Well, hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams readers! What’s that? Are you struggling to put in your air conditioning unit? Well, just drop it on someone’s head and get it done with, so you can join us for our major announcement on Twitter Spaces! Just kidding–we may not have changed our website in a decade, but even we know to avoid a Musk meltdown on Memorial Day weekend!
Ah…Memorial Day weekend…though some of you woo-woo types may yell at me about Summer Solstice, we all know Memorial Day weekend really is the beginning of summer. And what a summer it looks like! A summer of sweltering heat, if those errant 90-degree days in NYC in April are any indication. A summer of psychosis boiling in already crazed minds. A summer of the United States breaching the debt ceiling and causing a global financial crisis because we have legislative and executive branches who refuse to take responsibility for anything like two elderly children! What could go wrong?!
At least, though, we have one person in the judicial branch with a head on their shoulders: Justice Kagan who, in a dissenting opinion on the decision over the Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith case, made a rousing defense of appropriation in art by citing both Bob Dylan (who she simply named as “rock’s only Nobel Laureate and greatest-ever lyricist”) and Nick Cave, who she referred to as “he of the Bad Seeds.” Justice Kagan is a Nick Cave fan! I’ll see you at the DC show in September, honey! It was a delightfully Filthy Dreams-style opinion, including a few shots at the art history rubes in the majority, which leads me to believe that if we wanted to, WE could be on the Supreme Court too. Why not?! Those student loans have been charged with assholism!
But, why worry with all that politics shit? Who cares! There’s nothing worse than getting into a conversation with someone who turns the discussion straight to whatever the hell is happening in Florida today. Whatever. Instead, this Memorial Day weekend should be about launching ourselves through a wall and into flames, all while wearing a glittering silver disco helmet. Yes, we’re using World Championship Wrestling’s The Shockmaster as our summer inspiration—when all else fails, leap headfirst! Deal with the consequences afterward! Dust yourself off, put that helmet back on, and pretend nothing happened!
In order to provide some inspiration from The Shockmaster and others, we’ve compiled a list of videos we’ve been sharing and talking about amongst ourselves recently. So grab your disco helmet, maybe a flaming garbage can or two, and take the plunge:
1. Disney World Brawl
First, a bit of motivation for your holiday weekend. Is it even a vacation if there isn’t an enormous public brawl? How else are you supposed to kick off the summer other than kicking the shit out of another family? Bonus points if it’s at the happiest place on Earth! I spotted this video last week while reading my favorite rag, The New York Post, which covered this critical breaking news story with the pitch-perfect headline, “It’s A Brawl World.” Filthy Dreams remains jealous of that editorial staff! Now, I know Disney World is getting a whole lot of attention because of Mickey Mouse’s battle royale with Governor Pudding Fingers Ron (“Rob”) DeSantis over…to be honest, I don’t really know, Ron noticed that all the Disney villains are drag queens? Hey, it’s not like he’s morally opposed to high heels, just look at the size of his lifts! However, what we lose in fixating on DeSantis’s goofy war with Goofy is the true joy of Disney World. No, not selling water on Ebay to Q believers from the racist Splash Mountain ride. No, not testing the limits of sanity by riding the Small World ride repeatedly. Disney World is about one thing and one thing only…Brawls! Just search Disney brawls on YouTube and you will get a plethora of options to amuse yourself with this Memorial Day, but our favorite is the most recent. What are these chubby families fighting over anyway? A Mickey-shaped Belgian waffle? A Main Street snickerdoodle! If so, I get it. Those things are worth maiming over! Watch the fight closely—who are you in this tussle? I’m the woman who tumbles backward and falls with no push or provocation. Aaaaahhh!
2. The Shockmaster Debut
There’s nothing more important in life than making a good first impression. As we know on Filthy Dreams, it doesn’t even have to be good per se, but memorable. Well, nobody has made an entrance quite as memorable—or as inspirational—as instant wrestling legend The Shockmaster. The Shockmaster certainly used the elements of shock and awe to startle his competitors, bursting through a wall as if shot out of a cannon, tumbling over a 2×4, and losing his disco stormtrooper helmet in the process. “So you’re the man who rules the world…they call me The Shockmaster,” he growls, after shakily putting his glittering helmet back on. “I’m ready!” Boy…he does seem ready and maybe more than a little sore. If you can get past watching The Shockmaster’s swan dive (it took us a while), witness the delight of pro-wrestling legend Dusty Roads chuckling his way through weaving the tale of Uncle Fred’s delightfully disastrous appearance.
3. cumgirl8 “cicciolina”
But, we’re not all about fighting here at Filthy Dreams. What about dancing?! While everyone is waxing poetic about 2000s-era indie sleaze, how about rekindling an obsession for danceable post-punk? New York band cumgirl8 (yes, I know–what’s with all the cum names? Is everyone a Cum Town fan like Cumwizard69420?) is here to fulfill this yearning with their song “cicciolina,” newly released with iconic post-punk label 4AD (which represented The Birthday Party. Swoon.). I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know cumgirl8 until this video was featured on my local read, EV Grieve, literally a day after the band performed at Nublu, downstairs from my apartment. Goddamn it! Even though I missed their show, “cicciolina” is my summer anthem—an anthem made in honor of flower crown-wearing porn star, politician, performer, and notorious Jeff Koons ex and Made in Heaven co-star Ilona Staller. The corresponding music video is equally a blast, made with a similar nostalgic VHS vibe as the best of Seth Bogart’s videos. Si Ciccolina!
4. AI Beer Commercial
Sure, AI is going to take all of our jobs and erase the need for humanity while corporate profit skyrockets. Of course, the rapid acceleration of artificial intelligence is going to turn the entirety of the US into the dystopian shit show that Rust Belt cities know so well. But what is missing in all of the handwringing AI discussions is just how hilariously dystopian things will really get. Just imagine everything you see being crappily rendered and produced by AI. Do you think companies will just wait until AI-generated imagery is perfected? Fuck no! Pump it out now! Everywhere you look—everything you buy—will be covered with surreal imagery with terribly rendered hands. Does this sound depressing? Yes. But doesn’t it also sound hysterical? Most definitely! I’m thrilled to be here to bear witness to humanity’s obsolescence. Case in point: this AI-generated beer ad that made the rounds on social media recently. Try and see how much you can endure without switching it off, overwhelmed with the creeping gnaw of pure terror. Is it the BBQ-goers’ wide-open maws that engulf the beer cans? The random jets of flame? The repeated line from Smash Mouth, over and over again? You think Kid Rock was mad about Dylan Mulvaney drinking Bud—just wait until he sees this! There isn’t enough ammo in the world to blow away this existential dread. I don’t know about you, dearest Filthy Dreams beer drinkers, but I’d much prefer this ad to whatever pearl-clutching, anti-bikini, neuter advertising they’re producing now in the name of feminism. I like my piss water with a side of panic, not finger-wagging!
5. Lana Del Rey “Candy Necklace”
Lizzy Grant aka Lana Del Rey aka Elizabeth Grant has always been an enigma. How much of Lana is a performance—a persona? How much is authentic? Despite the raw vulnerability in her most recent and, in my opinion, best album Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, these questions remain swirling around the torch singer. And good thing—this inability to fully pin her down remains one of her biggest charms. She knows it too, singing, “I was one thing, now I’m being another” in “Happiness is a Butterfly” off Norman Fucking Rockwell! In the dually captivating and punishing music video for “Candy Necklace” featuring Jon Batiste, Lana morphs through layers of performance and personas like her own version of Blonde. She’s the Black Dahlia. She’s Marilyn Monroe. She’s Veronica Lake. She’s Priscilla Presley. More than just cosplaying Hollywood legends that never grow old, though, she’s also eerily recalling earlier incarnations of herself: standing in front of a vintage microphone like the “Burning Desire” video, being dragged around by a gaunt corpse-like man (who some idiot at Billboard misidentified as John Waters) like the frequent presence of tattoo artist Mark Mahoney in the “West Coast” and “Shades of Cool” videos, and, perhaps the most haunting, a shot of Lana reflected in a camera, wearing the platinum Monroe wig, exactly mirroring some of her early homemade videos as Lizzy Grant. Admittedly, the video does test the patience—a bloated 11 minutes that includes copious behind-the-scenes shots, from inane conversations to diva complaining. Rather than ripping the mask off the persona, these scenes feel just as staged as the rest. Odd. These layers upon layers of self-fashioning culminate in the most rewarding part of the video: as Lana walks down an alley, she rips off her Veronica Lake wig to reveal…yet another wig—a brown, curly number that looks like her hair in “Ride.” Camp at its finest.
6. Nick Cave “Mack The Knife”
And lastly but not leastly, since Filthy Dreams contributor Andy Anderson reminded me of this video recently, here is Nick Cave covering Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife” from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera while dancing around flaming trash cans in an alley (a similar dance move to his recent boogieing to Bruce Springsteen). If that’s not a perfect representation of the Filthy Dreams aesthetic, I don’t know what is.