Jesus Is My Girlfriend
And Jehovah is her dad. They both live in outer space. And this makes me glad. Tru Tru Vanilla Luv comes to me from heaven on high. So outward, Godward, I shall fly. Not at death, but right now, in my high frequency dream-skiff. The mansion of bliss is so many light-years away it hurts to think about it. But soon I will stand at the pearly gates of the interstellar secret family funhouse, with flowers in my hand: ultraviolets, asters, and supernova sunflowers.
The Savior from the Stars
Little green men, bighead bug-eyed aliens, shambling grunty blob-things, vast insectoid invaders, robot monsters, clouds of sentient slime, cute TV Martians and sexy Venusian bimbos: I love them all. But they’ve got nothing on the real outer space salvific invader - that’s Mr. Hyper-Virgin, my warp-drive Lord and Savior. “Heaven,” he tells me in his lisping whisper, “is not up there - it’s out there.”
Head of Christ
He’s a pretty strawberry bland, just like a shampoo ad, asking “has your hair been washed in the blood of the lamb?” A billion satisfied customers sing his praises. A billion fans can’t be wrong: he’s everywhere. No picture of Jesus comes near the popularity of Warner Sallman’s 1940 masterpiece. Fair-haired - of course. Blue-eyed - of course. Always glowing and warm, always with that far-away look in his dreamboat eyes. He’s a rose, ere blooming: amber and summery gold, with warm sepias and a rosy glow. Hanging on endless walls, he’s our church-house hunting trophy, except nobody shot this Jesus. He’s got no horns, looking a lot more like a sad-eyed doe than a wild-eyed buck.
The Stolen Bride
But how can Jesus be a girl if he’s the Son of God? Better question: how can Jesus be a prissy white man with gorgeous hair and Hollywood glamor-girl backlighting? Some call it a miracle - the real transfiguration. Heretics and infidels call it theft, saying that Warner Sallman secretly extracted the Head of Christ from an earlier painting called “Friend of the Humble” by Leon Lhermitte. The resemblance is amazing, but that just adds luster to the self-creative miracle. Girl - boy - god - man - cinema star - silky savior: one size fits all of humanity. And if over a billion copies have floated down from heaven, then who can say he owns the sacred J-head?
He took me aside, and whispered all his secret names:
Jesus H. Christ
Christ on a Crutch
Crying Out Loud
Cheese and Crackers
Blood atonement is fine if you don’t mind cleaning up the mess, and the nagging unanswered questions. How does Splatterdad killing his pretty Victimkid make it all right for me and my soul? I understand sacrifice. I know about sympathetic magic and burnt offerings. Sometimes the powers that be and the Big I Am really do want white goat meat, curdled milk and sheaves of barley incinerated on their altars. But the Old One nailing the Young One to a cross so that the rest of us can avoid the eternal celestial broiler - this is the best recipe the creator of the entire universe can come up with? A mix of sanctified torture porn and cosmic high school bullying. Why the cross? Why not an Indian burn, noogie-bar, swirlie or supernal wedgie to cleanse us of our sins?
One Billion x Jesus
He’s no Golgotha Geezasaurus Rex slicing his way through the sky with massive claws and breathing holy napalm fire to purify and rectify the earth. He’s the whitest white man in the universe, fragile as lady fingers, delicate as lemon meringue pie. No space suit like Elvis the Explorer, no armor or ray-gun. No astronaut brushcut or manly stubble on his jaw. He’s my interstellar pinup girlie-god, this creme-filled divine donut covered in powdered sugar, a tasty ice cream clone of a clone. And the tears of a clone, like the tears of a virgin, have far more power than a thousand blazing fists.
O Holy Replicant
His body fluids drip and gleam, rich with reproductive proteins and sky-shine. He is the divine chromolithograph, endlessly self-replicating, making more and more of the same cheesy jeezy mimeo faces. No voice, no body, just the head and shoulders. DNA ditto dandruff flakes down from heaven. Manna - grains of moonlight - confectioner’s sugar - wisps of lamb wool - a powdering of iridescent xerox toner - leukocytes hungry to eat up all imperfection in our blood - stardust.
Now - Sing It
Amazing rays, how hot the heat,
that cooked such wretched meat.
I once was bitter, now I’m sweet.
Oh yeah - it’s time to eat.
Blame Th. Metzger Labels: Universal Monsters
Jumpin’ the Gunne
I really want to hate this thing. I want to claim that it’s the worst of the worst. 1973 gave us so much that was so wrong. Hyperbolic bombast - Brain Salad Surgery. Early senility rock - Goat’s Head Soup. Opiated suicidal sump-diver sludge - Lou Reed’s Berlin. And Uriah Heep Live. Against such festering slabs of musical offal, how could a one-hit wonder band achieve such singular status?
JoJo Gunne were not incompetent. That might have provided some amusement, like watching a drunken toddler drive an ambulance full of burn victims. The band was in fact cursed by competence. They can make a passable boozed-up yahoo boogie sound with pseudo-funky slide guitar and LA-rock piano stylings.
What makes Jumpin the Gunne so bafflingly awful is the balance it strikes between minimal ability and drug-addled idiocy. I think this album contains third-rate white boy shoogity-boogity, but I’m not sure. I want to claim it’s the worst, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly know. With song titles such as “Monkey Music” and “High School Drool,” it promises something that will at least be offensive. No such luck. My ear drums register the sound, but a nanosecond later, nothing remains.
No matter how I approach it - headphones in a dark room or as party-noise - I literally can’t listen to this album. I don’t mean I run screaming to yank it off the turntable. I mean my brain truly cannot process the sound. JoJo Gunne manages the amazing feat of creating something so profoundly mediocre that almost nothing sticks in my mind.
Then I gaze at the cover and my hopes rise again. Jumpin’ the Gunne should be truly horrible. Some coke-headed cretin decided that showing a hugely obese buck-naked chick magically flying out of bed (where the four Gunne boy are sitting under the covers) would make for solid sales. Better (or worse) yet is the inside of the fold-out sleeve, where again Ms. Corpulence is displayed, on her belly, making kissy faces to a small happy piglet.
All the album credits are written on her naked pink flesh - including the requisite “Made to be played loud” claim and the mysterious acknowledgment “Cowboy pig courtesy Warren Archer.”
The band ‘s only real hit - “Run Run Run” - was the first single I ever bought. It’s tuneful, rollicking and still tickles the tiny bones in my middle ear. But that’s all. Beyond “Run Run Run” JoJo Gunne’s legacy is just vapor and haze, a ghost that floats in the interzone reaches of popcult nowhereland.
Best? Worst? They’re meaningless words. Aesthetic terms are like bits of crusty burnt food and this album is coated with Super-Teflon. It’s beyond, above, outside any categories of judgment. I’m not even positive that the thing actually exists. I can hold the cover in my hands and put the disc on the turntable. I can gaze at the flying porcine bimbo with the inexplicable white ankle-strap platform shoes. I can try to listen and remember, but it’s like light passing through clear glass, or gamma rays passing through my body: no trace is left behind.
Blame Th. Metzger Labels: Stereo Throb - 1973