Lisa: Don't forget ,Dad, tonight my class
is having an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner.
Mr. Burns: But Homer, tonight's our meeting
for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Homer: DOH! I hate having two heads!
treehouse of horror II episode 'the simpsons'
Bobby wasn’t high like the night before,but he was using his hippy voice nonetheless, after we were drawn along in the crowd that swarmed out of a showing of Day of the Locusts, utterly shellshocked by the power of Cinema.
“Man, that is the sickest fuckin’ movie I have ever seen.” He has seen many movies at his Maine arthouse cinema, with my dear sister S. It is currently hosting the Maine International Film Festival, and if you deem yourself cool at all, get there tomorrow, if not sooner, for that is where the coolest people in Creation hang out.
I was amazed by his response. Of course he loved the movie, deemed it a masterpiece, but he added only this to his usually prolific film criticism (think of Ebert on medical mary jane): “Some movies you cahnt say a damn thing about….except it was the darkest fucking vision of humanity I have ever seen.”
He is 73, Massachusetts born & bred, and landed in my social worker sister S’s life about 15 yrs ago, after a stint in the Peace Corps in South Africa, drawing maps for native schools. He has considerable artistic skills. Verbal and visual.
Biggest fish in a small pond, he is, and prefers it that way. He will die leaving nothing to the world except rumors. Folk legends, maybe. I understand now how that type of thing is possible…
“At college, and perhaps for a year afterwards, they had believed in literature, had believed in Beauty and in personal expression as an absolute end. When they lost this belief, they lost everything.”
“Bob, you wanna leave no footprints, right?” I said, hyped up on coffee that morning.
I had remembered a conversation with him last year, where he said that.
‘’Yeaah, Jimmy, “ he said in that gentle brotherly avuncular paternalistic accent, “the Buddhists say…”
Etc. He’d said it last year. I suffered through it a second time, but this year enjoyed it. Didn’t want to jump in and tell him he was repetitive, or that I get it for fucksake. Nothing to prove anymore. I entertained visions of me as his acolyte of sorts: a monstrous thing indeed, just the thing, I thought , for the way things are. A turtle, I, slithering uncomfortably toward Nazareth.
So I am betraying this somewhat proud Luddite by immortalizing him…
Who cares. I am indifferent to his personal needs. I see a need for the world to discover my brother bobby.
As my father said.
(gossip: bobby sat right next to karen one time and was utterly starstruck cuz he had/has a huge crush on her)
My reaction to Day of the Locusts?
Utterly brilliant in a way perhaps no longer possible.
Entertaining in a slapstick psychological-horror mode.
We are too numb to that.
I know i was. Am..
I could only weep at its artistic beauty....
Ok here is what happened. From my perspective…
Look, I knew it first was a novel by Nathaniel West, a great American writer whose career was cut short in an oddly perverse way: married in April 1940 , dead in a car crash with his new bride in December 1940.
I knew Bob had just read it. Just serendipity, he didn’t know the movie was gonna be shown…
This guy, West?
Auden said nice things about him.
“ W.H. Auden, … declared .. that West's novels were essentially "parables about a Kingdom of Hell whose ruler is not so much a Father of Lies as a Father of Wishes".
Indeed. Well said, WH.
The film ends in an apocalyptic fury of fire & a swarming murderous humanity carrying the dead or dying body of a , yes, ‘Homer Simpson’, while a Hollywood premiere event is being narrated on microphone & radio to the world…
Homer killed a child by stomping her to death.
He, and our hero, Tod, a young Hollywood up & comer, had been stomped plenty good by Faye, aka Karen Black.
Male violence simmered to a boiling point in countless awful scenes: an attempted rape, a cock fight, and a mad jealous brawl among the lady’s suitors…this was a woman every man wanted, who wanted no particular man, if you follow my crude characterization. Karen Black…
The real Karen Black was two feet from me, a seventy something woman of anorexic frame, recovering from cancer, and as Bobby said, “loose of mind”. She was being honored, and had to do q & a’s after her movies. She was magnificent. She said, "filmmakers don't care the way they used to, and dont make you care. i mean , who cares if the guy..whats his name...is ok at the end of the Descendants?"
It was odd lusting after her screen image, marveling the raw feminine beast she unleashed therupon, and watching her squirming to get comfortable in the front row seats, sipping a water, hunched down, hidden ….
Bobby couldn’t be entreated to expand upon his initial reaction, which was almost unheard of! Bobby is the guy to come to , to find out if a film is worth seeing, or to hear pontificate in perfect Queen’s English (with an Irish twist, ay!) upon the merits of anything he saw. Or to argue with him: a fate worse than female emasculation, I gotta warn you, boys…this postmodern Thoreau is no boyo to fuck with in any way.
“He felt as though his heart were a bomb, a complicated bomb that would result in a simple explosion, wrecking the world without rocking it.”â€• Nathanael West,
“I suppose you love Thoreau, yah?” I baited him.
“Yes I do.”
“I prefer Emerson, as you know.”
He would chuckle, and say, “As you prefer Whitehead and I, Russell, yes? “
Such gentleness in this man when unencumbered by either male or female trickery . I have always tried to teach him, in my mean vulgar foolish young man way. Not the way to go, I learned….i got my balls handed respectfully crushed back , if I attempted. So this time I said, wtf, I suppose this old boy got a lot to teach me since he has read more than I could in three lifetimes…might as well feed off his head….
A moveable feast, this old fucker’s mind. Also his cooking. He knows how to cook good vegan stuff, shit so good that your stomach sits up and says, now that is the thing. Your bowels ? His food is granted safe passage.
So I played sideman.
Teased him plenty. He loves that best, that old lion. I wonder if he has ever been lovingly teased….?
“jimmy, Thoreau did, Emerson wrote about it.”
Yeah well Bob, I cannot go out and about in “disguise” as you say you like to. I got a new hat at the beginning of this adventure, a straw hat that Bobby said made me look as if I “raise sugar cane south of the border” or belongs on “a riverboat gambler”.
Then today my dear sister L. , who met S . halfway to ferry me home, bought me another hat.
I got two nice hats now, but disguise is just fucking impossible so why even try…
“But whether he was happy or not was hard to say. Probably he was neither, just as a plant is neither.”
â€• Nathanael West
re women, here is my adult attitude, for now.....
"it was raining from the first /i was dying of thirst /so i came in here/but yer long time curse hurts/& whats worse is /
the pain in here"