Sunday, 22 February 2015

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama-The Anthony Quinn Edition

With my underpants spattered and stained with so much pork and bean gas debris it can only mean one thing–it’s time again for another of that rat-feces eating freak, Mark Laba’s drawings. This week he appeared in a bit of a frantic state, sweat beading the ear-wax coloured flesh of his face as he plunked down four rolls of pork and bean change and pleaded with me to post this drawing posthaste. “What’s the rush, fungus-breath?” I asked, the effort to contain my sneer causing me to drool on my shirtfront and as it was more than miniscule pork and bean shrapnel drool on my I Love Wolves sweat top, the rendering of a pack of wolves not only glow-in-the-dark but with eyes as riveting and haunting as the gooey burning embers of melted marshmallows in a campfire on the lake where Tom Thompson drowned, I’ll be charging Mr. Laba extra money for dry-cleaning. “Don’t ask any questions,” he replied, “and just listen to this.” Nevertheless, I interrupted and asked him the title of his latest calamity. “It’s called Requiem For A Gillnetter,” and I guess, the story he related after this has something to do with its inspiration, albeit in such a roundabout way it’s akin to picking your nose with your toes while you’re restrained in a straitjacket and crazed sea otters are tearing open and munching on your testicles, mistaking them for mollusk meat as someone dressed as a banana tries to sell you a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, our previous pork and bean procurement agreement commits me to relaying this drawing and the accompanying story so hold on to your hats and air-sickness bags and prepare yourself for a turbulent ride.
“Back in my art school days,” Mr. Laba said, “I was working late one night in the studio, all alone. I was crouched down, rooting through a supply cabinet for paint when I heard a voice behind me. It was a deep, heavily accented voice and when I turned around I was staring into the remarkable and unmistakable visage of Anthony Quinn. I froze on the spot. ‘These things,’ he said, pointing to some wrought iron sculptures a friend of mine had made, ‘these are very interesting. What do you call them?’ 
‘I…I…well, they don’t really have a name,’ I stammered. ‘A friend of mine makes them, that’s all I know.’
‘They are very interesting,’ Anthony Quinn repeated. Behind him stood another man who bore a passing resemblance to an aged Rod Steiger, but I couldn’t be sure. It was at that moment I thought I should tell Anthony Quinn what I thought of him as an acting legend and the fact he’s been in some of the greatest films I’ve ever seen (not to mention maybe a quick nod to Rod Steiger, if that’s who he was and his work in On The Waterfront or In The Heat Of The Night). I wasn’t even going to mention Zorba the Greek, which everyone associates Anthony Quinn with. No, I was going to go out on a limb and tell him how amazing he was in Requiem For A Heavyweight, a film that still haunts me to this day. Not to mention Lawrence of Arabia, which I can watch endlessly. But, as Anthony Quinn turned around and started to leave followed by Rod Steiger’s doppleganger, I said nothing, not even acknowledging the fact that this man was an incredible actor from a bygone era when magnificent movies were made by megalomaniac studio heads and producers who didn’t always see a profit margin in everything they put on the screen.
I let this momentous chance slip away and the next day when I mentioned to schoolmates that I met Anthony Quinn in the studio the previous evening, I being an older student amongst a generation ten or more years younger than me, most didn’t even know who he was. I was astonished, to say the least. Some did nod their heads briefly with distant memories of Zorba the Greek or maybe the title just twigged some collective mass pop culture unconscious reflex, like some kitschy album cover or movie poster in their parents’ rec-room.”
As far as I can guess the only connection between this great film and Mr. Laba’s putrid scribbling is the fact both begin with the word “requiem.” After that, one work of art attains greatness and the other finds its calling in the sewer amongst the used condoms, human waste and the many unsecured false teeth that have fallen between the gratings while trying to bite into hot dogs on the street.
Requiem for a heavyweight, indeed! All I can say,  Mr. Laba, is that it’s obvious to me that, if you didn’t hasten Mr. Quinn to an early grave you certainly broke his heart with your ignorance and lack of acknowledgment of his greatness as an actor and legendary status in the movie industry. Though I can’t really believe that your deer-in-the-headlights vacuous countenance and personality could actually affect someone of such stature, I also can’t help but think that on his deathbed Mr. Quinn might have taken a moment from his hesitant and final faltering steps into the afterlife to reflect, if only momentarily, on those he had met in his life (horse’s asses such as yourself), who saddened him to such a degree that hovering vultures waiting to pick his bones would be an honest respite from the rat-feces eating ignoramuses such as yourself. The fact that Mr. Quinn was also an accomplished painter and that in his early days had studied architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright, should be a sign that any art supplies you have left, Mr. Laba, you should quickly ram down your throat and put the art world out if its misery. If you don’t choke to death slowly and painfully (hopefully), at least it might direct you toward another useful calling such as boll weevil breeding, zipper repair or boiling animal parts in your backyard for head-cheese.
Finally, this is not the first time Mr. Laba has pulled a stunt like this. A few years ago he failed to acknowledge Steven Seagal in a hotel lobby for Mr. Seagal’s groundbreaking work in On Deadly Ground or Under Siege 2: Dark Territory and in the same hotel, Mr. Laba, on another occasion (what’s wrong with Mr. Laba, does he haunt hotel lobbies just waiting for an opportunity to willfully ignore such great culture-defining cinematic artistes), had a chance to tell Lou Diamond Phillips how much he admired his work as they were sharing the same elevator and yet, once again, Mr. Laba chose to say nothing and stare into space idiotically. I mean, even just a quick nod to La Bamba wouldn’t have killed him. But instead he decided to stare at his distorted reflection in the various reflective surfaces of the elevator and tried not to fart. I pray that when these two fine actors must one day sadly meet their maker, Mr. Laba’s name might be on their parched ancient lips as they curse his very existence with their last dying breath. You are an asshole, Mr. Laba and if Anthony Quinn, God rest his soul, were still alive today he’d be the first to tell you so. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama Pork & Bean Challenge-Day 5

Well, it's finally day 5 and the finale of the great art for pork and beans extravaganza and I can tell that that toe-fungus licking bohemian bozo, Mark Laba, has finally hit the wall. I found him supine in the alleyway out back of my rooming house, urine-soaked sweat pants halfway to his knees and a KFC bucket jauntily lodged on his misshapen head. It appears that raccoons may have been licking at the chicken grease from the bucket as spoor leavings traced his body like the chalk outline at a murder scene. I'm not sure if he had just collapsed or perhaps this was some form of performance art that he's decided to explore. I can only hope the former because its bad enough just looking at his puffy and psoriasis-speckled physique but if he intends to put that abomination into motion then heaven help us all, whether weak or strong of stomach. The results will always be the same. Loss of appetite for three days to five weeks, a sudden emptying of your bank account, dreams that involve hand puppets trying to eat egg salad sandwiches and a compulsion to clip your toenails at bus stops. On that note, viewer beware. Hopefully the raccoons will return to eat his body before he wakes up.

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama Pork & Bean Challenge-Day 4

Day 4 of the art for pork and bean money festivities and that pariah of pen and ink, Mark Laba, is looking as tired as some three-legged creature dragging itself across a desert highway after it's already been run over numerous times but won't give up, just looking for some arid, prickly patch of cactus and wind-whipped candy wrappers and chicken nugget debris to lay down and die under. But then again, Mr. Laba looks like that even on his best and least-stressed days. If only he could find a rewarding profession like myself, say in the janitorial and erotic arts, perhaps he might find the more sublime meanings to life. Alas, he won't and so we're left with this fetid pool of scribbling that not even the best sewage treatment plant could possibly dream of filtering for healthy drinking or boiling spaghetti water.

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama Pork & Bean Challenge-Day 3

Well, Day 3 of the pork and bean art challenge and I can tell that the artiste formerly known as The Nose-Picking Fiend, Mark Laba, is getting tired due to the fact he has all the vim and vigour of earwax just beginning to crust over. It's all about inertia and Mr. Laba is obviously following his prescribed path to bitter dissolution whereby his body slowly leaks all of its fluids in a bus shelter while fighting pigeons for discarded French fries and bread crusts. All this to say he's a sad, sad excuse for both a human being and the pencil-wielding bladder of a squashed porcupine that he so uncannily resembles and if incontinence were an art term rather than a condition, Mr. Laba would lead this artistic movement. Enough said. Here's the newest scribblings. Better luck next time, Laba. I only retched twice but I'm enjoying the pork and beans, just as long as I don't look at your drawings before I eat.

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama Pork & Bean Challenge-Day 2

Well, it's the second day of the pork'n'bean art marathon and that lily-livered, knuckle-dragging charlatan of the arts, Mark Laba, has managed to cram yet another pen into his self-abuse cramped fist and produce some more crap suitable for lining the cages of diarrhea-suffering parrots. "Down and dirty, fast and loose," is how Mr. Laba explained these latest renderings to me and I believe those were the famous last words of Fast Eddie before Minnesota Fats whipped his ass on the nine-ball table and later had his thumbs broken by a two-headed man in a back alley outside of Medicine Hat. On that note these drawings are visually not unlike rendered fat except at least one you can cook with while the other wouldn't even make good toilet paper, coffee filters or a shim to stick under the leg of a wobbly table at the Legion Hall.

Dr. Haltiwanger's Art-A-Rama Pork & Bean Challenge-Day 1

I was poking around in my larder the other day when I noticed that my pork and bean supplies were alarmingly depleted and in order to remedy the situation I hatched this little plan. Now I'm not an artist (who needs the anxiety, headaches and sweatpants stained with paint and foie gras grease not to mention an ego the size of a neck goiter like my neighbour, Boris, the unemployed Zamboni driver has) but I know of one man, that paramecium of a human, Mark Laba, who fancies himself a bit of an artiste (his sweatpants stink like a bullfrog during mating season) and gave him this challenge. Three drawings a day for five days and I would faithfully post the results to the hordes of the Haltiwanger admirers out there, but it would come at a price. Each drawing posted would cost Mr. Laba a can of pork and beans (or the monetary equivalent), and so by my calculations, five days would garner me a whopping fifteen cans of mechanically de-boned meat and bean succulence, whether it be in a molasses or tomato-based sauce. I would have charged Mr. Laba more but I didn't want to overstate my case and cause him to wet his pants in the process or scare him off or both, knowing Mr. Laba's weak tendencies and cowardly temperament. But at that price I knew that his fat head filled with delusions of artistic success would compel him to sweat blood and ink for five days and supply me with the following monstrosities, along with a healthy supply of pork and beans to add to the old larder.

So off to work went that pariah of the palette, that wannabe artiste who should frankly have his beret flambéed in front of him while someone beats him soundly with a baguette upon his balding pate until he has some sense knocked into him and goes back to his calling, which is point man on the dog turd cleaning brigade with the rest of the parolees.

Anyway, here's the first batch of block-headed, ham-fisted scribblings and just for your knowledge, all of them gave me acid reflux and one of them actually made me incontinent.