Thursday, April 20, 2017


If Knausgaard can do 5 pages a day, I can do 1.

All morning long I have been listening to the end of Karl Ove Knausgaard's “Man In Love.”

He writes five pages a day. How can I keep up with that shit? I can't even keep up with my own mind. Knausgard is living it, living literature. Not by trying to, but by writing about it and giving it that second extra layer, outside looking in. So yeah, Knausgaard. And it’s a great book. Man In Love. Stand alone great. The best account I know of of the vast difference between falling in love and staying in love. I mean from feeling it to not feeling it to learning to feel it in a deeper way. All the way to the end. Shit, Knausgaard. He really did it. Brought artifice to his life and vice versa. That book is a mother. I mean, the first one, about his childhood and the death of his father was good. It was good enough that it felt like my own memory by the end. And it also presages memories to come (of my dad dying.) And then there is a third layer, as it spins back out to history, and with Knausgaard''s idiosyncratic takes on art.

This is long winded. I’m not sure I have that much wind left.

So, this. I'm a few minutes into "War Dogs." Black screen with the words in white, "All the money is made between the lines" and the opening notes of the guitar riff to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" begins. Fills the air of the movie and of this room, simultaneously. Brings back 6th grade. The skating rink. And then, in a whole new way a few years ago, 2015 when I was following the new daily Banksy piece as part of his October residency.

(This writing is going to keep me alive. This and dancing. 1001 stories. Spare me, merciful King!) I’m going a little crazy. My head and arm are going numb. I’m not thinking quite as clearly as usual.

Still writing though, so… yeah, Banksy did this piece on Halloween in Soho, a giant grim reaper riding a bumper car around in a fenced cage in Lower East Side, with flashing lights and mayhem as “Don’t Fear The Reaper” blared on giant speakers. I stood against the fence in the cold with a dozen others and watched the little electric bumper car go around and around, the reaper flailing like a madman. I thought about the song, about death, about fear. I think I cried. Yes, I cried. It was on halloween!

Time to dance. Chuck Berry’s "Blues" album. All day. Feeling better.

Nada Gordon says on Facebook that she doesn’t go to poems for comfort or wisdom. It’s brave in a way. But bring me both.

Weirdness, ideas, words, electric vibrosis.

Chuck Berry all dayalong.

Sudden weird sense of self as weird version of Jason Segal’s weird version of David Foster Wallace in biopic as he is dancing in church basement.

“I want don’t you to work all day. I don’t want you to be my slave.
I don’t want you because I’m sad and blue. I just wanna make love to you...”

Chuck Berry just about sums it up.

Basic reasoning behind, "Money can't buy you love." Basic problem of the world.

Abrupt tone change. Weltanschauung shift.

Now Segal is making love to his Apatow buddy Jonah Hill. Because Jonah’s in War Dogs which started this whole rant. Fat awesome Jonah. That's the circular thought that brings me back around to the film. And to that brilliant piece of music by Blue Oyster Cult.

The black fades to a bald kid with a guitar, playing the song. He begins to sing, “All our times are done/ Here but now they're gone” The camera does a 180 and we see the audience, All ancient old people scowling. The kid is performing his twee version of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” at an elderly home.

Poor kid, the owner’s nephew it turns out, is now milk toast. Terrible song choice for a nursing home, but great choice for the movie, the way it conflates the awesome and pathetic. I’m already there.

It’s a poignant mise en scene joke. A perfect commentary and set up for the following scene. Sums up why the movie is good.

More dancing. Got all the way there with Berry’s “All Aboard.” So glad I got to hear that song before I die. Before other planets discover it (via space probe.)

Berry knew he was competing with Beethoven, but there’s no comparison. What 16 year old would rather listen to mad king Ludwig "go go go?" Teenagers are here to stay.

Ah jeez. Maybe I’ll put on Beethoven next.  Yes, the piano sonatas. Roll over, Chuck Berry.  

But first let’s listen to Chuck Berry one more time. While we pick up the house
And turn it around.

I like the way Keith Richards puts it... “out in the woods, where the Chuck Berries grow.”

Berry is number 27, as he says in his final interview, "and Muddy Waters was number 26." By that rubric
The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix are all number 28.

None of them could pop that weird voodoo rock and roll swing note like he could though. Maybe Hendrix.

Back to the old folks home. It’s the kid, trying to make money off selling high thread count egyptian sheets. But lizard skin doesn’t need to be wrapped in cashmere. So he has to find something sexier: Enter fat awesome Jonah Hill and gun running.

Skip the rest of the movie.

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