Disclaimer: Don't try these at home.
ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
"The quality of the meetings was also variable. One which drew over 20 people listened politely to a German activist who spent more than an hour trying to explain the purpose of his project and still failing to enlighten us. No-one made any attempt to interrupt, everyone being acutely conscious of the importance of respecting and tolerating each other. The fact that the experience was akin to a stuttering, nervous dentist trying to pull out your teeth and apologising at every tug, failed to make it any less painful." Guy Burton provides an account of the recent European Social Forum held in London.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
"This flirty translation game works out reasonably well for an hour or so, until my competition shows up. He's a tall albino and Julliard actor who more than makes up for his lack of pigmentation with a scintillating string of bullshit. Albinos are big these days, or so I've gathered from reading The Davinci Code and seeing Cold Mountain . They're popular culture's new ice-cool villains, and this one's jacking any potential I had for not walking home alone. How can I keep up with this? He's all over the place with his love for bluegrass guitar, politics, and chocolate from her homeland. I don't think she's following much of it, but after three vodka-raspberries seems content to watch his bleached eyebrows arch and rest, lending expression to a passionate, pink face." Rick Monaco on life as a non-native New Yorker.
SORRY, WRONG NUMBER
"Before I pick up the receiver to begin my first shift, I realize with a start that I need an alias. Quickly I run through possible pseudonyms in my head. I want something uncomplicated and easy to remember, but more original than "Candy" or "Angel." I take out a scratch pad and begin scribbling down possibilities. Amber? Too common. Bambi? Too ditsy. Britney? Hell no. I finally settle on Ava. It's short and sweet, yet exotic enough to be interesting." Andie Ryan takes a journey into America's informal economy for 3AM.
THE PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF THE RIGHTWING MIND
"As the U.S. election nears, Conservative websites are aglow with visions of an uninterrupted Republican future stretching out for all posterity: One world, one operating system. There is, however, another possibility. Centuries from now, assuming we survive this eerily psychotic era, Republicanism, Conservatism and the rightwing mind in general could well be regarded not as a political movement, but as a mental health issue." David Thompson considers the factors behind Melanie Phillips et al's venomous journalism.
MORAL INJURIES SUSTAINED
"Like I said I thought this was all pretty ridiculous until I began to wonder what the powers that be at CBS were thinking when they asked MTV to produce the half-time show. I mean, hadn't these guys even seen the MTV Video Awards? I then downloaded Carlin's complaint from the Smoking Gun.com and realized that in going for class action status Ms. Carlin had a busload of chutzpah working for her. She was hitting the media where it hurts, (publicity and the pocketbook) and she was going to get their attention the same way a few little known lawyers in Mississippi got the attention of the Tobacco Industry a few years ago." Paul McDonald gives some commentary on the Janet Jackson tit thing for 3AM.
FALSE PROFITS - THE LIE OF CITY LIBERTARIANS
"Lewis and his City Libertarian ilk suffer from a failure of moral logic, in that they wish to be seen as heroic figures, rescuing the world from tribal and ideological tyranny whilst affecting an ignorance of the consequences of their own actions. Performing this improbable manoeuvre requires a refusal to acknowledge a rather obvious and inescapable fact: that an individual's freedoms do not exist in a vacuum; they very often press against the freedoms of other individuals." David Thompson files another slice of polemic justice for 3AM.
"Spot the Old Man. He’s looking at books by Mark Twain, the Collected Works. He likes looking for bookplates; an admirer of lithographs and fine printing he is. I keep looking, find the book, and scan. Sit down to read. Start writing down names he drops for props, references: David Foster Wallace, Ivy Compton-Burnet, Celine, Bataille, Hanif Kureishi. In an interview he says he doesn’t feel like he’s part of the gay culture or something to that effect." By the ellusive Mr. Greg.
This past August, 2003, parts of the U.S. and Canada experienced the biggest electrical blackout in history covering some 9,300 square miles. The minds and hearts of Tyondai Braxton, Stefano Giovannini, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Leah Singer and Matthew Wascovich bring you poems, recollections and photographs tied to this event.
A QUESTION OF BELIEF
"From the homophobic hysteria of the Anglican Church to the post-invasion manoeuvres of Western politicians, the question of belief has, in recent months, become a subject of much discussion."Do you think Blair believes what he says?" I was recently asked. Such was the tone of the enquiry, the answer seemed to be a matter of inexplicable gravity, the very fulcrum of justice." David Thompson enquiries as to the true nature of religiosity.
ROOMER OF WAR
"This world is as wounded by ideologies as by hunger or need. And in such a disproportionate world further Vietnams, Afghanistans, Chiles and Salvadors seem inevitable. Still, I never supposed I'd be witness to another war. I thought we had learned. How could we not have?" By James Sallis whose new novel, Cyber Grove, has just been published.
MY FRIEND ZORAN DJINDJIC
"Zoran is one of the main heroes in my book where I usually refer to him as 'a friend'. In those days he was branded a traitor by the Milosevic regime and his life was in danger. Now, my friend is dead. Who killed my friend? Ask Milosevic, the killers are his men." Dusan Velickovic on the assassinated Serbian Prime Minister.
A WRITER LAMENTS; OR WHY YOU SHOULDN'T ASK YOUR SPOUSE TO READ YOUR STUFF
"When you first start writing, you're like a little kid who makes a poo in the right receptacle. You are so proud of yourself, you want to show everyone. Everything you write (short of the grocery list) is brilliant, which only goes to show how advanced your psychological disjunction-- i.e. the difference between what you think is, and what really is, is. Your ego has-- of necessity, since it knows it's being set up-- pulled the wool over your eyes." By the delightful Catherine O'Sullivan, Mad Mom Newtopia.
CLEAR DAY IN HIROSHIMA
"In the center of the Peace Park, a stone canopy covers the names of the victims of the bomb. Here a flame burns constantly, but a sign explains that it is not an eternal flame. It will be extinguished when the world is free of nuclear weapons. Nearby, atop a flagpole, the banner of the rising suns flaps in the hot breeze. Now I hear a sound I might have associated with Hiroshima - a shrill, buzzing noise emanating from the trees. I recall a haiku: Nothing in the voice/ Of the cicada/ Intimates how soon it will die." By Neil Kelly.
BLACKBERRY, BLACKBERRY, BLACKBERRY, A MANIFESTO ON THE STATE OF CONTEMPORARY THEATRICAL DRAMA, POETRY AND FICTION...
"Why is it that hardly any prominent, well-known playwright, poet, or literary fiction author, is boldly and without any cosmetic dressing up, addressing the important political, social and other issues of our time? Are there any important issues? What about terrorism and what is really fueling this irrational behavior? What about religious fanaticism? What about flagrant corruption on the American business scene? What about police brutality? According to Amnesty International, police brutality is a serious problem in America, Russia and around the world. What about the Patriot Act and what it could mean for Free Speech?" By Richard Gloucester.
EXCERPT FROM FAST FORWARD: CONFESSIONS OF A PORN SCREENWRITER
"My wife would occasionally be visited by her female friends, and it shocked me when none of them attempted to mount me. They could carry on entire conversations without being tempted by their sexual impulses, not once reaching out to caress a breast or unbutton a blouse. I was awestruck by their self-control. I wondered if the same thing was happening in other cities. Could it be that all over the world, in millions of homes, there were other people not having sex? It seemed implausible. How did they pass the time? What did they do with their hands?" Read Eric Spitznagel's work, because sometimes thinking hurts too much.
"I imagined it as some bleak, slightly tawdry affair, maybe not so much because of what actually went on at the event than because of its probable reasons, which I speculated might amount to desperate financial straits and a desperate desire to recapture the past and feel the warmth of admiration one more time, even in a relatively unhip place like Colorado. The point was, it was just desperation. One can hardly blame the poor guy, really. From what I've read in interviews with stars and seen on celebrity biography TV programs, fame is a vampire whose gift makes one feel eternally young, beautiful and admired, but like the blood-sucking undead, it takes something of you in return." By Elizabeth Vong.
CEREBRAL CORTEXT NETWORK PROGRAMMING
"Researchers also lay heavy emphasis on the language and motor-skill centers of the cerebral cortex as being the determining factor for right-handedness in man. However, might this preferred-handedness in man be due to the greater degree of social conditioning he receives than do the lower animals? In other words, handedness may be more socially generated than physiologically hardwired into us." By James H. Bath.
"It suddenly became an awkward necessity to avoid any place (living room, bar, hall) where a piano might be found; Smart, Cool, and Imaginative didn’t need any lynch mob demand to sit down and demonstrate what had been learned at Kobel’s crippled knee. It didn’t help, either, that Jerry Lee Lewis was showing more staying power than John Lewis and Fats Domino more than Fats Waller. And all those expert opinions about who was a great-great-great player, a great-great player, and simply a great player --- what were they worth when all of them could run off complex riffs before Kobel had finished lowering himself into the leather chair next to the piano and asking where we were?" By Donald Dewey.
THE ANXIETY OF SIRON FRANCO
"Dear Marcus, As our gang war rages on, the Commando Vermelho having recently mounted a grenade attack on a Military Police station and the MPs, or PMs, as they are known here (we are, after all, in the Southern Hemisphere) having captured an impressive number of weapons, including rocket launchers (!) I am wondering what has happened to a smaller gang, my favourite, known as Os Amigos dos Amigos, for, however nasty these drug runners are, they are not lacking in a sense of humour." Enjoy the correspondence of Simon Lane and Marcus Reichert.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SKY
"When Lacy arrived in Portland, we packed up my room at a boarding house in the Belmont neighborhood of Southeast Portland-a delicate little enclave of Victorian houses, cats on porch railings and good views of the downtown skyline-and I showed her to the places I thought important in the city: Tao of Tea, on Hawthorne Street where we took green tea and mango ice cream, The Habit, a coffeehouse in an old armory, the banks of the Willamette River and other spots where I spent the free hours of my summer, alone. Lacy was delighted with everything I showed her. I'd missed her moon-round face, an exact replica of mine in shape, her droopy mouth, her freckled-dusted skin and her gigantic laugh." By Ashley Shelby.
"He places his fingers under the back of my neck and is holding my skull up and away from the table, pulling on my head with such gentle energy that I feel it separating from my body and am about to cry out, You're hurting me, but if he's going to hurt me, even if he kills me, I will let him do it because all the tension in my body is floating away as if I no longer need to hold myself up or carry the weight of my sadness." Read all about Ginny Wray's trip beyond bliss.
INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN - THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE AND UNDENIABLE SIGNIFICANCE OF SKYSCRAPERS IN OUR CULTURE
In the ensuing months after the devastation in Lower Manhattan, the Skyscraper was vilified in the media and the court of public opinion, as if for some reason its majesty and defiance of gravity were to blame, as if the Skyscraper somehow embodied the arrogance of the West. But the World Trade Center was not hit because it was a skyscraper, but because it was the World Trade Center. Following the publication of a slew of speculative articles about the immediate future of these buildings, 3am Magazine Political Editor Charles Shaw sets the record straight. In our first major feature article, 3am examines the uncertain future and undeniable significance of skyscrapers in our culture.
PERSPECTIVE: ROBERT BROWNING JUDGES ICE SKATING
"Moreover, Browning argues through Andrea, because the passion of striving is absent from technically perfect art it is pale and mechanical, while great art that has slight imperfections, in spite of these imperfections, perhaps even because of these imperfections, is often ablaze with the passion of the artist’s soul." By Jack Goodstein.
FROM RUSSIA WITH DEBT
"We drank beer out of pint glasses, ate curry and tried ever so ineffectually to pick up a couple of posh slappers dressed in business suits. In retrospect, a better induction to London life an Australian is unlikely to find. At the time I thought little of it, as we basked in the memory of long lost friends, dubious conquests and the lottery of life. But in the light of day, with a hangover that could maim a rhino and the inevitability of finding work smacking me in the chops, I realised just how lucky I'd been to know someone who'd put me up." Paul Dodson reveals the mysteries of being an Australian in London.
AN INTERVIEW WITH GERALD SCARFE
"Advertising is lies. I’m not wanting to sound pompous but I am trying to get to the truth and that’s what I see as being the truth. And I’m lucky enough to do that, you know, I can be rude to the King or whatever." Richard Marshall interviews Gerald Scarfe.
BLADE RUNNER: TECHNOLOGY STEALS THE SOUL
"This clever cinematic creation, set in 2019 A.D. Los Angeles, intertwined twenty-first-century science fiction and forties-style detective film noir, and was a bold new step in futuristic filmmaking, taking a revisionist look at humankind's obsession with technology, as well as the dangers and pitfalls that same obsession may ultimately bring about-to both humans and to the machines they create.” By Tom Waltz.
AN ODD DEBATE
"For the smutty minded, the subject of socks and sex begs to be examined. The reality of sock orgies is truly socking! Straying from the conventions of one partner marriages, the more sensuous of the species engage in wild, syntheti orgies.” By Liza Parrat.
AN ASIDE ON SONNY LISTON, THE LAST BOXER
"The familiar note of monochrome requiem is the sombre music of the fight game pre-Ali, a fag and whisky dive mix of Miles Davies sax cool and Charles Hoff noire snap. What came after Ali’s victory over Sonny Liston was a different kind of meaning, one which took almost all of its power from Ali himself. And with his passing there’s not a lot left. Boxing’s a marginal player for an increasingly dwindling audience on satellite tv, no longer able to carry messages about ourselves that go deeper than, for example, the average game show greed or WWF circus camp routine or ‘Fight Club’ Extreme-Fighting chic." By Richard Marshall.
RACING DEATH: The September Peterson Story
With the spectre of a painful death by cystic fibrosis looming over him, September
Peterson embarks on a series of reckless adventures - all designed to kill himself before
cystic fibrosis can do the job! By Joel Jenkins.
Travel and culture oriented articles, stories, essays, and documentaries as featured in previous editions of 3 A.M. MAGAZINE.
ALL THE WRONG PLACES
"I'd met Doug, a bankrupt ex day-trader, the month before on Khao San Road, hustling pool from yuppie backpacking kids in search of Leonardo DiCaprio's "Beach." Doug got pummeled when the Nasdaq tanked and escaped the States with about 50k, leaving a mountain of unsecured debt in his wake. He quickly fell in love with Thailand on realizing that his bountiful girth was an asset rather than a liability in wooing local women. Doug threw his weight on a stool and quickly dispatched a girl in search of a safety pin to replace the lost button on his shorts. He ordered a Heineken and turned to me, smiling." By D.A. Blyler.
FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION - EVIL TRAINS
"I've seen seasons change outside the train windows. I've heard dozens of foolish Russian pop songs about failed love affairs, broken hearts and drunken days and nights, songs I'd never listen to voluntarily but couldn't escape on Ukrainian trains. I've seen people who didn't have the equivalent of 70 cents to pay for the train bedding and had to sleep on filthy mattresses. I've missed at least a dozen football games that our team played and that I really wanted to watch but couldn't because I was on a train. I've participated in a number of useless conversations with my compartment-mates who all seemed to be amateur philosophers with gloomy and unpractical yet unromantic views of life." By Veronica Khokhlova
A DAY IN THE LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE
"As the sun sank toward the horizon, I decided to leave the beer bar to continue my walk down the strip. As I left, one of the greeters made a last ditch effort to capture my attention. Slipping her foot out of a sandel, she alluringly stretched it out and wriggled her toes at me. Of all the fetishes known to Pattaya, foot fetishes are the most popular. In fact, one punter at the beer bar (a fifty-something American) was seen prostrating himself to gleefully suck the toes of his “girlfriend,” each time he won their game of Connect 4. Ironically, this fetish is endlessly amusing to Thais, as they view the foot as the dirtiest, and least erotic, part of the body." By D.A. Blyler
MILAN SUCKS DICK
"I’m in the middle of dozens of t-shirt wearing, sweaty communists running from the police. As a herd we make a left down another street but see the blue lights of police cars so we turn back and now I’m further ahead in the pack and we’re trampling down an alley. We make another left and the men become eerily silent; just feet scraping and shuffling; that silence the most frightening aspect of the ordeal. In an instant I’m at the head of the pack and I start to think that isn’t a good idea after all." By Jim Marquez.
EDDIE ESCAPES AFRICA
OCTOBER, 2000 - TRIPPING
"He hung out on nude beaches in Greece, hellraised in several continental capitals and spent some months getting reacquainted with relatives down on the arch of Italy's boot. Since then, he's dreamed of moving to Italy, finding an Italian girl and settling quietly into the lap of la dolce vita." By Vincent Abbate.
BE NICE OR LEAVE
AUGUST, 2000 - TRIPPING
"I collect the two-inch-long pink and blue bomber planes that arrive atop each fresh cocktail. I sip and I savor. The bombers are lined up in a row on my desk now, reminding me of two fine weeks between youth and death." By Vincent Abbate.
PORK LARD CHANGED MY LIFE
AUGUST, 2000 - REPORT FROM THE PEST
"The nice lady at the corner butcher shop, upon discovering that I speak English, decided to practice her language skills whenever I come in. Now she refuses to speak to me in Hungarian. The problem is, I don't understand a fucking word of her English. Last time I was so baffled that, without even realising it, I ended up walking out of the shop with about three kilograms of chicken gizzards instead of the delicious pork sausage I was eyeballing." More misadventures from Budapest by Foog.
NUMBER 15 BUS
JUNE, 2000 - REPORT FROM THE PEST
"You might think that the best way to get to know Budapest and have a genuine Hungarian experience is by finding the best local restaurants, the folksiest cafés, and the pubs most popular with the natives. Of course you'd be wrong." If you're hungry for Hungary, Foog recommends a trip on the Number 15 bus.
SON HOUSE MEETS WES THE POWER TRIO
JUNE, 2000 - TRIPPING
"Eddie Son House is reporting back to the other members of the chorus of dead blues legends. Our music. They done changed it again. But it's still going. It's still alive." Vincent Abbate, on location in New Orleans, has seen the old man's world-weary face before - in black and white.
Patrice Juarez, our very own Virgil in combat pants, guides you through the bars, restaurants & clubs of gay Paree. Suivez le guide!
THE CAT THAT WALKED THROUGH AMSTERDAM
APRIL, 2000 - TRIPPING
In "The Cat that Walked Through Amsterdam," Vincent Abbate goes Dutch with a talkative female feline and a gaggle of freaky, freeloading friends: "This was one time Mambo gladly stepped into my camera bag, understanding that I would leave the zipper open a crack so she could peak out at greatness."
If you want a good nosh-up-cum-piss-up on your next trip to gay Paree, follow Patrice Juarez.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN SEATTLE
Comedy Night comes to the WTO Riots when Hell breaks loose on Seattle`s Capitol Hill... Darth Vader looking cops storm the streets... The city`s transvestites and homosexuals go nuts...
THE GHOST OF FIRETRAIL
The Ghost of Firetrail is a story of how a tight-nit group of teenagers take a small town rumor and turn it into an American legend. By Joel Jenkins.
TREE DIVING: A True Story
The title says it all. By Tom Waltz.
An eighth grade student's worst nightmare - another day in gym class with mad man ex-prison warden, Mr. Joanna. This time he finally goes off the deep end and takes a game of dodge-ball way to far. By Mike Mellish.
ON THE BEACH
A humorous true story of a young woman`s experience with LSD.
$4.95 ALL YOU CAN EAT WING-NITE
Another night at work for a young mid-western girl. By Natasha Morse. (2 pages).