Friday, October 26, 2018

Cleaning out some more space from the closet of secret shame

I'm a constant fucking embarrassment to myself, endlessly saying the wrong thing in front of other human beings and thinking dumb shit that is even worse. And despite my best efforts, I can never forget the stupid crap I say and do. I have trouble remembering my Mum's birthday, but can still recall the awful shirts I wore as a teenager with the utmost clarity.

The only way I can clear my head of all this embarrassment is to shovel it right down the back of the skull, back, back, back into the closet of secret shame. It can all go in there, and it can fucking stay there, for the most part.

But sometimes, it gets just a bit too crowded in there for all this crap, and I need to have a proper clean-out. And it's a lot easier to unload this stuff when it's just a bunch of trivial pop culture bullshit that doesn't really matter, instead of telling everybody what I used to wank over. Nobody needs that.

As a kid I thought they were patronising as hell, and as an adult thought they were dumb as shit - I was just never down with The Goonies. I don't think I've ever even seen the whole movie, just bits and pieces, but the only thing I ever liked was the big huge dude with the face. If it was just abut him, I would be down for that, because I never gave a shit about the kids who were supposed to be the heroes of the thing.

This also applied to gangs of plucky young heroes and their fat comic relief in every other movie from the 1980s - including The Monster Squad - and especially goes for all the rip-offs years down the line. I haven't watched one minute of Stranger Things and the only JJ Abrams-directed film I've never seen in his Super 8. I don't have time for these little shits.

Nothing against them personally, I just always want to watch movies about old people losing their goddamn minds instead.

Helter Skelter has the most bitchin' guitar, A Day In The Life is the sound of the 20th century and Twist and Shout always makes me want to boogie, but my favourite Beatles song of them all is The Long and Winding Road.

But only the version with the cloying string section saturating the whole thing in open mawkishness and naked sentimentality, not the stripped-back and pure version that you're supposed to like. The cheesiness is the point.

On the same day me and some of my best mates had our minds blown by Reservoir Dogs, I  accidentally stranded them in a city hundreds of kilometres from home very late at night, just because I really, really wanted to see Robocop 3.

While they are often spoken of as great films by smart people whose opinions I truly trust, I never met a Pixar film I truly loved.

I like most of them when I get around to seeing them - usually on a long-haul flight on airplane where I always get a bit emotional - and I can certainly understand why they strike a chord with so many people. But I'm never looking forward to the new one.

It's not just the simplistic moralising, it's all those smooth, perfectly formed pastel computer blobs. The CGI animation seen in Pixar films and all their imitators is technically impressive and artistically bland. I'll probably still bawl like a baby when I watch the next one on a flight, but I can wait.

If the house was burning down, and I could only save a handful comics, I have a terrible feeling that the only I'd grab would my complete collection of The Nth Man series.

Many people might argue that The Dark Knight represents the pinnacle of the superhero movie genre, and that the last movie in Nolan's Batman series in a step back in quality. But I think they get better as they go along, and that the third movie is far superior.

While there is no denying that Heath Ledger's Joker is fucking brilliant, especially with all the tiny quirks and jerks he brings to the role, I'm all about the Bane. The physicality of Tom Hardy's performance is mesmerizing - the way he walks and stands and punches speaks huge volumes, and there is glory in the way he barks out Bane's nonsense polemics in that garbled, inflected accent.

And I'm fascinated by the weird politics of the whole thing - Bane weaponises the rhetoric and imagery of the Occupy movement to give his takeover of the city an ideological leg to stand on, but he doesn't actually believe any of it, he's just using it as an excuse to fuck some people up, and isn't above using a weapon of mass destruction to atomize the poor and needy once he didn't need them anymore, which I'm pretty sure was not something that happened in any real-world protests.

Besides, everybody knows the best Batman films end with somebody finding out that some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb.

Dan Clowes' early work has a vitality and unexpectedness that has become increasingly muted over the years, and I just can't read them because I truly hate the lettering in his earliest work.

It's all that serif. It just makes me feel a bit ill.

I still think Back of the Y is the funniest television New Zealand has ever produced.

Whenever I'm making small talk with anybody ,and there is a lull in the conversation, the first question that always, always pops into my head is: 'Did you watch Doctor Who last night?'

I never actually say it out loud, unless it is the rare day there actually was an episode of doctor Who the night before, and if I'm talking to a bona fide dork, but that dumbarse question is always there, waiting to spill out and get Doctor Who gushing over everybody.

Even when the show was off the air for 15 long years, that was what I always wanted to ask people. It's hard-wired into my brain, and I don't think it will stop being there, right on the tip of the tongue, until I shove it back into the closet where it belongs.

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