Archive for December, 2012

Peckinpah Would Approve

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

When I first heard about Django Unchained, I was overjoyed at Tarantino’s taboo choice of a slavery/revenge storyline ‘cause I remember what adults used to say about the movies that inspired it back when they were “new”. Those days – without the Internet – things didn’t move as quickly and movies stayed fresher longer, so “new” would be roughly the equivalent of 2008’s Iron Man or Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Catching a Shaft marathon five years after the release of Shaft in Africa was seeing Shaft when Shaft was “new.” 

In addition to the usual back ‘n forth about Tarantino movies’ racism, violence, denigration of women, and dialog-heavy scenes, Django has inspired talk of whether or not it’s okay for whites to laugh at certain jokes (Djokes?) or revel in a fictional, slavery-themed film. And people should hear themselves talk! The fact that they could be taking a Tarantino movie seriously enough to assign blame, find fault, claim victimhood, and make false conclusions is asinine. Some of these cabbage heads are actually saying they enjoyed Django while walking out of the theater in protest against it. So while that’s all very pious, Django Unchained made me want to give my mom a big hug.

On Saturdays, my mom would announce to my brother, me, and any other neighbor kid within earshot that we were all going to the movies. Every child that could fit in her car was headed for the Holiday Cinema, which we knew as the “The 49¢ Theater” because the top of the marquee read, “ANY SEAT 49¢.” If you got into the car, you knew you weren’t coming home until that evening.

“It isn’t so terrible,” our parents must’ve been thinking. The place was only blocks away; it was cheap as hell and supervised; and it was located in what then passed for a respectable shopping center — if you looked at it through a bad hangover. Some of our parents qualified, so the Holiday was aptly nicknamed. (more…)

Happy Holidays – They’re On You

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Admit It, Part of You Hoped to See the World End…

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Had the world ended in a cataclysmic inferno, chances are we’d all have been flipped off like a light switch, and frankly that seems boring. The children of earth have seen too much suffering, so we don’t need anymore of that, but there are some things to which I would’ve enjoyed wishing good riddance – possibly in the form of a meteor impact. I would’ve been okay with sacrificing some comfort, WiFi, and possible second-degree burns so I could shout, “So long!” to:  (more…)

Next Stop: Citizen Suicide Bombs

Monday, December 17th, 2012

What were people in fundamentalist Islamic regions of the Middle East doing to each other just before they took up explosive vests? Were mass shootings the last stop before suicide bombings? Are ever-worsening mass shootings an evolutionary phenomenon of a disintegrating society? How long before irate Earth Firsters or right wing American zealots start blowing themselves up in crowded restaurants?

With regards to my Oregon shooting-related comments on homicidal infamy and the American Dream, posted the day before the incident in Connecticut, sick, dumb animals are out there right now paying close attention to the degree to which Adam Lanza’s killing spree has broken America’s heart – and wondering what it’ll take to top it. 

(more…)

“Shooter” Is Now a Job Description

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

“I am the shooter!” Oregon mall gunman Jacob Tyler Roberts reportedly shouted as he opened fire. He did so as if he’d just reached the top level of an Xbox game. Roberts wasn’t playing a game, though: his actions were a Schizoid’s demand for attention. But Xbox or no, in his mind, he won.

I figure that at the rate America is crankin’ out these sick, dumb animals, it won’t be long before “Shooter” becomes even more aspirational. Of course, nobody aspires from childhood to kill themselves after spraying a Banana Republic with bullets, nor has any job application yet been written for a Highway Sniper. Yet Roberts wanted us to know he was in charge, if only briefly. Per his announcement, he’d achieved his “be all you can be” moment.

Welcome to the real Tomorrowland, where basic job application categories may soon collide horrifically with the mental distortion of dumbed down America. This is where “shooter” can substitute for “teacher,” “bus driver,” or “dentist,” because gaining notoriety — in this case for shooting up a food court — has essentially become a viable version of the American Dream. (more…)

On Juden Pond, Revisted

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Back in March, I posted a story about a nothing pond in rural New Hampshire nicknamed “Jew Pond” after Jewish businessmen purchased it in 1920. It’s a smelly, man-made hole, really, but the nickname stuck despite the failure of the new owners to realize their vision of creating a vacation spot for previously verboten guests. This past September, the US Board of Geographic Names approved a vote by local residents to rename the pond after one of Mont Vernon’s founding families (more on the Carletons later).

My attempts to reach a town Selectman and a local journalist were met with unreturned messages. And the disembodied voices of suspicious old white ladies with whom I did speak hardened at the mere mention of Carleton Pond. This mosquito pit, you may know, received national and international attention throughout 2012, so it’s not surprising that certain residents (especially the geezers) are wary of being mocked again. As few would, they like don’t outsiders coming in –electronically or on ye ‘ol horseback– trying to change things.

But I didn’t want to close out the year without checking in on Mont Vernon to see how things went. And the answer is: just fine, as long as you don’t bring up that goddamned piss pool.

Shortly after the townspeople approved the name change and went off to make it official on government maps, Richard Masters, the town’s health officer, and local student filmmaker Kate Dobbs were honored by the New Hampshire Jewish Federation for their work in helping restore Mont Vernon’s dignity.

Eight months later, Rich Masters is still playing with local mold. Dobbs had been hired by the local newspaper but then “let go,” an old Colonial hag told me yesterday a little too cheerfully. May Dobbs have moved on to a higher purpose, to achieve great things for openminded people elsewhere to enjoy.

You can read more about Kate Dobbs’s and Rich Masters’s efforts to get to the bottom of Jew Pond and pull it’s plug HERE.

How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

I flip people off when I shouldn’t. I flip people off in traffic, when I’ve been wronged. I flip off friends and vice versa, or when it’s the only way to get the last word in. In public, it’s dorky and potentially risky, since Dirty Harry Hyundai could shoot my face off, but I even frequently use both hands – double barrel. Whenever I flip someone off, I claim to feel justified. But I confess I don’t have to: it’s fun. I’ll flip off Lana Del Rey eventually.  

I’ve been flipping people off my entire life, and I doubt I’ll ever stop. I’ve tried the proper palm-back British “V” or “Bowfinger,” but in L.A. traffic? Meh. It’s awkward. Plus, xenophobes might not comprehend the affront. And although I admire the French, I love that the Bowfinger’s origins are said to lie in taunting them in battle. Probably to counter having farts blown in their general direction

I’m saving my last great series of one-finger salutes for when I’m in a rest home, provided I make it that far. The downside is that I’m criticized for this unapologetic bird abuse – but mostly by hypocrites to whom all of the above applies. You see, everyone likes to fly their middle fingers once in a while, and I think repressing it is as silly as holding in a turd longer than you have to.

(more…)