Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On to exciting new things!

Most people that write blogs go on and on about everything they can think of, informed by IMDB, ALLMUSIC.com and all things Google, dropping myriad pop culture references and theories. Sometimes I'm in the mood to do that, like now. Something that fascinates me is the role of drugs and decadence in cult films. "Performance" came in today on my Netflix and I immediately watched the whole thing. It was great to escape for a short bit. It is an amazing celluloid display of decadence. Mick Jagger was literally fucking Keith's girlfriend Anita Pallenberg on camera while the Stones guitarist waited outside the set in his Bentley. It was the like the cult of Jagger captured for movie audiences. That film destroyed everybody involved. James Fox, who played the gangster, went on a religious bender for ten years, co-director Donald Cammell killed himself, Michel Breton died not long after, but the Stones survived and thrived.
I must be thinking about all this because of what happened to me today. After getting fired yesterday, then finding out that I was right about Oslowe and Engine, I got a call from the Time Mag guy this morning. We met and he told me that I wasn't supposed to open my mouth at the press conference, just take notes. Okay, so I fucked up. Then he offered me another chance. He wanted me to join a certain underground organization that will remain nameless, and help him write a story about it. I'd get three thousand dollars and a byline on the piece. I jumped at the chance. I had no other immediate job prospects and he was offering enough money to pay my rent for six months as well as a foot in the door at a major magazine. How could I possibly turn him down? It will only be for a few weeks, and then I'll just get out of there and collect my money. I told my plan to this guy Lent later on in the afternoon, and he told me I was nuts. He had been V's boyfriend back at The Rock and the two had spent some time in this same organization. Lent had gotten out early, and left V there, because at that point they had broken up. But he told me that there was no way I could just leave, and that the effects of the place would fuck my brain up for good. I didn't really listen to him, becasue I think he's just jealous. He's written his own book about cults and it didn't get much attention. But after watching "Performance" I have to wonder if maybe he isn't right, maybe an experience like this could really mess me up but good. But I have to do it anyway. As insane as it is, it could be the boost that gets me out of this little podunk berg.
So starting tomorrow I will be taking a hsort sabbatical. Wish me luck. I will try to keep this thing going with mobile blogging, for as long as I can get away with it. With luck I'll be out in a few weeks and have a lot more to talk about. Maybe like the Stones I'll survive and thrive.


Pol Thornton

Monday, August 27, 2007


I turned on the TV last night to check out what was on The Engine channel, because they just started broadcasting. Guess what I saw? Oslowe! He was doing his Language of the Mind seminar, just like the guy from Time Mag had said he would be. So I was right all along! Course that doesn't mean I'm going to be able to get my job back. I'll call in early tomorrow and see if I can talk some sense into them.


Can you believe it? They fucking fired me! And I was just doing my job! Pete said he didn't want to do it but he had no choice, something about nipping potential lawsuits in the bud. There was no arguing, nothing I could do. Man, was I pissed at that phony from Time Magazine, telling me all that shit and none of it was true. I guess it's my fault for believing him though. Why on earth did I ever listen to some asshole hanging out in a bar in the first place? And I should have kept my mouth shut at that press conference at the very least.
I went directly home and moped all day. There have to be other jobs around here that I can snag. Maybe I can make a living playing music. Yeah, right. That's a joke. I couldn't even buy my way into a gig at Club Helsinki, and I know the guy personally. Too depressing, that's what I keep hearing. At least The Iron Horse in Northampton was willing to take a chance on us last year. Although it's been hell trying to get another show out of them. Anyway, I used the extra time to finally put some music up on our Myspace page, where I've been repeating these blog posts since Friday. You can check it out at www.myspace.com/trainoutofbody.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fucking up big time

I don't know if anybody reads these things. And for that matter, I don't know why I continue to write them. Maybe it's because I think in some way that my thoughts are special and worthwhile in some way. Maybe I don't have the nerve to talk about these things to anyone, and this is the only way I can let it out. At any rate, what happened to me yesterday proves to me that my life isn't in any way ordinary, for better or worse. Basically, I went to the Engine press conference I was telling you about on Friday, all primed to see what Oslowe, my old mind-reading friend from the Rock, was up to. But they didn't mention a thing about Oslowe, or mind reading, or any of that. So after sitting through a bunch of promos of lame TV shows they were planning to start shooting and broadcasting, they brought on Caldeburg Flint, the guy who is supposed to be the head honcho of Engine. He wasn't actually there in person, they had him projected up on a big screen. It was an interactive setup, and he started taking questions from the audience. Press people asked the usual sort of softball shit, designed to get nifty little quotes to go with the story, not to probe what was going on. So after a while I got sick of it and I stood up and asked the guy flat out what was up with Oslowe and the whole cult thing. Apparently this wasn't a very cool thing to do, because the guy just sorta stammered and then the screen went black. Everybody was talking at once and the whole press conference came to a screeching halt. I think I fucked up. Quint, the guy from my paper that I went up there with, said something about slander and unfounded accusations, and what the hell did I think I was doing? I feel completely duped. That guy from Time Magazine had been so certain all that stuff was happening up there. Why did he lie to me like that? Am I just a sucker?
I'm not looking forward to going into work tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weirder still

Okay, so I went out to my favorite bar in Great Barrington tonight and somehow everybody had already heard about how I was claiming to have run over a girl's body in the woods that morning, and how the body had then disappeared. Most people were sympathetic to me, although I'm sure to some it sounded like the mother of bad excuses for being late to work. I asked around about V, not mentioning that she had been the girl I'd seen, but nobody seemed to know anything about what she was up to. Then this guy in a suit walks up to me at the bar and says he knows what happened to V, that she joined up with this cult called Engine that has been operating out of the G.E. plant up in Pittsfield. And then he tells me that the cult is being run by Oslowe, the same guy I knew from back in college days. I ask him how he knows all this, and he tells me he works for Time Magazine and he's been trying to infiltrate Engine for a story he's doing. Apparently Engine is having a press conference tomorrow, and they are going to talk about this new cable channel they are launching. The guy tells me that Oslowe is going to be featured in one of their programs doing his mind reading routine to draw in prospective recruits. Then he asks me to go to the press conference for him and help gather information.
Now I'm not saying this looks like my big break, and a chance to get in on a once-in-a-lifetime story, but it sure feels that way. So tomorrow I'm going to this press conference, as an assistant to a big time reporter. I'm so excited, I don't think I'm going to sleep much tonight.
I'll be back tomorrow to tell you what happens!

Weird happenings

Wow. I started this blog because I kinda fantasized I was someone that strange things happened to. But today was way stranger than anything I could have dreamed up. I'm tempted to start it with a joke to blunt the emotion of it, something like this: I ran into an old friend today... thing is, I ran into her allright -- with my bicycle. You see, I was on my way to work, speeding through the woods, and she was stretched across the path. I mean, her body was stretched across the path, at the bottom of a hill. I didn't see anything until it was too late. So the bike went flying, and me with it. After I hit the ground, I lay there for a little while, kinda dazed, then got up and checked out what had happened. She was dressed in a red robe, and her head was shaved. And I recognized her, too. Her name was V. She was someone that I'd hooked up with once, back when we were both going to school at The Rock. But she'd had a boyfriend. She wasn't moving, and I tried taking her pulse and couldn't find anything. My fucking cellphone was dead, so I had to ride into town to get help. It took a little while for me to find a cop, and for us to get back to the scene. But when we finally arrived, she was gone! That cop seemed kinda pissed at me for dragging him all the way out there. But I was a mess the rest of the day, and my boss let me leave early. I went back along the bikepath to look for any clues. The marks where my bike hit the ground were still there, and V still wasn't. It got me to thinking. The last time I'd seen V had been at this mind reading gathering, hosted by this guy named Oslowe, back when we were in school. And that was when it occured to me: Oslowe had worn a red robe, too.
I need to go get a drink.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Train Out of Body

My band Train Out of Body played a show last night, and I'd like to thank both of you that showed up. You know who you are.
The thing about playing music that fascinates me and keeps me coming back again and again is that it really is all about yourself when you are doing it. I know you are supposed to say that the joy is in sharing it, but for me it is such a powerful thrill that, when I'm caught up in it, the idea that someone is watching only enhances the experience -- it doesn't justify it. What I mean is that it's always good, always incredible and transcendent, and having anybody witness what happens is just icing on the cake. Of course, that isn't the sort of attitude that endears you to club booking agents and builds you a ravenous following, and that is probably why my band doesn't get too many gigs. Anyway, that's the reason why I named the band Train Out of Body -- it's that soothing but still brooding acceptance of letting go and rushing forward to something greater, that is, the nothingness that is everything out there. When I play music it always takes me to that place where part of me longs to leave the confines of the body and to just soar out into the ether.
By the way, look at what I just found about out of body experiences!
I think it ties in with these dreams I've been having of late, vivid but dark dreams about flying through the space that surrounds the Earth as if I were roaring down a freeway in a ghost car, passing through trees and mountains and buildings without a thought. And then I wake up, and all I can remember is the rush of speed and the thrill of the abandon. I don't know what any of it means, but I can't help but relate it to my music.
Once again I'm the last person left in the building. It's weirdly chilly, overcast and quiet outside, even though we are still supposed to be in the throws of summer tourist season. Things don't usually dry up around here until after the leaves have turned. It's that garish spectacle of brilliant colors when nature provides the equivalent of a laser light show for the gawking leaf peepers who make a mess of Main Street and jam things all the way up route 7 to Stockbridge . Usually Halloween is the punctuation mark at the end of it all. But this year it seems darker than usual, weirdly sinister, as if Halloween is already here, and we aren't even out of August yet. Of course, it could be just me. I'm the sort of person that looks around at all the pretty colors and all I can think about is how all these leaves are giving their lives for this.