Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Book of Dennehy

Normally when you see an albatross fly past your window at three in the morning, the most the event will elicit is a fleeting glance and, perhaps, a sneering contort of the lips. But such a seemingly benign incident ended up evoking much more than that one pre-dawn morn, a time when Aristotle O’Malley was just on the verge of drifting off to into sleep-land.

The hardy and bellowing flaps of such a large seabird, even when obscured by double-glazing, can slice open that last receding moment of consciousness like a scalpel through gelatine, can force the mental glissade to abnegate any rights it has over the wellbeing of one’s night rest, and can puncture the release of daytime’s corroding alertness. This is exactly what it inflicted to O’Malley.

He was reclining on a divan in his library, a room that smelt like two hundred years of typos and paper-cuts, when the heaving, feathered comet blurred past the window. A sudden awakening is never a good thing, and the conventional mugginess was present when he arose to dander towards the portrait of blackness that was the window, the guilty matt canvas that had broken the spell of sleep previously indoctrinating his senses.

He was startled to witness a repeat of the prior occurrence, only this time rerun with full Technicolor visuals. The albatross flung it’s demented instinct back across the window, not once, but four or five times, before eventually rocketing itself into the equator of the glass sheet. One sonorous smash later, and the albatross was lying on the Persian carpet, dwindling life spasms, while O’Malley cowered behind a large paperback of The Interpretation of Dreams.

Gathering himself, he approached the winged nuisance. It’s final death tantrums had now immobilised, but to make sure it wasn’t going to get all slasher flick on him, he gave it a solid prodding with a nearby Queensryche album. It was most certainly not alive, yet something seemed to whine from it’s interiors. O’Malley also noticed a rectangular bulge in the abdomen, a protuberance that, while any ornithological knowledge he had once held had long gone stale, was indeed anomalous. Reaching for the neutral blades of a Swiss Army Knife, he grasped the steel and plunged it into the deepest recesses of this premature nemesis. What occupied the cavity was not what our wannabe-pathologist had expected. Reaching his woollen sleeves into the crimson pit, O’Malley yanked out a large hardback book.

He manoeuvred to a conveniently-close armchair and sat down to examine the tome. It’s weathered skin was crusty with entrails, but a quick wipe and a brown, leather membrane was exposed. A faded epithet seemed to graffiti the front-cover, some capitalised welcome message for the crypt beyond the gates, a sordid love-note misplaced by a senile printer in 1823. Squints telescoped along that darkened imprint and a clear sequence of letters was made visible. The hardback was named The Book of Dennehy.

A finger flipped and flapped over the rigid trapdoor of this unearthed literary world, pages unsheathed from a dusty necropolis, acknowledgements and dedications secluded in unbridled isolation, now unleashed, wandering around, blindly, like an old hermit just told his cave is going to be turned into a Starbucks. Odours snaking out into the firmament from unregulated creases; tiny tears in the script that scream about Romanticism and Coleridge getting marinated in a trout paste; chapter numerals that echo the last “fucks sake” to emanate from out of Goethe’s oak tree.

O’Malley, feeling alienated from those earlier sleep inclinations, decided that this chunk of literature ought to be investigated, and digested, and possibly disembowelled accordingly. Moving deeper and deeper into the linguistic mausoleum, the superfluous publishing data banished off into the past, and fingertips adequately moistened, he was ready to tackle the preface.

It was at this point that a tingling came over the arms of our virtuous explorer, like a shiver running the voodoo down an elbow, or a tinkling running a three-legged marathon across the barren wastes of epidermal hair. A tactile buzz doing things outlawed by common decency back before decency became common and common was but a lonely spinster watching old episodes of Renegade on cable; the sensation roaming, and darting, and descending, and escalating, and fellating, and fumbling, and then, gone, like a Gary Daniels movie hitting the bottom shelf at a velocity of mach seven.

And so, a dip into the shallow section of the pool, a sidestep through the fluff into the initial. Turns out that this belles-lettres was written some hundred-odd years ago, and was authored by exhibitionist alchemists - a vile collective who worshiped a god in the guise of Brian Dennehy, thus the title. The book was subdivided into a number of chapters, each seeming to differ from the last. Although numbered, O’Malley was unable to ascertain any logical pattern in the chapter arrangement.

Niggling curiosity harpooning neck hairs missed by a razor, he started into the first chapter. The prolixity of the prose hindered the intake only slightly, as paragraphs one-by-one were rammed into the senses like a Burger King meal ate by an innocent stomach. The words orated a tale of atheist rabbis, a quintet of, who held great lust for Richard Dawkins in their beards, and who spent their time writing letters of compliant to ecumenical pastors, scorning them for not considering Steve Guttenberg’s hairy chest as a palette for all chapel pulpits. The tale set out a description of everyday life, a rampage of detail and a guillotine of unnecessary tangents. Monotony conflagrated O’Malley, but yet he endeavoured on, pouring his determination over the settled documents laid in front.

The second chapter piggybacked on an almost absurd talent of prognostication, a forecasting predilection hitherto hidden by ancient appearance. The story here revolved around a Stalinist bank manager. This leftist tyrant braced the walls of commerce with an iron curtain of equity, and was, strangely, beloved by his subordinate proletariat. The dotted lines of the bank confined the narrative like a prison cell, for all action took place on the carpeted furnishings of that building. A rigorous array of set pieces, positioned for comedic compulsion, included the Stalinist disallowing a mortgage to a young man whose eyes were in bondage to Trotsky, and a scene where a cashier denounced the First International, only to lose her lunch-break as a result.

Crossing the borders of chapters two and three, O’Malley was again struck with an irregular physical commotion. A second swig of tingle on his limbs, but this time coupled with a bubbling under the skin, a poking and prodding of veins deeply buried by extremity. Like blood vessels acquisitioned by advertising, sold to the highest bidder, now space for billboards laced with promises of metaphysical amelioration if only the latest stain remover were purchased. Like derelict land donated to the vulgarities of mass-produced life, a factory for the manufacture of routine, for the assembly line of morality, running all day long, never ceasing for fear of free thought permeating the blind advance, an advance stationed by tradition, glued to the spot by custom, holding trepidation aloft, and drowning the last sighs of audacity and valour, those quietening murmurs of questions and healthy cynicism silenced forever.

But O’Malley continued. The next chapter read like a western written by Kafka. Dirtroad McGraw is a Danish cowboy living in a futuristic Mongolia, where the only gunfights are the ones tattooed on the knees of tourist ramblers. McGraw needs to get back his DVD of Three Colours Blue, but the sheriff, who currently holds it, lives in a grand castle on the edge of town, and grants visitation permission only to those whose paperwork is filled in using white chalk. But the paper being white, this proves a problem for the Dane. He wanders around the peculiar ordinance-survey blank spot, talking to locals, and attempting to devise ways of getting around this contradiction. The yarn is told in first-person, the first to be so, but more strikingly than that is it possesses the first reference to Dennehy, who crops up in a skewed flashback sequence where the hero daydreams a past acutely canalized by distorted memory, where he sits in a supposed nirvana watching FX2: The Deadly Art of Illusion.

The fourth chapter was immensely removed from it’s precursors. It presented what looked like an arbitrary list of “items bereft of Brian Dennehy”. As expected, this inventory stretched over vast chunks of page, enveloping tropics once set aside for it’s bulky mass to squirm on. From “goulash” to “counter-terrorism”, terms were systematically paraded; blocks of textual exclusion followed shimmering headings such as “mammals” and “legal symbols”.

Obviously this did not alight O’Malley. He was almost cascading back into that prior stupor, when a rumbling in the skin unsealed his beer-bottle of reverie. A pain pierced his senses, causing him to stand up to examine the responsible limbs under the omniscient luminance of the lamp. He could just about make out motions on his arms, miniscule swellings gesticulating unknown signs under his skin, traffic unregulated by society, an amber-lit rush forward, and a release of pent-up frustration. After a moment, the clandestine activity subsided, and he returned to the book.

The next chapter was another where preconceptions were eliminated, and the modern day predicating powers of the book were once again in full swing. It followed an adolescent, who spent many a summer afternoon on an Xbox360 message board, discussing over-priced games, dissecting the turn-based battle format, and criticising ‘noobs’ for their disregarding of the search facility. One day, after a mammoth session of tomb raiding, he went onto the board, nonchalantly, to see what new posts he could condemn with snide elitist language, but what happened was not expected. Post-login, he was magically transposed into his own avatar. Here life was not as comfortable as that of the outside; he had to do epic duel with adware programs, and painstakingly alter every ‘teh’ into ‘the’.

It was while reading this story that a rupture occurred. Wrenching himself from the gravitational field of the book, O’Malley again placed himself under the scrutinizing glow of the lamp. To his shock and horror, and astonishment and bewilderment, he saw a tiny anthropomorphic figure emerge from one of his pores.

Clutching his dissolving mental capacity, he torpedoed his eyes into a close adjacency with the asphalt of his left arm. It was indeed a diminutive human form, pulling it’s legs out of the natal pore from which it was born. Once free from the organic impound, it began walking about the vicinity. Startled, O’Malley could barely fathom this unprecedented marvel. He watched the infinitesimal being, first walking from pore to pore, then, apparently tired from physical activity, sitting down, using a hair as a backrest. It was while the creature was inert that O’Malley made an astounding discovery; the petite organism was none other than Brian Dennehy.

But before he could properly register this in his cranium, another miniature Dennehy popped out of another pore, this time further up his forearm. This one looked exactly the same as the firstborn. It too exhibited the fluffy jowls and tweed jacket so exemplarily showcased by Dennehy. Moving his other arm to attempt a brute homicide, like a good old spray of pesticide, he saw that his other arm had too borne a few Dennehys. Like their cousins on the limb opposite, they had quickly become exhausted by scuttling about, and had halted for a symphony of deep breaths.

With each passing second, new Dennehys materialized from deep cocoons, surfacing with the aged features of a long pregnancy. O’Malley was jolted into a corporeal coma, ever watching the labour-pains of his pores, but unable to do anything. Eventually there were hundreds of tiny Dennehys manoeuvring across the tarmac of his arms. Some had grouped together and were standing around talking. Alas, the baritone grumbles were inaudible to anyone not present in the microcosm.

Feeling a rising tide of nausea in his insides, O’Malley tried to muster the fortitude it would take to rid himself of this ailment, but every time he glanced at the flowering soil of his arms there were more and more Dennehys. Sitting down, the ink wells of shock stamped him with a blackout.

Aristotle O’Malley never woke up from that blackout. The mass birth of Brian Dennehys was continuous; a perpetual outflow gushed from out of every pore his skin had to offer. His body was consumed by this plague of Dennehys, first taking feast of his natural delicatessen, then building shacks in areas of decent amenities. Eventually, bars were constructed, as were fast food outlets and pool halls, bowling alleys and car parks. The civilisation of Dennehy, while primitive, prospered, and was soon putting ads in Variety, attracting some of the biggest names in Hollywood’s sugar-coated roster. It’s even rumoured that movie producers are considering filming The Hobbit there; with a good thousand Dennehys as potential orc extras, why would they not?

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Transmigration of Thomas F. Wilson

Plywood surface raped by armada of blue push pins - transmission of simony raped from below - commerce extracting wealth via ampoules of suggestive - emboldened projections held aloft by vibrant significatives - double-spaced incentives mesmerising in unquestionable deliverance - promises of guarantees hidden by otiose script - nonchalance winged by font hyperbole.

These are some of the thoughts that took nautical dive in Thomas F. Wilson’s mind as he stood various feet from the checkout of the supermarket, pointing eyes at a collage of white paper squares and brown veneer. This notice board, with its captivating snapshot of suburban life, was adequate in taking his mind off the impending situation; sufficiently capable of trampling his anxiety with two large hooves of preoccupation.

The wooden window fed him stories of incontinent octogenarians, no longer able to use their lawnmowers for fear of the vibrating mechanism causing a bowel-schism that’d result in a public spectacle best left to desperate MTV producers. Stories of basement shredders forced into the UV rays of the world by irritated parents wielding lists of chores and bills from all-night Bit Torrent binges; now offering guitar lessons to bouffant teenagers inebriated on Kirk Hammett. Stories of risky intercourse, unplanned pregnancy, and one recourse to the approaching financial terror; a customised automobile, once glued together by factory cut-backs, now sparkling with the sweat of Sunday afternoons, but now on it’s way to a bank trainee who knows nothing of internal combustions or hydraulic gearboxes.

It was here various days ago that Thomas F. Wilson first saw the advertisement. It was a ragged flurry of jotter integrity, lined with similes of authenticity and humming with the coruscating spillage of lukewarm coffee. The text referred to a misty semblance of clarity; its prose was both cryptic and enigmatic, but nevertheless reached out and harpooned his internal voice. Shrill requirements of free-thinking citizens; a seek for a man less and less opposed to law, morality and utilitarian ideals than average opinion would state. A man to be “a spectre in the insinuation of vouchsafement”, and “a widow of irredeemable nascence”, and “a counterpoint for the vivisection of arcane repression”.

Whilst he fathomed little of the syntactical gibberish, Wilson, since he was currently wallowing in the dumpster vocations of voice acting, opted for a shrugged ‘why not’. After all, the scribbled hieroglyphics did also promise a good dental plan.

So, he proceeded to call his shady prospective employers, CV in hand and initiative boiling his senses. An automated service answered his telephonic plea. The battered and worn croak on the other end fumbled around the limits of linguistic obscurity for a varied set of minutes, then a silence, whereupon Wilson was to state his name, address and head size. The first two proved simple enough, a quick glance to the upper-left and all was accomplished. The third, however, led to a playground sprint as he attempted to track down the fugitive measuring tape he told himself resided somewhere in the apartment. Aching of elderly trauma, he eventually found it below a VHS of Fire down Below; it positioned suggestively on a benign Steven Seagal.

But, alas, when he returned to the phone, he was met with only the monotone of a hang-up.

Another shrug, as was his trait, and he soon forgot all about the advert and the phone call; his wretched existence once again took orbit around reruns of shows reran to the extend that by some odd temporal phenomenon they had become brand new.

This was all until yesterday. The mailman had already slipped his societal foibles through the in-between, and so Thomas F. Wilson was surprised to find another shard of paper lying, straddling the area adjacent to the door. It read as follows:

The select commission hired in correspondence to the whim and postulate of the group hereafter known as OYSTER, have due intention to request your satisfactory completion of preliminary stages of the stratagem hereafter known as OPERATION Z’DAR. Be present at the area of initial disclosure tomorrow at 3pm, where you will be briefed by the agents.

And so, Wilson stood looking again at the plywood monstrosity that had been the keen initiate to this unusual situation.

The agents arrived by way of a rear checkout; seems they had taken this opportunity to do some grocery shopping, highly irregular as that was. Their sloganed bags crumpled under the weight of dolphin-less tuna, GM vegetables and low-fat lard. Wilson rose his tilting head from the porridge oats concealed by a canvas of panini, and looked at the duo. One wore a black suit, with chequered tie, silver cufflinks, creases in places where creases are wanted, shinned loafers, and a countenance of confident usury. The other was exactly the same; except he did not wear a suit.

The suited gent said, “You Thomas F. Wilson?” “I am,” replied the vestigial actor. “We are from OYSTER, which is an anagram for oyster,” bellowed the suited man, “and you have been hired as special witness to the systematic dislodging of egalitarian virtue from all subtle liberties. This may seem vague to you, I posit a for example: for many years now tap-water has emerged from the faucet upon the turning motion of the tap, and has henceforth dribbled southwards. We aim to alter this irreconcilably, first by allowing the trite flows to emanate through any gap they should so desire, and not just the physical recesses that we’re accustomed to; do not be shocked to see water flowing from a man’s own brow, or witness how washing one’s own hands becomes ever so easier when the water is coming from those very hands. This water will also not obey gravity, for that stale convention is absurd in itself.”

With head-scratching long nullified by acquaintance, Wilson said, “I’m happy to help, I guess.” “You are not happy!” interjected the suited agent, “happiness is now so dull and commonplace that we are going to replace it with a new synonym; as yet undecided, but we will probably choose ‘gyroscopically’.” Here the other suited man who was wearing no suit, let out a small cheep of jubilance. “We have your headgear with us,” continued the first man, “this item is essential to you completing your mission. Now take it and put it on.” The suited/non-suited passed the bulbous helmet from his bag to the hands of Wilson. “Our task is done,” spoke the suited agent, motioning towards the exit, “put the headgear on and it will do all the necessary actions; it should be adapted to your own physiognomy, so you need not do anything beyond wearing it.”

And they were gone.

Wilson stood holding the circular instrument. Grey, Giger-esque, phallic appendages roamed the circumference, with indentations along the apex filled with ceramic goop. The whole thing gushed with Pythagorean self-importance. Knowing not what else to do, he hoisted it above his head, and then descended it’s mass atop his skull.

This caused a massive outbreak of out-of-tune synth, strange tonalities excreting on time signatures from afar, grandiose harmonies wrecking hydrogen in the surroundings, lights negated by quavering oscilloscopes corrupted by nefarious deeds in antiquity. Then he realised that a child had climbed aboard a nearby Sesame Street kiddie ride and that the helmet had not even been turned on.

A moment of blind chance grasping later, and he had set the device to a reassuring electronic drone. Gone was the hyperbolic nonsense of the neighbouring adolescent stupidity, this was all low-fi subtly with minimalist buzz.

In a picturesque display of segmentation, with an underscore of inverse annihilation, Thomas F. Wilson found himself in a dimensional transferral. References and citations on post-it notes, palpitating like flames almost extinguished under neon cannons of irrigation. They hinted at mythologies as widespread as Hindu and Christianity, and as ostracised as the Seventh Day Dennehy Orienteers. Wilson traversed the void and the vacuum, and was victim to a transmigration. However, distortions of objectives transpired. The intention was for Thomas F. Wilson to transcend his regular human form, and to metempsychose into China; which would subsequently be the first country in the world to install hoses in bread crusts.

But no. Due to the lack of information concerning his cranial measurements, he ended up as some superfluous simplification in a logical analysis equation. The equation went something like this: ‘There is an entity c such that the statement “x is a muffin” is true if x is c and false if otherwise; moreover c is Pauly Shore.’ Thomas F. Wilson stands in for c until it is unveiled that c is in fact not he.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Mondo Mugwump Letters

It’s that time again ramblers, a new episode of The Mondo Mugwump Letters has now been spawned on Blogcritics. This time The Duke and I discuss Jean-Luc Godard’s fun and games with The Rolling Stones back in the good old days of political revolt and radicalism and etc - Sympathy For The Devil.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Billy Drago: The New Paradigm

It was a warm summer afternoon - the sort that swelters just above the pores. With an industrial haze glimmering in the sky, this was the day when the real and the abstract would dive into each other. It would be a collision, a mighty explosion of juxtaposition, metamorphosis and amalgamation. The atmosphere was pregnant with oozing lust for the cataclysm to come, and wholly marvellous it was when it arrived.

The setting for this odd event was Belfast. That focal of commerce gives this story the objects it needs to be anything beyond the pale deserts of an empty word document. The subject for this odd event is Billy Drago, sometime actor and regular top hat wearer.

He was in the city under the auspices of employment. He had attained a role in a new BBC-financed horror film called Killer Choc-Ice. The synopsis of this particular schlock revolved around a group of young Hells Angels just back from Altamont, who are absolutely flummoxed to discover that the hive of violence and grime they left behind some thirty years prior has permutated into a nest of Starbucks’ and cigarette-butt-less cobblestones. But the utopian exterior belies a dark secret, which is that the city is now under the governorship of a renegade cabal of Orphic monks, who worship a god in the shape of a chocolate encrusted square of ice-cream. The film ends with the prophesised advent of the eponymous choc-ice, who, as a gigantic monolith, floats around central Belfast, eyeing up the DVD sale in HMV and crushing hapless shoppers; and it is up to the leather-clad biker folk to stop its totalitarian reign.

Drago plays a box of detergent in a scene where a wife of one Hells Angel peels potatoes.

After his ardour on set, Drago went for a walk up to Waterstones. Finding himself angled between romantic fiction and business for dummies, he quickly stepped out the backdoor. Here he ambled upon a very curious happening, for the air seemed to be dipping into itself. What was more unusual was that Drago could see the ethereal ravine reverberating, unaided by externality, hovering with no hang-ups as to how the sentimental delicacies of gravity might feel towards this insolence.

Drago stood for a moment, his optics encasing the proceedings with cartographic proficiency. Turning back only to notice the one-way nature of the gateway he just exited, he let out a great yelp, “Damnnnn youuuu!”

Following this bout of rare weakness, he revolved once again to the adjacent spectacle. It seemed to be reacting to his outburst. The formerly-straight sides of the airy pit were now morphing out in the direction of Drago. His good sense suddenly playing truant from his mind, he stumbled towards it. Almost instantly he was engulfed in the dance of atoms long corrupted; a smouldering globule of quintessence cascading behind the Waterstones just off Belfast city centre.

Being psychologically putrefied with nary cognition of the ordeal, his organic frame oscillated in spasms of discomfort within the whirlwind. His long grey locks became as fire, his high cheekbones transmogrified into the liquid rebellion of water, his vocals were subverted into a vacuum of air, while his spinal fluid solidified into a rigid compound of earth. His being was decimated as he stood; molecules ripped apart and raped of hitherto dimensional stability.

The visual pandemonium, now in arabesque, was the sort of blocky assembly that would be stabbed with the swords of CGI were it to appear on an IMAX. Paper cuts of ambience swam around that alley as Billy Drago ceased to be Billy Drago. The ashes of familiarity were blown away as a new creation took shape in the vortex.

A swish of gust and the guillotine of time sharply truncated the ever-procrastinating mutation. The gaseous convolution faded off into the sky like the steam arisen from off the nose of pacing itself.

What remained in the wake of this bizarre occurrence was a fleshy blob nodding acquiescence at the foetal stance. This slowly-congealing goop began to move around, first giving itself vertiginous motion, then discovering its own limbs like a pupating Marco Polo. This primordial genesis soon assumed the vertical, where its final mucosal took form.

Why the figure that was now aloft biologically, it was none other than Billy Drago by fuck!

But this was a new Billy Drago, a fresh Billy Drago, a renovated and rejuvenated Billy Drago. Gone were the shackles of neuroses, the hex of self-esteem, the burden of desire and ambition. All superficialities were abjured into one large negation, discharged from the anus of what was then to become known as The New Paradigm.

The void left behind after the refurbishing of the senses Billy Drago filled with miraculous powers, such abilities as to gift him envy of an entire humanity. He had a duo of core powers, the first being the skill to glance forward into the future, to break the bounds of the exfoliating present, the second being the skill to perceive what another person is thinking, to enter a foreign intuition and to apprehend it. Both had been built-up by a history of fiction, by an antiquity of creative want, and it is now thought that Drago chose these particular capabilities in a mindset of spite for all those years where he was relegated to reruns of Charmed. This hypothesis is underlined by the fact that he made it very clear in the mainstream media that he used neither power, not even once.

His smirking face, often painted on walls and broadcast on QVC, was subjected to much jealousy and hatred over the years. Eventually Jihads were orchestrated against Billy Drago, but since he was considered the new messiah by many on the conservative right, these movements failed to even dent his top hat.

In the end, on the rising noontide of his acclaim and detestation, he was murdered by a flaming spear to the guts hurled by a Deus ex machina. And thus came to an end the tale of Billy Drago, a man who may or may not have been a deity, a man who may or may not have been a good actor, but a man who certainly did wear a top hat and certainly was predisposed to yelling “Damnnnn Youuuu” at all who wronged him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Mondo Project

Ah the internet, that great decimator of social awkwardness, always on hand to topple the shy walls of social integration. Nowadays a friend met on the webby digitalia is afforded equal validity to the sort of miscreant you might encounter down at the local newsagents, or the hackneyed senses of some philanthropist who works for the civil service. The playing field is even; tis a soaring plain rich in the budding of buddies.

The Mondo Project is a new web-based, collaboratory blog, initiated by those who hitherto have been labelled the Mondo Group, a faction of bloggers who became united under the auspices of The Duke’s Mondo Irlando Yahoo Group. Following much interaction, discussion and reflection, it was decided that a mighty collective website was required. And here it is, birthed and unleashed to the world at large.

The Mondo Project is the mental coalescence of eight individuals, banded together under the banner of sublimity. Firstly, the administrative genius and architect of the venture is one DJRadiohead, a musical connoisseur of much music I know little about (Guster, for instance), a man who deserves a wealth of praise and seductive laments for his hard graft in assembling a working domain for us all to bounce about in. His majestic labour can be gifted nothing beyond a first mention.

Then we have The Duke, virtuosic cultural critic, whose idiosyncratic style is all shinny beacons and apostrophes. Mat Brewster is a patron of the musical and the filmic, whose vibrant analysis is matched only by an award-winning penchant for profanity. Mark Saleski is an enthusiast of the most obscure of jazz meandering, whose reviews are littered with the concision and professionalism of an expert in rapture. Greg Smith is a music-centric writer, springing forth into journalistic reality with his dalliances with the magazine NME. Eric Berlin is a heaving behemoth of new media promotion, whose Mafioso-exterior hides a soft, Long Island core (full of bunnies and cotton blankets). Mary K. Williams is the female input in this environment of maleness; she mixes observant psychoanalysis with a tender predilection for children and karate. Then, finally, myself, who feels no need at this moment to self-eulogise.

So there you are, go and visit The Mondo Project right now. And marvel at the force of the internet, for it has brought together all these disparate individuals who otherwise would not have known of such peers (barring The Duke and I). The Mondo Project - now open for glances and gawks.