Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Deep Bruised Sky

August is a dead, depressing month for me, a toxic combo of deep memory, brain chemical collision, dread, boredom, another step toward the ash urn, and various bullshit in between. And this being a presidential election years makes it even darker. I toyed with the idea of going to Denver with some younger, anarchic writers and videoheads, just to see point blank the Dem bacchanalia around Obama's launch. But homeowner realities and other financial limitations make this unwise to do, so, like most of y'all, I'll be watching the festivities from a safe, sterile distance.

As for the GOP gathering, who cares? I suspect it'll have the zip of a medical alert bracelet ad. Besides, the Repubs will never top their '92 convention -- all that paranoia, racism, and militarist posturing, all wasted on George H.W. Bush. The old skull boner didn't know what to do with that kind of material. But had they nominated Pat Buchanan instead, the contradictions would have been theatrically heightened, sending Bill Clinton and Ross Perot into cannibalistic seizures while the National Guard prepped for a general clampdown. We'll never get those days back, alas.

I'm about to hit the road for a few days -- a little R&R near a major lake, no TV, no Web, just a minor attempt to relax and recharge, especially with "Savage Mules" promotion and appearances on the near horizon. (I believe there are a few haunted areas nearby, one of Michigan's better features.) If the hate mail I've already received is any indication, I should be in for some serious fun once the Obama Experience begins its Fall Tour. We'll see. Just know that very soon, I'm going to make my arguments at a site that may surprise many of you. Deep in righteous mule territory, setting the stage for related follow-ups. Or so it looks at the moment. Nothing exists until it happens, and even then it's a firefly's dream. You will be the first to know.

Before I head out, a couple of items. First, avoid at all costs "Chapter 27," a slow, dreary look at Mark David Chapman's descent into Beatle killing. Jared Leto, whom I generally like, swings for the fences in this thing, trying to blend the loner psychosis of "Taxi Driver" with the Method weight gain of "Raging Bull." It simply doesn't work. In the end, we get the impression that John Lennon was murdered by boring, blank slate of a schlub who lacked the criminal edge of a Manson, a Gacy, a Son of Sam. I'm sure Leto pumped up his Chapman so he would read on film. If that's the case, then the real Chapman must have been an utter zero. Not what we Americans expect from our celebrity assassins.

Now, on the other hand, do see "Molière," which I caught by accident yesterday afternoon. It's witty, funny, laced with a certain sadness, but a splendid diversion all the same. I'm a sucker for period, costume pieces, but "Molière" delivers more than that. Makes "Shakespeare In Love" look like "The Bowery Boys Meet A Stuttering Gorilla."

That's it from me until the weekend. If you need fresh takes, there's always IOZ, Jon Schwarz, and an assortment of others. Go to Barry Crimmins' joint and kick his hammock a few times. He's been loafing long enough.