Thursday, November 18, 2010

of filth and fluff

So I’m driving home from work listening to “Kick It Out” by Heart (yeah, so?) and get this nagging feeling that my dying blog has still got a pulse and may actually be worth resuscitating… the feeling fades when I get home and hop in the shower. I’ll just keep working on these scripts, I tell myself, something that might actually help me pay the bills someday. Then I settle down on the couch and take a look at the swelling clutter in my living room and wonder exactly what’s happened to my brain over the last few weeks. While I’ll steer clear of details, sometimes I give in to strange feckless impulses and on a whim say, “yeah, to hell with it all…”

I mull over what to watch tonight while I numb myself into oblivion and pretend life is fabulous and “it’s all about perspective, baby” and whatever else I tell myself while contemplating a wild night on the couch avoiding my phone and email and whatever else is demanding a sane, sober proclamation of “yes, I’m here and I care”. And I click on the TV set… oh, what the heck has happened to bad culture? It used to be abominable, but in ways that made you smile. Now it’s simply hateful. I mean, the thought of rich housewives scandalizing their families on national TV sounds endearing enough, but when you actually plug into reality TV nowadays, their mere humiliation isn’t enough. I want blood. I want to see a Jersey housewife shoot her best friend over a fashion-related faux pas, then hold her snotty teen daughter hostage while snipers assemble outside. I want not to hate my television set.
So I scramble to my refrigerator and notice I have several beers inside and wonder what goes well with cheap, oversized cans of stale pisswater and decide, you know, something, anything that’ll help me forget how dreary weeknights can get. I thank the heavens I live alone and thank them again that I bought too much beer last weekend and wonder if I should take any precautions for my inevitable hangover in the morning and nod and think I’ll do it before I go to sleep. And then I wonder again what to watch. You know what would be cool right now? HARDBODIES. Yeah, that would kinda rock... Though I’ve many dozens of shitty sex flicks on dvd, (of course) I’ve yet to procure a copy of this mentally deficient, once formidable case of blue balls. Hmmm… so what else? I immediately think EMMANUELLE, but then quickly second guess that one. I don’t actually want to run the risk of getting turned on or seeing anything truly “beautiful”, I want something rather brainless and maybe a bit offensive that might cause me to laugh and point at my TV set through a beer haze.
“Oh, the one with what’s his face!?” I remember YOUNG LADY CHATTERLY 2 and figure I’ll risk getting turned on by Sybil Danning as long as I get to watch Adam West feign indifference and fumble around with a butterfly net while people screw everywhere in plain sight. Then I realize my copy is on video and consider transferring it to dvd-r, but can’t do it tonight because then I can’t rewind when Harlee McBride throws herself at Adam West and he doesn’t seem to notice because he’s too caught up in lecturing about a rare species of butterfly that apparently exists exclusively on her property and he can’t catch because he keeps tripping over couples screwing on her lawn. Damned you, Comcast! I mean, what’s the point of cable anymore?!
Then I remember PRIVATE LESSONS with Sylvia Kristel and ponder watching her seduce a 12 year old boy with an Adam Rich haircut set to Rod Stewart’s “You're In My Heart” and my mind is made up. So in it goes and I smile and slam a 22 ounce beer before the opening credits finish rolling and my phone rings and it’s my girlfriend. Staring at it blankly, I consider the obvious, but answer it anyways because… ‘cause my bullshit conscience dictates so. As it turns out, she’s had a bad day at work and needs to vent and I tell her to hold on a sec as I snap open another double deuce, which she hears and quips “oh, you’re drinking tonight?” I consider telling her it’s an iced tea, but foolishly blurt out “yeah… now, what were you saying?”. So 40 minutes and a heck of a lot of grief later, I realize I’ve watched half the movie muted and I can’t possibly go back and watch it again without experiencing flashbacks of that conversation about her “such a lousy day”.
So, with the clock winding down I begin tearing through boxes of dvds and notice ASSAULT OF THE KILLER BIMBOS and shudder some, but then run past THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN and thank my lucky stars, do the funky chicken and run back out to my living room to settle things. I’m giddy now as I pop it in and remember the scene where our hero can’t unlock the fat girl’s bra and then the boys all get crabs from that wolfish hooker and think how extraordinarily fortunate I am as I crack open another beer… ah, bliss.

If only it were meant to be… Twenty minutes in I’m all smiles and warm and my head feels fuzzy when the picture freezes, then starts back up again. No… NOOOOOO! It plays for another 15 seconds before settling into a Peruvian death-lock from which there is no escape. Incredulous at the unfairness of it all, I eject the disc and inspect it momentarily for scratches, only to find it in pristine condition, which all but forces me to curse the heavens and my dumb luck and whatever else is likely responsible for this gross injustice. So what else is there to do? Looking at the clock, I take a deep breath, finish the rest of my beer and surrender myself hopelessly to indignity as I head off to my room to watch some porn. 


  1. I can sum up the problem in two words: 'Light' beer. Dude, there's no glory in slamming a dozen light beers. Drink BOURBON! Mix 1/4 bourbon to 3/4 ginger ale over copious ice cubes... repeat until you or bottle is gone (get a 1 liter or 1.75 liter, nothing less)

  2. Great post - what a fun read!

    Love love love the films you mentioned and brought back to mind an old forgotten favorite of mine- My Tutor..I mustfind that one..

    I'm off today and your blog has inspired me to try do something for myself that I enjoy for a change..and just try to relax and watch movies...I think I will revisit The Last American Virgin first, then Over the Edge, My Bodyguard, Fast Times at Ridgemont High...and at the end of the night...why porn of course!! ;p

    ...pass me a cold one! ;p

  3. @Erich:
    Thanks, Erich! I'm listening to "Fun City" by John Barry and his orchestra and have taken your sincere, sound advice to heart (in earnest) and have to admit I feel like a new man already. Best of all, now my girlfriend can't complain about the clutter of empty cans and stench of stale beer that predominates the joint. But as it gets more and more difficult to stand up and speak clearly and the fire raging in my gut becomes exceedingly tough to reconcile, I can't help but wonder... is there a downside to any of this?

  4. @Eva:
    Thanks a bunch! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this one, which I almost didn't post for a laundry list of different reasons that I won't bore you with... and I love all of the films you mentioned and especially want to thank you for reminding me of MY TUDOR, which I'd forgotten about years ago.

  5. I couldn't agree more! I truly miss not hating television, especially at night. It's been razed to a desert and sold as paradise: informercials, scripted "reality", jingoistic dick-waving packaged as news, endless sitcoms that leave you feeling violated somehow, all set to an infernal, totally self-absorbed bubble-gum beat with an endless Autotune whine. I shudder to think that we live in an age when the puffy, creamy goodness of 80s sex comedies have, at their sticky, nougat-y core, more intelligence and far more humanity than six hundred channels' worth of 21st century programming. Fuck the future - we get what we deserve.