Face-Melting Zine

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Metal flyer8

Other than filling pages and pages with endless piles of words, laying out a zine used to be one of my favorite pastimes before I became a mother. This is the most creative part of zine-production, requires little to no concentration, and can be done with loud-ass music playing.

I also used to travel a lot back then (it’s actually one of the things that I’m glad I’m not doing as much anymore because, I mean, airports. Am I right?). And whatever country I went to, I always made sure to visit places to satisfy my inner freak – metal fests, metal concerts, alternative clothing stores, metal bars, piercings/tattoos shops… These places always had the neatest flyers lying around. I collected a whole bunch and used them as backgrounds for any zine I made.

International Zine Month 2018 zine is soon to be laid out and I am in dire need of said flyers. But now that I am not traveling, and such freak locations and events are hard to find, I need to resort to the wonderful world wide web and search “metal flyers” or “punk rock flyers” to be used as backgrounds for my current zine.

I came across the most twisted and vile creations ever.

AND I FUCKING LOVE IT!

The logos and names of the bands written in font that nobody can read surrounded by skulls and skeletons, piles of decapitated corpses, zombies buried up to their hips in rivers of rotting flesh, blood gushing everywhere, not to mention the Goat of Mendes making its obligatory cameo appearance – this is the stuff that my perfect zine backgrounds are made of.

One of them also had “Death Metal till Death” written on it and I pulled my evil laugh with glee.

When I just started listening to metal, this was one of the aspects of the music that appealed to me and that really pulled me in – the gore, the insane amounts of grotesque imagery infesting the lyrics and the artwork of any respective metal band. Why did it appeal to me? Fuck if I know, and damned if I care.

We’re metalheads. We love our music loud and violent. And Satan help you if it’s not swarming with maggots.

I believe zines deserve to be just as wholesomely bloody.

Peace, love and visions of gore and death

 

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Wake Up, Destroy!

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With absolutely no relation to the title of this post, my 31-Day Zine Thing project is coming along nicely. Although I’m writing some pretty mundane things, it encourages me to make my month slightly more interesting by planning every week ahead of time and filling my days with fun shit, so that I could actually have something worth writing about. My usual list of fun shit includes reading, writing, Tai Chi, sleeping, music and art. So I try to write mostly about these.

I wish I had more time to write on my typewriter though, but the only time I can do it is at home. I mean, I can’t very well carry my heavy-ass Rose Madder to work, now can I? Carrying my daughter destroys my back enough as it is.

This morning, after my Tai Chi routine, I thought I may have some time left to write, but then my stomach got in the way and I just had to make myself an elaborate breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, fresh veggies, cream cheese, yellow cheese, whole wheat bread, and apple juice. I’m not complaining, it was great, but that basically meant I had to spend more time doing the dishes and have no time for anything else as a result.

Yes. That’s what it all comes down to. On a regular day, I actually have to choose between writing and eating. That is a very real decision that needs to be made on a day-to-day basis for me. I really did just say that. I wanted to write but my stomach got in the way. Pathetic.

Whatever. I hope I find time later on this month for both writing and eating.

Peace, love and when your toddler won’t stop singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, you know you’ve owned the whole parenting thing.

Crazy Ozzy

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Ozzy Osbourne performed in Israel last night as part of his farewell tour. The 70-year-old rocker kicked all fucking ass, and I was blown away by just how hard a 70-year-old dude can rock. He started off with Bark at the Moon which got me going right from the start.

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Before he came on, there was a performance by Orphaned Land which I had absolutely no interest in. Since they started incorporating Middle Eastern instrumentation and vocals in their songs, I was interested in them even less.

I was not surprised by the crowd, but it was still a great feeling to see that most of it was made up of old people. Many of the concerts we go to, I find myself surrounded by kids, adolescent kids, pre-army or fresh out of the army, and it makes me feel old. But last night, at the Ozzy show, gray hair was all around.

The Prince of Fucking Darkness kept encouraging the crowd to scream louder and louder, so losing my voice was inevitable, especially as I had spent the past couple of days coughing my lungs out for god knows what reason. And songs like Crazy Train, War Pigs, and Fairies Wear Boots got me headbanging till my neck felt like a limp noodle. The last song, Paranoid, even got me jumping around.

Due to my coughing fits of the last two days, I also didn’t get any sleep, and I was tired as fuck when we got to the park where the show took place. But Ozzy was so phenomenal that I forgot all about my exhaustion and proceeded to “going fucking crazy” as Ozzy is wont to say.

Also the light show that accompanied every song got me all woozy. At some point, I actually wished for a toke. I can only imagine what the light show coupled with the amazing music would have done to me if I was high.

The only thing I didn’t like about the show was the guitar. More specifically, the guitarist, Zakk Wylde. I mean, fine, he’s talented, we got that. But goddamnit, this was an OZZY  show, not a Zakk Wylde one and not a Black Label Society one. And his solos just drilled into my brain and I was getting bored and restless. Suddenly, I started wishing for Slash to go onstage and replace him. Slash played with Ozzy when we saw him at Hellfest in 2012 and that was amazing. Slash plays in a way that makes you say “WHOA” without him shredding the fucking strings and without using his teeth and WITHOUT TAKING OVER THE SHOW THAT BELONGS TO OZZY! Zakk Wylde, take note.

But besides that, the show owns.

I got home all sweaty, with the humid Rishon air still stuck to my skin. Said humid air also did a number on my hair and the headbanging just added to that number. I don’t know how anybody can live in the Center, seriously.

I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough so that I could bring her with me to concerts and show her what good music really is.

Peace, love and ALL ABOARD!!!!!!!!

Ink and Blood Are One

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Manson1For almost all of last week, I’ve been hardcore reminiscing. It was triggered by my plans to organize my DIY bookshelf full of my old diaries and high school agendas. As I was organizing, I found myself looking through some of them, skimming, reading, admiring the elaborate collages and drawings filling the pages top to bottom, left and right.

I kept on reminiscing as I was writing about it on my blog and in my zine and as I was reading my old posts. And it reached its peak on Thursday when Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” came blasting through my earphones. I flashed back to my confused wayward adolescence remembering how the freaky artist, the god of goth, the worst nightmare for parents worldwide became my ultimate salvation.

I was terrified and thoroughly disturbed the first time I saw the video for “Sweet Dreams”. The trashy smudged makeup, the different color eyes topped by no eyebrows, the crumbling run-down spot they chose to shoot the video, the close up of Manson’s scarred and slashed abdomen, all these elements scared me to the core, but I couldn’t turn away.

Manson6I tried to convince myself that this is something I should hate and ought to avoid. I tried. I really did. I drew Manson several times with the tagline “Check out that freak!” I watched his 1997 performance at the MTV Video Music Awards with my friend telling her “look at this freak. Who listens to that music anyway?” But when she switched the channel saying “Okay enough of this crap,” I regretted it. I wanted to keep watching but didn’t know why. If I hate it so much, why do I love it so much?

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Soon thereafter, I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I had fallen for the fallen angel. My list of favorite artists changed. Manson had vanquished the top spot and Michael Jackson was relegated to the very bottom with a resounding crash. The posters in my room had turned dark and morbid. I plastered the walls with Manson’s trademark eyes and lack of eyebrows. Every visit to HMV or Music World left me with one more Manson record in my repertoire.  First was Remix and Repent, then Mechanical Animals, then Antichrist Superstar, shortly followed by all the others. I squirmed with delight with every “I AM THE GOD OF FUCK”.

My parents were mortified.

Everything I created, all my art, my writings, my poetry also turned dark and morbid. Manson’s influence was undeniable.

This past week, as I was looking at my drawings and read my poems of ages past, I thought how sad it is that I can’t draw as easily and as perfectly as I once did. I lamented my lack of time to write anything of substance and depth as I once did. My mind, fueled by Stephen King’s On Writing, which I read recently, frantically searched for ways to make time and set up an environment for me where I could reclaim my long-lost sense of creativity and my flawless prose. Back then, all I needed to do to write something brilliant was close the bedroom door and let it all out – no rules and no limits. I could even do it during some boring class. Bury myself within myself and sprinkle the page with magic.

But now, I’m filled with inspiration with no means for release and no way to use it to my advantage to fight the motherfucking end of words. The end of words which was my biggest fear, even worse than death itself, has grabbed me by the neck and I simply cannot wriggle myself out of its grip.

Fuck. This just made me cry.

I need to fucking write. I can’t take this. Even if my prose sucks. Let it suck, I don’t care.  End of words be damned, let go of my fucking neck. I need my oxygen, my ink blood, my life force.

What the fuck am I gonna do?

Writing for five minutes a day is far from satisfactory.

Peace, love and suffocation.

Decompose It!

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Diary 1The other day I suddenly got inspired to resume journal writing. I’ve been keeping diaries all my life (see this post) but as it is with zine-production, it’s kind of hard to find time to write when you’re a full-time mom. I tried keeping a pregnancy journal, and I have, but all the entries were actually saved as unpublished posts on this blog. At that time, I didn’t really feel like writing by hand. I don’t know why.

But anyway, the diary I’m writing in now is one that my friend from Salem bought for me when I was there for the Boston Zine Fest. It’s a rather large one, with the front and back covers decorated with black-and-white drawings of guitars, microphones, amps, keyboards, and drums. On the front cover, it says “Decomposition Book – 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages – Printed with Soy Ink”. Whether any of that is true or not is irrelevant. But I LOVE the “decomposition” part. Really jives with the death metalhead within.

I added the title “Fertile Myrtle” with the H logo when I tried to keep it as a pregnancyDiary 2 journal. Some of the first entries were in fact written when I was going through the IVF treatments and when I found out I was pregnant. Then a few entries when I tried to get back to journal writing again and failed. Again.

So the other day, when I got inspired, I wrote yet another entry about trying to get back to keeping a diary, and I really hope it’ll work this time. Keeping with the inspiration, I added a few stickers that I received from zinesters and penpals I traded with. Cool stickers and decorations really do encourage me to keep writing. So far, I only wrote two entries and they’re short. But I had a great time writing them.

I should really practice my handwriting. I’ve been typing shit for too long, and all of it was on the computer. I mean, if I were typing on my manual typewriter (which requires quite a bit of finger strength and may cause broken nails, bruises, and blisters) I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not doing much writing by hand. But as it stands, the only time I write by hand is when I write letters to penpals (awesome) and notes for clients (meh).

It might be because of my condition that I get kinda lazy and opt for blogging. But fuck it. I’m done making excuses. Myotonic Dystrophy be damned. I love writing by hand. Diaries and letter-writing shall prevail!

Peace, love and wouldn’t it be so cool if my typewriter could accommodate diaries?

Hannukrap

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Since becoming a mother, I realized I’ve become quite ambivalent about holidays. On one hand, I like them because, well, they’re holidays. On the other, I really do not like them because they often involve spending a lot of time with family, which means having to travel to the south, which in turn means having a very upset baby for the next couple of days seeing as her sleeping and eating patterns become all screwy.

So Hannukah was no different. And just like on the September/October holidays, my poor baby got sick, although this was not as a result of traveling to the south but rather as a side effect of the shot she got the previous week.

So the first three days of Hannukah were spent lighting candles, eating doughnuts and shoving suppositories up my kid’s bum. The fever was finally defeated by Friday evening, and the next day, my husband and I had a very nice Shabbat. We took my baby and my dog out to the dog park as it was nice and sunny. On the way back home, my baby fell asleep. My husband chopped up some fresh veggies and we sat to watch TV. The rest of the day went by uneventfully, thank Goddess.

On Monday, my family planned a birthday party for my grandmother. It took place in a Karaoke place in Be’er Sheva. My husband and I absolutely DESPISE Karaoke. Seriously, Karaoke was the reason earplugs were invented. Karaoke killed the hippy with the unplugged acoustic guitar and his coombaya circle. Karaoke was created solely for people who can’t sing but who think they can.

But everybody was going to be there, including my cousin from Belgium. I spent most of that evening going back and forth between the room where my family was, with the awful sounds of Karaoke and the cigarette-smoke-saturated air, and the next room which had neither. My baby, being attacked by my family she doesn’t know and sounds she didn’t particularly care for, failed to fall asleep that night, as she is wont to do whenever she is anywhere that is not her bedroom.

A word about Karaoke:

Back in Montreal, I went to a drag queen club (Cabaret Mado) on an evening of Karaoke. The people who went up to sing were actually quite talented, so I wasn’t suffering much if at all. A couple of years ago, my friend from Sweden came to visit me in Israel and after she insisted endlessly, I joined her for another Karaoke night. She got up on stage and pretty much wiped the floor with any other wannabe singer who came up after her. So that was also ok.

But my family… no. Just no. I bring earplugs to most of my family’s dinner parties and holidays events because I know there is bound to be singing. And my family is made up of loud Moroccans who don’t need any electronic device to make them sound like they’re singing through a goddamn bullhorn. Earplugs have been my salvation in all my family events. But I forgot to bring them this time around.

Plus, the songs they choose in Karaoke are mostly Middle Eastern tunes. Anybody who knows me, even as a passing acquaintance, knows just how I feel about that music. Bleeding ears is not even the word.

So when my dad came to see me and my husband sitting in the other room, he said that he doesn’t understand why loud singing Moroccans torture us so much considering all the loud metal concerts we go to. The mere fact that he even compared the two was baffling to me. But I explained that the music we listen to involves extremely talented musicians playing their instruments like sheer gods, and talented vocalists tearing up their microphones, whereas the auditory abomination known as Karaoke coming from the next room has neither talented vocals nor talented musical instrumentation.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my family. So it was still nice to see them and to show off my daughter. But I’m glad that going to the south is not something we do too often, and I’m glad that Karaoke is not something that my family does too much either. But sometimes I wish these machines had Rammstein songs included in their repertoire. Because if they do, the next time my family decides to torture me with a Karaoke night, I will see to it that I will torture them back with some badass industrial German tunes.

Peace, love and also, seriously you guys have to stop smoking already.

The Metalhead Life

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What people tell me when they find out I like metal:

But you’re so quiet, how can you listen to a bunch of noise?
The reason I listen to your so-called “bunch of noise” is the very reason why I’m so quiet. The music does all the screaming for me. And besides, it’s NOT just random noises. It’s music created by some of the most talented musicians the world has to offer. The perfection of the riffs, the percussion, the bass, the synchronization of all these instruments and the intricacy of the melodies appeal to the trained ear in a way that no other music can.

But you’re so sweet, how can you listen to such violent music?
Again, this so-called “violent” music allows me to soothe my anger without the need to physically or vocally expressing it. And violence is not the only theme of metal. Much of it is about empowerment, taking back control, speaking out, standing out, being yourself, standing up against oppression, being united for a just cause… there is a lot of positivity to be found in metal.

But I thought you were Jewish, so like what, you worship Satan?
Yes, I am Jewish. No, I do not worship Satan. Just because the theme of the satanism does appear in certain genres of metal does not mean I suddenly follow the occult. Kindly destupidify yourself.

How can you even understand what they say?
Yes, there are bands, mostly gore metal bands like Decapitated and Cattle Decapitation among others, where it is really impossible to understand what they say. However, personally, I always found that the music is more important than the lyrics. So I really don’t care much if I don’t understand what they say. But there are a ton of other metal bands where the lyrics are perfectly enunciated. Melodic Death metal bands like Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy for example. Also, you can always find the lyrics online. So whatever.

So you want to kill yourself or something?
No. I want to keep on living for as long as I can so that I can keep on listening to awesome shredding music, and hoping to not have to listen to assholes like you.

And you subject your kid to that noise? What kind of mother are you?
I am the kind of mother who will show my daughter that there are other genres of music out there besides Mizrachit, and that diversifying your playlist is not a bad thing. Being a metalhead does not mean that you are loud, violent, worship Satan, are incoherent, and suicidal, and it certainly does not make you a bad mother. In fact, the metalhead community is made up of amazing people, warm, kind and inviting, and if you are lucky enough to count yourself among these awesome people, you will discover a wonderful culture that encourages and supports individuality, respect, self-esteem, empowerment and pure fucking metal. These are the kind of values I want my kid to have.

Peace, love and headbang bang bang!