James Cameron, when asked in an NPR interview about whether he sees himself as a filmmaker or an explorer: “I think the through-line there is storytelling. I think it’s the explorer’s job to go and be at the remote edge of human experience and then come back and tell that story. So I don’t see them as that separately.”
Werner Herzog would like a word with you.
In Cameron’s defense, one has to give him credit for being on the absolute vanguard of film technology—the guy has truly changed the entire system, and I do think it’s pretty cool that he’s using his bajillions of dollars from technically awesome (yet still dumb as rocks) movies like Avatar to fund a voyage into the Marianas Trench. I can think of much worse endeavors, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m going to be in line at the Imax to see whatever cool shit he films down there (even if it features corny narration by Bill Paxton and a theme song sung by Celine Dion).
Still, he didn’t drag a boat up a mountain, did he? No, he did not.
Francis Bacon’s people have bacon faces. I want to heat them on the stove and eat their misery. If you’ve never seen one of his paintings, imagine a man’s face being skinned as the plane he’s on is going down into the Atlantic, the lapdogs in his eyes terrified but searching anyway for someone’s leg to hump. This is not the extent of my view of human nature, for I feel Solzhenitsyn would have done well on stilts. Bacon is memorable as a fist where very few of us want one, yet these are images that wear their violence as casually as birds wear flying. Sometimes I think Bacon is how the night looks at us, how God would appear or the Big Bang across from me in a bar, sipping some fruity yummy umbrella drink while trying to decide if it’s worth the effort to tear me apart. Other times I’m sure God or The Big Bang drink scotch and Drano, and that people, if I look closely enough, appear oddly soft, bloody but strangely cuddly in Bacon’s work, fuzzy really in how frenzied and multiple he painted their nervous edges for museums to place the visual equivalent of live and loose wires on their walls. I mentioned a lapdog earlier, when if you’ve ever wondered what the child of a man and Doberman would look like turned inside out, consult Bacon. If you’ve never wondered this, we’ll have little to talk about, so I guess this is goodbye.
The podcast featuring my performance at the February Bedpost Confessions is now available on the web. This was a very emotionally difficult piece for me to write, and I was chuffed at its welcome, warm reception. Be forewarned, this is very X-rated. Enjoy.
“[Mad Men] works because it’s less about who we were then — it’s a fantasy of who we were then, really — than about who we are now. The civil rights movement, the advancement of women, the early stirrings of what would become gay liberation: This is not old business. In some prophetic way, it is a show about the end of male white privilege, and that we’re still waiting for that end is what makes the show contemporary.”—Great (and non-spoiler-y) Mad Men review from Robert Lloyd of the LA Times (via judyxberman)
In fact, I even viewed the dressing up as a sign of [the Village People’s] sincerity. When I was in infants school, the last day of term was always looked forward to partly because it was the one day we could dress how we wanted to, and this became a kind of ritual in which every kid would bring an outfit, so the classroom was invariably full of cowboys, spacemen and medieval knights in plastic armour. One of the great suspicions I had about adults was that these were people who could dress how they liked, and yet they all somehow conspired to dress as boringly as possible. And here were the Village People showing that it could be done - all you needed was the chutzpah to get on and do it.
Just think about this for a minute or two. Right now, you could be wearing a silver construction worker’s helmet. Why aren’t you?