Dictionnaire Infernal (Demonographia)

Belzebuth (aka Belzebub, Beelzebuth), whose name means “lord of the flies” is prince of demons according to the Scriptures. Milton calls him foremost in power and crime after Satan, and most demonographers call him supreme chief of hell. Belzebuth is also known to rid harvests of flies. His favorite color is chartreuse.

Even if you’re not remotely interested in the occult, chances are you’ve been exposed to at least a few of the critters compiled in that hugely influential Dover collection, Treasury of Fantastic and Mythological Creatures; it’s been kicking around for decades. Several of the most fascinating and grotesque beasts contained therein are from a series of 19th century illustrations produced for Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy‘s Dictionnaire Infernal, aka, Demonographia. Louis Breton drew the set of 69 illustrations of various demons as described by Collin de Plancy, which were then engraved by one M. Jarrault.

Did you know that in addition to vomiting flames and commanding forty legions (most of these dudes seem to command an awful lot of legions… or, alternately, inflict lesions), the Egyptian deity Amon has the power to reconcile differences between friends? Or that Ukobach the Inferior, a lesser minion who maintains the oil in the infernal boilers of hell, also probably invented deep-frying? Is that wild? That is wild! Did you know that? I did not know that. Weird, wild stuff.

For a while, proper reprints of the grimoire were very difficult to obtain. In fact, they’re still pretty pricey, but you can download the entire book in PDF form (in fairly good quality).

Furfur: a count of hell who rules 26 legions. He appears as an angel or a stag with a flaming tail and speaks only lies unless enclosed in a triangle. He speaks in a raucous voice. Furfur sustains marriage, can cause thunderstorms, and speaks on abstract things. He has also been known, on occasion, to “get Yiffy wid’ it.”

Several more frisky demons and (paraphrased) descriptions from Demonographia after the jump.

Watch Sita Sings the Blues (yes, the whole movie!)

Way back in November, loyal Coilhaüsers, we reported on animator Nina Paley’s struggle to get Sita Sings the Blues, her brilliant, beautiful retelling of the Ramayana set to Annette Hanshaw’s immortal jazz standards, released.

Well, that struggle has been won and now, through the public television program Reel 13, you (or anyone in the world with an internet connection) can see the entire movie.

Sita is a full-length film, produced by a single artist working on a shoestring budget, on her home computer and backed almost entirely by the film’s enthusiastic audiences around the world. Paley and her allies have now overcome the considerable hurdles, including archaic copyright laws put in place to keep exactly this sort of truly independent, eclectic art from standing on its own two feet.

Get some popcorn. Click. Watch. Enjoy. This is a bold day: something big just changed.

P.S. –  Also, for y’all television-watching Yankees out there, it will be broadcast in the NY area on Channel Thirteen/WNET at 10:45 pm on Saturday, March 7.

Fashion Week During the Apocalypse, Part Two

This week, pharm guest blogger Molly Crabapple pops by to bring you the Coilhouse Guide to Fashion Week During The Apocalypse. Below is Part Two – Anatomy of Fashion Week. Molly talks about the shows, and the swag and the social nuance. See Part One here.

There are several ways to experience New York Fashion Week. The first is as a worker in the fashion industry. I imagine this must be endlessly frustrating, as the entire week exists to overwork everyone and show them just where they stand in the pecking order. A more amusing, if sociopathic alternative, is to look at “Crashin’ Week” as a giant video game, in which you, a fah-bulous Super Mario, steal swag bags, elbow your way VIP parties, and plant your proletarian ass into aristocratic seats. Third: you can watch the spectacle of it all. It’s really interesting.

During New York Fashion Week, I got invited to Duckie Brown, Mackage, and Venexiana shows inside the tents. I also checked out Project Runway winner Leanne Marshell’s new collection, was a “VIP” during Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, and spent considerable time sipping McCafe in the press lounge.

Were I a super villain, Mackage would clothe my henchwomen. Oh those sleek coats!

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Models were all styled like futuristic gigolos and robot sex ninjas – with high ponytails and black netting stretched over the girls faces. I feel a new club look coming on. Click below for much, much more, including a summary of what Fashion Week has taught me!

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Ryohei Hase: Stupid Bunny Suit, or Stupid Man Suit?

Men in bunny suits have been very much on my mind this week. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the trailer for S. Darko, the sequel that should never have been made, is finally out. The original director is pissed that they’re ruining his masterpiece with a direct-to-DVD sequel, and none of the original cast, save for Donnie Darko’s kid sis, is involved. The trailer desperately tries to convince you that it really does have the same flavor as Donnie Darko by recycling the original film’s special FX, but without lines like “why don’t you suck a fuck” and “they don’t even have… reproductive organs under those little, white pants,” I just don’t see how that’s possible. Also: Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell is in it. Yep. Between this, the Hellraiser ramake, the Neverending Story remake and the Clue remake, I’m just not sure my heart can bear any more! Maybe if they make Screech play Pinhead and Mr. Belding play Falkor, I’ll watch.

Back to bunny suits and man suits. The images above and below are slices from the hyperdetailed digital paintings of Japanese artist Ryohei Hase. They look great small, but to really see their splendor, go to his site, where you’ll be able to see every bristle and bead of moisture. The images in the section Meranchory (ha!) recall Zdzislaw Beksinski, while the visceral images of struggling animal-man beasts remind me of the daily grind, which, reduced to its bare components, sometimes feels very much like these pictures.

Nadya Vessey and Weta Workshop: A Mermaid Tale

Left: Weta’s design. Right: Vessey swimming with a fully functional prosthetic tail. (Photo by Steve Unwin.)

As if we didn’t already have a bounty of reasons to love Weta Workshop, this just in via the Dominion Post in New Zealand:

Nadya Vessey lost her legs as a child but now she swims like a mermaid.

Ms Vessey’s mermaid tail was created by Wellington-based film industry wizards Weta Workshop after the Auckland woman wrote to them two years ago asking if they could make her a prosthetic tail. She was astounded when they agreed.

She lost both legs below the knee from a medical condition when she was a child and told Close Up last night her long-held dream had come true… [Read more]

Some mornings are much easier to wake up to than others, eh? Other Coilhouse posts of possible interest:

Cheryl E. Leonard: Music from the Ice and the Earth

The sound of snow crunching under treading feet has a soothing quality. There’s nothing quite like the rhythm of little ice particles crushed by an eager boot. Concentrate on the sound for a long while, and eventually it becomes a small symphony of pressures, tones and pauses. Cheryl E. Leonard understands this. Recently, the San Francisco-based musician and naturalist received a grant from the National Science Foundation to go to Antarctica and develop musical compositions based on the natural elements and sounds of that cold, vast region.

Musical explorer Cheryl E. Leonard.

Cheryl Leonard is an outdoorsy type who composes intricate, complex music using instruments created by Mother Nature – rocks, twigs, pools of water, dried seedpods and sifting sand. A graduate of Mills College and frequent collaborator with many talented experimental musicians and collectives like 23Five, she’s one of several local noisemakers profiled in the recent documentary Noisy People.

The artistic statement on Leonard’s website is a playful, poetic stringing of thoughts and sensations. Sweet remembrances like “cartwheels & rolling down hills” and “tea & crumpets in a tree” hold as much significance and inspiration as reflections that give you pause: “fully exploiting the confines you are given,” “reinforcement of things you didn’t recognize that you already knew,” and the simple act of “paying attention.”

Instruments from the Tides:Estuary collaboration between Cheryl E. Leonard and visual artist Rebecca Haseltine.

Paying attention to the smallest details is what makes Leonard’s compositions so remarkable. In a video profile on KQED’s series Spark, (a must-see glimpse into the composer’s creative process) she said: “You could just bang on rocks and it could sound like nothing. It’s how you bang on the rocks that makes it musical or not.” Each instrument, foraged by Leonard through her hikes in the wilderness, is chosen with utmost care and affection. A small pine cone is considered a soprano or alto depending on the sound its scales make when plucked and bowed; a dried strip of bark can become a bow or an instrument on its own; rocks of varying sizes and shapes are all given names and taken home to be rubbed against each other slowly and carefully, or to collide together with gentle, percussive force.

25 Things About My Sexuality: The Blog

I SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE. A poignant “25 Things” worthy moment brought to you by the infamous 70s educational film, The ABCs of Sex Education For Trainables.)

Riffing off a recent explosion of “25 Things” Facebooky-type memes, 25 Things About My Sexuality is a juicy, mysterious new blog that compiles and posts the anonymous sexual confessions of its readers. Some of these entries are hilarious, many are heartfelt, some are absolutely heartbreaking. A few choice excerpts from various confessors:

I once came by licking toes in Greece.

Well into my twenties, every time I’d orgasm, I’d think, “THIS is the BEST orgasm I have EVER had! EVER! WOW!” Sometimes it still feels like that. I’ve grown to appreciate that there are many kinds of orgasms.

Because I am a virgin, every time I’m around a bunch of folks who start talking about sex, I start to panic. I’m a bad liar. I can’t fake my way through a conversation about sex, but I don’t want to come right out and tell folks that I’ve never been with anyone before. It’s just mortifying.

My first sexual crush ever was on Mr. Spock from Star Trek.

I love catching guys off guard with wildly inappropriate pick-up lines. “Your testicles. Hand them to me now.” “I had testicular cancer. See if you can guess which ball is fake. With your tongue.” “I saw you talking to (mutual friend) and I couldn’t help but wonder what your ass tastes like.” “You’re a creationist? Really? I want to debate evolution while inside you.” Those lines all worked.

Titillated? Intrigued? Feeling like ‘fessing? Send your list to [email protected]. No identifying information will be posted.

All Tomorrows: Gone to Whileaway

“Long before I became a feminist in any explicit way, I had turned from writing love stories about women in which women were losers, and adventure stories about men in which the men were winners, to writing adventure stories about a woman in which the woman won. It was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life.”

-Joanna Russ

The most glorious achievements of sci-fi’s Deviant Age were about breaking boundaries, in many cases those that were so deeply entrenched that readers might not have even known they existed. That is, after all, what the future does — gets rid of nearly everything we thought timeless or immortal.

No one has done that better than Joanna Russ, especially in the brilliant short story When it Changed (read the whole story here) and the follow-up (even more brilliant) novel The Female Man. They are the opening salvo and an outright blitzkrieg, respectively, against everything you thought you ever knew about gender. It’s been mentioned here before how gender is a loaded word. Loaded like a fucking ammo dump, and Russ came to set the whole gunpowder-packed mess ablaze.

Both works hinge around the future, all-female society of Whileaway. Both are in my pantheon of favorites. But fair warning, dear reader: for all the talk about transgressive literature, there are still few works that really, truly shake you up. Both When it Changed and The Female Man made me deeply, viscerally uncomfortable the first times I read them.

I’ve since gone back to both multiple times, and they remain some of the most wrenching, beautiful and utterly human writing I’ve ever seen.

Sparks: This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us

Check out Ron’s awesome O RLY face at 33 seconds!

This incredible clip of Sparks appearing on TOTP back in ’74 speaks for itself. I have very little to add beyond mentioning that the entirety of Kimono My House is desert island playlist worthy, that I know I can’t be the only pervert who wouldn’t mind being the meat in a Mael brothers sandwich, and that I actually met douchebags in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who would chug the beverage SPARKS* ironically while simultaneously listening to the band Sparks and snorting coke off one another’s asses.

I still say we take off and nuke Bedford Avenue from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

*SPARKS the drink has been banned. Sparks the band is still going strong. Good job, cosmos!

Destruction of Mankind: Kawaii Edition

Last time in latex, Coilhouse showed you how to re-enact that deleted scene from Alien using a thousand-dollar inflatable rubber alien egg. But that was child’s play compared to the great opus of short cinema above, in which MAC Cosmetics obviously takes a cue from our post to re-enact the Sanrio version of Alice in Wonderland (itself a brilliant re-interpretation of the 1971 classic novel), in full rubber gear. Want to really fall down rabbit hole? Complete the circle. Re-enact the re-enactment. Our guide to making it happen, below.

Before you even buy the first bag of cotton candy, memorize the Necronomicon. Otherwise you’re going to be wasting thousands of dollars on mere cosplay folly, and that’s not what this is about. This sacred ritual requires the aforementioned 900 bags of cotton candy (dollar store!), one anorexic virgin (dollar store!), one black cat (use Clairol Silken Black only), Grace Slick (dead or alive; it’ll work better if she’s dead, though), 25 kilograms of LSD (or 5 YouTube hours of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job, if you’re broke), the most racist golf course you can find, and one giant inflatable vagina. Before the ritual, purify yourself with thrift store douche under the full rose-fingered moon and sprinkle the shimmering dust of a crushed Katy Perry CD in a circle around yourself and your 12 naked, glistening, totem-headed disciples. Shit’s about to go down.

Of course, none of this will work without proper ritual garb. The catsuit in the MAC Masterpiece was created by Atsuko Kudo, and they’re willing to replicate this sacred garment to any Initiate seeking to penetrate the soft parts of the world. But the real trick here is the animal heads, and that’s where MAC failed to bring about the destruction of mankind. They thought they could bring humanity to an end merely with the force of Hello Kitty… and though Hello Kitty is strong, the Great Old Ones will only listen if Pikachu, Astro Boy, Duracell Bunny and the great Callisto all call out ot them in union. That is the secret that we open to you on this great night. Now go. Go with haste. Make us proud.