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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Put the Top Down, Use Your Knees to Drive"

Hello again there, Internets!

It's been a while since my last post. I apologize for the delay. I've been working on my Backdrop story for this Fall's Issue for the past two weeks. Thanks to my dear old friend procrastination, I had to churn out interviews, research, transcribing and three drafts in a miniscule timeframe. This of course meant many all-nighters, coffee, tears, more coffee, and neglect of my recently reanimated blog. But my story is finally complete and I think it compares more than favorably to my last two efforts. This one gets a little deeper, goes a little darker and hopefully is a little better. Pick yourself up a copy October 22!

Enough of me being a company man though, let me walk you through some of the collective(ly) unconscious I have been enjoying since my last post.

- I've been wanting to write about the show Glee since it premiered. Of course I wouldn't really know what to say about it other than "I like it and it makes me smile." Sometimes it is nice just to be brought into the welcoming embrace of a big, loud and clever network show and forget any issues you may be having (encroaching deadlines, perhaps?) for an hour once a week. Thankfully, my friend and colleague Adam Wagner is more eloquent on the subject of Glee anyway so I concede the floor to him.

- While writing draft after draft of my Fall story until 5 in the morning (this seems to be a recurring theme), I happened across AFI's Myspace where they were streaming their full new album "Crash Love." I have an interesting relationship with AFI. Here is my opinion of all their albums:

1. Answer that and Stay Fashionable - Dogshit
2. Very Proud of Ya - Dogshit
3. Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes - Dogshit
4. Black Sails in the Sunset - Dogshit (minus "God Called in Sick Today" which is absolutely beautiful)
5. The Art of Drowning - Mostly dogshit with some signs of life
6. Sing the Sorrow - The pinnacle of hardcore music and perhaps the greatest thing to happen to the Gothic subculture since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. One of my favorite albums ever released.
7. Decemberunderground - Dogshit

So is Crash Love dogshit or the pinnacle of Western Civilization?Well the album itself skews far closer to pinnacle of Western Civilization than a pile of dogshit. And this song right here might be the best thing to carress my eardrums in a long time.

- Last night I got reacquainted with my dear old friend Charlie Kaufman. Who is Charlie Kaufman you ask? Charlie Kaufman is the man who completely redefined the role of a screenwriter in the film industry and is probably the most talented and influential writer in the most popular commercial medium in the world. And you've probably never heard of him. He's the dude responsible for movies such as Being John Malkovich (awesome movie), Adaptation (one of my faves), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my faves) and Synecdoche, New York (I still don't know what to make of this one). He also wrote Human Nature and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind but I've never seen Human Nature and he disowned Confessions because he was unhappy with the direction George Clooney took it in.

Anyway, I watched Eternal Sunshine for the first time in a long time and it hit me harder than I can ever remember a Kaufman movie hitting me on any of my many viewings. So I am giving you fair warning that I may be rambling about him a lot more as I re-watch his other flicks. For now I thought I would just bring up an interesting fact about his writings. Each Kaufman movie seems to be, at its core, a distillation of two veeeery deep, veeeeery abstract and often veeeeery contradictory ideas.

Being John Malkovich = Existence + Celebrity
Adaptation = Writing + Passion
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind = Love + Memory
Synecdoche, New York = Art + Reality

Is Charlie Kaufman the only one whose art can be analyzed as such? If not, give me more fun examples in the comments section.

Well that's all I have for now. I've been meaning to write a massive essay comparing Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds and how they are not only two of the better films of my lifetime but reflect the pop cultural landscape of our era better than anything else ever made buuuuuuuuuuut...I've just been to busy to tackle it.

Here's hoping that I can get that done some time this week!


Anonymous said...

"let me walk you through some of the collective(ly) unconscious"

haha that's the name of your blog!

Anonymous said...

Sing the Sorrow is by far my favorite AFI album, and compared to that i would have to say the new song is dogshit.

Exiled in the East said...

FWIW: I discovered AFI 6 years ago, at the tender age of 46. Drowning hooked me with wall to wall hits. Marginally less impressed with Fashionable, agree with dislike of Proud, but lovce the rest like a skanky art student who shows up with her booze, but what do I know? Now get off my lawn.