Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Night Of Violence, Cigars, And Jack Daniels

For years my friends and I would spend hours in the video store, trying to pick a Friday night movie. Nobody could agree on anything so we'd cruise the same racks over and over, the way I enjoyed hanging on the refrigerator door, hoping that something I did not buy would appear, dismayed as hell that the same rotting jar of mustard was there. "Don't you want to see When Harry Met Sally again?: someone would ask to which another diplomat in the group would reply, "Fuck that shit; let's watch The Great Escape." Man, all I wanted to do was escape whatever off-brand video store was eating up our time. Eventually a decision would be made, born of desperation and a deep need for a drink, and we'd all head back to someone's apartment to watch the movie and curse the person who chose it if it turned out bad. My friend Hank came up with the idea of movie probation -- for a real howler, a person could lose their choosing rights for weeks. I agree with this completely -- one of my friends once suggested a long, turgid movie called Joe Gould's Secret because someone gave it a good review at the Onion. I have little to no idea what his secret was, but by the end, I felt as if I'd been lobotomized in some subtle way. Movie probation time, baby! Blame someone at the Onion if you will, but probation all the same.
Years later, Hank would institute an all boys kung-fu night. This truly sucked as I had dated many of the gentleman who would hang out at Hank's not-so-well appointed apartment for a night of violence, cigars, and Jack Daniels. Okay, so this left some time open for more interesting pursuits like looking around Bath and Body Works and wondering if Wild Honeysuckle Bliss lotion would be better than Moonlit Path. I was nothing if not wildly ambitious. I tried to get the skinny on these godforsaken kung-fu nights, but nothing was revealed except that they had to search far and wide for more kung-fu movies as they'd seen a lot of them. The fallback was the camp classic, Curse of the Queerwolf. I can only say that it helps if you have copious amounts of alcohol to accompany this gem. But sometimes they'd rent things in other languages; subtitles didn't bother them. What was being said was often a mystery, but the violence was not. That is a language, for better or worse, that we all understand.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.” Alice Walker

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Moanin' At Moonlight Howlin' Wolf

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for a while. I used to think you were a good writer. But now I see you are really just an eloquent, self-absorbed whiner.

Anonymous said...

Violence. It seems to be more acceptable by those who condemn smoking or some cuss words or a glimpse at a bosom. Even mother's feeding their babies mother's milk in public get more flack. Most things sexual are taboo but blood, guts and mayhem are seen as less harmful to the psyche. Does that rise from our lizard part of the brain?

Paul said...


the walking man said...

"But now I see you are really just an eloquent, self-absorbed whiner."

Isn't this comment by an anonymous source a bit o' whining of it's own?

when I used to rent movies I rarely even took the kids along when they were with me, I just kept their ages in mind and didn't rent any porno.

But that fifth of liquor sure helped a bad movie be better.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Indeed, violence is a language that we all understand; that is, unless our economy stinks and the majority of our citizens start complaining about paying higher taxes, so the politicians, in their infinite wisdom, decide that we need to release 5,000 to 6,000 prisoners to save money. Hey, why not risk our safety to save a few bucks? Fourteen inmates at our facility were paroled just yesterday. I'm crossing my fingers.

Charles Gramlich said...

Movie probation is a great concept. I wish I'd thought of it.

eric313 said...

If this is one of your off days, I'd take it. Love the title. It looked like you were just letting go and that's something I understand. It made me laugh and think all the same. It's a sad thing that violence has such a deep hold on society. But you deffinitely score with admiting that it had your attention and interest.

I understand your reluctance to spill that explicitly until the end. And you weren't whiney at all. You were a little jumpy because this needs to be bigger and it's not the usuall well-manicured and eloquently profound Michelle Brooks post that you've gotten us used to lately. You did good. It's huge and a great idea locked in a two paragraph prison. Glad yu showed this one. It seems familiar.

You are a memoirist, right? I always thought that acounted for the whole writing about yourself thing. Be well, friend.

Susan Miller said...

For me, even the bad movies have stories. Stories about how we ridiculed whoever picked it out, but we never thought of probation. Good one.

eric313 said...

it's something that sat on your mind
oppressively, like a brickwall is oppressive
to the one kept outside.
like jonesing; or you're just out
of luck, out of scotch, or vicodin
or love when you're all alone

but none of that mattered
in the spring
when you rode the storms
highest--into god's country
etching graffiti on flora
of the fleeting fauna
the words that taste best at night
and then they are a bitter pill at best

because it was all you
and a friend's unblinking eyes
and the names of forever
written on the white picture frame box
--a tiny cocktail napkin
with something horrible or
exilherating scratched on its
weak white fibers
something for only one person to see
even if we all know what it says
it is still unique in creation
and a gift to brown eyes
wrapped hurriedly and torn
Left in the broken gateway
of the once oppressive brick wall
from a forgotten dark age

Dan said...

Very sweet that you would meet with friends and watch movies. I did this for some time with my dear friend Quentin. We had what we called "Bent Movie Night" where we watched movies that only the two of us could appreciate.

He moved out of state last year and I really miss that.

eric313 said...

and I have to come back one more time, not too different from usual. This is a sweet pic. Radiant might be good enough to describe your hair, but our half million word language is impotent when confronted with fine art of this magnitude. It needs a poem, like all the rest of your pics could use a poem. It has one, too--I'm not the only one.

That would be one heck of a book of poetry and pictures.

I hope you have everything with you to make you content. Write well, my friend.

Ella Lloyd said...

i dont think she dont follow violence. she just talk about movies. i also like to watch movies with my friends. the most great part of that is i can smoke my cuban cigars there.

Viola Davis said...

I am lover of cigars and smoke it regularly.I am that much addicted that i can't survive even one day without smoking cigars.