No. 12 -- October 11th, 1995

What's the story morning glory? Well?

So sorry, it's been a while since I've put anything here, but suddenly my life has been turned upside down with a new job. I'm working for a Web architecture company called Art and Science. I spent most of the last month working on a project, -- 6 day weeks, 10-12 hour days, and an endgame featuring a nut-crunching 30-hour day just to meet a deadline -- and I finally had some time to breathe. Oh, yeah, I'm also having more fun at a job than I've ever had in my life.
Sooooooo . . .

How to tell a movie sucks, Part I:
During the opening weekend of Hackers, there was a little blurb in the newspaper ad pointing out that if you go see the movie, you also get the world premiere of the trailer for the new James Bond movie. Gosh.

I guess the studio heads figured that their hackerneyed plot line and ho-hum "oooh, futuristic!" arty look wasn't enough of a draw.

Patric Walker died last week. Who? Why, a man who "literally changed the meaning of the word astrology for our generation," according to one astrologer. In fact, he "took it from a tawdry, rather down-market amusement and brought to it reflection, elegance of language and thoughtfulness."

Now, normally, this sort of thing wouldn't even raise a blip on my radar screen, but then I noticed what he died of. Complications of salmonella poisoning. Food poisoning. An astrologer, for chrissakes. Now, I'm not sure at all about how the world works, but it seems to me that all the elegant language on the planet doesn't mean squat compared to my horoscope warning me about getting food poisoning. You know?

No really, what other use could one possibly want from astrology? I know I'd believe in it much more if I saw a horoscope that read: "SCORPIO -- Your dangerous charm takes you far with a co-worker. Seeming compromises eventually work out to your advantage. And, for god's sake, don't eat the fish!!! "

Just a question: how many people who are up in arms over the O.J. verdict have weaseled their way out of jury duty at some point in their lives??

Alanis Morissey is on the cover of both Rolling Stone and SPIN right now, and supposedly, she'll be on the cover of Newsweek next week (assuming a slow news week, of course: there's a classic story about a major politician -- LBJ, I think -- dying the same week Time was scheduled to run a cover story on Janis Joplin. Janis wailed: "Of all the weeks he had to die, my week! "), and all I can say is hahahahahahahahahaha!

I don't hate Alanis: certainly her singles are well-crafted ( "One Hand in My Pocket " is even catchier than "You Oughtta Know "), but I have a problem with people who are lionized for their words when those words don't stand up to close scrutiny. And, so far, hers don't.

If Colin Powell runs for the Presidency, I think I'll change my voter registration to Republican and vote for him in the California primary. Why? Not necessarily because I want him to be President or anything, but rather because a choice between Powell and Bill Clinton next year is less of a lose-lose situation than a choice between Bob Dole and Clinton. I realize that Dole is running to the right now to get the nomination, but his words have already given ammunition to the anti-choice, anti-free speech, and anti-fun contingent who are my sworn mortal enemies. Fuck 'em.

And if Powell could win the nomination without pandering to those people and being beholden to them, that would be wonderful. And worth changing my registration to vote in California's closed primary. If Dole wins, and the Guns for Jesus crowd is perceived as having been instrumental, then the less self-proclaimed righteous of us had better start running. Of course, neither Powell or Dole might get the nomination, cos the hardcores are all for Pat Buchanan anyways.

Say whatever you want about that "I'll Be There for You " song -- its one of the purest power pop songs ever to make the Top Ten. It would fit in perfectly on any of those Rhino DIY American Power Pop compilations that came out a couple years ago and are currently found for US$5.99 at the Tower Outlet Store right across the street from where I work. They also had the remixed, remastered, extra tracked version of the immortal The Who Sell Out for the same price. But I'd already paid full price a few weeks ago. Sigh.

How to tell a movie sucks, Part II:
They try to get an NC-17 rating from the outset rather than just letting the movie happen naturally. Sex happens in real life, it makes sense that it would happen in a movie, so why can't somebody make a movie with good, fun sex where sex isn't the sole focus of the movie? I know I sound like Andy Rooney here, but if they want to break the NC-17 barrier, they need to make a good dirty movie, not a bad one. You know, where people fuck because people fuck, not because they're trying to get a rating.

What is really weird, however, is that there was no huge controversy over Showgirls, despite the fact that Eszterhas and Verhoeven were obviously aiming for one. Best of all, it was a big (pun intended) bust, to boot. It was stomped in the grosses by Brad Pitt's unmanufactured sexiness and solid box office draw in Seven. Maybe I wasn't the only one who thought that -- Sharon Stone's snatch and all -- Verhoeven and Eszterhas' Basic Instinct was one of the most virulent anti-sex and unsexy movies ever to be passed off as erotic.

In any event, Showgirls begs the question: What if a movie sucks really really hard, but no one comes?

And no, I still haven't got Windows '95 working. But I haven't had time to try, either.

This space is available for advertising. I am so ready to sell out to corporate America for some decent money.

Love,

     Jim

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This rant written on 11 October, 1995.
I was listening to Yo La Tengo -- President Yo La Tengo