Category Archives: hope

Dispatches From The Far North

nwt

 

Have I ever mentioned that after college I ran away into the woods?

 

LA had worn me down and beaten me to the ground. I was so depressed I could barely stand up most of the time. And then that’s when I discovered American Transcendentalism, and the ideals of running away and escaping capitalist society.

I took Thoreau for his word and ran away.  And now that I’m older and read Thoreau more clearly, I’m pretty fuckin annoyed… because he never actually ran away. He lived on a lake only a few miles from town. He literally would walk home and eat with his family and shit… what a twat.

I on the other hand, during my period of total infatuation with his ideas, really did run away into the middle of nowhere. Where there were no roads. No phones. No sewage systems…

I went to the Northwest Territories, a little north of the Great Slave Lake.

There, I lived in a “cabin” which was really just a plywood box that was covered in arctic tarp. Recently, I found the pictures I took of inside my cabin.

Whenever I’m feeling down, writing and art has always saved me. And so, being up there was no different.  Armed with nothing but sidewalk chalk (why was there sidewalk chalk? I have no idea…) Anyways, armed with sidewalk chalk and bare plywood walls, I got to work.

Here are a few of my derelict masterpieces:

 

cabin1

Here, with CHERRY BOOM, I needed color, and I need fun. I went for a retro-Pac Man thing because it was exciting.  It was something that made me feel like I wasn’t completely lost from society. A memento that there was a world full of video games, ice tea, and mattresses that I could return to at some point.

 

 

cabin2

This was my manifesto to the world. I wrote this, and then read this to myself every night before going to sleep. It was a way for me to tell myself that I’m not done. I went to the woods to find myself, but the woods wouldn’t be my final resting place.

 

 

cabin3

My absolute favorite.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written these words in my journal, or said this under my breath as I’m about to take on a challenging day. The albatross has always been my spirit animal. They’re so large, so misunderstood, and so solitary, that it’s hard to imagine how they survive. But, against the odds, and against the elements, these birds flourish, even though they can spend months over the open ocean without ever even seeing land. They’re stronger than you’d ever believe. And so, I look to the albatross, flying high, for inspiration.

 

Eye to the sky!

 

~ The Dark Horse

Advertisements

Pictures That Give Me Energy

david

 

Have any of you ever heard of the photographer David LaChapelle? I love his photography because it always makes me so happy. His photos are so full of color and movement and shine and light. I love it. It’s the perfect cure for when I’m feeling down.

 

dave

 

I feel like these days everyone is really into that gritty-miserable shit. Everyone is like, “Oooohhh I just love it when characters are complex and nobody in a story is really the good guy. Everyone’s just bad in different ways.”  Or they want shows about drugs, like Narcos and Breaking Bad. Or movies about post-apocalyptic bullshit.

Everyone loves misery these days?  WHY IS THAT? 

The world is miserable enough! Why do people want more misery?

I want to be inspired. I want to feel like I can take on the world. I want a world where the sun is shining and I have a reason to get out of bed! And I feel like LaChapelle’s photos always have that.

dave1

 

So, my tip for everyone today is: If you’re feeling down, just go do a Google Images search on David LaChapelle. You will be blown away with beauty and color.

 

dave3

 

Because let’s all be real here. We need more light in our lives. We need more color. We need more fun. We need more beauty.

 

dave4

 

Keep looking for the light in the world,

~ The Dark Horse

Anyone Else Going To Be Alone On Thanksgiving?

FUCKTHANKSGIVING

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again! The leaves are almost gone, the first hints of Christmas pepper the atmosphere with a hint of glee, the rouge cranberries can be seen in even the most forgotten of grocery store aisles. This can mean only one thing, It’s almost Thanksgiving!

And, thanks to a country with INSANE flight prices (Dear America, do you know how cheap it is to fly in Europe?) I’ll be stuck in Boston for Thanksgiving… yay. 😦

However, I’m trying to make the best of this. Obviously, when you’re a depressed person, being alone over the holidays is horrible. In fact suicide rates actually INCREASE during the holidays. So, in order to not be sad, I’m compiling a list of:

 

Why I’m grateful to not be going home this Thanksgiving: 

 

1.) My mother can’t cook anyways. Look, my mother is a saint, salt of the Earth that one…. but as a cook? … Well, I mean, let’s just say this. Thanksgiving for us always consisted of overly-dry turkey. Green beans from a can, jello-d cranberry sauce from a can, gravy from a dry-packet mix, corn from a can, bread from the store, pumpkin pie from the store, and “mashed potatoes” if you can call them that. It was basically potatoes boiled down so much that they had lost all structural integrity. It was like picking up a spoonful of flavorless foam. This Thanksgiving, perhaps I can make myself good food now?

turkey

 

 

2.) I’m in Boston. Surely the Black Friday shopping here will be much better than it would have been in Ohio.  I mean, Walmart and Best Buy? Oh, please, let the trailer trash have their fun. I’m going to go stalk the sales at Gucci and Canada Goose. Get some real deals from real stores. PS- I literally don’t have the money to shop anyways, and I’m sure Gucci doesn’t do Black Friday deals anyways… but at least I can window shop for deals at the fanciest of places I can’t afford right? Perhaps I’ll buy a pair of socks.

tif

 

3.) Can you imagine what the airports will look like anyways? Do I really want to be crammed in a flight full TOC people? (TOC is Thanksgiving Or Christmas, they’re the people who only fly once a year at most, either for T or C. And Therefore they’re completely lost in the process; move slow, breathe through their mouths, trip, bump into walls, fart constantly, and so forth…) Then the plane will be filled with screaming babies, and people with their Panda Express smelling up the whole plane.

No thanks!

flight

 

4.) I’m literally going home for Christmas in a little over a month anyways. Sure, this will be a super lonely week, but you know what, I’m going to get to experience all the fun and joy of hectic holiday travel in one month. I CAN DO THIS! ONE MONTH.

just say it.

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH!

HomeAloneAirport

 

 

5.) Thanksgiving is deadly anyways! Have you ever heard of a movie called Thankskilling?

kill1

Why, Thanksgiving is downright dangerous! I should be thankful I’m not able to go home and experience the atrocities that await.

killing1

 

Now that’s what I call Murder Most Foul  (Rimshot please!)

 

~ The Dark Horse

Finding Inspiration In Slasher Films

horror

 

So, I’m sure you all the know the story, or a story similar to it.  I was the gay kid in Ohio that nobody talked to. I was the outcast, the loser, the weirdo, the obnoxious one, the one that nobody felt bad about leaving behind.  (The Randy for any Scream fans out there…)

I spent my childhood watching movies. Movies were my everything. My escape, my friends, my teachers, my inspiration. Movies were my life. They were never afraid to spend time with me even though everyone else was.

 

Growing up I had always watched horror movies on TV. My mother is a great woman… a devout Catholic actually! However, she’s also an oddball. She’s the product of the late 60s and 70s. Her older brother was a rebellious one. He stayed up late with their father and discussed dodging the draft and running away to Canada. He showed her the Beatles, and The Stones. My mother is sort of a flower child. 

She used to let us watch The Shining with her when it was on TV. The Exorcist. The Fly (The black and white one. The real one, as she puts it). Dark Shadows. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, Rosemary’s Baby… the “classics” according to my mother. I had an upbringing of horror from the very beginning.

But then; it was 1998. I was 8 years old. My friend (who, only 2 years later would stop talking to me for being gay, along with the rest of my hometown) rented Scream 2. It had just come out on VHS.

He had a brother and sister, twins, a year below us. And an older sister a good 4 or 5 years older than us. We all huddled in the dark basement and put in the movie.

From that very first scene in the movie theater, a scene that has become iconic in the horror world, I was hooked.

scream 2

 

I didn’t know it back then. I didn’t know what it was. I just knew I loved it. Especially Scream. Scream was so smart. So in-touch with everything around it. It was incredible.

And then, the Jada Pinkett Smith death scene.  OMG….ABSOLUTE HORROR LEGEND! 

scream 2 1

She’s going off on the white girl who’s about to die (I think it was..oh, whats her face…. Felicity Shagwell…  Whats her fucking name?  Heather Graham, that’s it!)  So she’s watching STAB in the theater and Heather Graham is playing Drew Berrymore from Scream 1. And Jada is yelling at the screen.   OMG. it was so perfect.

Random fact – If you don’t actually watch horror movies in theaters, you should. Black girls literally scream at the screen. It’s amazing, and all part of the moviegoing experience. I’ll never forget seeing Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween in 2007 and this one girl was going off on all the white characters the whole movie. Comic gold!

ANYWAYS – then Jada realizes her man aint her man no more…

scream 2 3

And that was that. I was hooked. Horror became my life. I binged them all. Forever and ever afterwards, my entire life. I can’t get enough of horror, especially slasher.

One must honor the classics:

Halloween

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Hellraiser

And Friday The 13th (Although, AS EVERYONE KNOWS, the best part of the Friday movies, were the hot guys they casted) PS- do you know about “Frigay the 13th” and all the drama that went down on that set? GUUURRRLLL…..

 

And one must also appreciate the newer films of the genre:

Scream

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Behind The Mask

Urban Legend

Hatchet 

 

 

Ok… I’m getting so far off track, I’m sorry. Point is this: What does a loser have to love in slasher films? I mean, they’re movies about a bunch of hot popular people having sex and going to parties. It’s everything my life wasn’t right?

Wrong. 

jason

Slasher films actually revolve around the lone female who survives. Known as the “survivor girl” or “final girl” in the horror community, but more commonly known as “Scream Queens”. These women are the true force behind every great slasher movie.

final

 

Scream Queens aren’t like the others in the movies. Scream Queens normally are virgins, normally don’t do drugs, tend to be more intelligent than their friends, and are never the most popular in the group. In fact, sometimes, they’re the ones the group believes in the least. And yet, they end up being the ones who rise above, and mange to outsmart the killer, becoming the lone survivor.  (Although, in some films you have multiple survivors)

 

And in a few films, the Scream Queen role is replaced by a male (example: Elijah Wood in The Faculty).  The Scream Queen rules remain in the cases of a “Scream King”

casey gif

 

 

Do you now see why an outcast like me would love these movies?

Watching the people who made fun of me, the people who always told me I’d never get to be one of them…they all die. And the person like me, the one nobody believed in, ends up being the strongest, the smartest, the survivor. 

Because of that, slasher movies hold a transcendent quality. And I know Im not the only one who thinks that. I know a lot of outcasts who have found great inspiration and strength in slasher movies. In fact there’s a shit ton of scholarly writing on it.

So what am I saying??

I’m saying, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND GET INSPIRED! It’s time to watch some slasher movies! (Because it’s good for you of course!)

jamie

 

~ The Dark Horse

OMG OMG OMG WAIT! Do you remember Freddy Vs. Jason?  (squeal!) 

That scene, when the main girl drags Freddy out of her dream and into the real world so he can fight Jason…. OMG… When Freddy first comes into our word and sees Jason and is like…. oh boy, I am fuckedddddd.   Why don’t these movies win Oscars?


fvj

Crazy Rich Asians is Crazy Amazing

crazy

 

People of Earth, it has been a very long time since I’ve seen a move that made so happy and giddy as this one.  I have to say, Crazy Rich Asians is totally worth the hype.

I visited Singapore a few years ago and instantly loved it, so last year, when I had hear that a movie was going into production that was based in Singapore, I had a little schoolgirl fit.

crazy1

 

And let me tell you, the movie delivers!

 

Ok, let me ask you this:

Do you enjoy feeling happy?

Do you love movies where the location is as much a member of the cast as the characters are?

Do you love movies that showcase food?

And movies that have this….

crazy2

 

 

hubba hubba!  Check please! 

crazy4

 

But in all honesty, as someone who fully believes that travel heals all wounds, this movie made me so happy. I love when movies can fully transport you to a new place. It’s such an amazing feeling to feel like you’ve gone somewhere.

Plus, it’s just a such a great feel good movie. I haven’t smiled so hard during a movie in a long time. But this movie made me feel like I was in high school again. Like someday I’d go to far off places, I’d find love, I’d have an adventure. It was just so amazing.

And am I aware that this post rambles on like I’m insane?  YES. Of course I am. But I don’t care. I loved this movie.

And I think that if you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up.  Then you should see it too. It’s a great two hours of your life.

Don’t believe me? Just look at Singapore…

singa1

singa2

 

No do you believe me?

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

(and no this wasn’t proofread. this was written in a primal state of pure childlike glee)

You’re Never Too Old, And I Have Proof.

wise

 

So, I’m home right now.  I got back from China last week and decided to have a little time in my hometown before I go back to school in a few weeks.  I visited with my grandma the other day and she told me a story that I loved and that I wanted to share:

 

She told me about her friend. Her friend is 93 years old, and still walks, talks, and even drives! Apparently, her friend’s grandson owns a tattoo parlor, which I find really funny because my grandma is a “church lady”, and the friend she was telling me about is someone who she puts on church events with. So the idea that this little old church lady has a tatted up grandson makes me smile.

wise1

 

And apparently, her grandson does more than just own a tattoo parlor… he’s a straight-up tattoo enthusiast. One of those types who’s covered head-to-toe and believes that everyone on Earth should have at least one tattoo.

So, he bugged her, telling her that he would give her a tattoo at some point.  But of course, being the little old church lady that she is, she said no.

For her 70th birthday, she said no.

For her 80th birthday, she said no.

But finally, on her 90th birthday she said, “What the hell, I’m 90.”

 

And, at 90 years old, she got her first tattoo, drawn on by her grandson. It was a butterfly.

wise3

 

When she told me that story, I couldn’t help but smile uncontrollably. I always fell like my life still hasn’t begun, and I fear that I’m going to die before I ever accomplish anything or before I’m ever happy.  So, to know that people are out there having new experiences at 90 years old makes me feel really good.  It makes me feel like maybe my life isn’t over yet. Like maybe there are still some new experiences down the road for me.

Also, it kind of puts things into perspective.  I’m 28. And I’m sure that if I were to talk to this 93-year-old-tatted-up-rockstar-church-lady, and told her that I feel like what should have been the best years of my life are behind me and have been wasted, she’d probably laugh. She’s probably done a lot in her life between the ages of 28 and 93. Hell, she probably did a lot between the ages of 50 and 93, or even 70 and 93!

 

I guess I liked this story so much because it showed me that it’s never too late to do things. You’re never actually too old or too whatever you excuse is. We all have the chance to be our best and have fun everyday. Regardless of age.

 

~ The Dark Horse

(This was maybe 10% proofread, and I’ll admit, I proofread while sipping tea so I had a giant mug covering most of my view of the screen…but hey, it was a great cup of tea!)