N.P.: “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” – Warren Zevon
N.P.: “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” – Warren Zevon
I quit going to concerts or live performances a long time ago because I hated the crowd. I hate all crowds, but what really pissed me off about concert crowds was that they were there to party/hookup/get wrecked/mosh/whatever, pretty much anything except watch the fucking band. Which is why I’m there. I went to concerts the way most graduate students go to class: totally focused, watching, studying, learning. Once I started messing around with “music journalism,” following bands around, I’d get all-access backstage passes, and holy shit…it was perfect. Fuck the crowd. The unwashed masses are out there, on the other side of big barriers, on the other side of a platoon of security…fuck ’em. And if I wanted to know how somebody hit that really high note on the guitar solo, i could watch him do it from 5 feet away. And once you experienced that, there is no going back to general admission. Totally impossible. Thus, so much for yrs. truly going to concerts.
As you can imagine, as intolerable as I find normal concerts, I find the idea of festivals deplorable. It’s the triumph of the extroverts, and fuck that. So the news that Woodstock 50 is likely not going to happen does not move my needle. My contempt for festivals aside, it’s just not a good idea. The first Woodstock was great. But what make it great wasn’t anything that was planned. Yes, of course the event was planned, and the acts were scheduled. But the “magic” that made it what it was was unplanned and could never be replicated. The order of the acts be determined by their abilities to get to the venue, the ultimate collapse of the ticket/fee structure, when far more people showed up than had been expected. “It’s a free concert from now on.” And everybody cheered. That simply would not happen 2019. Take Burning Man. How much are they charging to join that joke this year? Hold on, I have Google….
$390. Mother of God. Oh, and, if you don’t feel like walking to the Black Rock desert carrying 7 days worth of food, water, and drugs, you can pick up a vehicle pass for another $80. (Right now you can pick up a round trip ticket from California to Hawaii for $278. Just saying.) Anyway, okay…So this year Burning Man starts August 25 and fucks off September 2. They are selling 23,000 tickets, and the event is expected to sell out. So forget the vehicle passes…just from the box office, Burning Man is taking in just shy of $9 million. So imagine on August 25, wanting to get their $390 worth, all 23,000 paying customers show up and set up camp (I have no idea why I’m turning this into a goddamn word problem) and start taking their drugs. But after all 23K ticket holders have been let in, there are still droves of people showing up. And they can’t put a fence around the entire playa, so another 15,000 people who didn’t pay for tickets show up, and they just take the long drive around the perimeter and come in from the other side. Burning Man security tries to regulate, but they are ridiculously outnumbered and ill equipped to deal with this onslaught of addled humanity, and so on Day 3, they just say Fuck It and announce, “It’s a free event from now on.” Exactly 23,000 people would riot immediately and vigorously. With enthusiasm and vigor and malice aforethought. And right around the time they put out the fires and scooped up the bodies and cleaned up that mess, the class action lawsuit would be filed. Woodstock didn’t end in a riot because that was then (hippies) and this is now (assholes).
But this one, Woodstock 50…let it go. It’s not going to happen. After the most recent devastating setback (denial of a permit), the organizers released a statement: “We regret that those in Vernon who supported Woodstock have been deprived of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebirth of a cultural peace movement that changed the world in 1969 and is what the world needs now.”
Nope. If you believe any of this shit, you’ve been getting high on your own supply, methinks. The “cultural peace movement” you’re alleging to rebirth is deader than the dude in the green suit that got killed at Altamont 4 months after Woodstock. Remember Woodstock ’94? That was the shit. And you know what made it the shit? Nine Inch Goddammit Nails. Boy, were they pissed off. Trent, twatted off his bean on toot, onstage just talking waffle and getting entirely too much enjoyment out of saying “fuck” on pay per view. And other than the name, it had nary a damn thing to do with the original Woodstock or hippies or peace and love. No. It was about anger and contempt, and it was great.
About the last thing the world need right now is another overpriced faux hippy love fest. “Back to the 60s! Back! There’s no place for you here in the future!” ~ Terrance Mann
N.P.: “Cake by the Ocean” – DNCE
I will never run for office. I will, however, assume power.
N.P.: “Maggie’s Farm” – Rage Against the Machine
I’m still pretty steamed at Geena Davis’ idiocy. Writing that stuff last night, I got worked up into a goddamn fit, and I woke up every two hours shouting, “Fuck you” in the darkness.
Using her moronic logic, I think she stopped a bit short. After you’re done “just changing all the male names to female names” in order to achieve gender parity, why not just erase the name of the male writer and replace it with a female name, thus achieving “parity” in screenwriting.
This sort of shit makes my head ache.
In other news, the Loretta Police Department in Tennessee is asking the good citizens of Loretta to please stop flushing their meth down the toilet during raids, as it is creating “meth gators” downstream from the retention ponds.
Okay, enough of this bilge, dear reader. Back to the real work.
N.P.: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” – William Shatner
Geena Davis is a fucking moron.
According to the AP, this bish felt compelled to open her scold hole and hold forth on the subject of “gender parity on screen.” By parity here, she is not talking about the difference in SAG pay rates for male and female actors (because no such difference exists). She’s talking about there being an equal number of lead roles in movies – all movies (including movies with all-male casts like Das Boot, the Great Escape, The Hunt for Red October, Lord of the Flies, Lawrence of Arabia, The Shawshank Redemption, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 12 Angry Men) for men and women. Like, seriously. Sure, these are all inarguably classic films, she seems to be saying, but they would be made significantly “better” (?) if they were reshot with at least half, if not all, female characters. Seriously. This is what that bullshit a couple years ago with that stupid female remake of Ghostbusters that bombed was about?
There are two main reasons a writer writes male character into their screenplay, novel, et cetera. Both reasons are simple and have nothing to do with any kind of oppression. The first is historical accuracy, and the second is psychological believability.
Rewriting history in this way is insipid, immoral, unethical, and vile in its ignorance. Which the idiots behind it don’t give a damn about, but they should: rewriting history in the manor undercuts and dismisses virtually all of the accomplishments of the “firsts” achieved by the very minorities and women you claim to be trying to help. For example, three of the films mentioned above take place on submarines before 1984. When there were, ya know, no women on U.S., German, or Russian submarines. It would be another 30 years before that happened:
And I’ll bet a testicle that Miss Davis has never heard these names before. Because they are not part of her narrative. They actually went out and kicked in whatever doors needed kicking in and became what they’d been told they couldn’t, what nobody before them had been able to accomplish.
But according to the rewritten history of Ms. Davis, movies and scripts need to be rewritten as if there were always women on subs. If she makes movies where women are seen voting in the United States before suffrage, then was there ever even an issue? It seems to me that to rewrite the struggles of various people such that those struggles never actually happened is far more dangerous than making movies that were not cast by affirmative action.
And I don’t know what Geena Davis’ opinions and statements about other subjects are (simply because I don’t care enough to look), but if she is in line with the rest of Hollywood, then gender in fluid, non-binary, and just a construct with no real basis in biology. And if that’s the case, it seems to me that it would be far easier for an actress to simply announce at every audition that she identifies as a man, which would then make “him” eligible for all the male roles that Ms. Davis finds so problematic, than it would be to rewrite and reshoot most classic movies to conform to Ms Davis’ rather odd version of enforced diversity.
But the thing that really pisses me off about what this old bat is saying is her alarmingly dim and simple proposition for a solution. Yeah, get a load of this shit: “Just go through (the script) and cross out a bunch of male first names and put female first names. That’s all you have to do.” And all you have to do G.D. is go fuck yourself, you simple, simple creature. You know nothing. I’m not even going to qualify that shit. But you obviously do know nothing about writing, about character and characterization, about storytelling, and about human psychology. This statement is the stupidest and most ignorant thing said about art by anyone since the emperor told Mozart his piece had too many notes. You can’t just shuffle the genders, identities, or even names of characters that have been painstakingly crafted and expect any reader or viewer not to instantly cry foul. They will dismiss the writing (and thus the writer) as moronic. And rightly so.
Davis was joined onstage at this stupid event by some other actor I’ve never heard of (Mayim Bialik? Once again, I simply don’t care enough to look it up) went on to say, “Of course, why wouldn’t we need to see people who are like us to be able to imagine what we could become?” in response to being asked about “the need for diversity on screen to break stereotypes and encourage young people to pursue careers they might otherwise have felt were off limits to them.” I swear to God, most days, I’m walking around in a sort of shell-shocked state of disbelief that I exist on the same planet at the same time as these idiots. It’s really embarrassing.
Okay, look…promoting diversity might be your prime directive in life, but don’t let yourself get so delusional that you think that that makes it important to anyone else. Because it doesn’t, regardless of how many of your friends like your bullshit on Facebook.
The Solution: As a college composition instructor, it’s always amusing to watch incoming freshman (who have been so inculcated with fear by their politically correct high school teachers that they are more worried about potentially offending people who will never read their essay than they are about telling Greater Truths grapple with pronouns when referring to anonymous or hypothetical people in non-gender-specific roles, i.e., doctor. “So I’m talking about doctors opening private practices, and I say, ‘When a doctor is first starting private practice, ____ is faced with myriad choices.’ What do I use there?” . Inevitably, their first choice is “they,” which I inform them is simply grammatically wrong and will be graded against. Their second choice is often to alternate between “he” and “she,” using each one alternatively. I demonstrate how pointlessly confusing this would make their prose. It’s usually then that they will propose this grammatical abortion: s/he. At that point, they can typically see my eyes darken and lips turn up into a threatening snarl. It’s then I offer them the perfect solution: use whatever applies to you. Every year I’ve taught, there have been far more women enrolled in college, both where I teach and nationally, so I’ve churned out rather a lot of female students whom have graduated and I’m confident will forever be using the female pronouns in their writing, something which Dumbass Davis surely must be pleased with. But therein lies the simple (and only real) solution to your manufactured issue: rather than taking successful screenplays written by men that, for whatever reason, contain more male characters than female characters, and arbitrarily (and completely pathetically) changing the names to female names and attempting to recast and reshoot yet another remake and calling that feminism, why not do what you can to buy more screenplays written by females about females. You’ve got some juice in Hollywood…why not use your voice to instead of promoting your dumbass ideas about rewriting someone else’s work (stupidly), lobby to have more original ideas and screenplays bought and developed, rather than rehashing and repackaging the same old ideas over and over again? At this point in your career, you must have your own production company…why not announce that your company from now own will only be producing movies with strong female leads? You’ll find yourself without financing or studio backing immediately (not out of some women-oppression thing, but because any studio that declares they will only produce one kind of movie is a studio guaranteeing to never see a profit), but at least you won’t look like such an idiot as you do now.
Hell, you’re a big girl…why don’t you sit down and start cranking out the sort of screenplays you want to see made? The only thing that could stop you is lack of talent, which is almost certainly the case. But just because you can’t create something great on your own does in no way entitle you to steal and destroy the work of others who can.
N.P.: “World Destruction” – Time Zone
When I die, I want a tombstone like the one in the movie Beetlejuice. Never mind the orange writing…I would actual prefer something more menacing/threatening. I do like the brutal simplicity: here lies Jayson. That’s it and that’s all. No dates of birth or death, and no summary or eulogy at all. You’re either gonna know who I was or you won’t, and if you don’t, you’re going to wish you did just because of the coolness of the tombstone. But that’s what I want: an oversize vertical fuck-off monument with gargoyles and demons and shit hanging off of it. I want it to look scary as hell at night of course, but I want it to be an offense to the daylight. I want people who see it in the daylight to find it existentially incongruous, like It doesn’t seem like it should be able to even exist in the daylight, yet there is is.
So that’s the gravestone I want. But here’s the kicker: I won’t be lying there at all. Nothing will be buried there. I will have been cremated in some sort of Celtic funeral pyre. Maybe something like what they did with Darth Vader when he died. If I could be wearing the entire Darth Vader outfit, avec mask, that would be cool. Cremation makes sense to me: it’s noble, dignified, realistic, and efficient.
We do not handle death well here in the west. We seem to do everything we can to hide, it, sterilize it, cover it up, pretend it away at least for as long as “sanely” possible. We feel it is our right to let go and say goodbye when we are ready, and if that hadn’t happened when the person in question died, then we absolutely deserve another week or two to have chance to do what we should have been doing before the person died: telling them how much they meant to us. Of course, you can’t tell anybody anything after they’ve died, but we can fool ourselves long enough to make it psychologically acceptable. And this is extremely unhealthy, I think. The idea (let alone the process) of embalming the dead is both ghastly and ghoulish as are the open-casket funerals that follow. I endorse the Jewish and Muslim ideas of burial of the dead as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of death. Ironically, I differ from these religions’ prescriptions immediately after that as both Islam and Orthodox Judaism prohibit cremation. But the Sikhs pretty much insist on it. Good people, the Sikhs.
Anyway, that’s what I want: cremation on a pyre in full Darth Vader costume, and then a Beetlejuicesque grave stone claiming “here lies Jayson” pointing down to an empty grave (making the joke that saying Jayson lies there is actually Jayson lying about being there…get it? I’m so goddamn meta and clever). Ta-da.
N.P.: “Requiem – 2005 Remaster” – Killing Joke
I was not a fan of this week, dear reader. it felt somehow inescapable yet pointless, if that makes sense, which it doesn’t.
Wrote rather a lot today…effortless and fast. We like that kind of writing.
N.P.: “19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones
Exhausted and overwhelmed. Oriented x3, but that’s about it. Must crash.
N.P.: “The Shooting Star” – Gojira
‘Tis the winter of my discontent, dear reader. Which is a tad incongruous with the hotter-than-hell solar fire blazing away on the other side of the window in Rm 5 of Hotel California.
All is frustration.
N.P.: “Moonlight Drive” – The Doors
I’ve always been a fervent proponent of the notion that simply because something is possible does not mean it should be done. Just because we can make ourselves constantly reachable does not at all mean we should make ourselves constantly reachable. Some if not most people seem okay with this arrangement, but they also appear to be very much enslaved by their phones. But in most cases, I don’t think constant availability is a good idea. Certainly not in my case. I’m not nearly that important. Not even close.
I’m a big fan of Do Not Disturb mode. Increasingly, when I turn that mode off, I am really turning on Disturb mode. And why the hell would anyone do that? I certainly wouldn’t.
N.P.: “States of Mind” – Senser