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Zombie PrOn + ABBA

Before I say anything about yesterday, I want to post this account I've received of another's run-in with Swan Point security. Frankly, I think it makes what Spooky and I went through look like a picnic...in a cemetery (those are inexplicably banned, as well, by the way). Mina writes:

I'm so sorry that you had that experience We had a similar one about 6 months ago during a proposed photoshoot for my boyfriend's goth/steampunk band (The Dirge Carolers). Within 5 minutes we realized that we where under surveillance, as the same man you mentioned was in a car following us and keeping track of us with a pair of optics. We where nothing but respectful of both the place and the graves, however he saw our dress to be "suspiciously offensive" as we where in late Victorian-era clothing. He made contact with us and ordered us out, quite rudely stating that photography was Verbotten because we risked "Stealing the souls of the dead" on film. When I asked him exactly WHAT culture exactly believed that a soul could be stolen after death by a digital photo he just radioed the gate and drove quickly away. As we moved to our cars a small pickup truck sped towards us and blocked us in while the first man in the squad car flanked us. Both of the men got out of the car in a very aggravated manner and proceeded to demand to see our camera and delete our photos. They then went on to scroll through around 50 family photos taken at Easter until they eventually got to the 5 or 6 we had taken that day. We told them that we where unaware of any rules regarding photography and they pointed to that small sign near the gate. All in all these men where ignorant and rude, quite drunk on their own sense of power and purpose. Even for all my love of Howard I have vowed never to return there until those fascist gatekeepers have been removed.

So, yes. Swan Point's finest are, in point of fact, only fighting to defend the deceased from soul-theft via camera. Makes me wonder what deleterious necromantic effects those satellite photos on Google Earth have had? This whole thing seems to grow more absurd by the day. Oh, also my thanks to Cory Doctrow and Matt Staggs for putting the story up on Boing Boing. Anyway, for the record, people, unless you are being threatened with imminent bodily harm that you wish to avoid, never surrender a camera to a security guard. That sort of thing isn't even called for under the Draconian edicts of the Patriot Act, and rent-a-cops are exceeding their authority in doing so. If they delete your photos, they are breaking the law. My thanks to wordswoman for pointing me to attorney Bert P. Krages II's website and a downloadable PDF of "The Photographer's Right." And as for the few people at "Boing Boing" who find it "creepy" that I visit the graves of dead writers I admire, I am only left to wonder (and say that I have never been, and never will be, "a tourist at a funeral")...

---

Yesterday, while I was trying to wake up, Spooky and I were joking around about my asking Quentin Taratino to bankroll a grindhouse film to be called Werewolf vs. Vampire, and which would be scored entirely with ABBA music. The more we talked about it, describing the fight choreography of various scenes, the funnier it got. And by the time we were done it had me rethinking a piece I first conceived of last month, a zombie story for Sirenia Digest. So, yesterday afternoon I wrote 1,006 words on something called "The Z Word," while listening to nothing but ABBA. Surreal. I'm still listening to ABBA this morning, trying to figure out if it's a good idea to continue with the vignette, hoping it will be suitable for Sirenia Digest #33, or come to my senses and write something else.

---

We also made the 4:30 matinée of Paul W.S. Anderson's delightfully destructive Deathrace. We enjoyed it enormously, and this is by far Anderson's best film to date. Like Neil Marshall's Doomsday, it harks back to the early films of people like John Carpenter and George Miller, to a time when sf/action films were not burdened with the baggage of blockbustereqsue formulas. Deathrace is, unapologetically, what it is and nothing more. Technically, it's sort of a remake of Paul Bartel's Death Race 2000 (1975; from Ib Melchior's short story "The Racer"), but I think it does a fine job of being its own film. I have a single caveat, involving the final scene, which I would bet green folding money was tacked on at the insistance of studio execs based on test audience comments. The film should end on Ian McShane's line, "I love this game." The screen even goes to black before that silly epilogue. Anyway, yeah, huge fun. See it. Jason Statham could almost make a heterosexual woman of me (but only after Vin Diesel gets to try).

The post brought my contributor's copy of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, which includes two reprints by me, "Ode to Edvard Munch" and "Untitled 12." I must admit I was surprised when the anthology's editor invited me to contribute, as she was clearly in the market for the sort of "paranormal romance" I definitely do not write and that whose readers definitely are not the sort who are likely to enjoy the...thrust...of my sort of erotica, which is rarely, if ever, romantic, and certainly not for the squeamish. But then she surprised me by taking not one, but two of my stories. They are, indeed, like nothing else in the book, and I appreciate whatever imp of the perverse led her to include my pieces.

Anyway, please preorder A is for Alien, if you have not already done so, and the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds. It'll put a smile on the ol' platypus' face...er, bill...or beak...or whatever.

Comments

( 25 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
'He made contact with us and ordered us out, quite rudely stating that photography was Verbotten because we risked "Stealing the souls of the dead" on film.'



'Makes me wonder what the effect of those satellite photos on Google Earth have had?'

Story idea.
robyn_ma
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Story idea: crazed security guard at cemetery tries to shoot down satellites. Says he's acting according to 'the voices of the offended dead.'

Night of the Camera-Shy Dead, the rollicking new novella by Caitlín R. Kiernan.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Ow.

Coffee. Out my nose.
robyn_ma
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Now we're even for the Orson Scott Card line.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)

Now we're even for the Orson Scott Card line.

True.
elmocho
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Sort of like a titanic soul-Hoover. Except the satellites are actually spacecraft that look like DC-8s...

Wait: are we writing a story of founding a religion here? I for one await the blessed Googlefication!
sovay
Aug. 23rd, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
So, yesterday afternoon I wrote 1,006 words on something called "The Z Word," while listening to nothing but ABBA.

That's awesome.

The post brought my contributor's copy of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, which includes two reprints by me, "Ode to Edvard Munch" and "Untitled 12."

That's also awesome, albeit a slightly different species.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)

That's also awesome, albeit a slightly different species.

Yeah. I feel so subversive.
sovay
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I feel so subversive.

Warping the innocent minds of vampire romanticists everywhere . . .
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)

Warping the innocent minds of vampire romanticists everywhere . . .

At least my life will not have been lived in vein.
sovay
Aug. 24th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
At least my life will not have been lived in vein.

Okay. Your vampire privileges are revoked.
jtglover
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Good lord. I only read about your run-in this morning. How horrible! When I was there a rather long time ago, the woman at their office directed me to the grave and was sort of wishy-washy on the photo thing but didn't care that much. She didn't seem clearly to understand who HPL was, and the security guard sounds roughly the same. What is it with these people?
sfmarty
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Did you see Statham's Transporter films. Ohh.
awdrey_gore
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
HA! I can only imagine what the people of Boing Boing would think of my habit of photographing entire graveyards. Umm... All history is dead folks. Paying respects and visiting/documenting the dead is in many ways no different than reading a history book or rereading a favorite book by a deceased but still beloved author. How creepy! Meh!

I've been combing the Oakhill Cemetery in Austin trying to find the graves of the victims of the Servant Girl Annihilator for a website I want to create (bad record-keeping and racial segregation in the old cemetery are making it very hard to find them, if their stones are still there). Oakhill is gated but I have never once seen any of the guards or groundskeepers, even though the cemetery was recently vandalized.

But there's a woman in a white car who is very suspicious of me. She drives around, watching me closely as I walk through and check gravestones. She's someone's grandmother and her car sports bumper stickers for all sorts of conspiracy theory sites and two that are pro-NRA. I fear she's going to shoot me.

But unthinking reactions of people with no interest in the dead aside, I am very glad your run-in with a homophobic rent-a-cop with a chip on his shoulder is getting lots of attention. Yours is not the first tale I have heard from people who were treated poorly or threatened for simply photographing his grave.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)

I've been combing the Oakhill Cemetery in Austin trying to find the graves of the victims of the Servant Girl Annihilator for a website I want to create (bad record-keeping and racial segregation in the old cemetery are making it very hard to find them, if their stones are still there). Oakhill is gated but I have never once seen any of the guards or groundskeepers, even though the cemetery was recently vandalized.

Most cemeteries here in Providence are still perfectly fine with the usual sorts of things people do in cemeteries (beside decay) —— photography, walking about, sketching, rubbing, etc.. Swan Point is the aberration. We have learned that Mt. Auburn in Boston has recently disallowed photography, and we've learned of another (name escapes me) in Brooklyn.
sovay
Aug. 23rd, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
We have learned that Mt. Auburn in Boston has recently disallowed photography

Which was until this moment unknown to me, although I pass Mount Auburn with some frequency. Great.
stillsostrange
Aug. 24th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Is this stupidity recent, or were matociquala and I just lucky not to be harassed when we were at Swan Point last year? Maybe I can put the souls I managed to steal in jars and sell them on ebay.
eclectic_writer
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oooh, talk about wicket combinations!! Zombie!ABBA is so a story I'd want to read! :D

It should be a nice shake-up of things to have your "different" stories in the anthology; more of the same is just boring and repetitive. Several writers that I like/love have stories therein so I'm looking forward to getting it when it comes out.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)

Several writers that I like/love have stories therein so I'm looking forward to getting it when it comes out.

I just don't know what the Nora-Roberts-with-fangs set is going to make of the subtle complexities of "Ode" or the vomitous feeding of "Untitled 12."
eclectic_writer
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
Lol!! Well the editor accepted the stories so maybe the anthology will be a bit less lovey-dovey and more Lovecraftian. One hopes, anyway. ;)
ex_kaz_maho
Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
re. Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance
I'm reading this right now and was also surprised, but pleased, to see your stories in there. I know Trisha Telep a little, from her work at the Murder One bookstore here in London, and your novels are always in-stock. I think she must be a fan. :)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
Re: re. Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance

and your novels are always in-stock.

Yay!
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)

Why is that more difficult than a suspicious, ignorant, abusive, prejudicial, backward, and bigoted diatribe?

You tell me, and we'll both know.
derekcfpegritz
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I cannot wait to go to Swan Point now! I'm not only going to be armed to the teeth with cameras, I'm also taking sound-recording gear as well. And when that jackass shows up to trouble me, I'm going to beat his ass bloody and document the entire thing on YouTube.
reverendcrofoot
Aug. 24th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
>And as for the few people at "Boing Boing" who find it "creepy" that I >visit the graves of dead writers I admire...

If someone is not there to remember the dead, then what is the point

It might be fun taking pictures to pretend to be an anthropologist recording tombstones to write a paper on burial customs in the early 20th Century. When asked to present ID make sure the Card says you work for Arkham University. See if they get it.

You know, what if the security guards are haunted by the spirit of H.P. and can't help themselves. Everything I've read about Howard says he was very reclusive in life, why not death too?
( 25 comments — Have your say! )