Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died today and so ends the career of one of the most bizarre, tragic, and talented entertainers of modern time.

I don't have alot to say about it, I'm not going to pretend I'm some raving superfan. But just watch the below video do yourself a favor.

It's easy to forget isn't it. After so many court cases, scandals, lackluster albums, and just general insanity, it's easy to forget what an insanely gifted, and joyous performer he was. A Musician with a gift, able to turn anything, ANYTHING, from a bit of flirting walking down the street to a zombie uprising into a dance.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David Carradine: Late To The Party

Let's talk about Kill Bill 2.

Maybe I should write up another David Carradine film, one of his seventies classics like Bound For Glory, Boxcar Bertha, or The Long Riders. Or one of his great exploitation movies instead, like Death Race 2000 or Q The Winged Serpent. Or maybe I should write about one of the batshit crazy movies he made during the lean years, when his cache, self respect, and common sense where at a low ebb. Doing so though, would be dishonest. True more people have probably seen the Kill Bill saga then all the above movies combined, and that’s a damn shame, but that doesn’t change the fact that Carradine had his finest moment in this film.

Though Kill Bill 2 is of course spectacular fun, filled with Kung Fu, Impossible Escapes, Spaghetti Western Staredowns and crushed eyeballs galore, the moment I’m talking about is the final showdown, where after nearly four hours of righteous vengeance fueled ultra violence, the final confrontation between Bill and The Bride takes place in the form of a conversation. This is where Carradine comes in. It’s helpful to remember that you as the audience has spent two movies screaming for this rotten bastard’s blood and when you finally get in the same room with him, you’re almost horrified to find that you like him. Carradine is not only able to convince you that The Bride wouldn’t run a sword through his neck within fifteen seconds of seeing him again, he almost has you hoping she won’t. During the almost half hour long conversation, Carradine is charming, laugh out loud funny, scary as hell, vulnerable, lethal, and tender, often all at once. And when his time comes and he says goodbye with the rudest word he’s got you’re sorry to see him go out, but glad that he did it so well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chuck Klosterman and The Unbearable Lightness Of Hipsters

I've avoided reading Chuck Klosterman for the same reason I avoid punching babies in the face. It just seemed too easy. Did I really need to read another weary Gen Xer obsessing over the minutia of Pop Culture and then obsess over why they're obessing. Were Nick Hornby, Sara Vowell, David Sedaris, Nathin Rabin, and countless others truly not up to the task? Was there truly such a void in my soul calling out for another pretentious post modernist to come and suck all the fun out of everything? Had I not learned my lesson from the testicle shriveling anti-prose waking nightmare that was "Nobody Belongs Here More Then You?"

No, I was not particularly looking forward to jumping on the back of another Hipster Sacred Cow. I feared another book of clever oh so affected but oh so uneffected prose might actually kill me. And the fact that I could still hear the publishers orgasm after receiving a title as marketable as Sex Death And Cocoa Puffs did nothing to allay my fears.

It turns out that my fear was unfounded. While Klosterman is too pretentious, post modern and overly analytical he is also fun, in possession of a mean sense of self deprecative wit and keen sense of the absurd. While some of the essays on SDACP do take the fine art of navel gazing to unheard of extremes (Pamela Anderson article I'm looking at you). Others manage to dissect modern culture with a surprisingly sharp and dare I say even level headed style.

Whether it's formulating a surprisingly believable hypothesis that Breakfast cereal commercials are responsible for the existence of hipsters, explaining why soccer will never be popular, or examining the paradox of "authenticity" in country music Klosterman serves as a witty guide through the madness of modern life.