)

So leading the attention to a Philippine film industry it is right to mention that there excists also a film history. The first film was produced in 1919 by Jose Nepomuceno called Dalagang Bukid and the first sound film in tagalog was Ang Aswang  in 1930.  As film is always close to politics you still have to connect the philippine filmindutry to the dictatorship of  Ferdinand Marcos (from 1965 to 1986). Even twenty two years after his reign you find a legacy and silenced voices of artists.  Nevertheless filmmakers like Ishmael Bernal, Mike De Leon or Lino Brocka were able during that horrible period of dictatorship to build up a cinema of opposition and also a cinema of inspiration for the new filmmaking generation. As the Philippines look back on a troubled past and history from Spanish and American colonizers you find these topics constantly but never tedious in Khavn‘s work. Asked for his favourite movies Khavn responds with Kidlat (Joey Agbayani, 1988), Tito’s Wedding (Roxlee, 1994) and Aliwan Paradise (Mike De Leon, 1993). These three happen to be shorts.

Because of its low production costs you can call digital cinema the new hope of the Philippine cinema. Like Khavn put it to the point: “It is very simple: a minute of celluloid film including processing costs around 1.500 Pesos. A minute of digital film costs around 3 Pesos. Just do the math.” In his opinion finally the shadow filmmaker has now run out of excuses and the story is king again. Everything else will follow.

Since the eartly 1990s local film production has stalled. Using digital equipment in the beginning was nothing else but pragmatism to handle the high production costs in relation to its box office success in Philippine cinemas. Khavn was one the first in the 1990s to use digital technique successful also for his story telling and in use for his personal style. He marked an end of stupid lovestories and easy fantasy films. Art house cinema doesn’t excist in Manila so Khavn found the right way to struck his audience: it is all about the story and the music. Take your camera, go anywhere and shoot. In his manifesto Khavn explains his idea of filmmaking. It is simple but it needed to be written down:

Film is dead. It is dead as long as the economy is dead, when the public taste and creativity are dead, when the imagination of multi-national movie companies is dead. At millions of pesos per film production, there is not going to be a lot of happy days for the genuine filmmaker, the true artist who wants to make movies, not brainless displays of breasts and gunfire. But technology has freed us. Digital film, with its qualities of mobility, flexibility, intimacy and accessibility is the apt medium for a Third World Country like the Philippines. Ironically the digital revolution has reduced the emphasis on technology and has reasserted the centrality of the filmmaker, the importance of the human condition over visual junk food.           

Khavn calls himself “filmless”, or better to say that his production company based in Manila owns that name. For him “filmless” means nothing more and nothing less than freedom. There is no need to fear your ghosts haunting you because you want to be a filmmaker. It means to be unaffected by the conspiracy of initials and it means to feel truth in fakery, love in hate. It means to believe in the sound and the image. In the arts there should be no money king to lose your soul to. Sounds all  too easy, and spoken by an established filmmaker, you could call these sentences very ignorant. But saying these things and living them is exactly the way Khavn started his own work and business and it is exactly the way as all the critics who got hooked on his work were introduced to him.

Maybe for some people it sounds all so easy. Khavn makes films like the baker bakes bread, the hairdresser cuts hair, the cook prepares his meals. It is all creativity and none of them would ask about doing the right thing: if you want to make films go ahead. You will find it if you‘ve got  it in your bones, it will all flow so naturally. If it doesn’t flow you should consider another job. Very easy. In his work Khavn gets hold of the answer to the following question: are the Philippines really a country at all? For the question of identity is at the heart of Philippine life, affecting cinema as much as any other Philippine cultural form. But of course cinema isn’t about reality, it’s about how we wish reality to be, and interestingly enough it seems still what the european or american market wants to regard as normal.

In a very contemporary, modern way we see in Khavn‘s work how the construction of national identity through its arts has been, and still is, particulary problematic throughout the modern history of the Philippines, given the nation’s opportunistic foundation, means its fundamental biculturalism and its consequent fragility as a unitary state. Any consideration of the relationships among Philippine cinema, nation and state must therefore allow not only for variances between official and unofficial discourses but also for the primary interaction betweeen cultural values to the two main linguistic communities: Spanish and Tagalog. So in Khavn‘s work you will mostly find Tagalog to suit the lives or aspirations of an audience who remained disenspanished and who use tagalog as the natural language to reflect the self-image of the young people in the Philippines, who are still not Khavn‘s main audience. Aside from the fact that English is also used to guarantee an international audience abroad, of course. So Khavn travels to several music concerts, campus festivals for special screenings to reach his audience at home.

A very special form of nationalism is formed through that, sort of a microcosmic version which is deeply embedded in a cultural production like the Philippine cinema, music and poetry, heading up to a theory of political legitimacy which is based on their very own education-dependent high culture. You can call it a remarkable coincidence that in his work Khavn brings exactly these three things together, using his delightful sense of humour. That sort of humour leads to the following question: as young filmgoers obviously begin to reject Hollywood’s usual formulaic filmmaking, is Khavn’s work a good indicator of how a certain cult of humour, satirizing texts and pictures is being absorbed into a more mainstream spectatorship and filmmaking?

Reviews: Shorts

Where to start? This is not easy to answer so we will just take a first look at Waiting for a Superhero (2005), which gives a good impression of Khavn‘s humour.

We see a young woman, wearing shorts, sitting under a tree, embracing her knees and drinking a soft drink out of a can, the weather is cloudy and the colours are green and grey. The lady is obviously waiting. For what? For whom? She is sitting there and sipping, looking around, but in a calm way. From the left a young man enters the scene. He sits down in front of her and he does not seem to recognise her at all. She gives him a short look but doesn’t seem to be very interested. He is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, his head is shaved and he starts to tear at the grass around him. Another lady joins them, sitting down in front of the young woman. She is wearing sun glasses and an elegant yellow dress, her hair is brown and she is in her forties. She tries to get the attention of the shaved man, taking a leave and tickling him, but he prefers to ignore her and looking the opposite direction. All the three seem to wait now together. They don’t talk to each other, there is no connection at all. And then a man in dark shirt and blond dyed hair comes from the right, laying himself down on the grass, and staring into the sky. So there they are, all together but everyone on their own. The lady in the elegant suit tries now to get the dyed one‘s attention. But no way. That is life: sometimes you are so eager to sit and wait, so it happens you ignore anything else going on around you. There is nothing supposed to happen, because you have created such a special way of  waiting itself, and that needs to be fulfilled. What do I look like? What is going to come? Will I be prepared? Will I say the right words? You will never be prepared, but you should react to anything that happens around you. Anytime. Love is a theme in Khavn‘s work, a  theme he is not afraid to address! Let’s make it corny or stupid. At the end it is about feelings, the most important about a human being. So it is o.k. to sing about love and to try to find some pictures for that. He continues this theme in other work, for example in his music video Don’t fall in love with a superhero. Located in a stony and grey landscape close to the sea, we have a young woman with beautiful legs, wearing shorts and walking around, shot in slow motion. A few shots are made while she is walking around, heading nowhere in particular. And before you start asking yourself about the meaning, there starts the music and its lyrics: “I know your love is incredible … She is a superhero … and you will loose your little heart … your little human heart …. and you will only break your heart … your little human heart …”. That is a nice shift: he is not singing about her heart, but she is obviously the woman who he is singing about. Khavn gets along with that, because his interpreation of these lyrics is almost desperate, but not hysterical. She will break his heart. Or already did.

An Open Letter to All the Terrorists of The World (2007)

In his shorts he prefers mostly sort of climax to the story. There needs to be a kick in the end, that gives the story a complete different direction. First impressions have always to be shattered in the last line. It is not about missleading the audience conciously. Khavn has always an eye on the last seconds, repeating and memorising his film and thinking then about how to make the whole story change. And within that to change the first impression he gave. Like in An Open Letter to All the Terrorists of The World (2007) he works with voice over, to put these expectations on a even more solid ground. It is in the middle of a hot night. An old man is standing on a car park close to a heavy used and noisy main street. He is in his sixties, skinny and muscular, wearing a t-shirt and a straw hat. He pinned a cardboard on that saying that he is “Captain La Palma”. Equiped like that he is holding a white cup and undercup, drinking his coffee or some tea very elegant while the cars are passing by. The place is lit only by some naked white-hot bulbs. The cars are rushing by and their spotlights create some white, yellow and blue small threads on the screen. Our man is standing there between the parked cars, all of them in white or silver. The man is wearing old fashioned glasses and  is having his cup of whatever and starts with his monologue, starring into the black sky from time to time. So by voice over we get informed, that he wants to write a letter. He is thinking about that, doing his first draft and brings up the following lines:

Dearest Al Quaida and company, I would like to extend an invitation to you to have a look at the marvelous island in which I live. It is all really beautiful, very peaceful and slow-paced. The birds fly freely in the heavens, the little animals runs freely in the forests. All of it is too beautiful – the fields, the sea, the clouds, the sun, the mountains. And here I am really bored. I need action! I need blood! I need tears! I need people demanding Help me! I am a superhero who has spent a whole lot of time without work! I need to heal others! I need to earn my keep which I used to make without a lot of time in other places until I arrived here. A lot of time in other places until I arrived here. I am Captain La Palma and I have no work as such. So please, I hope you visit, and with hands like superman I’ll be able to save the world and all of you. Very truly yours, Captain La Palma.”

In the end his voice seems to break, cars are still roaring. We see two inserts like a little stray dog and a crawling bark-beetle. The Captain is still enjoing his coffee or tea, his hands begin to move a little nervously and he seems to be satisfied with his letter. She shouts it out in full confidence (the voice over has stopped): “Yours very truly Captain La Palma!” And the camera zooms into his white cup and it becomes clear that this clean cup has been empty all from the beginning. Like a child he was just  imagining a full cup, some nice coffee, hot and maybe sugared. That cup is empty, but the letter he wants to write is not. It contains an outcry in the exact moment. Maybe tomorrow it will be over again with that need for help. But today our captain is in the mood for something subversive. Right here he needs something to happen, please. The man is bored as he can be, and only something that promises a huge attention can help him out. of that. Our man used to be a hero and there is no chance for him to get back to the good old days. Those days when people needed him, cried for help and he had been very busy. It is about that good old days. Khavn shot in frog-perspective, and the whole film is in brown an yellow and black. The moon is shining. Combined with the carlights and the light clothing the old man is wearing, you smell the fragile hot air of the night while Captain La Palma is drinking out of an empty but elegant cup. It won’t feed him but finally it looks like as if it will.

Literature (2007) is another film where Khavn works with voiceover, but with a completely different intention. It’s based on an essay by Joel Toledo, narated by the beautiful dark voice of Eboy Joson. He reads in the style we‘re used to from the stories of Dashiel Hammett: slowly, with audible breathing from time to time, imprisoning our full attention with every sentence as the story develops. We see a main street during a red and gold afternoon. Cars and motorcycles are passing by, when a young man, Farley Acantara, with a chair and a book, enters the scene. After he has been walking a little bit he is placing his chair in the middle of the street, he opens the book and starts reading. The sun shining and he is covered with sweat, pulling his glasses off from time to time and wiping his face. But he is also holding a weapon in his left hand, waving it around, but still reading. We are listening to the story that is told now and which starts with: “This is the plot. Yes, this is the plot. A man plants a bench in the middle of the road and sits on it, oblivious to the afternoon heat and the heavy traffic he’s now causing. People are gathering on the sidewalk. Some think the man is crazy, others just look on welcoming the distraction.” This young man with a book and a weapon in his hands receives the attention of an old lady who suggests that he seems to be lonely, doing things like that.  And another man passing by stops his walk and wants to know what exactly he is reading there? We aren‘t informed about that either, the book is in a red cover but we can not read its title. But after a few moments anyone passing this young man has also discovered the weapon, the book is not interesting anymore and pure fear spreads out. Someone calls the police and the voiceover tells us that the audience will also never know what book exactly the man is reading. Not only the police, but also the local TV station has been called. Sounds familiar these days! But the voice is so kind to tell us that the young man used to tear his books at home into peaces, ripping out pages or even complete chapters! The words he has been so eager to read are no good anymore and his last idea of some sort of survival is to destroy. He started that with his books, and he is going to continue with the people around him. The human being for him is also something written on and in the last instance the human flesh and a bunch of paper stay the same. Any book does not only tell its story, it is always the reader’s story, too. Not to mention the story of its author. The young man knows this and tries to deal with the, (for him, unbearable) fact. Tear the paper, shoot the people.

The police arrive and as the reader waves his gun around, one policeman think that he is being aimed at. So he shoots first. The old lady is shocked, the book falls down, the reader is shot and killed. His blood sprays as he falls down slowly. And the policeman feels bad. Yes, reading a book is dangerous, because spectators will never be sure of what it is written in the book you are holding in your hands. What is going on in your mind? What will this book inspire you to do in the next few minutes? The balance between story and anything visible is brilliant here: the essay never just illustrates the scenes. But it contains many more details, producing some situations that are not even shown on the screen. It makes you swear that you have seen something that has never actually occured. So the film transports the message in its own way: how does your imagination combine something that you are told and shown at the same time? And what happens if both “stories” differ?

In Ultimo (2006) Khavn is bringing up the last imagined moments of José Rizal (1861-1896), the Philippine national hero who was convicted of rebellion and conspirancy and finally killed by the Spanish goverment. The film was shot in La Palma in black and white. We see the hero in his last hours, writing a sort of manifesto for future generations. Extracts of his last hours, cut to some temporary scenes where we see a young woman reading exactly this manifesto, his last words, now published in a book: it is a touching mixture of “historical” material and “temporary” shots, showing the reaction on Rizal‘s spiritual heritage today. The score contains a long guitar solo, which underlines on the one hand the Spanish background and on the other how deeply the wounds, cut by the Spanish memebers of the occupation forces, still are for the Philippine nationality. You find a beautiful light lovestory in By the Suez Canal. This one is a real music clip with all the usual incredients: nice scenery and a cute woman in a light dress walking alongside the Suez canal. It’s superficially cheesy at the first but then the lyrics written by Khavn save it all again. And we will find much more on the deeper ground of this video: 

sad suround us like flies greeting at every turn

and the sun hits you

when you least expect  it

the moon smiles back

like a boomerang

everything is alright

no rain

but there is this body of water

stretching to some forever

a fence between us

I can’t even touch

your face. 

But why does this woman walk on and on? Where is she going? Why is she dressed up like that? Is she going to meet someone? And why does she have that serious expression on her face? The editing is simple: a, b, a, b and so on. The woman is getting into a real dialouge with the cana. Is she going all the way? She is somewhat marching along and looks strong and confident. In these few minutes Khavn is bringing up a lot of questions.

Two Superheros taking a crap, A toilet musical (2005)
Two Superheros taking a crap, A toilet musical (2005)

The boys’ humour is found again in, Two Superheros taking a crap, A toilet musical (2005) where we see two young man sitting on the toilet and how they start a conversation. Not on toilet paper, but they start whistling, blowing imaginary horns and stamping their feet. Maybe they are just embarrassed because of their human noises usually coming up in such a natural situation. But then they are making the best of it and we are listening to  some sort of music, the roaring, singing, the whistling and screaming in the end. Finally they just pull their trousers on again before they are leaving their cabins at the same time. They don’t even look at each other. There is a sliding movement, the doors swing to, and the two man find themselves on their own again. So there is always a way to turn a distressing moment into something special to remember. And in the end, it really doesn’t  matter what you have shared with each other before, you will always find yourself alone, but be sure there is something that you have left: the more it stinks the better! Our reaction to that is one of laughter and it is Khavn‘s amusement we feel in that laughter. His capacity for seeing people as ridiculous is one of his most endearing and enduring attributes; he treats his characters with a humorous tenderness. Khavn‘s humour seems purely childish in the best sense of that word, suggesting that humour of this quality is an instinct for truth as well as a weapon against all forms of despotism. Some stories will never be written or be told because we think we know too much about them, but Khavn looks for exactly these kind of stories and is always able to find them. If they don’t find him a little earlier.

Khavn‘s cinema sometimes makes you laugh from the bottom of your stomach and the fact that it is also able to capture the darkest moments in someone‘s very private life gives his entire work a glimpse of wisdom. For example his Overdosed Nightmare, finished in 2008.  Khavn pressed some berserk and carnivorous pictures onto the screen and with that directly into the audience‘s brain. This nightmare is in fact overdosed, the darkness is so imperial it gives you a taste of evil. Khavn‘s enemy is false religion: the killing of the white man’s bestiality defines the catharsis of the sick. While all these aspects are firmly there, there is no talk of sensation, Khavn is certainly clear enough about his social concerns in his work up to that point. He is not posing any questions at all: he talks and shows about the relationship between human consciousness and the artificial construct of religion. Khavn leaves it as a tale of loneliness and pain; Jesus H. Christ got nailed up again and the director leads us to an empty space behind the screen where everything we see is really true.

It‘s also a tale about masculinity and national political post-trauma. In any new national cinema that has long endured political terror, a post-traumatic identity often emerges  whose mission is to help remember what is too painful to recuperate. The ironic display of the “birth” of a new cinema juxtaposed with the hysteria and the crisis on the national scene challenges viewers to question the nation’s identity. This is eerily similar to the mission of psychoanalysis and maybe too easy at the same time. The crisis that rests between the audience and the now so-called new generation of filmmakers with the need and the desire to represent themselves  also shows the difficulty of attaining this without self-destruction. It produces not only a near -narcissistic tendency but also hysteria. In other words, the conflict and the tension between the need to represent and the impossibility of doing so unless accompanied by dramatic and religious measures are likely  to generate this trauma. It is interesting but less astounding that the critical moments of historical crisis have often been cinematically depicted through the characters who suffer from hysterical conditions. In Khavn‘s mixture of that consiousness we find questions of love, history , the city and the country side, the trauma and we also find the pure question of surviving.

In Squatterpunk (2007), shot in black and white, he and his camera are in company with a group of children fighting for everyday survival. Better to say: it is not a fight anymore, every day is the same, it’s a routine like the usual work of a salesman or a bank account lady doing their everyday business. This is a different planet, the first shot says, and starts with some irritation because we see some children jumping happily into the sea, swimming around. They seem to play and we are watching them. The next shot shows the same group of kids in their clothing: old rotten t-shirts, cut jeans, dirty and wrecked trousers. That rings the bell that we are not watching the average child in Manila, these are real poor boys and girls, joking around and walking along the street, picking up cruft, preferentially everything made of plastic so they can sell it somewhere and buy some food for the day. This is their job and they still find the time to play around, sharing an old bike that looks like it may fall to pieces at any second. They ride along by the sea, stopping here and there and they never get tired to pick up again an old battered bottle. In the early evening they head uptown to sell their stuff. They are a footnote in the history of civilisation, as the next intertitle informs us. The leader of that group, the boy with the fresh haircut we also see in Rugby Boyz (2006), is having his dinner. He is eating some kind of soup out of a plastic plate. He is looking into the camera, crouching on the floor and he seems to be amused. From time to time he makes faces at the camera but still goes on eating. He is accompanied by a little girl, sitting by his side, watching him and grinning also. What do they expect there? What is it that makes people always smile at a lens? There is always a reaction to that technical equipment, but why? The next intertitle is shown: Or is this the afterlife? Posing this question after this scene gives also an answer: the kids know who is filming them, they know what will happen to that material, where it will be shown. So there is a good grip on reality to use that chance and to send out a kind of message to the world. A message to people all over the countries sitting in a dark cinema and watching this film. The next scene shows the children listening to a ghetto blaster, they jump around to the music, playing air-guitar and posing like the rock bands they have seen on TV. The boy with the punk haircut, at that moment still with a superb head of hair, is sitting there and gets his treatment. He gets shaved because it is easier: the left side and then the right side and the razor do not touch a single hair right in the middle. A punk star is born right in front of our eyes! After that the camera strolls through his district, catching the people playing cards or chest. Some of them ignore the camera, other smile and wave. The kids we have followed all the time go for a walk and pick up a cannister of fresh water. In the end we see them swimming again like at the beginning of the film. They will not be drowned, they will survive. The film is shot without sound, we hear the punk-driven music written by Khavn and it is not the cliché image of tears in a child’s eyes that makes us aware of this hopeless situation but it is exactly the vitality and the pleasure of the children giving the simple message: they will survive. Anyway, bringing music and power together (like in this film) it always leads inevitably to politics.


The films I’ve Never Made – A Letter From Khavn

The movie is wack. The movie is not enough. Will never be enough. But you keep making them, one after the other. Whining. One two three, I can’t get no satisfaction. I wanna be a better man and yet I don’t. I will reduce the republic to rubble with all my might. And not even mighty bond can put it back together. No camera, no crew, no computer, you don‘t need anything to make a movie. You need love and lust. Same difference. Two sides of the same lost coin.

Lost in the sewage of memory. I miss you. That’s all I can say. The missing membrane. The missing ligament of my existence. Am I here? I’m not. I’m just another messenger in a bottle. Like you. We’re obviously talking about different bottles here. Broken is the word. And I will keep it with me till the day I die. That’s why I keep on making films. I want to suck up all your wind. Your second wind. Your third. It’s been 14 years and going. Like an alcoholic  trapped in the desert with no beer for miles.

Kids, lovers, countrymen: target practice for my broken heart. Broken once by a sparrow. Mistaken for a piece of driftwood. I was clueless then but I’ve been through so much. The Andalusian dog has nothing on me. Better get your shit together. What’s at the dark end of the street? I don’t know. What else is new? There is nothing fucking new under the sucking sun. But I keep forcing the issue. Till someone bites. There. Sweet. Good. Your teeth and my heart have finally met. Enjoy while supply lasts. Everything has an end. Everything comes round. Giddily, dizzyingly. Til it catches or gets caught by the cop with a hole in his gut. My wallet has holes in its guts. But that’s ok.

 I am a man. Not a piece of cake, not a piece of shit. My camera eyes. One day someday. History will cease to mean anything. Whether we like it or not. All the films will dissolve into vinegar. But we’ve run out of pork rinds to dip. Everything’s gone rancid. And all your good intentions will go to hell. When I was a kid, I was a fan of wonders. Even now. Truth lies anyway. And you can live off lies.

Wherever you’re happy, that’s where you should be. That’s where we all should be. Let’s crowd each other going through the needle’s eye. Until the hungry giant rat sees us. But won’t bother. Because we’re not worth his spit. But we’ll still slide through his guts. Because he likes needles. He likes eating needles. His heart is made of needles. Blood. Death. Eternal life. The voodoo is set. All we’re missing is the thread.