Wednesday, February 01, 2006

a day like any other

As I sit here at Vox Pop contemplating my existence I am listening to the radio, and they are playing some house mix that I don’t recognize. Well, that’s not entirely true. I recognize four notes of it, because it samples that spooky four note harmonica whine from Sergio Leone’s *Once Upon a time in the West,* much like the riff from *The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,* but creepier. I am reminded of Robert Rodriguez’s most stupid statement ever: “Quentin said this (the *El Mariachi* series) is my Leone Trilogy. *El Mariachi* was my *Fistful of Dollars,* *Desperado* was my *Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,* and this (*Once Upon a Time in Mexico*) is my *Once Upon a Time in America.* I think I threw something at the television when he said that. I know I screamed. First of all, he doesn’t mean *Once Upon A Time in America.* *Once Upon a time in America* was Leone’s movie about Jewish gangsters—Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel. And it’s not even part of the trilogy! Rodriguez meant to say *Once Upon a Time in the West,* which was Leone’s magnum opus, the epitome of the Spaghetti Western. But *Once Upon a time in the West* WASN’T PART OF THE TRILOG EITHER!! The third movie in the trilogy—actually the second movie in the trilogy, the one Rodriguez left off his list, was *For A Few Dollars More.* So Rodriguez was doubly stupid. He got the wrong title of the wrong movie. As another Bugsy would say “what a maroon!”

But that has little to do with today. There is so much to write about I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll begin with my youth, which is a recurring theme around my birthday. I saw *Dazed and Confused* for the first time this weekend. Everybody who is anybody was in it before they were anybody. But more then that, it was MY LIFE. I was that freshman. I knew all of those guys: the guy who’d graduated but still hung out at the 7-11 and dated high school chicks and had a great car (Mathew Machonochie): the idiot who was held back and was meaner to the freshmen then anybody else (Ben Affleck); the mean girl (Parker Posey); the smart elitist kid (Adam Goldberg); I’m not sure who Mila Jojovich was playing but who cares: she’s hot. And that’s what high school was like for me: an endless series of keggars, muscle cars, joints, and people other then me having sex (I was having sex too, but I was having sex in the SCA with college girls, not in the back seat with cheerleders). See this movie. It is the American Graffiti of my generation.

Ok. So the State of the Union Address was last night. No comment, really.

And the Oscar nominations were also this week. I got to say that Hollywood is definitely making a political statement this year. They’ll go back to being the whores they normally are next year, but this year they are embracing their liberal values and proclaiming them for all to see. The nominations for best picture read like a list of progressive causes and parables on the evils of conservativism: a gay love story, an anti Death Penalty movie from an anti death penalty book by a gay author who is portrayed in the film, a condemnation of retribution against terrorists, a parable about racism in America, and a condemnation of the suspension of civil liberties in a time of crisis. There is definitely a message being proclaimed here, and by all means let it be proclaimed loudly and clearly from every hilltop and in every valley: we will no longer be bullied by the conservatives. These are *our* values, and we insist on being heard.

So maybe I was wrong and the conservatives are right: Hollywood is making a statement this year. I’ve rarely been so happy to be wrong in all my life.


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