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Monday, 27 March
My Weekend, And Art, Maybe

Friday, the wife and I kicked off our weekend with some fine art: we went to a play featuring a whole bunch of friends: we know the author, the director, the stage manager, and most of the actors. And, as it turned out, about three quarters of the audience. It says something about not only us but also our friends that everybody also seemed to bring flasks full of booze--even the actors! I love fringe theater. It also says something about us that nearly everyone afterwards--after the heady delights of live theater and the headier delights of drinking surreptitiously in a dark converted warehouse--that we all went out drinking afterward.

We discussed the show, gingerly: "Well, I really liked the first half, but then the flashlights and the cockroach attacks . . . I don't know." At one point, I found myself saying, "Well, surrealism is one thing, but incoherence is another." Then I thought of this blog and got terribly depressed and ordered another beer and whiskey back. It's always unnerving to mount artistic criticism by citing something that you yourself are clearly guilty of, like, all the time.

Besides, I've never written a play. If I did, it would probably be called "Joseph and the Amazing Fuck-Bucket Death Polka, or, Snogging the Zeitgeist." So, shut up, Skot.

On Saturday, we watched a couple DVDs, at least one of which carried some solid fucking artistic imprimatur: Good Night, and Good Luck. This film is goddamn serious in a big way, so serious that its subject matter sucked out all the color from the film. Shot in smoke and grey, the movie gives us the tale of Edward R. Murrow vs. Joseph McCarthy, which is a nice tale where everyone gets to feel good about a poised, intelligent, piercing reporter methodically demolishing a boorish, fame-starved, alcoholic dumbfuck, so we're not talking Hoosiers here. It's an enjoyable film--if only for the eternally overlooked David Strathairn's wonderfully nuanced performance--if not a particularly subtle or layered one.

Speaking of unsubtle and single-patty, our next disastrous choice was Derailed, a transparently idiotic thriller with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen that dares to ask the question, "What happens if everyone is really repellent at the beginning, but then they gradually get more and more intolerable?" This horrible objet is like "The Mind of Mencia: The Movie." CAUTION: The next paragraph contains massive spoilers. I encourage you to read them rather than subject yourself to this shambling shit-golem of a movie.

So Clive Owen, thankfully not attempting his fearfully bad American accent as found in Sin City, meets Jennifer Aniston on the train. Eventually, they manage to fumble over to a tawdry hotel room for a lovely fuck, only to be interrupted by professional reptile Vincent Cassel, who savagely brains Mr. Owen with his pistol and then gleefully rapes Ms. Aniston. It was somewhere around ten minutes before this awful scene happened--in fact, about ten minutes after I saw the box cover of the DVD--that I thought, "Well, Aniston is in on this." Hey hey! I was right! Nothing says nauseating cynicism than "fake rape scene." That's all you need to know about this vile film. Don't watch it unless you hate everybody in the world already.

It was after all this that I went seeking solace in music, which I found on Sunday. I bought a couple of albums, mostly on impulse, based on a couple songs I had heard on KEXP. Can I just say? I have a weakness. I tend to fall in love with songs. I fall in love with just the rottenest of songs. I know they're rotten. I know it. And yet. Then I buy the CDs, and I think, "You're so stupid. This is going to be awful." But the songs won't go away. All I can do is buy the fucking things.

I bought this CD by some lugubrious bunch of schmoes called Mylo, based solely on the fact that I couldn't get one of their fucking songs out of my head. And THAT was partly all the fault of Kim Carnes, since the damn song--"In Your Arms"--samples heavily from "Bette Davis Eyes." I played it for the wife, and she found it amusing, sort of. When it ended, she said, "That was it?" I blinked back tears. "Yeah," I said.

I also bought this other group that I know jack shit about, some bunch of lachrymose Brit-grumps named the Frames. This because of another song called, hilariously, "Happy." This song is about as happy as a bowel resection, and features the band grimly wailing atonally in the background during the verses, and then coming together for a bit of resolution in the chorus while the lead singer moans quavering lines such as "You're putting a line/Where there should be not a line." Should be not a line? Yes, that's MUCH EASIER than singing "should not be a line," which has exactly the same scan. Whatever. I fall into the grips of these fucking songs, and I am powerless but to dolorously march up to the music store and buy this crap. I mean, I'm not necessarily saying that the Frames are crap. (Mylo? Oh, they're crap. Another song features the heavily distorted lyrics: "Motherfucker's gonna drop the pressure!" Mmmm. Motherfucker wants some nose medicine. Motherfucker's gonna eat a bearclaw.) I just got unnaturally seized by one of their damn songs.

And then I get to waste a bunch of ink complaining about all of it. In fact, I apparently thrive on it. I may not be so far off of "Mind of Mencia" as I'd like to think.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Moany, lachrymose and quaverous they may be, but The Frames are Irish, me bucko. Perhaps we should be not so particular about this, but we Irish be.

Comment number: 006842   Posted by: Nick on March 28, 2006 12:08 PM from IP:

Whoops, sorry. This should illustrate for everyone the painstaking research that goes into every post.

Comment number: 006843   Posted by: Skot on March 28, 2006 12:14 PM from IP:

That may be true, but without the error, I never would have added the wonderfully descriptive phrase "Brit-grump" to my vocabulary. I try to work it in daily. For my money, that's wildly more important than "accuracy."

Comment number: 006860   Posted by: Peggy on March 29, 2006 09:37 AM from IP:

That may be true, but without the error, I never would have added the wonderfully descriptive phrase "Brit-grump" to my vocabulary. I try to work it in daily. For my money, that's wildly more important than "accuracy."

Comment number: 006861   Posted by: Peggy on March 29, 2006 09:38 AM from IP:

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