Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Of Summer Movies and Pay Phones

It's been awhile since last I sat in a movie theater. I blame bedbugs and a total lack of funds. Back in the day, plays were the expensive thing that I rarely enjoyed, now it is movies. Although the prices haven't really gone up all that much. My absence has more to do with a crushing desire to avoid people. Not that I'm a misanthrope, although that seems to be in the mail. It's more about how the world has become idiosyncratic and odd in my absence. While electro-convulsive therapy, hospitalizations, pressured navel-gazing, and a barrage of drugs put me in my own little cosmic zip-lock bag, the world moved ahead (or something). And it is all very strange to me. Everyone is on a cell phone...every last person. When did that happen? It must have been between the time I was eating an English muffin at McLean's Hospital and the time I was eating a graham cracker in Cahill 4.

Look upon me! The countenance you see is not one of confusion, but instead a poker face that disguises nostalgic wonderment and white-hot irritation. If one more cell phone grasping boob sails into me at the market, it's going to be a wild scene. Enough is enough. Technology has given such weight to our worthless opinions (like blogs). A tool for paranoid parents to check in on annoyed children, busy sending pictures of their genitals to friends, strangers, potential employers, and possible lovers.

Enough of that. Age 39 is too young (isn't it?) to slap on rose-colored glasses and paen for things former and forgotten. And the modern world isn't all that bad. Pornography and cat videos are amply supplied, and Colbert has a really good show. Besides, the day will come (perhaps) when I will have to get a cell phone. Coin operated pay phones are disappearing, and their empty shells are mocking me with vigor. Not too long ago, my car sputtered and died, and I set out to find a pay phone. Every time one emerged on the road ahead, it was found to be mere post and glass case, with wires hanging out where a phone used to be. A voice upon the wind spoke to me, it said, "Get a fucking cell phone." Nuts.

Movies. Friends keep telling me about movies that I have not seen. Hollywood has squatted over the American landscape and pooped a rabid peacock of colorful, exciting films. The latest is Captain America, which everyone tells me is a fine diversion to mincing around the apartment. Unlike other summer movies, my disinclination to see Captain America is interpreted as some sort of political statement. One online friend asked if I would have rushed out to see Captain Comrade or Red Man, or something. Probably not, although Eugene V. Debs with laser vision would be so cool; Alien & Sedition Act, my ass!

The other movies I haven't seen: Super 8, Harry Potter & The Pile of Money, Horrible Bosses, Larry Crowne (I want to punch Tom Hanks in those fucking commercials), Transformers, Bad Teacher, et al. Nor have I seen the more "intellectual" cinema that my educated, somewhat narcissistic friends have recommended; Another Earth and Sarah's Key, for example.

Most upsetting to the fat bastard writing this nonsense is that I didn't see Double Indemnity, which was playing at the Somerville Theatre. Fudge-knuckles. Not that I haven't seen it 100 times before, but I wanted to see Fred McMurry and Edward G. Robinson on the big screen.

Happily, Nancy and I had our own little film festival; Adam's Rib, Long Day's Journey into Night, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, East of Eden, Woman of the Year, The Blob, All About Eve, Shanghai Express and a bunch of other old flicks. The price is right (NetFlix), and the company is superb. Not ringing cellphones. No babies (besides me).

My brother has invited me to see a movie this weekend, so I'll put on my fanciest jeans and cleanest shirt and step out into the magical world of sticky floors, mooks and diversion. And if someone answers a cell phone in the theater, he can bail me out of jail.

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