Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)

This Punk Rock Gospel considers the word “monster.”

Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel by Dia VanGunten
Glitter Art by Sue Zola

Here at Cream Scene, we’re inundated with gorgeous artwork, but we don’t get to actually own any of it, which can be acutely painful for this amateur art collector, but Sue Zola is an old friend so when I delighted over this halloweeny Bowie, she made an offer I couldn’t refuse. This is my second Sue Zola piece. We met when I commissioned a glitter snake wrestler. I love this candy corn glam in a year round way, but Sue infused it with Halloween vibes and sent me a copy for the Thirteen Days Of Halloween issue. All week, I’ve been thinking I should use it for a punk rock gospel – a Bowie song! – and so the choice is obvious.

The titular song on his 1980 album, Scary Monsters (Super Creeps) Apparently, the title came from a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes ad campaign, but Bowie takes it into darker territory.

At first we think she’s the monster, with her dead eyes and haunted rooms, but then we realize she’s a victim of this lover who has driven her over the edge. He’s given her a dangerous mind and he’s gonna love her to death.

She had an horror of rooms, she was tired, you can’t hide beat
When I looked in her eyes, they were blue but nobody home
Well, she could’ve been a killer if she didn’t walk the way she do
And she do
She opened strange doors that we’d never close again

She began to wail jealousy’s scream
Waiting at the lights, know what I mean

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

She asked me to stay and I stole her room
She asked for my love and I gave her a dangerous mind
Now she’s stupid in the street and she can’t socialise
Well, I love the little girl and I’ll love her till the day she dies

She wails Jimmy’s guitar sound, jealousy’s scream
Waiting at the lights, know what I mean

Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters and super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

Scary monsters and super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters and super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

Scary monsters and super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters and super creeps
Keep me running, running scared

These words – monster, creep, freak, weirdo, outsider, gimp – their meaning is culturally muddled, even interchangeable. I’m interested in the criss cross, whether I’m writing about not-so-evil zombies or Alexander The Great (a conqueror, a killer, a villain in Persian stories.) 

Part of my interest is no doubt due to the fact that I’m more than criss crossed…I’m interwoven in these words. I’m the woman that would be raped by a conquering nation, the locked away epileptic or the autistic with her head on a pike. I’m a freak in the circus, gimp on the run, and weirdo with monstrous thoughts.

I’m the creep who doesn’t belong here? What am I doing here? 

So it’s for the best that I’m living in the here and now, in this age of half baked morays, even as we totter on the abyss, because I am too soft for that kind of suffering. 

But I’m not as “safe” as I think I am, though I’m cocooned by technology. What if we were to lose power? Access to food or medicine? Internet?

In Pink Zombie Rose, I explore infrastructure and how easily it could all crumble. We feel so safe in our netflix bubbles, but modernity is a false comfort. An illusion.

We rely on our government for roads, rules and justice, but they do other things on our behalf. It blows back. When that happened to America, on the 11th of September, a real life tarot card was on the front of every newspaper. 

The Tower card depicts a high spire nestled on top of the mountain. A lightning bolt strikes the tower which sets it ablaze. Flames are bursting in the windows and people are jumping out of the windows as an act of desperation. They want to escape the turmoil and destruction within. The Tower is a symbol for the ambition that is constructed on faulty premises. The destruction of the tower must happen in order to clear out the old ways and welcome something new.

Labrinthios: meaning of Tower Card

It was absolutely devastating and a colossal wave of grief swept like a tsunami over this country, but we were discouraged from speaking freely about our own cruelties. Fact is, we’ve strong-armed the rest of the world and people get tired of living under the boot.

Then our government used those deaths to enable more torture and racism. They invented lies to justify additional misdeeds and commit more war crimes.

Twenty years ago this week, Bush and his sidekick Vice President Dick Cheney launched a war against Iraq. They greased the way to this tragic conflagration with the false claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that directly threatened the United States, and that he was in league with al Qaeda, the perpetrators of the horrific September 11 attack. Their invasion, which led to the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians—and the violence and instability in the region that resulted in ISIS—is now widely considered to have been a strategic blunder of immense proportions.

The Big Lie That Launched A Catastrophic War

When we balked, they called us traitors.

Americans called other Americans “terrorists” if they expressed the slightest bit of regret or introspection.  It’s possible to love one’s country while disagreeing with war crimes

Governments aren’t races or religions, or even people, but systems.
And they’re mostly broken. 

When I hear people using words like eradication, I wonder “Haven’t we learned our lessons from the last villains?”

When humans label each other monsters, I brace for monstrosities.

About the Author

Dia VanGunten explores overlaps between genres, between poetry and prose, between the real and the magical. Her current fiction project is Pink Zombie Rose.

Dia is the founder of Cream Scene Carnival and the OG carnie.

About the Artist

Sue Zola is the pioneer glitter artist and a member of the Cream Scene Community.

2 responses to “Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)”

  1. Hicksy Avatar

    Spitting truth and fire. I like the connection with the tower, well not like, respect the mind that made the connection.

    1. Cream Scene Carnival Avatar
      Cream Scene Carnival

      Thank you, Chris. Very much appreciated.

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