I meant to use that title four years ago, when I turned 40. Then today, when I turned 44, I figured that using the title unchanged would confuse Jimmy Buffett searches. Buffett’s song, “A Pirate Looks At 40”, is one I have not heard before, but I’ve read the lyrics, and I understand it’s one of Buffett’s better tunes. So I replaced “40” with “44”, to set it apart.
Originally, I planned to use “butt pirate”, but there’s really only one definition to that phrase, and it’s not one that describes me. It would have made a funny title, but it also would have netted me a lot of attention, mostly unwanted. From pirates of butts, I’m guessing. They’d email me pictures of their hooks and peglegs, with the message “YARRRRR!!! I BE PLUNDERIN’ BOOTY!!!” Right? I’m not caught up on my pirate culture. Continue reading →
Almost every single aspect of my personality can be explained by one simple fact: when I was a kid I ate a bouillon cube.
I was too young to know better. I had witnessed the flavor sorcery that resulted when my parents would cook with a bouillon cube. Surely, I reasoned, if it made dinner taste that good, then a whole cube of it would be a trip to flavor heaven. I even imagined it might expand into a steak or a burger, like in The Jetsons. So one evening I sneaked into the kitchen, unwrapped a beef cube, popped it in my mouth, and chewed it up. Continue reading →
If you’ve never seen Harmony Korine’s 1997 meisterwerk Gummo, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Rarely do I recommend a film so unabashedly, or so often. It has been my favorite movie for almost a decade, regardless of mood. I’ve seen it a hundred times, easily, and it continues to amaze me in new ways. And yes, it shocks, in a manner I draw great inspiration from. But beyond its often hilarious jolts, Gummo is the most explicitly human and raw film I’ve ever seen. The believability of the scenes- some scripted, some improvised- is so overwhelming and authentic, it pulls you into their world with all the force of the tornadoes that set the film’s events in motion. And you may find yourself every bit as devastated in their wake.
Gummo loosely tells the story of the residents of Xenia, Ohio, a quasi-fictional town that was savaged by tornadoes at an indistinct point in the past, and never fully recovered. The film centers primarily on a small group of children, but as we explore their ruined world, we meet a larger cast of characters, almost all portrayed by “non-actors”. Some are legitimately mentally retarded. It all gels amazingly well, providing a heretofore unseen view of what liberal assholes call “white trash”. I love it so dearly that I could go on endlessly about it, so I’ve decided to instead whittle my thoughts down to my ten favorite (more or less) things about my favorite movie. Here we go! Don’t forget to put out the cat! For god’s sakes! Continue reading →