Less Than Pulp, Issue 18
“Don’t try to be good; just try to be entertaining.”
I’m not sure if that above quote originated with Carlton Mellick III (author of Spider Bunny and The Haunted Vagina), but I’ve heard it attributed to him more than once, so I’ll just say it’s his. It’s a bit of advice that lives rent-free in my brain because I think it’s genuinely good advice. “Good” is such an ethereal thing as it applies to art. Striving for some undefinable good when writing a book only leads to headaches in my experience. By contrast, if you’re entertaining yourself or thinking about what your audience will find entertaining, you will get a lot more out of your creative endeavors. While “entertaining” is still subjective, I find it’s more tangible than “good.”
Your mileage may vary.
Hi, I’m Lucas Mangum, and this is Less Than Pulp, a newsletter for fans of my work. You can catch up with previous issues here.
This past week it was just the kids and me while Jean traveled for work. My son did a good job helping me out with his little sister. He made things a lot easier, and I’m proud of how empathetic he’s becoming. Jean came back Friday night and got to see them before bedtime. I could tell by how they brightened when she walked through the door that they both missed her. I missed her too.
I watched a couple of 1950s science fiction movies, namely The Thing from Another World and It Came from Outer Space. They’re classics for a reason. The Thing has such a cool, isolated atmosphere, and I can totally see why John Carpenter remade it in the early 80s. It Came… was almost Twilight Zone-esque and adapted from a movie treatment by Ray Bradbury. I’d never seen either all the way through, so it was cool to remedy that.
Our culture was really into extraterrestrials back then. Film historians will tell you that’s because we were terrified of the so-called “Communist menace.” I wasn’t alive in the 50s, but I can definitely see the underlying fear of nuclear annihilation in these films. The idea of powers beyond comprehension, manifested tangibly and not some abstract idea about the “wrath of God,” is certain to inspire fear.
I loved movies like this as a kid in the early 90s, though. Before I was allowed to watch the more modern special effects gorefests or anything terribly sleazy, it was 50s science fiction, Universal monster movies, and Hammer horror that sated my appetite for the weird shit. Other movies in this genre I enjoyed were The Blob, Them!, and Earth vs the Spider. I owned The Blob and revisited it frequently. The other two I rented and watched as often as I could before we needed to return them to Blockbuster.
I didn’t do much writing while Jean was away, but I did make some progress on one of the stories on my hard drive I promised myself I would finish. I also got For Our Love I’d Eat the Whole Wide World back from Wile E. Young. Have I talked about that here, yet? Ha! Well, in case I haven’t … it’s a paranormal romance between a widowed nurse and a world-eating blob from outer space. Yes, really! It started as a joke on Twitter a couple years ago and grew into a viable book. I’m glad to get back to it. We’re about a third of the way through.
I’m not sure there's ever been a music video project like NIN's Broken Movie. A faux snuff film intercut with videos for every song off the Broken EP but "Last" and the two secret tracks, it was one of the most sought out pieces of media of the modern era. It was leaked to bootleg sites in the mid-2000s (purportedly by Trent Reznor himself), and it's never had an official release. On the newest episode of MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN PODCAST, Jeff and I discuss it in-depth as two 90s kids who are now approaching middle age and taking a trip down memory lane. You can listen to the episode here, or by clicking the video above.