Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stupid Shit Sarah Lawrence Kids Say, Part 3...

Shakespeare Edition 
This one is only one line long, but for the sake of explanation, I frame it with Lewis Black's bit about the line, "If weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." Or, as he calls it, "the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life, until Dan Quayle was elected Vice President."

If you haven't heard it, you can find it here...

 I felt exactly the same way Lewis Black felt, and if I tried to explain it, well, blood probably would shoot out my nose...

So I walk into the coffee shop after really weird day. I just want to sip something warm and meditate. I sit at the only open table in the place, which happens to be a few feet from where three Sarah Lawrence girls sit, working on homework. They talk about various things, some boy that they think is cool, and they get on the topic of Shakespeare. Apparently one of them has issues with William Shakespeare. She says, and I quote

"I can understand why some people don't like Shakespeare. I mean, he's so, mainstream..."

 I'm going to repeat that, because it bears repeating...

"I can understand why some people don't like Shakespeare. I mean, he's so mainstream..."

Don't. Don't think about that sentence for more than three minutes, or blood will shoot out your nose. The American medical profession does not know why we get an aneurysm. An aneurysm is when a blood vessel bursts in your head for no apparent reason. There's a reason...

For my part, I had to get up and leave the coffee shop immediately. But those words are now in by brain forever.

Thank you, Sarah Lawrence, for validating stereotypes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Paul Kemp vs. Raoul Duke: A Review of The Rum Diary

Last week I went and saw The Rum Diary, on opening night, of course. I buffered my low expectations with several sangrias at happy hour, a bottle of white wine on the Metro into the city, and a bagful of 24-ounce beer cans procured from a newly discovered Rite-Aid in Grand Central Terminal. I didn’t know what to expect, standing there in the check-out line in front of a drunken commuter who was shouting that they were out of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
I figured it important to see the film in the city, as the core of the novel surrounds a writer who despises the city and in turn flees to a place he assumes would be a tropical paradise. I could see what Thompson was getting at, because in the few unsteady blocks between the station and the theater I saw a man almost run down by a bus, a rickshaw equipped with JBL speakers glide past 42nd street, and that horrible abortion of color that is Times Square. I got caught up conversing with a street preacher and almost missed the previews, but I just had to ask her if she thought New York was Sodom.
She thought it over for a second, then said, “Well, it’s a modern-day Sodom, yes,” as if that made the news any easier to take. I laughed and after a brief conversation about whether or not I had been drinking, I told her I had to go.
The theater had peacocks painted on its ceiling, which I hoped was a good sign, but as the lights faded out I became unsettled by distinct distaste in my mouth left by the trailer for the new Twilight film. That and I could not seem to get over the couple sitting next to me. They seemed more interested with opening soy sauce packets to put on the sushi they had smuggled into the theater than they were with the film itself.
I went in to that first viewing with low expectations, and what I came out with was a weird vibe that it was better than I expected. Yet underneath that veneer, I was left with an uneasy feeling.