What month is this in this ghastly interminable hellbeastly span of years masquerading as a span of days? Oh. August.
It seems time has thudded to a damn standstill. And yet speeds along. I know. How original am moi? Not at all.
I’ll answer myself as no one comments or spews invectives at me in the social media time out I seem to be in. Or maybe I haven’t pledged myself enough to Satan or given enough lip service to AmmoJesus.
We only have two options for worship here in ‘murica. Sort of only sorta kidding about that. You’re either with Jesus and the angels or you’re a godless Satan worshiping hate America commie traitor who hates babies. Yep.
Oh, so for those at home breathlessly reading along, I wrote a poem. That’s all.
It included the words ‘motherlumping’ and ‘scorpion’ and ‘Mamerigaga’.
I wrote it with great and furious anger.
I had fun writing a poem in great and furious anger. It drained my fury and anger.
I sent off my barely coherent scream against avocado toast to that monthly poetry challenge I AM STILL DOING. Because it’s good practice, and it helps foment me into a BETTER WRITER.
Or so I tell myself. Don’t we all tell ourselves happy lies so we don’t spatter our pretty brains on the ugly walls wherever we live? Or perhaps we live under a bridge and have to walk to the library to use the internet.
So some other form of suicide will have to do for welfare moochers and societal losers. Starvation and disease and freezing to death are free, moochers!
Wow, that took a dark little turn.
Ah, so. I squibbled out a VASTLY POPULAR post about fires. I believe that’s the one before this one. Let me check, brb.
Yep. The fires still burn. It’s awful. It’s getting smoky. It’s HOT. But it is summer.
Thank you, Queen Obvious!
You’re welcome, sarcastic voice in my head!
Some snow would be nice. A nice couple days of constant rain would be nice here in Eastern Oregon.
I do mean the entire area. From Ontario all the way to Bend. Awash with rainy rain!
No wind, no lightning, just rain. The wet stuff we’ve heard tell of in tall tales. As you can, literally, walk between the rain drops here when it does piss down a bit. I’ve gone outside, when it rains here, and not gotten a drop on me. Sorta, kinda…kidding. Sorta.
I’m working on Starved Out, which, for right now, is set in the mythical world of government-hating extremists. As in they have a mythical view of themselves as freedom fighters and the rest of us see them as scary fuckheads.
I am telling it from the POV of the women, as men have enough stories under their column, frankly.
And when I tried to just write it…I stalled right out of the gate, trying to put the two men who started a fire and started an actual insurrection against the gubbermint front and center.
I’d also read a blip about this woman homesteader who Starved Out right at the start of the Great Depression. And of course the Massacre at Hells Canyon, I wanted that to make an appearance in my Great American Novel that No One Will Read Until I Am Well Dead and Rotting Under A Local Bridge.
So far, it’s a tripod. Rosie, the wife of Butch, the son, and Vickie, the wife of Merle, the dad. And Gladys, who had to pull up stakes and head back to the big city when drought and ruin faced her in sagebrush country.
I was, at first trying to be super-accurate and capture everything about the Hammonds and all that.
And then went, yeah, it will be fun to get sued. Fun! I’m not writing a non-fiction account, after all. I can fudge things, smear things, compose composite characters to protect the guilty and insane.
So, in the hot afternoons, I attempt a few paragraphs. It’s slow going. I need to dive in and let her buck, as they say around here.
Because we have rodeos and horses, and people actually go and get up on wild horses or other wild livestock, and…uh huh.
Why not write in the cool of the morning, dear? I hear some of you mutter that in nice, polite tones.
That tone you get when someone rattles on about some project of theirs that you could give two shits in a shot glass about.
Where your eyes glaze over as the person prattles about how they tracked down that one knitting stitch only used in Medieval stockings in Ireland by cloistered nuns who occasionally took fits because they thought the devil visited them at night.
Ah, well. I’ve been writing on ‘other stuff’.
Junk crap that I need to clear from my smoke-filled head so I can do the ‘real’ writing later in the day while not looking for gainful employment. Oh.
I did vow to at least go look at Craigslist and DesperateFuckers.org.
One last bit before I go find some pictures to place at random among these sickly paragraphs of LIKE ME I WRITE LIKE ME.
Shit howdy. I had a thought but…gone, baby, gone. Oh!!
Now, I wanna go see Mama Mia 2, I heard it’s great fun. I wanna see that damn Spy thing with the two women, because that looks like a lotta fun. I also want to see Spike Lee’s Blackk Klansman because that looks like angry fun.
I find I want to watch movies that are light, fluffy and might contain dance numbers with colorful outfits.
I find I have no head or heart for sitting through a Serious Drama. I find many others share this right now in ‘murica. We want our entertainment fluffy as wobbly kittens and our real life to resemble some dystopian novel that doesn’t get that happy ending. Whee.
I want Christmas movies all year round right now, the Hallmark ones. Where there’s barely any real problems, people are shiny clean and look made of glitter and sugar cookies, and the villains and obstacles are easily overcome in the last five minutes.
Give that crap some Oscars! Emmys? Yeah, Emmys, as it’s television. Sorry.
That level of sugary goo erases the gritty reality show playing on every screen and device world-wide. Where people seems made of rattlesnake poison and toxic sludge and the villains win every single fucking time.
And the heroes mumble and then there’s tweets from ten years ago with jokes and…ugh.
What the hell was this post? Mostly just fart noises, I think.
Ah, you were wondering where the ‘fart’ came in. Glad to help out, darlings.
Well, it was on TMC, which has been showing Tarzan movies for days now for some reason. I got to see the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan, the Ape Man, and part of Tarzan and His Mate. I’ve seen both already, if we’re all being strictly honest here.
So there it was. With that title. Come on! You’d scroll past that title?
Is it weird 1950’s era porn? It is a horror movie? Is Tarzan facing off against the actual devil, who’s a woman?? What can it be?
I read the synopsis–Lyra wants Tarzan to bring her lots of elephants to kill so she can harvest their ivory, but Tarzan refuses.
So, in trying to get Tarzan to comply, Lyra has her henchmen [one played by Raymond Burr, who oddly reminded me of the guy who plays Negan on the Walking Dead.] kidnap Jane to persuade Our Hero to do as Lyra wants.
The henchmen, of course, mess this up! Jane is presumed dead, the tree house gets burned down, Tarzan gets captured. What??
SPOILER——–> Don’t worry. Tarzan wins the day.
There’s also, gulp, some tribe of white folks living in the…African jungle, who look like products of actual Aryan breeding, right down to the curly blond hair and Nordic cheekbones galore. And that’s just the manly men of that tribe. Yeah. Uh.
My mind went pffft.
And stayed off the rest of the movie, it had to, out of sheer primal survival needs.
This tribe of Vikings gets tapped to do the heavy lifting as the ‘natives’ are, um, lazy and don’t wanna work hard and…PFFFFT. The men get captured, helped to escape, by Tarzan and then re-captured because…SHE-DEVIL wants her some money-making ivory, baby!
So, Jane fights the same snake and crocodile from all the other movies, gets sick, has to be healed by a guy dressed in straw and beads, and Tarzan allows himself to be gently tortured by Raymond Burr. Whose character, by the way, is the actual villain of the movie.
The she-devil seems oddly caring and concerned about people, especially Tarzan. Who’s this 6’4″ GORGEOUS man with blond hair and Weissmuller’s swimmer build.
I then note this actor, Lex Barker, has played Tarzan about five times. And died in his early fifties. Ah! Sad!
Because, yes, I looked this movie up on IMDB. I’d never heard of it.
Because it stormed all afternoon so I couldn’t stare at my mini garden, looking for new leaves. Or take a quick peek into the bird’s nest in the privet hedge. Or go look for the dog’s lost ball, which he loves and wants back. It’s been lost for days now.
Yes, actual thunderstorms and some actual rain.
Of course, all the animal stuff, it just jars you. You know good and well animals were hurt during the Tarzan shoots, you just freaking know that. But.
When the editing is off or does those jumps, you notice how the elephant will lie down first and then get attacked and ‘killed’. I also noted that the monkeys, in one of the Tarzan movies I peeked at for a bit…and I watched several because I’m a sad sad little shut-in…were actually people in monkey suits. Cheetah was real, at times. I guess?
At one point, Tarzan jumped on a hippo to escape crocodiles. There was the shot of an actual hippo and then the very fake hippo with Tarzan sprawled across that weird fake back like some sort of human frog.
Oh and my fave. When Tarzan fights not one, but two lions. That was not in the She-Devil one, and was Johnny, not Lex.
We clearly see the fake lion that Tarzan wrestles, mixed in with a real lion that just growls and runs about looking spooked…as if someone had a whip and chair and a torch off-screen to get it to go where the director wants. I don’t know if that’s what they did, but that’s what it looks like.
So, our manly jungle man kills the lioness, then faces off against a lion. Back to back fights with giant felines.
Tarzan also is seen taking on a gnu, killing it with a small knife after twisting its head about as the animal yells accordingly, and then cutting off a hunk of raw meat from the carcass as yet another lion runs up to drag off this dead beast as Tarzan heads up the nearest tree, one hand full of actual raw meat.
Jarred is rather too polite a word to express my inner WTF screaming.
Was that a real goddamn gnu? It sure looked a little too real. Brain PFFFT. Ah, that’s better.
If you’ve seen any of the creaky Tarzan flicks, you know a bit of what I’m blithering on about.
Oh my gosh, the rampant racism…can I get an amen? It’s…wow. You just…wow.
And I don’t remember which film this was, but I do remember Weissmuller in it– where I think it was supposed to be pygmies who had a pit with a giant ape-thing in it. Who killed whatever victims the pygmies? children dressed up in weird ways? threw down to it.
Now, the monkey monster thing was a man, obviously so, dressed up in some sort of monkey outfit. And oddly more pitiful than scary. I wasn’t scared of that thing. It was deformed and lumpy and sad. I wanted to help it.
Yeah, it was tossing victims around like they were stuffed bunnies, but…still. One of the intended victims was, ahem, Jane. Who got to do the faint and be carried bit. Oh my! That same limp draped in the villain’s or monster’s arms popular go-to.
Oh the pygmies. Or Little People in blackface. Or children. Or…yeah. That was. You just. Your brain stops.
You’re going, am I seeing this? Is that, uh, what is that? What’s happening here? And then you go– golly, so glad we’re in post-racist times! [Sarcasm. That was sarcasm.]
You then switch over to the Hallmark movie where a young couple fight gently to remain in love and save their bed and breakfast and the guy gives up Manhattan for a goat. A goat. He misses the goats.
So, yeah, I switched back to Tarzan. I’m a sad little shut-in, did I mention that??
Why am I writing about Tarzan movies that today would be rightfully skewered for their KKK-esque treatment of Africa and all that?
I’ve been avoiding a big long political rant for some time because…I’d lose my marbles and not get them back for some time if I did.
SPOILER—————> Political shriek almost here. Look away now if you’re squeamish.
I also have Handmaid’s Tale, season one, waiting to be watched. For a week now.
I peek at the American political landscape and it’s almost as if this Hulu series is more of a documentary than grim misery porn entertainment.
I don’t need to watch a television series where a country morphs into some sort of hellish biological prison for women, who are forced to breed for the state. Is that not where American is headed RIGHT FUCKING NOW? Look at Iowa. Look at the Bible Belt.
You have trouble breathing as this shit starts to stack up and stack up and stack up. Is this where dictatorships starts? Of course it is.
But where is the tide to stop the rising tide of totalitarianism? Where are the check and balances? Where are the loud-voiced pugnacious fighters on the side of common sense, common decency and basic rights for all people, not just the few selected Christian-esque males who make all the laws and hoard all the money?
Right now, it’s comedians versus politicians and actual presidents. It’s people doing satire versus people unable to understand why they are fodder for the satire cannons.
That absence of self-awareness just shines right through there on the Alt-Right. Wheee!!! It’s people greedily hurting as many as possible then claiming they’re the real victims here.
When conservatives and such are called out on their nastiness, their hypocrisy, their crimes and misdemeanors, their schemes and frauds and underhand dealings…they cry and scream and claim they’re the ones being attacked and marginalized.
And it works, it works, it works so very well.
There was an actual New York Times op-ed piece [by Bari Weiss] on JUST THAT VERY FUCKING BULLSHIT TACTIC. Being presented as if…as if very very true.
As if those conservatives screaming and stomping in so many public places, and on the media lately and gosh, always, have been silenced and not allowed to speak at all…while speaking about how silenced they are.
With no awareness that they are speaking, about being silenced, WHILE GETTING AN INTERNATIONAL PLATFORM TO AIR THEIR ALLEGED GRIEVANCES.
God damn it. GOD DAMN IT.
Ah, mini political rant. Well. There ya go.
Oh and to end this weird mash-up of Tarzan and political shrieking, I got some submissions sent off. A film noir-inspired play for a contest in Los Angeles and three plays for some woman-heavy festival in Detroit. I think I’ve been rejected by both places.
But yesterday, this woman from Columbia [the country!] wants to create a work around one of my short plays, as well as use that same play for some university something or other. The Care and Feeding of Baby Birds.
Sometimes the universe gives you a small sign that yes, you can sorta write stuff people actually do respond to once in a blue moon.
And then you wonder how Tarzan always looked so shaved and groomed in those old Tarzan movies. No chest hair. Did he manscape, too? Those loincloths don’t hide a lot.
You have to wonder about grooming because the movie itself seems full of fake stuffed animals stalking the latest version of Jane and people dressed up like some Grand Dragon’s most acid-laced dream about Africans in actual Africa.
And those ‘long ago’ views on black people seem the same as they are right now in 2018…holy fake stuffed lion, ya’ll.
But gee, Tarzan’s kinda nice to look at if you ignore everything else…
Someone in the internet interverse referred to the movie, the Shape of Water, as Fucking Nemo. That has stuck with me.
I’ve read a review over on Movie Boozers where they shredded this film, nearly as much as they went after the Fifty Shades stuff. Okay, not as much, but close. If you’ve never heard of Movie Boozers, go check them out. I find myself actually LAUGHING OUT LOUD at their take on the current and past crop of films. [It might even have been on Movie Boozers where I read that reduction of Shape of Water into Sex with Pixar Character.]
1. Shape Of Water: That said, Shape of Water robs me of the ability to coherently speak due to its staggering levels of self-indulgent, and highly disturbing, narrative dissonance. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME BELIEVE IN AN INTERSPECIES LOVE STORY IF THEIR BIG ROMANCE PRIMARILY INVOLVES LINING UP EGGS ALONG AQUAMAN’S TANK FOR BRING-YOUR-PET-TO-WORK SNACK TIME BEFORE YOU, UGHHHHHHH, BANG HIM GIVE IT UP AND SWIPE LEFT ON TINDER LIKE THE REST OF US, BISH. Oh, yeah, I wondered when the all caps button would get stuck again. No. Just no.
So, I rented the film. Yes, from Red Box. I’m one of those people who miss Blockbuster. Now you have a real and awful glimpse into my soul.
The Shape of Water had just won the Academy Award for, uh, everything? Best Picture, at least, I remember that. And it’s by the guy who did Pan’s Labyrinth. Which, if I need an excuse to sob and feel bad for days, I pop into my DVD player and wallow in the soul-destroying beauty of that film. I don’t need an excuse to sob and feel bad for days, my brain does that to me all on its own…so.
Okay! I expected a gorgeous, dark film, full of uncomfortable truths and great visuals. Perhaps the people who had not liked this film were more into Lifetime movies about abused women taking back their lives and crazed stalkers being brought to justice. Or movies where shit blows up and it’s ninety percent men with lots of sweaty muscles on display and giant weapons, not to mention shotguns and flamethrowers. Tee hee.
First off, the film really is gorgeous. The tones reflect a rather watery world, with cool wavery blues, shadows, blurred lights, night setting…yeah. The tiny apartments they lived in, yes, yes, yes. People with no actual money living in tiny dark dingy places! Yes, ma’am! Our heroine masturbating every night before she goes to work, hey, who hasn’t done that when having to work graveyard? Hands? Tee hee.
Though, I honestly did like that this woman, who lives alone, masturbates on a regular basis and the film maker regards it as normal and natural. It’s just part of who she is. Score! She’s not waiting for some man or beast to ‘wake her up’. She’s woke, baby. It’s just rather startling and pleasant to see a depiction of female sexuality that’s about HER PLEASURE and that she just enjoys it.
It also gave the movie a foreign film air. As America cinema tends to paint women as shrills, shrews, bitches, cold sex-hating ex-wives or very young whores/madonnas. Masturbation among American cinema females is seen as desperate, old-maid behavior. See Girls Trip for an example of this. Jokes about detachable shower nozzles here please.
Okay, before we veer off into how the movies treat women’s sexuality…
Secondly! I expected more and got far less from this movie. The story…eh. It’s the wallflower and the outsider; they just added a fishman to the mix. Is that bestiality? If you’re having an affair with something with gills? Are we edging over into, gulp, tentacle porn? Well, sort of. We do get brief fish/heroine sex. We also got a finger show on how the fishman’s penis works.
Now, Adult Nemo, wow. Well done on that. It didn’t look like some skinny dude wrapped in plastic and making weird sounds, like oh, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. There seemed to be an utter believability to this fishman of Shape of Water. That it could mate with a human…eh. Does that make it part human? Because that would get into some actual legal and ethical issues over keeping it locked up, torturing it and yes, you guessed, killing it and then dissecting it later on.
Because what do movie scientists and military folks do the very second they get their moist hands on something exotic, out of this world or unknown and rare? Right! They wanna cut it up and look at its guts! Oh my goddess!! Can we for once NOT GO DOWN THIS PARTICULAR PLOT HELLWAY? Scientists find some one of a kind creature and WANT TO KILL IT RIGHT OFF? Are you INSANE? I just…it’s just not logical or…god damn it!
What if they had discovered the fishman was some sort of undiscovered evolutionary shoot of humans?? What??!! I’m already more interested in that angle than the tired, played out, little shy mouse falls in love with some outcast who falls in love with her, wah, the end.
Thirdly–The storyteller, the film maker here…took away her voice. My my. In a time when it’s so horrifically obvious that women’s voices are already pretty much silenced, to feature a MUTE FUCKING WOMAN as your main character…Jesus wept.
And then that dream sequence where she sings and dances…dances with the fishman…I…I honestly didn’t know what to make of this. Because it seems more fairy tale/fantasy than the entire film combined and then some. It jarred me. It was beautifully done but seemed at odds with the entire rest of the film. Ah, there it is.
Okay! Here’s four. Here we go. Hold on to something.
Let’s move on to the super-concentrated Batman-esque villain that rape-romps his way through Shape of Water, shall we?
Michael Shannon is one of my favorite actors. He’s scary-sexy; yeah. I can’t explain it better than that. He should have been Christian Grey. I bet Shannon spitting out those truly abysmal lines would have been something to hear and watch. That intensity, that quiet intent, that notion that he could go pussycat or psycho tiger and you’d welcome both.
My crushes are weird and varied, sorry. If you got through my take on The Big Lebowski…yep.
Now! As the villain of this film, eh. I’m going to blame the story here.
This villain, a government procurer of oddities–honestly, that’s what I thought his job was. He just goes around slapping the shit out of weird animals/human hybrids and grinding his teeth because his wife talks too much-– brings in a tank full of SOMETHING to this government facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
It was found in South America. It does not like our villain and shows this by biting off two fingers, which our heroine finds. Now, the fingers being sewn back on to his hand and then rotting away…that alone was great. It was visual, it summed up the villain, it…yeah. Our villain is a rotting smelly finger! Got it!
The problem with the villain? One-note. Bang bang bang. He’s one of the sharks from a sharknado. You just sit back and wait for someone to chainsaw this guy in half while spouting a sporty one-liner.
Not to mention, he’s such an OBVIOUS villain, everyone knows to avoid him and fight him. He’s repulsive, he’s a bully and then some; he’s a concentrated dickhead.
I wanted so much more from Shannon’s role. Oh my gosh, a love triangle developing instead of him trying to be a rapey asshole to our heroine.
What if he had been torn by the empathy and such Rita shows to the fishman [is there an official name for the creature?], which makes his job all the harder as he, too, starts to understand and sympathize with Fishy? Sort of like the Russian spy guy…who had an actual character, motivation and arc. He, the Russian spy guy, sympathizes with the monster, and helps with the escape…by planting something that so very obvious the Russians would have used…in a facility full of American military personnel. I just. Ugh.
What if we get to see something other than kill kill wanna rape that silent freak girl I’m mean mean mean from the villain? Give Shannon a real acting challenge. Give him a place to go. He can’t start at ten and stay at ten and end the movie at ten. Boring!
And worse, just bad screenwriting. It’s a rookie mistake. This is a rookie mistake in a straight to dvd movie called Bad Villain, Part 8, Revenge of Squishy. [A Finding Nemo shout-out.]
Give us a story where we root for everyone and it breaks our hearts. Because those we root for can’t all win in the end…which is rather closer to actual stories of love in real life.
This is touted as a fairy tale.
Fairy tales tend to teach lessons. On behavior and what to do and how society deals with those who step off the path. [Badly. Badly is the answer. Do as you’re told, ladies.] So what do we learn from The Shape of Water?
Love conquers all, even death. Yeah, except it doesn’t.
Bad guys always get theirs. Yeah, except when they don’t and they seldom do in real life, if their lawyers are competent.
Friendship is rewarding and wonderful. Yes, actually, it is. Point awarded. I really enjoyed the relationship between Eliza and Giles, played by Richard Jenkins. Far more than the romance between Rita and Adult Nemo…oh dear. I keep thinking her name is Rita. It’s not?
Scientists are evil and always want to kill everything. Except for the Russian double agent guys, because they know about being different? I’m not sure at all here what I’m supposed to take away about scientists.
Red shoes are a sign of rebellion.
Oh yes, you thought I wouldn’t bring up the RED SHOES our heroine, Rita, [or Eliza. Why do I think her name is RITA? Why?] bought and then wore. Women and shoes, oh yes. Uh huh. Though, women really do love shoes. Here’s why.
Your feet don’t look fat in shoes. Your shoe size doesn’t go up or down, after all.
No one looks at your feet and tells you about the latest diet craze or that you have such a pretty face, it’s a shame you’re such a hideous porker from the depths of hell. Of course, if you have hooves for feet…welp. So no, women can’t win this one, either. Sorry!
Same thing with jewelry or scarves or hats.
But. Red shoes. She couldn’t buy them before she…DISCOVERED NEMO LOVIN’. And got her groove going and discovered her inner sand dollar! Oh god damn it to hell and back and then back again.
An actual romance novel/chick flick staple! Fuck me running.
That woman who finds courage to buy some article of clothing because…I just can’t, my brain liquefied for a bit. It’s Pretty Woman and she gets to wear pretty clothes! Incoherent scream snarls inserted here.
It might seem I hated this movie. I didn’t. Most of it was well done and entirely watchable. Other parts, not so much. I wanted to love it, I just couldn’t get there. It was no Sharnado II. Feeble joke but you get the point? Sharknado II came together as a whole…Shape of Water just did not. This is why I do not review movies for a living or, um, ever.
Yes, I did compare a movie about sharks raining down on NYC with a movie about interspecies romance that won actual big time awards. Yes, I did.
I had the same problem with La La Land. I could admire the artistry, and that scene in the planetarium, City of Stars. Wow. That I actually watched with real wonder and a slight ache in the remaining straggles of my soul. But the La La story, oh so overdone and been there many times feel to it. Trying to make it in LA as an actress…slap me with a mackerel. And the ending. I wanted to just beat the film makers with a sack full of moldy pudding. It would be gross but not leave bruises.
I hesitated about posting this at all.
It’s rambling, long, disjointed, full of adult language and adult themes and reveals I have a bit of a crush on Michael Shannon. But.
It’s my blog, right?
A few only will glance at this and then go on to look at cute cat videos and some super-popular mommy blog and add their comments under politically charged stories written in the Washington Post.
And last night, Michelle Wolfe roasted all of D.C. and the media. She didn’t mince words. So, if she can do that, I can post a random movie review.
Oh, the mini garden is doing okay. In case you were hankering for news in that area from yours truly.
I was younger then. A sprat in the great garden of life. This movie, so many said, is the funniest thing since Duck Soup. It’s got a dash of Beckett and a smearing of the Muppets! Nobody said that, but that’s the praise that floated about for the cult classic known as the Big Lebowski. It was both highbrow indie art secret inner circle fare AND a lowbrowish fart joke, boobies out, lots of cussing lowest common denominator sorta popcorn flick. I sat through it, young sprat that I was, and went…eh.
Jeff Bridges, one of my favorite actor type people, shuffled through this trainwreck of a movie where nothing happened and he got a rug and then it ended. Or did he get his rug back? Ugh!
Also, this guy Bridges played whined like a stepped on puppy the entire six hours of this movie! How many hours was the Big Lebowski?? Ugh times two. I liked the music. Yep. That was what I basically took away from this Coen effort. The music was okay. I had no desire to watch the Dude shuffle through Los Angeles scenarios like a bewildered whiny, well, Fozzy Bear. [Which is probably not quite the right Muppet.]
Fade in, years later–
I’m at the Idaho Youth Ranch. It’s a local thrift store, right next to the Canned Food store. Which, if you don’t know, is a bargain basement sorta discount grocery outlet joint. Cheap, past the date stuff, cleaning products, VO5 shampoo.
So! There I am, at the Idaho Youth Ranch, plucking through the VHS tapes. Which are, like fifty cents or so. The DVD’s are, like, two bucks or so. Just so you get an idea of price range and options. The paperbacks go for about fifty cents or so, hardbacks a dollar or so…mostly because they have stacks and stacks of books, not because they’re trying to save YOU, THE CONSUMER, any cash. As the books used to be quite pricey which is why they didn’t move very many of them…so, the commies win that one. Dang commies. Anyhoo!
There it is. The Big Lebowski. In a battered VHS jacket. A rather comfortable gold-ish hue.
Eh, I figure. Why not. I can have it on in the background as I…write. It’s cheap. Jeff Bridges is in it. [I might have a bit of a crush on Mr. Bridges. Don’t tell anyone.]
I have my VHS/DVD combo hooked up to my truly ancient Sanyo at home. I have since had to unhook that and replace it with a DVD player, bought at the Idaho Youth Ranch. Fifteen bucks. I was rolling in dough back then.
And thus begins the second phase of my Big Lebowski Spring Awakening minor epiphany.
The Dude. Everyman sort of character, wandering through a rather Apocalyptic ***if you use this term three times in a single document, Jesus shows up and tells you ‘No butt stuff, go Patriots!’ before returning to heaven–I heard this on Fox News, hand to Satan*** vision of Los Angeles, encountering devils and angels in his simple quest to replace his rug.
He doesn’t change a whit. Not a single lesson doth he learn. He doesn’t go on any sort of inner spiritual journey, which is the damn hallmark and actual lodestone of Western Lit and Western filmmaking. The Dude ‘abides’, which is the famous quotable quote from this film. From being attacked by a ferret in the bath to his friend dropping dead to a snit fit over the Eagles, he abides. He abides. That’s, as I’ve pointed out earlier, rather radical storytelling.
As who has not been taught that ‘something’ has to happen, when telling a tale of some kind? Remember those writing classes, kiddies? I barely do! But I’m no longer a sprat. I’m a gone to seed faded sprout! Sad face. Big sad face here.
Are we not lectured on the arc of a story? We start here at X, something happens, there’s a climax, the end. We assume the hero [rarely the heroine] learns something or is changed in some way, for the better. The hero changes. Something happens. Stuff adds up at the end. There’s a reason for why that stuff happened.
The Big Lebowski says nuts to that.
Which is probably why I went, eh, and didn’t embrace its laid back radicalism. After all, some guy having absurd encounters while taking time now and then to bowl– just not my cup of sarsaparilla. I have plebian tastes in movies, I like em simple. Things blow up, stuff happens, things blow up, big speech, things blow up, the end.
Back to the BL!!
Storytelling. Ah. BL says nuts to traditional ways and means to tell a story. What is the story here, in BL? Is it about a rug? About the Dude? About consumerism? About porn? About Vietnam? Conservative versus liberal? White Russians are the bomb? Is there a story here? Isn’t Sam Elliot dreamy? That voice! Like rough velvet and those twinkly blue eyes!
I might have a bit of a crush on Sam Elliot, too. Oh gosh, I’m revealing so much of myself with this post. Damn it.
I just know that if I turned in something like the Big Lebowski to a writing teacher, I’d have been told to rewrite it so that ‘something happened’ and there was a pay off of some kind. Or not. They, those that taught various writing classes and such, might have just shrugged, given me a passing grade so as not to deal with me further and forgotten my efforts entirely.
Now, I’ve seen Fargo. And the Coen remake of the John Wayne magnum opus, True Grit. Which, to me, didn’t quite fire on all cylinders. There was something lacking in it. It had gorgeous scenery, the acting was okay…eh. I can rewatch it and not get sick. So, yeah.
I’ve enjoyed the comedy stylings– O Brother Where Art Thou. We thought you were a toad! I thought they did a bang up job with No Country For Old Men. [That hair cut!! That hair cut gave me nightmares. Now that’s a film.]
I didn’t ‘get’ the Big Lebowki until I’d lived a bit. Until, like the Dude, I’d been tossed about by a truly indifferent life and thrown away to root, hog or die. I get it now. It’s…yeah. There’s no reason for any of this and then the credits roll. Yep. The BL is a metaphor for life itself. Gag me with a spoon, rightio? I should leave my house once in a while?? You get born, you live, you do a lot of drugs, you go bowling, you do stuff that doesn’t pan out, then you die. Amen.
I can go on in this vein for some time. That it’s all for nothing. You strive like a motherfucker, do most of it right, die anyway and…we don’t ever find out if what you did was all worth a hill of beans during a shitstorm. The Dude drinks his White Russians, grieves over his rug which brought the room together and bowls with his buddies, and he’s happy. He complains, but he’s generally a content sort without too much worry or stress. He’s that guy who drifts on life’s waters and bumps gently up against this or that with no real visible damage. And don’t we all know one of those sorts? That floating through life like a balloon sorta person? They just nudge and bounce against the walls and ceiling and then find a way out into the sky through an open window. And float away with a ‘well, fuck me, look at that’ smile of beautified indifference for it all.
So maybe, we watching are the story. Maybe we’re the journey. Which is a bit uncomfortable and high-falutin’. Maybe the BL is performance art! Talk about being precious and elitist! Probably communist, as well.
“They” were screeching about commies elsewhere, as the fear of commies under every bed is back with a bullet, baby!– this morn. So I find myself grinning and including commie references into this rambling take of the Coen Brothers ode to bowling, rugs and abiding dudes.
Oh dear. Oh dear! I had low expectations for the live musical version of A Christmas Story. I did. I went in expecting not that much. Some bland songs, some cynical dance numbers. The grown ups would shine, the kids would suck eggs.
I noticed, right away, how diverse the cast was. And since I’ve read the source material and seen the actual A Christmas Story– a million billion times because it’s one of my fave Xmas movies. And they run a marathon of it over on one of those T networks– I was like, well, okay. Good choice. It’s 2017, we’re aware and woke! However…! It was jarring as I wondered why the United Colors of Benetton had suddenly shown up in Indiana in the late forties. And then had some internal back and forth about if entertainment should try to show what things were actually like during a time period or if painting past periods with the happy brush of now where everyone’s all equal and shit is what we need to do to all literature, all plays, all books…yeah. Do you fix racism by ignoring it? I was having those thoughts instead of actually watching that annoying child they’d chosen for Ralphie do his thang.
I squirmed and gulped and flailed through a good half an hour or so. I don’t even think I made it that long.
So, the Ralphie kid.
Oh. Granted, I’m all WHO TURNED MY RALPHIE INTO A WHINY LITTLE AAAAARHG. There’s cuss words and since it’s nearly one of the major sacred days of heavy drinking, chips and dip and ‘family time’, I’ll refrain from flinging profanity about like sparkly razor blades. He had the glasses, sure. They got that right. I’m blaming the writers for this one. Ralphie’s song/s. Generic is the kindest description. He had a fantasy session about, yes, the Red Ryder BB gun and saving his teacher, played by the wonderful Jane Krakowski, and someone forgot to include the RED RYDER BB GUN in this sequence. I. I just can’t.
Oooooh. Where our first intro to Sexy Teacher is that she’s OCD…my soul just flew away like a startled little sparrow. Nope! Don’t add! DON’T ADD. Wait. Why is the teacher played so sexy? What the…??
Oh and Matthew Broderick. As the narrator. I was both annoyed by this and yet liking how he popped up and wove himself in and out of the story he was narrating about his own life. Ferris Buehler meets Christmas schlock.
It was like watching an ‘edgy’ experimental piece written by that woman in your writing class who wears all-black all the time, chain smokes ironically and tells everyone that her yeast infections are caused by society’s rage against feminism.
I kept expecting…something. I wondered. There’s three hours of this. Is he going to do this FOR THREE HOURS? Oh my blessed ovaries! How much are ciggies these days?? Vodka now!
The parents, played by Chris with some long Greek name, and oh Maya Rudolph, just seemed to be imitating Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon. Who played the dad and mom in the, um, actual movie. And held their own and then some against some cute, pretty realistic little tots. I was not drawn in. I was not charmed. I did not want to see their journey toward some sort of Christmas orgasm. I noticed how abusive dad was…I noticed. Uh oh.
So, I checked what was on the other channels. Hallmark spitting out their cookie cutter Christmas fare, yay. The Christmas Love Cottage Santa Express Plastic People Getting Happy Endings Every Time movie was on. Tempting! Lifetime, also runs Xmas fare. Oh there’s sometimes the old-timey holiday fare over on TMC and AMC. I then noticed, yes, it was Sound of Music night.
Not that ghastly attempt at a live musical version with Carrie Underwood, who looks like she stepped out of a Hallmark holiday confection, but the actual movie. With Julie the Goddess Andrews. And Christopher Sexy Beast Plummer. Yes, yours truly has a serious crush on the Captain. Is it just me??? And such a beautiful movie. The backdrops of Austria. Oh wow. I’d get all scholarly and movie film critic-esque but I don’t wish this here blog post to run into overtime.
And if you’ve never seen Sound of Music, even ironically, then…you’re probably an agent of Satan. And I just can’t deal with you right now.
I showed up right as Maria shows up late for that dinner. She’s spunky! And sweet. And oh, the familiar rhythms of this film just soothe this savage beast!
However, my least fave bit of SOM approaches.
That ode to ‘you’re not old enough yet but hey it’s just around the corner’ sung by the eldest daughter and the Nazi boy. If you’re suddenly jarred and wondering why I’m watching a film with singing Nazis…ugh, you really need to get out more and watch something other than youtube odes to why Bigfoot is real.
I switch back to, yes, Christmas Sorry. They are at the lamp bit! And singing about the prize dad wins. And there’s this actually well done on-screen quick change. And then the dad continues to sing and wave a lamp-shaped trophy about. I nod over that bit of clever prop-placement and then head back to see if the horny Nazi and the horny Liesel are done dancing and singing in the rain. Again, if that flies over your head, put Sound of Music on your Netflix will probably never watch this but it’s on my list list. You can mute the musical numbers. But I suggest you don’t. Most of them are pretty spiffy. Spiffy!
I mean, that horny teenybopper scene is well done. Their song and dance in that glass-covered gazebo has a gorgeous intimacy to it. I find my attention wandering during it. I wonder if there’s any cheese left. Did someone eat all the cheese? So switching back to a Christmas Sorry seems a must. I must give it another chance. I’m being nit-picky and elitist! And also a few other things, prolly. I mustn’t let my Christmas Story movie purist ideals guide me here!
Nope! Maya slamming the oven shut and singing about how…I don’t know. Let’s go watch the Buy Women Jewelry Get Laid ads in between slices of Austrian-flavored movie pastry.
Wait, she’s watching actual television??? Yes. Yes, I am. I’m not viewing all this on some phone or one of those awkwardly large ipad thingies. I’m stuck in a bygone era. Stuck!
I’ll wrap this up by confessing Sound of Music sent me off into sleepland and I woke up near the end where the Sexy Beast Captain and his band of backup singers AKA ‘the children’, along with New Wife Nun Maria, are hiding from, yes, the Nazis. Molly the Lab snoozed as well and even the house mice seemed quiet, not rattling about and having mouse fist fights.
I live in something called the ‘country’ so that means lots of mice. And it snowed, so the mice take that as a signal they all need to move into the house. This is useless information that has nothing to do with ACSL or SOM. You can skip the rando mouse blargle and it won’t mar your otherwise pleasant reading experience.
Oh, I did keep checking to see how ACSL was going. I saw, online, that the production ‘fixed’ that rather troubling end scene from the movie.
If you don’t know what that is, I might have to give you an actual glare and mutter WTF is wrong with you if we meet in real life. Who hasn’t seen this damn movie? Hands? Hands???
That there was some line flub that was covered beautifully. That Jane and Ana Gasteyer killed it. That Santa was played by David Alan Grier and that the dad killed the entire family with a butcher knife after the neighbor dogs stole the Christmas turkey off the table…and sang the best song of the whole three hours while doing that. Strangely, I can’t find that on youtube. Man, I love when family musicals channel some inner Sweeny Todd!
That’s it. I’ll stop there. I meant to keep this super-short and on point. Bye!
I wrote the following after receiving a rejection.
Then moi conceived a magnificent plan.
Here’s my ‘brilliant’ plan!!
I’ll write some stream of consciousness, totally woke prosepoemsmear and submit that to X submission opportunity! It will be lacking in actual grammar, structure and paternal literary merits! It will have no merit. None. Not a whiff of merit. I stayed highly aware of my own wokeness the entire time I typed that below. Did North Korea just flippin’ BOMB US?? Where is the vodka?
If I consider ‘murica right now…I’ll start eating my bad hair. I won’t bother with a mustard chaser this time.
Flapdoodle sexbugs of Ganderv55
CarLISLE gives nothing and I rot like a dream as we rut in the leaves beneath the tree of his mother. She brings us old toast and new coffee her hair on fire from daddysexjuice and we smell her burning but she pours us coffee and scolds us about jesus who is meek and mild and full of corn. mother moother you are old news and mother directs us like traffic cones into the river of my lovers who slap me with morality. i screamed could not find my way but my carLISLE advised me to take three aspirin and stuff them in my sexbug and oooooh i discovered the sands of my own breasts and i wept because i am not awake.
we went on the sidewalk found a cup and a dead idea, took both back in our backpack and put them in a cage because it’s all we know of high heels. dream on screamed moother and we dreamed on
until father gave us gum that smelled like cinnamon whores at low tide which created ghosts in our intestines that we farted out as ironic statements of purpose for ivy schools that never considered us contenders. I WORE A YELLOW FLAPDOODLE and nobody told me I WORE A YELLOW FLAPDOODLE and I wondered why no one told me because i posted the bread pictures and everyone hit the yes button and told me yes yes yes and squirted yes juice into my burning eyes. I tire to be brilliant but the diamonds turn to rodents in my kneecaps where slime shops for canned meat and mark down cancer drugs. WHY WON’T U SLAP MEE mmmooother asked as she sliced smelly lettuce for the eternal meal
and sister, my sister is dead yet sits on my right hand better than god or allah because she gives me pink gummy bears for my sexbug slit and doesn’t need them back to glue in her scrapbook where she once glued a live frog that begged her to traditional marry it and she told it no, it wasn’t fresh and that she wanted a turtle to lay eggs in her vast pulsing worldwomb. My sister puts her hair out to be sliced and my mother slices it slices and my sister marries the frog and glues herself in the scrapbook that’s how she died and yet how she lives because i can cut her shape from the pages and stick them to my eyes so she stares at me as i paddle over the rainbutt and into the dirk
but CarLISLE won’t say. Theres nothing there and I MADE HIM UP because father asked me to and we all obey we all obey
except the cat but the cat lives on some other plane thats not here at all poor cat.
77 oh 5 hump my leg like naughty poodles of elves left in the jupitor rain and all the numbers confuse me with yearning
so i dig up the cat and the cat doesnt scratch me because mooother
cut off its soul and used it for a suncatcher but the sun stays captured in my father who hangs strips of his love on the wall like narrow rewards won at turkey shoots.
run brother run
u hav no bro says car and i curl up and shud at it all but the Ganderv55 invasive me so i sigh thru the orgi and use vanilla soap and my cookie smell sells stocks so great men can shit with ease
Yours truly took herself to the movies this week. I saw It, the horror film based on Stephen King’s gigantic, sprawling ode to childhood and some other stuff.
I promise not to give away the ending. Those seven kids walk through this closet and have to fight Aslan for ultimate control of Narnia. Whoops.
Okay, if you’re a Steve King fan, you’ve read this novel and have probably seen the television miniseries with Tim freaking Curry as Pennywise.
Good for you! I, too, have both read and seen those. I’ve read It more than once. Because I compulsively read books over and over. Now you know something about me.
So!! This new adaptation. Or remake. Or gritty reboot. Mm. Ahem.
From the opening scenes of Georgie, little brother to Bill, the MAIN CHARACTER, and the paper boat racing along the flood of destiny, we’re SUCKED IN to this world seen from mostly the children’s POV. The cussing, the kid subjects they find fascinating, the fearlessness, the camaraderie in the face of absolute evil…! The grownups seem misty and surreal, which works here. We kind of get why a kid in a rainstorm would talk to a flipping CLOWN in a drain.
I don’t get it, however, because I find clowns fucking scary. They freak me out. I’d never…okay. Which is a problem I had with It, the novel and It, the subsequent visual realizations of said novel.
It’s too on the nose scary in the 2017 film version. It’s obvious. Too obvious, for my esoteric tastes. It starts off as OMG SCARY SAVE ME BABY JESUS and there’s nowhere to go from there. It’s rather static. You can’t keep pissing your pants if you piss them right at the start of the movie, to be blunt and gross. Other reviewers and wiseacres have also mentioned the problems with the clown. It’s not just me.
And…every time Pennywise sticks around longer than ten seconds, we see the zipper up the back of the costume, to quote from King’s Danse Macabre. Which is a shout-out to those old, creaky monster movies from the Atomic Age. Godzilla to Them! to the Mole People. If you have no idea what any of those three things mentioned are…JUST GO AWAY. Ser’sly. Buh bye. Go watch Memento again, you squirrelly assmunch. Yeah, I’m a wee bit hostile.
I’m aware that It, the clown critter, is mostly CGI. It’s neato. Pennywise is far more frightening when it’s just that Skarsgard dude in clown makeup…that is one talented family.
But what I’m ACTUALLY wondering is how that damn clown fools any of those kids into following it anywhere or why a kid would let that thing close enough to grab him or her or them…after all, predators of children are not the scary monsters that Pennywise is. Side note– most kids get molested or harmed or killed by someone they know. We can’t teach Grandpa Danger, after all…
Kids are totally into monsters and avoiding them, after all. It’s called being a kid. Imagination plus knowing, without a doubt, that that shadow in the closet waits until you’re asleep before it stands over you, breathing. Breathing. As the novel does get into– kids have absolute faith. That moment in the novel King penned where young Stan screams the names of birds to banish the monster into the shadows again and it works. That’s the power of faith manifested through a child’s absolute belief that the right words will make the bad stuff go away. Abracadabra.
Where is the seduction from Pennywise? We don’t see it. It doesn’t exist. I was thinking, how stupid are those Maine schoolkids to fall for that obvious craptoad Pennywise? I haven’t read the book for a while, so forgive me for this. But I REMEMBER the clown/It being far more subtle. It didn’t start out at TEN, it began working on victims further down the scale, more at a two or three level. That clown [the creature that inhabits Derry, Maine] had fun with its victims, it didn’t go for the jugular right away like a rabid weasel. At least, that’s what I remember.
Now, granted, the year/s this all took place got upgraded to the late nineties. We went from the fifties in the original book to the time of Bill Clinton and the Backstreet Boys.
There’s a cute little flirty thing in the movie involving Beverly, resident perceived slutchild, and Ben, resident fatboy, about the Backstreet Boys. Or maybe it was New Kids on the Block or…ugh. It was genuinely something kids would do. It’s little moments like that that actually make this film a far better country that it has a right to be. Those little interactions that seem to rise naturally and organically from the story and surroundings…I know, shh. I’m being a pretentious snickerdoodle. Okay.
Oh, the Losers Club is made up of the stereotypical losers from any random school/small town. The nerds, the geeks, the fat kid, the kid that doesn’t fit in, the differently colored kid, the girl everyone thinks enjoys gang bangs, the four-eyed unfortunate sons of genetics gone wrong, the sickly, the weak, the losers. And, of course, they’re all great kids who contribute in some way to HOW TO FIGHT THE MONSTER. The leader, the builder, the navigator, the…these kids could build dams, do research, make connections Sherlock Holmes would have made…!
At least, in the book they were presented as such. I kinda wish more of their talents and gifts had been included in the movie, so as to show why these normal kids could face down an ancient monster clown thingie. There’s bits and pieces but still. It’s rather like the complaint about the magic weapons in LOTR. How come, like, three people can fight off the gazillions of orcs and goblins? It was all laid out in the books but not so much in the movies…okay.
Oh. So. The other MAIN OBJECTION I formed to this film was…the last part of it. Where an ugly little Scary Movie Staple raised its Ugly Little Head.
That would be Woman in Peril.
[the following contains slight spoilers!!]
I’m sitting there, enjoying this movie, wondering why those various other kids follow that damn clown to their doom and did I miss the part where maybe It is using hypnosis or some other machination when…the only girl, Beverly Marsh, in the Band of Losers…gets treated to the ace of Girlcrap in the Scary Movie Deck of Bullshit Cards. Fuck me running!
Beverly, newly on her period, the focus of several cute-ish crushes from her new collection of friends, gets to be an actual fighter and smartie pants for most of the movie. She’s a tough cookie, she smokes, she wallops the bejesus out of…yeah. Just as she was in the book…ahem. And then, yeah. She has this epic fight in her apartment– I won’t go into it because SPOILERS– and the outcome is…SHE’S JUST ANOTHER VICTIM who needs SAVING by the Losers, all boys except for her!!!! who UNITE after a fight amongst themselves…to maybe SAVE BEVERLY FROM THE BAD CLOWN.
Fuck. No, just no. I about came out of my skin. Good day, I tell ya, good day!
I was disappointed with the downswing this movie seemed to take with Beverly’s direction/purpose/character arc. I expected more. It also seemed that third act/building to the showdown seemed…voted on by a committee of advertising reps trying to sell Summer’s Eve products. I expect such woman-in-peril shenanigans from every other horror/thriller/indie/art house/whatever movie on the planet but…sometimes you dream big. You hope gigantically that, maybe this time…it will be different.
There’s also a passage in the book that troubles many, including me. If you already know what that is, well, let’s just say…eh, Steve? What the Cheez Doodles? If you don’t know, go read the book because that passage gets left out…yeah. It’s where they’re in the kid phase of life yet, are disoriented in those sewer tunnels and…! Ahem. But it involved the only girl and it was…iffy. That’s as polite as I can get.
So, yeah, I do recommend this movie. So few actual good solid horror movies float to that swamp’s surface. The horror movies dreckfest swamp, located somewhere between Plan 9 From Outer Space and Annabelle, The Doll That Never Gains Weight. Or whatever the newest Annabelle movie is. What floats to the top would be the original Exorcist, the original Night of the Living Dead and Audition, for instance. Your list will be different than my list of what a ‘good’ horror film is. And that’s okay. For now.
It, the film, the movie, the entertainment juggernaut, has flaws. The clown is too on the nose, for my tastes and the descent into WOMEN IN HORROR FILMS same ole same ole treatment presents some major head-scratching from moi. But it also inspires me to write better heroines who can save themselves. Wootie woot.
To conclude, It was a fine, eh, flawed, eh, goddamn clowns don’t need to be scarier, you fucknuts…entry in the horror field. The previews sucked balls, except for the Stars Wars one. [Shut UP.]
Oh and stop turning women in horror films into damsels in distress, for the love of unicorns and manatees. I don’t care if you couldn’t think of a better third act. Jesus said, in the Gospels, do not fall back on tired Damsel in Distress mode when thou writeth a screenplay involving clowns.
It’s in the new, updated Bible. The one Conservadepia is not working on, by the way.
Here endeth my scholarly film dissection.
Oh, I’m going to write next about AHS:Clowns Fuck In My Supermarket and All I Can Do Is Scream. Which the producers shortened to Cult. It won’t be as long as my It novella.
An Afterthought– nope, not gonna apologize for another post. Nope nope nope! #NotSorry #ClownsRTheNuZombies