Thursday, February 05, 2015

In Memoriam: Kim Fowley

A vision of a sun-bleached, desert city, the colors all washed out like a snapshot from an instamatic camera, is lodged in my brain. The denizens of this landscape are Kim Fowley and the Runaways, having taken up residence in my cranium after a series of chance and later, intentional encounters. Fifteen or so years ago I picked up a copy of Ben Vaughn and Kim Fowley's record "Kings of Saturday Night" after hearing the track "Cities in Shock" on WNYU...I knew next to nothing about Kim Fowley's history but I liked his madhouse lyrics and haunted vocals.

Not too long afterwards, I found myself standing in an empty room at a horror convention with Cherie Currie, former lead singer of the Runaways, currently a chainsaw carver. It was an unseasonably warm October night. Somehow, the crowd was simply somewhere else when I reached the table where she was waiting to sign autographs and take photos with fans. I naively asked her an incredibly dumb-ass question, but in hindsight, her reaction was neater than anything I probably could ever have elicited with some fanboy query about her setlist in Japan in 1977.

"I recently picked up this Kim Fowley and Ben Vaughn record," I began, "and I know that Kim had something to do with the Runaways. What's his story?" I asked. I was genuinely interested in the answer, but I was also looking to make polite conversation to follow eye contact and basic pleasantries as I took in the photos and album covers laid out on her table. But it's hard to continue looking someone in the eye when strange, hellish little flames start to ignite in their pupils and you notice that their lips are curling back from their teeth in a grimace of rage.

"Kim Fowley," Cherie hissed, "is a genius...but he'll STAB YOU IN THE BACK!" My hair blew back from my face a bit, and there was an uncomfortable silence. Cherie had nothing further to say and I was essentially a blind man standing in a minefield. I nodded understandingly and probably said, "Okay, well, have a good night," and scrammed. Weird and enigmatic encounters like these certainly fire up your thirst for knowledge.

It can't be denied that "Cherry Bomb" by the Runaways is an ass-kicker of a song. A few years later, in a music store in NJ that had miraculously survived intact since I bought armloads of records from it in high school, I picked up the Runaways' self-titled debut and follow-up Queens of Noise on used vinyl. The records were mint and nothing in the bins had a price on it. The owner, the same guy who has run the store since the late 1970s (and perhaps even earlier), looked over my purchases at the counter as he priced them. I had a stack of records: First Edition and Flowers of Romance by PiL, the Stray Cats, the B-52s, DEVO, the totally amazing Jim Carroll Band album...I had hit the jackpot. "These Runaways records are kind of collectible," he said, "$5 each for those." I'm not an obsessive record collector - I just love music - but I couldn't pay him and hightail it home fast enough to kick out the jams on my stereo. Pure and simple, the Runaways rocked the house. After listening to their records, I had a strange new appreciation for Joan Jett (but still not for Lita Ford), especially since my punk rock taste was leading me down the slippery slope to garage rock.

When the hype started to crest about the Runaways biopic starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, my friend Craig suggested that I would do better to rent the documentary Edgeplay. The movie was made by Vicki Blue, the Runaways' second bass player, and not only is it worth watching, it should be viewed before watching The Runaways. There is a scene in Edgeplay that is as striking to me as my two-sentence conversation with Cherie Currie: Sandy West, former Runaways drummer and lovable big lug, at the time working in construction and also hinting that she had made ends meet as a torpedo, breaking an arm here and there to collect some overdue loans, appeals to the camera for a reunion. "We were the best band!" (I'm paraphrasing from memory) Why can't we get back together?" Her poignant, childlike appeal sunk way under my skin and it's still lodged there, probably because she died of lung and brain cancer a few years ago without that dream come true.

With Edgeplay digested, I could watch the Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning portrayals on top of a bedrock knowledge of the strange and twisty path that a group of 16-year-old girls took to become rock stars, all while at the not-so-tender mercies of impresario and manager Kim Fowley. And so we circle back to now dearly departed Kim Fowley. I don't want to re-hash what you can research for yourself on his wiki page, but suffice it to say he worked in the pop music world as a songwriter, performer, and producer since the late 1950s. Since a new car introduced me to the wonders of satellite radio a couple of years ago, Kim accompanied me on trips and errands every Saturday afternoon as a DJ on Little Steven's Underground Garage, a remarkable channel that describes itself as a radio channel for "The Ramones, every band that influenced the Ramones, and every band influenced by the Ramones." Kim DJ'ed in a sort of call and response - he asked the listeners questions and followed up each question with a story about himself or some quirky observation. He told tall tales about his encounters with other musicians and celebrities in the storied past of rock and roll. During one show, he claimed that he had a glass coffin ready for his burial with a telephone inside it, so that if he get's bored in the afterlife, he can pick it up and call us sometime. He ran into burlesque queen Dita Von Tease at a party thrown by the wife of one of the members of My Chemical Romance, who told him that her mom dated Bob Seeger before she married her father, so that she could have been born Dita Seeger. Kim replied that his mom dated Howard Hughes before she married Mr. Fowley, so that he could have been born Howard Hughes, Jr. And at that moment, the daughter of Bob Seeger and the son of Howard Hughes regarded each other through some sort of magic mirror. He lived in an apartment in Hollywood with cold rooms (except for the hallway where he used to broadcast his show) and where the peace and quiet was broken by the sound of a fat cat eating dry food at 3 am. He delivered a stream-of-consciousness banter between well-selected garage rock cuts, that was crazy, haunting, disturbing..."it's the singer not the song, it's the producer not the band, it's the birthday cake that tastes like chili con carne, it's when your mom lets me into your house because she knows we're meant to be together..."

You'll note that as I gazed into Kim Fowley, Kim Fowley also gazed into me, and an afternoon waxing my car while listening to his show has contaminated my brain forever. Was he a cavity creep? Probably...a few glimpses of clips on YouTube related to his experimental movies, where he recites pseudo-erotic doggerel while wearing Aladdinsane-style face make-up and confined behind the riding crop of some Hollywood dominatrix, are pretty cringe-inducing. Was he an aging scarecrow wandering the streets of Hollywood and still looking for another young band to flog through the creaky gears of Mad Dr. Fowley's Rock and Roll Machine (replete with vacuum tubes and wisps of fog and crackling electric arcs)? Absolutely. When he interviewed a guest on his show, his chain of questions was something like a vintage Tiger Beat magazine interview....about love and favorite foods and a million other random subjects. He was a reliquary of priceless trash rock history and an endless font of weirdness. While I write, I am listening to the "Rude Boy Rock and Roll" from his early 70's solo record Automatic...a cascade of wah-wah guitar and Kim's in peace, dear, terrifying, edifying Mr. Fowley.

The Starchild Entelechy Declaration

-->If you were to go to the MOMA to see the Matisse Cut-outs show, and on the way to that special exhibit you wandered among the works of the Surrealists, perhaps lingering too close to the intricate Cornell boxes and subsequently studying Max Ernst's gorgeous Napoleon in the Wilderness for an interval that is uncomfortably lengthy, well...should you soon after page through some Gershom Scholem and a copy of The Arcimboldo Effect, and then feel emboldened enough to attempt an exercise in automatic writing, you might get something like this...

The Starchild Entelechy Declaration


Your universe is a giant womb, you dig?  The straight dope is that our Milky Way galaxy is spinning and racing through space within a wombiverse, contained within the body of a cosmic mama of inconceivable beauty, size, intellect, and purpose.  The interstellar gospel is that we don’t need to groove to her purpose at this stage of our development, but only to achieve our ultimate birth into her larger space-time dimension.  Until that birth, all souls, matter, and energy are conserved within the wombiverse as raw material for the creation of the Starchild.  To form the Starchild, we must become enlightened to the art of cooperatively and communally coalescing, and prevent ignorance, fear, and hatred from diverting our destined evolution into a qliphotic miscarriage.  To provide adequate time to master this process, we have been given the gestational gift of the epoch between the big bang and the end of it all.


Specialized eggheads believe that the origin of our universe was an infinitely dense, infinitely hot point from which, during an infinitesimal fraction of an eyeblink of time as we measure it, a font of subatomic particles emanated that gradually cooled and coalesced into far-out clouds of hydrogen and helium.  Neither an army of skinny tie-wearing physics squares nor any known theory can describe conditions in the first 10-15 seconds of the big bang; however, any reasonably hep cat can see that the ultimate aim of the big bang was the eventual creation of the large-scale structure of our universe and the replacement of the void with conditions favorable to the birth of all brothers and sisters.

The big bang cosmology is uncannily similar to the Kabbalah’s creation of the universe via the divine emanation of the Sefirot.  In this ancient mystical system, the nothingness or Ein-sof that preceded the universe withdraws to permit the first three emanations, Kether (divine will), Chokmah (the point), and Binah (the womb) to enter space.  The Kabbalah’s Sefirot include both male and female aspects of the Godhead, and this should not be surprising since most complex life forms of which we are aware are created by the funktastic interaction of a male and a female.  If we are courageous enough to allow our imaginations to connect correspondences and travel up fractal scales, the big bang can be envisioned as the mind-blowing union of two cosmic entities in a larger dimension than our known universe.

This revelation may flip your wig, leaving you slightly disoriented.  Humans are still reeling from their discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe and cling to the conception of a single, omnipotent All-Father that controls our destinies via a divine omnicausality, in the same way that we recently believed that every star and planet revolved around us.

Let yourself get down with the courtship dance of the two universe-sized entities whose joining triggered the big bang.  Only now do the Kabbalah’s ruminations on the size of the body of God make any sense, have any frame of reference.  These entities become aware of each other through their voices, a siren’s howl of radio frequency bursts, microwave radiation, x-ray torrents from every star, pulsar, quasar, and black hole within their vast extents and also the chatter of every Ratatosk of a squirrel in every world tree on their myriad planets and every whale song in their oceans.  This vision requires acceptance of a teleology similar to that of the Influential Gaia hypothesis for a single planet, scaled up to an active, living system the size of a universe, albeit whose purpose and mentation are completely inscrutable to us.  Get used to not knowing everything, because many of your questions simply can’t be answered in our limited reference frame, your childish demands for causality.

The entities move closer to each other over the aeons, intermingling in a foreplay of astronomical collisions and conjunctions.  Black holes suck greedily at anything that comes within their event horizons and roving planets join other solar systems entering their paths for the first time, mirroring in microcosm the mating of the universe-beings.  The intertwining dance of their immense tendrils, entangling with each other, must resemble the tracks left by atomic particles in cloud chambers, the delicate spirals of the chambers of a nautilus, the organic traceries of frost on a winter windowpane.  The courtship dance is completed with the release of the energies of the big bang, bursting from one entity into the other, where they bring another nascent universe into being like a soap bubble suddenly expanding within the stuff of space-time.

Chokmah.  The Point.  Yah.


In his book A Brief History of Time, physicist Stephen Hawkings proposes a model of the universe that avoids the singularities or boundary conditions that frustrate egghead attempts to develop a unified field theory, such as the big bang itself. He describes this model as a sphere, with our space-time unfolding on its outer surface, moving from the big bang (the north pole) like an expanding, three-dimensional ripple on the surface of a droplet of water, through the stages of its development until it reaches the big crunch (the potential contraction and collapse at the end of the universe) at the south pole.  Hawkings is agog at the idea of this large, finite space-time universe because its continuous surface has no ‘boundary condition,’ or problematic starting point that requires the finger of some ancient bearded white dude in a purple robe to nudge it into motion, but the hopeless square completely overlooked the cosmic mama epiphany of the universe unfolding on the inner surface of the sphere – specifically, in the form of the wombiverse!

While the subatomic particles (and later the hydrogen and helium) of the big bang were the prima material, the ovum of the wombiverse is more sublime than physical.  The ovum is in fact the cabalistic Kether that organized the raw material of the big bang into the myriad elements necessary to create life, bridging the space between the incomprehensible first femtoseconds and the current conditions that favor our existence.  The cosmic mama doesn’t demand our worship, but she deserves our unconditional love.  We cannot be distracted by idolatry that could delay our own becoming.

The purpose of a womb is to engender life – our wombiverse has created at least one world that we know is teeming with all types of life and undoubtedly has done the same on worlds of which we are completely ignorant. We cannot remain unacquainted with our cousins across the universe forever, because we must one day join with them in a daring revolutionary project that will blow all minds.

Binah.  The womb.  Elohim.  


Billions upon billions of years from now, the ecstatic acceleration imparted to our galaxies by the explosive union of the big bang may finally begin to wane.  The death scenes imagined by a variety of noxious gassers include supermassive black holes, big rips, big freezes, heat death – but dig for a moment the big crunch.  Energy expended, the contents of our universe collapse, fusing back together into a big crunch that humans devoid of any funk imagine as the soul-crushing and inescapable end of everything.  This obsession with doom is due to their failure to grasp the true function of the wombiverse – which is to gestate and give birth to a Starchild before its efforts are spent.  We must be gone, daddy-o, before that happens.

Seen correctly, the big crunch is not a destructive event but rather a necessity for the coalescing of the universe’s contents into the body and soul of the Starchild.  A womb shelters the seed that is cast into it, nurtures it into life, and provides a gestation period so that its offspring may achieve the appropriate level of complexity and development to ultimately leave that womb and enter their environment.  The colossal lifespan of our universe (between big bang and big crunch) is precisely the time required for intelligent life to grasp the techniques needed to coalesce.  All human spiritual pursuits, all attempts to enlighten and perfect the mind and soul, are nascent yearnings for the future knowledge of becoming the Starchild.  Hans Driesch described entelechy as a common purposive and organising field within living organisms.  Gottfried Liebniz considered entelechy a mind-like force driving development.  Entelechy exists to drive us to obtain knowledge of the discrete praxis of merging into the Starchild, the galaxy-spanning embodiment of an Arcimboldo painting.  Every cat and kitten will want to be in that number. 

We will need to get hep to the creation of the Starchild both during our material existence and afterward. What are the tools that we can use to mount an expedition on this evolutionary peak?  They are prayer, meditation, contemplation, yoga, and all other magicks directed toward the great work of individual spiritual development, engendering an Aquarian consciousness, and reifying the Aeon of Horus, the Child.  Cooperation, love, knowledge, and will act to form the Starchild; ignorance, fear, hatred, exclusion, and violence are the heralds of a destructive big crunch that yields only cosmic dust, the gnashing of bones, the maggot brain, the most colossal downer ever designed and directed by the Man and his fink patrol.

The skinny is that the afterlife will be hard work, infinitely rewarding but no eternal drowsing in heavenly wildflower fields or happy hunting grounds.  After our corporeal existence, we will intuitively apply the energies of our soul-stuff to adjust the charm, strangeness, up, and down of every pertinent subatomic particle we encounter to a condition more favorable to the formation of the quantum exoskeleton of the Starchild.  We will also act to guide and watch over the living, gently steering all those that we touch (the silky brush of a cobweb against your face on an autumn evening) in the direction of the necessary enlightenment.  We will work interstitially as luminous beings maintaining of the space-time fabric of our wombiverse, engendering the Starchild as much as our wombiverse acts as the palace from which it will one day leap forth. Effectively, in corporeal and non-corporeal form, all essences are maintained within the wombiverse, all energies and gathered knowledge ideally directed toward further evolution.

I know these things because the divine current of the universe runs through me, as it does within you.  We are cut from the same cloth as the prima materia of the big bang and the relentless process of evolution shepherds us closer and closer to full awareness of the project that we must complete.  Are you hep to that?

Shekinah.  Malkuth.  Adonai.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

John Brunner's Apocalyptic Vision

I just finished my first reading of John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up (Harper & Row, 1972) and I am more than a bit shaken by Mr. Brunner's prescient vision of a future (?) eco-apocalypse in the United States.  He must have been loaded to the gills on Rachel Carson's Silent Spring when he penned this novel, but he also had his own (very dark!) crystal ball.  Generally, my steady diet of science fiction and fantasy is centered on a future yet to arrive (say, interstellar travel or alien contact), but we're living through a lot of the elements of The Sheep Look Up at this very instant.  This book, unlike any other work of speculative fiction that I have read, gave me a chilling sense of future shock, very different and much more uncomfortable than say, reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and thinking fondly to one's self, "Brilliant, Jules Verne envisioned a modern submarine!"

The cover art of gas mask-wearing, ram-headed human torsos made an impression on me whenever I spotted the book, and I picked up a vintage hardcover at a recent library sale.  While reading, paragraph after paragraph jumped off the page at me, as if Brunner was at my elbow, pointing at the text and winking ("I warned you, didn't I?").

Brunner predicts the emergence of a food-based class divide, similar to that discussed by Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma.  In the contaminated world of Sheep, higher quality organic food can be purchased for a substantial price from U.S. supermarket chain 'Puritan Market', but the book's group of eco-activists known as 'Trainites' (named in honor of fictional environmental advocate Austin Train) begin to doubt whether the food is really as natural or as pure as advertised, a significant subplot.  In Brunner's book, one publication by the fictional Austin Train is facetiously titled You Are What You Have to Eat.

Brunner takes on 'too big to fail' (p. 228): "The government couldn't go on forever bailing out mismanaged giant corporations, even though it was their own supporters, people who ranted against "UN meddling" and "creeping socialism", who yelled the loudest for Federal aid when they got into a mess...And every day senators and Congressmen who in public were inclined to turn purple at the mere mention of state control wheeled and dealed behind the scenes to secure for their home states the fattest government-financed contracts they could nab, or pleaded that if such-and-such a firm which had been run into the ground by its incompetent directors wasn't helped, the unemployment index would rise another point."

Brunner envisions a world where the climate has been dramatically changed by human activities (for example p. 226) -- leading the Mekong River Delta to become the Mekong Desert and causing the destruction of the Mediterranean Sea.  Brunner's climate bogeymen are a dirty gang of air pollution, acid rain, and the overuse of defoliants and pesticides -- no sign that he had any explicit hint of greenhouse warming.

Scarce and contaminated fish stocks are another significant problem (p. 165):  "His eyes were following a ship that had emerged into blurred view from the haze to the north: new and smart, one of the latest deep-trawling fish factories designed to bring up squid from the relatively safe bottom water.  Surface fish nowadays were either so rare as to be prohibitively expensive, like cod and herring, or hopelessly high in dangerous substances such as organic mercury."  Hopefully, folks reading this blog are aware that EPA has recommended that women of child-bearing age and all children avoid eating any large/top level predator fish, such as swordfish, due to their mercury content.  Once we run out of ocean fish, that won't be much of a problem.

Debilitating outbreaks of enteritis (p. 198 and many more) and other contagions haunt the book, which are coincidentally spooky given the ever-present news stories regarding outbreaks of norovirus on cruise ships and also on land.  Even the venerable Victorian-era resort The Mohonk Mountain House in New York recently (February 2014) shut its doors temporarily due to a norovirus outbreak.  Brunner suggests that too many antibiotics in the food supply have created superbugs and weakened human immunity to the breaking point.

Is there anything new under the sun?  And why would you want to read the book based on this rosy picture of it?  Well, it's a rollicking ride, given that Brunner's black humor is likely to make you bark out loud while reading.  Many humorous moments revolve around a straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip U.S. President who goes by the moniker 'Prexy' and may be more than a little reminiscent of a certain former leader.  There is a giant cast of characters that coalesces around the book's major mystery - why did a large group of refugees in a war-torn African country go stark raving and violently mad after eating relief supplies from the U.S. - specifically a new miracle foodstuff called Nutripon, derived from cassava and promising to solve the world's hunger problems?  The book is also enjoyable for its experimental structure, which includes invented quotes and news stories alongside snippets from historical song and literature (that seem in hindsight to encourage humankind's heavy-handed and short-sighted dominion over our planet), wildly-varying chapter length and use of inventive and wry subchapter titles, and in general, a poke-the-reader-in-the-eye delivery.  I had the double misfortune of being loaned a copy of Kunstler's The Long Emergency while reading Sheep -- whatever you do after digesting this snapshot of a very unique work of speculative fiction, don't read those two books together.  Whatever the continually unfolding future ultimately brings -- I wish us all good luck.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I recently found Jason Thompson's beautiful site Jason is a manga editor who also creates his own comics, many of which are adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft tales. He wrapped up a 16-page adaptation of "The Strange High House in the Mist" last month. The comic is presented in its entirety on the site and is well-worth the time to drink it in. Like his other comics, each panel of "House" is filled to the brim with details that advance the story or heighten the mood in very creative ways. It's been a while since I've read a comic where the art conveyed so much information, yet did so elegantly. I ordered a print copy of Hyberborea from his site, which consists of a comic adaptation of Clark Ashton Smith's "Tale of Satampra Zeiros." In Hyperborea, the mood is much more humorous, even though the final terror is relentless...a neat and whimsical comic. This stuff is a rare treasure -- check it out!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"I'd heard about the Situationists from the radical milieu of the time," says McLaren. "You had to go up to Compendium Books. When you asked for the literature, you had to pass an eyeball test. Then you got these beautiful magazines with reflecting covers in various colours: gold, green, mauve. The text was in French: you tried to read it, but it was so difficult. Just when you were getting bored, there were always these wonderful pictures and they broke the whole thing up. They were what I bought them for: not the theory." (From England's Dreaming by Jon Savage, St. Martin's Press, 1992, p. 30)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Last night lightning played around the summit of Mount Beacon at midnight. I had wandered onto the back porch and glanced up at its silhouette, capped by the cell towers and their red lights, glimpsed between the trunk and giant branches of our spreading oak tree. Every few seconds, the sky lit up with bright white flashes, and then, on the southern shoulder of the mountain, the epicenter of the lightning could be seen. The masses of clouds that were revealed by the flashes had a navel, a deep cave within the billowing vapors that was flying northwards just above the tree line of the mountain. Inside that place tendrils of lightning radiated in all directions as if from some apparatus in a mad scientist's laboratory. I watched until it disappeared behind the mountain and the flashes became more and more diffuse.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Did K. ever show you the human arm he found when he was cleaning out the attic crawlspace?" The question was very nonchalant, off-the-cuff. And a week away from Halloween, I knew right off the (vampire) bat that this was some kind of gag. I wasn't for a second going to believe that my daughter's good friend's parents had a human arm knocking around their house, and that they were going to pull it out after my wife and I brought the girls back from seeing AstroBoy. K. jumped up from the couch, and climbed onto the arm of a chair next to the armoire that held their TV set. He's got a bit of a bad back, and I was saying something like "C'mon guys, knock it off -- I'm not buying this gag," especially because I thought he was going to fall off the chair arm and finish off his spine in the process of trying to retrieve the rubber snake or whatever the hell he was going to actually throw at me for the joke.

And then, I found myself watching K. fishing around below the crown molding of the armoire, and he retrieved something wrapped up in a very conventional blue, terry cloth bath towel, and the towel ends were flapping around a bit, and some small brown flakes were falling out onto the carpet. My ears were starting to pick up sounds again, and K. and his wife were saying something like "Are you sure that you're OK to see this? ...because some people really get freaked out or can't handle this sort of thing...."

Yes, I definitely want to see it. And since I can ask first hand how you actually found this thing, I want to know everything about it. So I'm sitting on a nice upholstered chair with the towel across my legs and it's unwrapped and I'm holding a dark brown, mummified woman's (I think, because the fingers seemed slender) arm. The upper arm didn't seem to have much flesh on it, and the ball joint on the end of the bone was apparent. The lower arm had some flesh and dried out veins/arteries on it, and the hand, fingers together and relatively straight, was completely intact. I wish now that I had turned it over to look at the palm, but I was handling it very gently.

In a nutshell, K. found the arm while in an attic crawlspace to put in some new wiring. It was with a plaque that had two wire loops/supports, and he thinks it may have come from a doctor's collection or a medical college or something. He said it gave him a bit of a start when he came across it, crawling on his elbows. (By the way, the girls were not in the room while the arm was under examination.) The discovery occurred about 10 years ago. And having recently explored the Mutter Museum, I'm absolutely certain that this was no fake. And so, we looked at it, and K. started to put it away, and I asked to look at it a second time, and then I put it away to try to save K's back, and he warned me to be careful since it would drop down a bit once I got it above the crown molding, and of course, I managed to make a nice rapping noise by banging the socket against the top of the armoire. Anyone up for a reading of Sheridan LeFanu's "Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand"? Unbelievable....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The only way to improve the NASCAR-style, forward-leaning graphic on the sign of this upstate NY church would be to replace that rugged old cross with a giant, scythe-shaped "T"...time to harvest some souls, people! After all, aren't you tired of waiting for the apocalypse? I'm ready to see the unbelievers get their comeuppance in some sort of sanctified steel cage showdown.