hell's-valley

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CURIOUS FACT OF THE WEEK: Hot Monkeys

Traditionally, bathers at Japanese hot springs are expected to rinse off before entering the soothing waters. However, exceptions are made for the monkeys.

In a remote part of Japan, known as “Hell’s Valley” due to its rugged landscape and bubbling hot springs, the Japanese macaque have learned to warm their monkey parts next to the human visitors. It is not uncommon to see several of these every social creatures kicking it together in a hot bath during the day before heading back into the forest for the night.

DO NOT STEAL THEIR SEAT: JIGOKUDANI PARK, Japan

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"I’ve been drinking my whole life. I started when I was 8. My father was an alcoholic. Whiskey and bourbon… were his choice. After he got his glass, he’s come and he’d tuck me in. First, he’d ask me about my day. Then he’d, like… he’d move his hands up my leg. Told me everything was gonna be okay. It was never okay. I’d just bury my head into my pillow and wait until it was over. And when he was done, I’d just lie there quietly."

Can we just talk about the range of emotions covered within barely few minutes of this scene? Can we talk about this build-up of responses he shows with his eyes and that show on his face only. He barely says a thing and yet it feels like he’s screaming with: shame, pain, defeat turning to confusion, disbelief and irritation all of which finally explodes into blind, all-consuming rage. You can see layers of defenses tearing apart bit by bit until there is nothing left but bleeding with raw bitterness and fury core of his broken broken soul. Just look at that first shot: all vulnerability and suffering. And then final sequence: set on fire with his wrath. And it’s all in his eyes and on his face. With barely few lines of dialogue used. Just goddamn give mister Tucker all the film leads and cast him in all the TV shows out there and be done with it.

youtube

Listen: Sufjan Stevens – No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross

Stevens is back, strumming his guitar and sighing all beautifully about love and blades and getting drunk. His album Carrie and Lowell is due out on Asthmatic Kitty records on 30 March (UK/EU) and 31 March (US).

Read the full song lyrics below (and on YouTube, if you so desire):

"Now that I fell into your arms
My only lover
Give out to give in
I search for the capsule I lost


Drag me to hell
In the valley of The Dalles
Like my mother
Give wings to a stone
It’s only the shadow of a cross


I slept on my back
In the shade of the meadowlark
Like a champion
Get drunk to get laid
I take one more hit when you depart


I’ll drive that stake through the center of my heart
Lonely vampire
Inhaling its fire
I’m chasing the dragon too far


There’s blood on that blade
Fuck me, I’m falling apart
My assassin
Like Casper the ghost
There’s no shade in the shadow of the cross”

Mark Ruwedel, Pictures of hell

RAM Publications, 2014

Hell, Chuckwalla Valley

Bumpass Hell, Mount Lassen

Hells Canyon, Snake River

Devils Canyon, Colorado Plateau

Devils Gate Canyon, Snake Range

Devils Lake, Deschutes National Forest

Devils Garden, Massacre Rocks

Devils Gate, Silver City

Devils Den, Kern County

Devils Hole, Ash Meadows

Devils Playground, Kelso Dunes

Devils Slide, Weber Canyon (after O’Sullivan)

Devils Punchbowl, Oregon Coast

El Camino del Diablo, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works

[SLAMS FIST ON TABLE]

WELL ISN’T THIS A BLAST FROM THE PAST EH

Now, the reason I “quit” this is because I got saddled with a big, giant, massive scholarship deal. [*tears* bby’s goin 2 college 2 write *tears*] When I say “deal”, I mean, write 97 novels, cry, grovel, beg, cry more, maybe flip a table. Ay.

Buuuuuuuut guess when the due date for all of that hard-ass work is? Today. 

i’m fREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

WE’RE CHUGGING BACK 2 ANGST TOWN