Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Cube

I found this one the internet today and it completely fried my mind.

The Cube was an early Jim Henson television play that pre-dated the era of the Muppets. The story is of a man caught in a giant "cube" encountering various visitors over the course of a delirious hour. Metaphysics, reality, epistemology, all of those great philosophical questions of existence come into play in this drama. I am not quite certain how to describe it, but it reminds me greatly of Faust by Jan ┼ávankmajer. The parallels of being trapped in a game run clearly through both films.

The film is just under an hour long, but it is well worth sitting down and watching through its entirety. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Things I Find...

For your enjoyment today, I present a found letter. The names and the addresses of the individual have been removed. But still, this is one of those moments of pure unintentional comedy...

Just a brief intro, the letter is from a man who is angry about not receiving tickets to an Indigo Girls concert he had ordered online...

Definitely a bonanza...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

All Along the Watchtower...

Why welcome you to a religion with flowers, wishes, and thoughts of hope when you can scare them into joining you? I think that is why I love the Watchtower and all of their related publications. In fact I think that most zine writers can learn something from these prolific pamphleteers.

Take for example this simple three column folded hand-out.

You have a catchy title, "Will This World Survive?," and a great science-fiction cover image. A page of text and then images of destruction, revelation (I hate using the term apocalypse as a word of destruction because it simply translates to "revealing"), and then happiness. If anything, it is the greatest propaganda artwork that exists on American soil along with some of the catchiest and kitschiest of pop-art around.

I have no appreciation for the religion prescribed in these texts, but damn do I love their artwork. 
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Open Letter: Dear Mr. Kissinger

Dear Mr. Kissinger

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this open internet letter. I do hope you find yourself well this July day. While many individuals probably contact you to discuss music and world affairs, I wanted to write to you about music. And pitch something to you that I think is both a work of pure genius and soul. And you, Mr. Kissinger are the only person that can assist with this project.

Certain albums are always going to be memorable. Just like classic works of art, they remain implanted in one's brain leaving an indelible mark for a lifetime. Andy Warhol made his impact with Soup Cans, but he also produced one of the great rock bands of the 60s, The Velvet Underground. With Nico singing on the first album, her baritone voice projecting over the drone of psychedelia, a new era of sonic attitude and altitude was achieved.

But that of course is history, just like the Ford administration. Mr. Kissinger, I bring up this band because Nico is no longer with us, she met an untimely fate a few decades back, thus The Velvet Underground will never have a singer with a truly lusty European baritone voice ever again.

That is where you come in.

With modern karaoke technology, we can revitalize the glory that was The Velvet Underground...but instead of Nico, it will be Kissinger. And it will be AWESOME!!! I am certain we can convince Lou Reed that this is abstract political performance art or something...he can cash in on it too.

You will sing "All Tomorrow's Parties," "I'll Be Your Mirror," and "Femme Fatale." Just three songs! That is all you have to do.

So please Mr. Kissinger, consider this modest proposal. I am certain we can enlighten a whole generation of music lovers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Speaking of editing, today I found an interesting revision of a piece that I had created a few weeks ago that had been updated and revised without permission. The great thing about these individiuals new text is that they have created a new form of abstract, absurdist form of literature that borders on realm of highly innebriated typing and first generation language skills.

Is this parody a reflection of myself? Given that I gave up on irony a long time ago and decided that heavy-handed satire was the only form of rhetorical humor that I could formally embrace, I think I have to agree and say yes.

Click here to see the original text:


Getting past the first draft is always the biggest challenge. And as I have been looking back at some early writings as of late, there are a slew of old docs, character sketches, notecards, and drafts that never quite got off the ground.

There was the essay about spending 6 weeks in a karaoke bar, examining the culture, the patrons, and the inevitable mental collapse that comes with hearing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" sung 9 times by the same person in the same week--2 drafts then archived. A lost short fiction piece about a science teacher and the doubts he faces when his students accidently set part of an auditorium on fire during a demonstration he was leading--1 draft. The first chapter I wrote for my master's thesis went through 10 revisions before I decided I was ready to submit it to my committee with the other chapters.

And now I present to you this.

Very rarely does the Wonderful World of Clutter get an edit. I guess only when I spot a completely awkward sentence after posting or once I spot a glaring typo will I fix things. That said, when I look back at what I have written here over the past year plus, I realize there must be some completely unreadable dreck out there. And so for that, I apologize the way politicians do. Mistakes were made, I will try to correct them in the future. Someone will be held accountable.

See now all better.

Now that we have all of that emo crap out of the way, I want to tell you what type of posts we have coming up.  There will be religious art, there will be phalluses and fallacies, pamphlets and books, ephemera and more. And then there is the 300th post, which is kind of a milestone, or something.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today, I found this amusing...

Well, the Wonderful World of Clutter has been somewhat neglected the last few days. I have returned to the Land of a Thousand Sickly Santas and continue my schooling at the intersection of Dying Dreams and Lost Hope. So it kind of warms my heart when I come across government language that is so simple and strange that it just makes me giggle a bit.

This is taken from the Americans with Disabilities Act Access Board Regulations page. Basically, this is where all of the rules are laid out by the ADA so individuals with disabilities of all form can have access to whatever they want. For example...Miniature Golf Courses.

Yep...kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy thinking about how everyone can have a chance to aim for that tripple windmill shot with the laughing clown.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Never Forget...

Today I present bad menu design...

Now if these sushi rolls were presented somewhat upright, but tumbling over, then this would be completely unforgivable.

Okay...Joke's over...Everyone go home.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Cause and Effect...

I love warning signs, instructional signs, informational signs, and road signs.  I especially love the narratives that can be created when you combine two signs together.

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Small Town Charm

I came across this little flier in a western clothing store in Molalla, Oregon, a few months back. And well, I think it is one of those things that just speaks for itself.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cattle Punching on a Jack Rabbit

Consider it a variation on a theme in an era before Photoshop.

I just wonder where the found such tiny cattle. They seem so small...wait a minute, they must have come from this guy. Yes, there are really miniature bull out there. Real cattle bred to be the size of a large dog.

However giant jack rabbits can only be found in the Night of the Lepus. It takes a long time to break a giant jack rabbit...or even a cuddly bunny. So my hat is off to these brave cowboys.

Up next we will feature Donkey Punching while riding dragons...That is if I can find the right postcards.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shrimp Wiggle

The ocean is a bountiful feast if you don't mind picking at rocks, digging in mud and sand, or sifting through various detritus that washes up on shore after a sea storm. That is what makes this pamphlet so amusing. I found Edible? Incredible! at a local vintage shop and could not pass up the opportunity to purchase this 70s era book about wild forgeable foods. And as a lover of the ocean and seafood, it was a double bonus.

Most of the information was quite practical. Geoducks look like giant phalluses, kelp looks like kelp, crabs look like crab. You should cook these things before eating them, but sometimes raw oysters are good. See, practical information.

Less practical are the recipes. Or, I should say, the names of the recipes. While overall, they don't seem bad in principle, I think naming something "Shrimp Wiggle" just sounds odd, and well, a little off-putting.

Also of note-- If you plan to cook octopus, don't get one that looks like the one on the cover of the book. Try to find a live one, kill it, and then cook it. Seriously, that thing looks like it has been through a couple of dehydrators and mad scientist movies.

While cookbooks are great, there is something to be said for the cooking pamphlet. It just seems a bit more authentic and down-home in nature. Maybe because they were the give-aways with the blender, mixer, or microwave oven. The recipes in these pamphlets are completely impractical and often quite terrible, but someone must have really tried to highlight their new marvelous invention. If you can find these, they are often only a dollar a piece at most antique stores or junk shops, give them a glance. You will be amazed. 
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just Because I Am In One of Those Moods

Let's have fun with some Catholic ephemera...for the difficult and hopeless.

Nothing like a good ol' prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus when your being difficult and hopeless. Yep, kind of sucks being the patron saint of desperate cases; it means you are really the last guy they call. "Virgin Mary there, nope...James...nope, Can't get Peter...CRAP!...Might as well call St. Jude Thaddeus."

Let's hope he is like the guy they call in when the shit hits the fan in action movies. Like in The Principal, that whole school was going to hell until Jim Belushi showed up and showed those hoodlums who was in charge.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Cocktails and Dreams

I picked up this postcard because of the giant marlin. I have always been fascinated by these giant fish and their taxidermic forms. Rarely are fish actually preserved the same way that most mammals are mounted. Due to the thin nature of the skin, thin, scaly, and oily, it loses color and tends to decay pretty quickly; so almost all mounts of fish are actually painted fiberglass models based off of caught specimens.

But enough about taxidermy, let's talk cocktails! Buying old postcards gives us glimpses into fleeting thoughts of individuals we will more than likely never meet. Here, were get to learn about a trip to Hawaii and the exotic drinks they have at the Hilton. Whether the Tropical Itch is still on the menu, I do not know. The gimmick of serving it with a back scratcher is even more amusing. 

Yet all of this has an ominous side. Having taken a microbiology class and read a book on tropical disease and parasites, I don't think I would ever really want to have a drink poking fun at such troubles. Leper colonies were only a few islands away. And if that weren't disturbing enough, there were other fevers, amoebas, viruses, and assorted skin louses that dwell throughout the tropics that would provide itching and burning and disfiguring and hurting. Give me a Manhattan when I order a cocktail--I don't care if I am in some tropical locale...that is if I still drank. Hell, if I want to be daring I will order tequila.
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Happy Codependce Day!

Happy Codependence Day! Yes, every 5th of July, American's across the country wake up and question what their relation ship with this country and wonder "is it really worth it?" American was up late partying, getting drunk, lighting off explosives and nearly blowing off fingers, and then coming home with no apologies, and now it wants us to make sacrifices. Of course, we don't really know whether it is worth it. The relationship is complicated, we want to leave but it is so hard. We put so much time into America.

So why put up a picture of ferrets? Nothing exemplifies Codependence Day more than good ol' Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and GOP presidential hopeful, and his hatred of ferrets. During his mayorship, he banned owning of these mammals within the city limits outraging some of his constituents. The rest is best summed up by this audio clip with video, taken from, from Rudy's weekly radio call-in show when a ferret fan confronts then mayor.

Loving America is tough. And Canada seems mighty appealing after knowing that this is what could have been president.


In Honor of Explosions

Independence Day has really lost much of its meaning over the years. Now we celebrate our country's birth with mattress sales and lighting off explosives. Since I already purchased a mattress, I might as well remember one of the greatest firework our country has ever let off for freedom.

I am not certain where this newspaper clipping came from, but it has been floating around in my collection of ephemera for years. The fact that it isn't an actual photograph of Hiroshima makes it even more ominous in my mind; Instead we are presented with an artist rendering of the aftermath further removing the American citizenry from the destruction unleashed that August day.

I wish I had the entire article. But unfortunately, I only have this clipping and the gleanings I can get from the tops of columns. 

As I sit listening to my neighbors and numerous others let off fireworks through the city at this late hour, making it sound like a small war zone of drunken revelry, I have to think about some of the losses. What was the 4th of July like for my grandparents when they were locked away in what was essentially a prison camp for American citizens who committed no crimes? I have no real idea, nor are they around to ask.

Happy Independence Day.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Miracle of America

In my adventures to Montana, I happened across this roadside billboard. Nothing could be more mysterious or more astounding than to name itself the "Miracle of America Museum." Unfortunately due to time constraints and given that I spotted this sign in the dead of winter, me travel companion convinced me it was unwise to head toward Polson to find out what this "miracle" really was.

But since today is Dependence Day, the day before Independence Day. I figure we might as well speculate what types of miracles we could associate with America.

Is it the semi-virginal birth of that third generation of Palins? Is it that Lord of the Rings swept the Oscars? Or maybe that the Cubs haven't won a World Series in lord only knows how long? Perhaps our first African-American President is our miracle of America, just like JFK being the first Catholic President was a miracle for America (and the Vatican). Another miracle could be the time that Jesus spent with the Native Americans before he ascended into heaven. Or that L. Ron Hubbard had a bad experience with a psychologist and decided to create his own religion.

That is what makes America great, so many little miracles. All of which are dependent on each other and all of which we depend on for our independence. So tomorrow, when you are firing off explosives and eating too much barbecue, remember what this holiday is really about...

One day God told George Washington to cut down a giant cherry tree, the largest cherry tree in all of America and to build an Ark. When George's father asked about what the boy had done, he simply stated, "I cannot lie, I am on a mission from God, and I am building an Ark to kick some British ass." So George got his friend Paul Revere, and John Adams together and they decided they were going to make this country. George, John, and Paul, and their giant Ark killed ten thousand British People, and they all drank tea, because Oregon and Washington were not invented yet so good coffee didn't exist. And they said, "Fuck you, we're going to get Ben Franklin to make us something really cool that uses electricity and cocaine, and then we are going to write a constitution." So once they wrote the constitution and divided the country up into thirteen states, they called this country The United States of America...You can Suck it Britain. Unfortunately the last part of official title could not fit onto the dollar bill so they had to remove the "suck it Britain" part. Now that they were independent, George, John, and Paul, used an ancient Masonic ritual to move the giant Ark to a hidden dimension where presided by future president Polk. When America is in its greatest moment of turmoil, the Ark will come from its outer dimension and save the country because Angels and Abraham Lincoln will be navigating the helm.


Look at the small print in the constitution. It is all there. 

Happy Dependence Day.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rainy Day Activity Time: Glass Blowing

The rains are back in Portland, so what does a person do? Apparently, a person blows glass. I am not exactly certain what the purpose of this activity really is because given the scale and the amount of space needed, the most glassware a person could ever really create with such as small set-up would be a crack pipe. So if you have ever wanted to make a crack pipe for those long stretches of dreary weather in Oregon, here are your instructions.

From ephemera

Glass blowing is such a popular Northwest activity that there are museums dedicated to glass, such as the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. There was also a great deal of crack in Tacoma as well, so go figure. And pretty much every head shop has some guy that makes glass bongs or has a buddy that makes glass bongs. So yep, I can't make this stuff up. 

Have fun, get a test tube, a blow torch, some metal tongs, and try not to burn yourself or your apartment down.

Meowable Song...And a Moment of Shame

For today's Meowable Song, I have chosen something of high sentiment a bit beyond the scope of my personal sharing range.

When I was a very young child and shed the early childhood music of Raffi and Sesame Street Disco, I soon discovered that I had a passion for instrumental anthems. The most monumental anthem of the early 80s and of my early childhood development was written by truly gifted musician. In 1982 this music won awards and acclaim around the world. And at three-years of age, I had truly discovered that the synthesizer was an amazing instrument.

If you haven't figured out that I am talking about the Chariots of Fire Soundtrack, then I forgive, for this is probably the most influential album in my entire life. My parents owned the LP and I always requested they play it over and over and over. The very first cassette that I ever owned which went along with my first Sony Walkman was this soundtrack. I played the cassette until it chewed itself up and spit itself out in a spaghetti tangle of magnetic tape.

And when I started to discover women, I felt that this album, on vinyl, would be one of the tools of wooing. Alas, no one told me the ways of courtship and how flawed my thinking actually was as a young college kid with a turntable.

I remember the evening very clearly. After hanging out with a young woman I shall only refer to as S, we ended up back at my apartment to "listen to music." She sat in my Lay-z-boy recliner while I sat on the floor of my apartment sorting through my record collection looking for the right music to set the mood. Of course I chose Vangelis, what other options did I have? Jackie-O Motherfucker...No. Neil Diamond...Well, maybe. Ballad of the Green Berets...Definite Hell No... So admittedly, my vinyl collection was a little thin to necessitate a turntable, but it gave me access to the most awe inspiring songs ever written. I didn't tell S what I was going to play, I just told her, "This song is the most important song you will ever hear." I placed the needle in the groove and the pulsing single chord progression moved forward until the French horn blew threw. "Wait for it," I boldly stated, "It gets even better." As the piano began to play, she began to laugh. Not a girlish giggle, not a snicker, chortle, or  a tee-hee-you're-cute-let's-make-out-laugh, she was on the floor in tears laughing. "No, no, no, this is important." I calmly and insistently stated, as picked up the needle and started the album again. "This song is one of the most amazing things ever created." But of course, I had already fallen off of the precipice, my lady friend was too far into convulsive laughter to find Vangelis significant enough of a song for a make-out session. And I was left to reevaluate what music I used for setting moods. When the song ended, and she managed to stop laughing, S stated that was one of the funniest things she had ever seen, as if this was a well played piece of performance art or comedy. Little did she know that I was trying to impress her and failing in glorious fashion. She took off with little fanfare, and I was left with my LP of Chariots of Fire wondering where I went wrong.

Now in my defense, S was a classically trained musician, a pianist in fact. But this would not even stir her. At one point in time I wrote a song for her and tried to perform it. She was not impressed. Such is the way with things. College was a rough time for learning the hardships of courtship.

But enough of regret and shame. "Titles" by Vangelis is the feature track off of the Chariots of Fire Soundtrack. On a Meowable Scale, I give it an 11 of 10. However, on a Emasuclatron Scale, It gets a firm 15 out of 10. What is the Emasculatron Scale? Well, the Emasculatron Scale is something new, it is basically a statistically valid measurement of how emasculating an object, be it music, art, food, whatever, is. That evening and the events of it magnified by the catalyst of "Titles" makes an emasculating event measurable by the Emasculatron Scale. The following video also ranks high on the Emasculatron Scale for two reasons, one being I will never run a four-minute mile, the other, well...figure it out.