I’m trying to think what was the last thing to make my head explode.
It’s been so long that I forgot what it might have been.
There’s been music, of course. The first time I heard The Cure, and their Pornography album blew me away. “Rescue” by Echo and the Bunnymen, filmed in Urgh! A Music War is another. The first time I heard “Dark Entries” by Bauhaus, my jaw bounced a bit on the floor before I was able to put it back into place.
Although my favorable impression of Tao of Pooh has gone down a bit in recent years (there are quite a few liberties taken in order to force Pooh into a Taoist mindset), I recall having a mindfuck moment the first time I read it. Same with listening to some of Alan Watt’s recorded talks, and then reading his books. Wei Wu Wei twists my head into knots and I love it. No Exit by Sartre, The Stranger by Camus, A Perfect Day for Bananafish by Salinger… All left me feeling as if my mind were blown the first time I read them.
I don’t know that anyone can walk away from the first time watching Eraserhead without feeling as if their brain shattered. I can’t say I love the movie, but I respect it for how it made me feel all kitty-wumpus afterwards. Same with Jacob’s Ladder — that was less of a horror show than an epiphany in movie form for me. Dead Man had me at the repeated “Stupid fucking white man” quotes by the Native American named Nobody. I still cry (yes, guys cry) when I watch the post-duel scene in Dangerous Liaisons; “I don’t believe that’s something anyone has ever been able to say about me.”
I was slightly embarrassed taking someone of a date to see a live production of Jean Genet’s The Screens, especially when the soldier described taking a shit as akin to the ultimate bliss, but I became an instant fan afterwards (although I regret likely turning Val off by my choice of theatre; she would have probably made a great girlfriend). I was likewise blown away by another production of his play The Maids performed in a small theatre in Seattle by three young gay men playing the maids and the mistress; three men who did not mime the violence of the play (I saw hand imprints on one face after the slap, there was no miming). A one-man production of Diary of a Madman (Gogol) made me think outside the box and a production of Richard the Third sent shivers down my spine as the story progressed.
But lately, I can’t seem to find anything that blows my mind. Everything feels recycled and rehashed the past twenty or so years. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but I think I’ve overdue for an exploding head trick.
It would be awesome.