lise: okay, so this is the commentary for the Cult of Timberlake story, something we said we'd never do. But it's been a year since we posted it, so I guess, why not.
kel: the index page! I guarantee that Lise will want to talk about the graphic.
lise: Yes! Of course I do.
kel: Tell us all about it.
lise: That graphic is a scan of an nsync photocard, and it's one of many, many in the series where they're leaning up against this baby blue Cadillac. and Chris, Chris was sitting on the ground, separate from the rest of them, and the way that the rest of the guys were facing was just too brilliant not to use it.
Because once Chris and the car - which, I always pictured that car as being the one that Justin drove from San Francisco to Orlando - were cropped out, you've got these four guys.
Justin is looking off into the distance, and JC is trying to follow his gaze but failing. Lance is looking so obviously the other way. And Joey, Joey is staring back at you.
And - this is a long story - there's this book, by John David Morley, called "the Anatomy Lesson" based completely around this painting of the dissection of a corpse, The Anatomy Lesson by Rembrant. And the way the painting is set up, the body is the focal point. Even in death, this body ends up taking over the picture, ends up being the star. And that's what the whole book is based around, but it really struck me, because in that painting one of the characters is looking back at the audience, as well - and the rest of them are looking at the body.
Anyway. That painting and that book heavily influenced how I saw this graphic, and how I saw Chris - as being the body and absent - fueling the picture and ultimately the story.
Finally (I swear): the overlaid words are from Elliot Leyton's book, "hunting humans", and the underlined quote - I was actually in an airport reading the book (it's a sociological survey of multiple murderers), and when I came to the line "among the ambitious who failed - or believed they would fail - and who see another form of success in the universal celebrity and attention through... homicide" it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Because that was the Justin I was seeing.
Okay. I'm done.
[flesh mechanic: not an AU.]
kel: for a long time, this story didn't have a title. we called it the cult of timberlake story, but mostly "the cult," for short, like it was more of an experience than a story. A lot of people seem to do the same now that it's out there in the world. but for some reason we decided that we couldn't actually call it "the cult of timberlake," maybe because that's just too easy. "flesh mechanic" has always been my favorite placebo song, and I was listening to it in the shower one morning, and the lyrics just seemed to ... fit. it's too bad that the title isn't more associated with the story. all the movies in my head / they flicker with my bleeding heart / a careless slipping of the tongue / on just another private part. the whole song's like that, I always love to think of the line says he's a poet as applying to justin.
lise: The title! I fought with everyone and put my foot down for the title to be: "flesh mechanic: not an AU". The 'not an AU' was critical to me, I had to have it in there. I demanded. Seriously, I don't know what I would have done if kel hadn't let me have 'not an AU' in there. Because it's not.
kel: The rest of this is pretty standard. I wrote the disclaimer back when I was still convinced that a story where Justin scalped and killed Chris was going to get us run out of fandom, trying to make it clear that this story was fucked up, mmmkay? But not giving away the crux of the premise.
lise: But I was very adamant that we have the "almost pure fiction" in the disclaimer, too. Because some of it is so not made up it's not funny.
kel: My favorite part of the index page is that we linked to the AIM chat that we were having when we first came up with the idea for the story. Because, we'd only known each other about a month and a half at that point? and we were just on AIM at three in the morning and Lise says "wonder what Justin would do with the bodies?" and I was so there.
lise: We could go on and on about the discography and filmography, but instead, let's get on with the fic.
disclaimer: justin timberlake is no one we know and this is almost pure fiction.
this story contains death, violence and cheap shots. it blends fact, fiction and fiction that is made to appear like fact to create a work that is for entertainment only. no ill intent is meant toward justin timberlake or anyone affilliated with him and this work of speculative fiction is not meant to suggest that this is a likely or possible future. really.
alternate universes: love you like tupperware. and don't believe everything that you breathe. and nobody's fault but my own. and graffiti where you've never been kissed. kinda. if you squint. we only know one justin anymore.
thank you: to LJ in spades for pictures, caps, scans and various other bits and pieces to our evil end (katie, nia, kirsch and allen to name but a slight few). rae for the re-write of "cry me a river." katie and hetre z especially for the very brave beta. AOL instant messenger. sprint PCS and fido anytime minutes. the usa/canada border patrol. henry lee lucas and ottis toole. justin timberlake.
placebo, "flesh mechanic" // justin timberlake, "like I love you" // beck, "hollywood freaks" // N.E.R.D, "lap dance" // clipse, "when the last time" // beck, "odelay " // beatles, "helter skelter" // jarvis church, "run for your life"// justin timberlake, "cry me a river" // the flaming lips, "happy birthday"
silence of the lambs // henry: portrait of a serial killer // the cell // red dragon
allen ginsberg, "howl" // elliot leyton, hunting humans // mark z. danielewski, the house of leaves // margaret atwood, the blind assassin //
no boy banders were harmed in the creation of this story. we love you justin.
-- kel. and lise.
ps: this insanity started like this.