Saturday, November 2, 2013

Return of the Blob

Today The Blob came to town. It was a quiet, unheralded event. It rained a little, a 350 pound sunfish was caught in Elliott Bay, and Bertha, the 6,700 ton boring machine assembled in Osaka, Japan, continued to tunnel its way through the muck and cement of the downtown waterfront.
No one pays much attention to the diversions of a ball of jelly until it begins to eat people. The Blob was not here to eat people. The Blob was here to endorse the Institutue for Amoebic Dysentery.
Remember The Blob? Steve McQueen? Aneta Corsaut? Downington, Pennsylvania?
Yes? No? It doesn’t matter. What is important is that The Blob, which might best be described as an entity ontically distinguished by the fact that in its very Being, in its very journey as a living presence, that it is Being itself which is at issue, which brings about a relationship with itself, a romance, if you will, which is one of Being, and that to some degree it does so explicitly, and is protoplasmic and large, and glistens, and changes color according to its mood.
You may also remember that The Blob was quite hungry and swallowed everything in sight. Its taste was as indiscriminate as it was infinite, devouring anything that came within its immediate perimeter sporting arteries and hydrocarbons. It seemed to have a particular appetite for humans. I can’t remember if it ate animals. Humans are animals, but very bizarre animals, with hair and desks and religion. Few animals, if any, are in possession of desks or religion. If turtles or worms have a religion, they are keeping it a secret, and worshiping in private.
As for desks, I have never seen a turtle or a worm sit at a desk. I did once see a worm engrossed at a desk, though it was by no means sitting. Worms are not anatomically suited for sitting. It was more like adherence. It was doing something wormlike on the desk. Calculus, or a crossword puzzle.
The Blob wasn’t about desks. The Blob wasn’t about furniture in general. The Blob required that its understanding of the world take place without a desk, or a chair. The Blob was breathtakingly unsystematic. There was nothing remotely transcendent in its nature. The Blob was an epitomy of unappeased appetite, appetite that grows the more that it is fed, increases by what it consumes, swells by what it lessens.
Was The Blob’s penchant for humans strictly an idiom of the cinema, or was it because humans are more easily digested than dogs or cabbage rolls?
 The Blob, so far as I know, did not have a religion. The Blob was just a blob. An amalgam of blobbiness. Blobbitude. Jelly. A moist, peremptory sphere with a certain primordial flair for being in the world. For occupying space. Encumbering volume. Eating things.
Life is largely defined by appetite. When life ceases, appetite ceases. Everything else in between is eating. Eating and eating. And sleeping. Eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping.
There is sometimes also commingling. Synthesis. Organization.
Extortion, snippiness, and dancing.
Fainting, laughing, and talking on cell phones.
Bowling and pottery and reproducing.
There’s a big one: reproduction.
The reproduction of one’s species is a remarkably animating motivation for most life forms.
The Blob did ok at the box office. It grossed four million. Larry Hagman directed a remake in 1972, and Rob Zombie attempted another comeback in 1988, but The Blob never made it big. Not like Jaws, or the pouty vampires of the Twilight series. It lacked the sexy finesse and aristocratic charm of Count Dracula, the malaise and acute need for intimacy of the forever bumbling and temperamental Frankenstein, the raging internal conflicts of the Wolfman or the creepy alterity of the Mummy shuffling around in all those bandages. The Blob was boring. Dull, doltuish like a Zombie, but without the bad breath and anatomical raunchiness. Zombies are the porn equivalents of death.
Nobody likes death, but when you see somebody dead come back to life, or seeming life, a semblance of life, squirting blood and gobbling brains like raw oysters dipped in fennel butter, it gets your attention.
The Blob just oozed. It didn’t walk, it didn’t shuffle, it didn’t run or somersault or leap through the air like a fiend from hell. It just oozed. Oozing does not really come across all that compellingly on the big silver screen. It would just get lost on a smartphone. The Blob would look dumb on a smartphone.
There stands Liam Neeson as Zeus in shining cinematic armor: release the Kraken, he intones.
 “Release The Blob” does not trigger feelings of awe and terror. The Blob did not begin a series of blockbusters, or underground cults trading DVDs and Blob memorabilia. The Blob was frozen by high school fire extinguishers and parachuted ignobly into the Antarctic. It did not find its way to a single T-shirt or get tattooed on a young lady’s thigh.
Ooze does not lend itself to 3D special effects. Ooze is ooze. Ooze oozing down city streets glistening and gargantuan as it ingests more and more people and turns different shades of red and blue is the stuff of quiddity: authentic, unalloyed being in its most purest state. Determined, indefatigable appetite. Raw, unmitigated hunger.
People think greed is sexy. Really? Greed? Next time you think greed is sexy, think of The Blob. Think of The Blob oozing onto a yacht. Oozing into a limousine. Oozing into a six bedroom chateau in Aspen with a state of the art theater, sauna, steam room and dog bath.
The Blob in a sauna.
The Blob in a sauna is best left alone. Alone with its blobbitude. Its hunger. Its protoplasmic sweat trickling down its sad amorphous folds like discharge.
Like suppuration.
Like tears.


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