The Southland Odyssey Compendium

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts

There they are, all standing in a row

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head

Give them a twist a flick of the wrist

That’s what the showman said

—Monty Python

southland tales opening

Presenting at long last in its full mind-numbing ludicrosity*: The Southland Odyssey Compendium, a living, non-breathing textual organism that will grow and adapt as we respond to it. Read and contribute, observe, ponder, and discuss. Explore and devour, divide and conquer. Welcome to the New World, now let’s see what we can make of it.

Guiding us on our journey will be this sprawling, expansive, ambitious and surreptitious foray into the bastion of American cinema formerly marked Southland Tales. Here recorded before you in the digital flesh of binary digits are the records of my travels, written in a feverish two-day stretch and sent by electronic post to the nearest way-point of civilization. I only pray they haven’t gone amiss. Though I barely returned with my sanity intact, I may one day return to this darkest heart of Neverland, but for now the task is entrusted to you. Read on, brave MacDuffs, content in the knowledge that the world is as it was in the beginning as it shall be in the end.

The titles are mere signposts, they outline denser networks of manifold complexities. The only way to know what lies beyond is to tumble down the rabbit hole.

For the full experience, read them in any order you choose, beginning with any paragraph you want, starting at any sentence that catches your fancy. You may unlock something new and wonderful, and have no fear, should you get lost, help is near. Start at the end, start at the beginning, end with the beginning in the middle of the end.

Part 1: “Pimps Don’t Commit Suicide:” Surrealism and the Formation of Identity in Southland Tales

Part 2: American Burlesque

Part 3: Down the Rabbit Hole: Text and Hypertext in Southland Tales

Part 4: Richard Kelly, The Anti-Whitman

Part 5: Southland Tales and the re-Birth of the Gonzo Cinema

“Ladies and gentlemen, the party is over. Have a nice Apocalypse.”

Southland Tales


*My neologism for the state or condition of being, or having been, or having ever will not have never been, ludicrous.


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