Monday, June 30, 2014

Hostile Natives

What consoles me in the furnace*of my isolation is the notion I that I am not a rebel/malcontent/misanthrope, but a weary traveler passing through hostile territory such as the original prairie schooner captains were when the Apache war cry made them fear the mornings. A case could be made that the difference between the two is naught in the eyes of the Comanche, but to my dreaming mind lost in obscurity and regret, the difference is substantial. The police may raid camp Oggy in the morning and I might be unsettled by the ramifications of this, but is it a slight on my morality, should shame accompany my convictions?
If we examine the oxen owning migrant from Tennessee in 1820, weathering dust and scorn, hunger and deprivation, animals dying in the heat and children withering like poisoned he much different? I am adrift and lost and wandering and have grey on my chin and white on my chest and my sleep is often interrupted by the owl of my memory questioning my past. Could I have said something different to make change the direction of the dry creek of romance? Probably not, I tell myself, and it's all irrelevant anyway. Marriage would not make me happier, but my misery would be more predictable.

*It's 114 degrees in my van.

Oggy's Latest Word on Gun Control

I think I have a good approach this time because it is both condescending and also pseudo-enlightened. I get an ear full of 2nd amendment nuts quite a bit in Texas and I'm always looking for a way to shut them up because there is no way a civilized nation would indiscriminately sell assault rifles and grenades. Yes, the law allows it but the seller has the last responsibility. I've seen people more guarded about selling their guitars. "I want it to go to a good home." A FUCKING GUITAR! But an assault rifle? "Shit, if the credit card company accepts the charge then you can wrap it up and take it home. I don't give a fuck what you do with it." AN ASSAULT RIFLE!
Someone wanted to buy my Original Vintage Honda Twinstar motorcycle to turn it into a cafe racer and I told him to get some chopped mufflers and stick them in his ass. And that was a crappy motorcycle but I have STANDARDS, which most gun sellers couldn't spell. So this is my latest piece of hand slapping to the lazy assholes who sell guns. It would be a supreme victory to piss one of them off so much that he guns me down in the street like a dog. "How dare you tell me to think for myself?" 
If I were trying to sell an assault rifle I would have so many requests and stipulations and demands and questions that the person would probably give up first. We'd have to go on a camping trip Baffin Island...we'd have to work in a homeless shelter for a year. All to give me an idea of what kind of person they are. If I still approved of them and trusted them at the end of the trial period I'd probably still not sell it to them because it's a frivolous possession. A hundred assault rifles will not protect you during the next apocalypse.
There's a particular professor here on campus that is going to get a copy of this stapled to his 2nd amendment rants that he has stapled to the wall.

Gun Rights Proponents win the debate not on the strength of their argument but by default. The Genie can not be put back in the bottle; guns are here to stay as 200 years of reckless trade ensures the worst criminal elements in America are likely armed. That status can't be overlooked and no legislation will fix it.

Gun control arguments are two centuries too late. Unlike drugs, which have a shelf life, guns and their deadly purpose are passed down for decades. Overturning the 2nd amendment to the Constitution would have no good effect for at least two generations. But those who see every gun empowered school massacre as predestined due to violence inherent in humans don't do their cause any favors. The status quo must change and since disarmament is now impossible, everyone must prepare to defend themselves. I accept that path but I'm not happy about it. It's a sign of failure that we've accepted a citizenry involved in an Arms Race against each other. There is one alternative but it involves self-reflection from the stubborn purveyors of deadly weapons so it's not likely to happen.

The problem won't be solved by a government deciding whom can buy what, but when sellers themselves set their own standards. Sellers don't want anyone regulating their trade, including themselves. They are lazy capitalists, buying low and selling high, ignoring the buyer's intent and focusing on the money. They engage not in "free" trade but in stupid trade. Gun dealers don't cause crime but they do fail to prevent it. They learned their crooked salesmanship ethics from tweaking meth dealers.

The cowardly sellers denounce every law regulating their enterprise but as soon as someone goes on a rampage with one of the guns they sold they immediately hide behind the tired excuse: "The buyer passed all required background checks...etc." Well, which is it? Are these sellers mature enough to make their own choices or do they require big daddy government to hold their hands and accept blame? They can't have it both ways and the bloody tradition of praying sellers exercise some judgement of their own is a complete failure. Like newly minted teenagers, they are so busy defending their right to be autonomous that they neglected to make up their own rules.

Next week: I will explain why media is a virtual Good Cop/Bad Cop campaign attacking your mental health. The working title is "Why The Media is Gang-Raping Your Grandmother's Corpse."

Tarantino Unchained

Django Unchained is a piece of shit movie. I knew it would be but I was curious how bad Tarantino's movies are lately. Even with a talented cast (a shameful 7 Oscar nominees) this movie sucked ass. The worst thing I could say about it is that it's a story that does not need to be told. Fundamentally, it's a Tarantino/Weinstein suck-fest/vanity project.

I'll wager good money the principals were stoned out of their minds throughout the entire writing and production process because no sober person would think the majority of that script was interesting. Really, ten minutes of conversation in a hideout? Ten minute Flashbacks to something that happened merely 3 minutes a scene that lasts 13 minutes? Is there an easier target than proto-KKK lynchers? Most of us used Junior High School to make our comic books about gratuitous violence but Tarantino waited for his 50s (and $100 million from Weinstein and Colombia). Painfully forced and irrelevant German and French dialogue? Exploding heads? This charmless movie really needed a dose of Will Smith humor (who wisely turned down the title role).

Tarantino's main attraction is his love of Sergio Leone...and he's been milking this fetish for 20 years. He enthusiastically loves good moves and can convince every stoned production chief that he can make a movie that demonstrates how enthusiastically he loves good movies. I can hear him saying, "Yes, it will be a derivative piece of shit, but I'll be stealing from the best." The emperor wears no clothes but as long as everyone in Hollywood is also naked then they can have a fuck-fest orgy of repulsive cinema all night long.

His movies do try to steal from the best, but fail. Tarantino gets in his own way and instead of an homage to a good movie we get another piece of shit that is basically all the parts that were edited out of the good movie. I was a little shocked to learn the retreat of three actors from minor roles actually made this tired film shorter when their roles were eliminated. Really? Tarantino originally imagined a longer piece of shit? What a boorish hand-job of a film, lacking coherence, accuracy, humanity, point, and restraint. I hated this trashy expose of Tarantino's ego and took no pleasure watching Tarantino's cliche cameo appearance blow up in an irrelevant and dragged out scene that was awful, awful, awful. I almost wished I were watching Kill Bill Part Fifty Million.

 I love Sergio Leone films also but that does not mean I should be making Leone tributes in the style of Leone. Tarantino has the Weinstein Company wrapped around his water bong so he does as he pleases. I really pray Daniel Day Lewis does not sell out one day and take the ridiculous money Tarantino must be offering to him for a role. Nothing is worth being directed by a stoned talentless hack. I forgive Ennio Morricone* for his soundtrack because Senor Morricone is a genius and his score stands apart from this hateful movie. In fact, his music is the closest Tarantino will ever get to Leone, by which I mean Morricone is still awesome and Tarantino has no talent but has the money to buy Morricone's time.

*After working on this film, composer Ennio Morricone said he would probably never again collaborate with Quentin Tarantino since he didn't like the way the writer/director "places music in his films without coherence" and "never giving enough time". Morricone and Tarantino had also worked together on three previous movies. 
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.