A friend once told me during a drunken talk session that the secret to being a good writer is to do it like Ray Bradbury
: As soon as you get up, sit there and write whatever pops into your head. Bradbury apparently wrote Farenheit 451
, Something Wicked this Way Comes
, and The Veldt
I can't argue with that. So as I write this, I haven't done a single thing with my day yet, except get up to take the morning piss.
I'll leave in a minute to procure some of the holy colombian brown bean--mixed with unhealthy levels of cream and brown suger--but for the moment, I'm just writing.
Thus explaining the UHF style writing incoherence, if you're wondering. Good grammer and proper spelling prowess goes out the window this early. (Ray Bradbury also rewrote his stuff several times, which I don't have time to do today. But I understand the vitalness of getting that mental VIBE down on paper. Or a forum. Therefore...here we go.)
I'm going to share a secret with you. It is known that I am a geek. I have a shitload of comics, books, movies and computer paraphenalia at my house, in my car, and most importantly IN MY HEAD at all times. I can tell which issue of Uncanny X-men was the one where Rogue nearly killed Wolverine with the kiss at the Pentagon or what Clark Kent's social security number is. I know Robert Ludlum writes the best action sequences in the world, but George R. R. Martin probably has the stranglehold on writing about medievil politcal intrigue, and in the world of erotica the name Nancy Svenning means you're going to pop a chubby reading her stuff unless you're impotent...
And I know movies. I've seen movies that range in quality from the sublime to the simply hideous. And I've loved them all.
I've been wanting to go to a film festival recently, something like Quentin Tarantino's annual show in Austin, where he shows genre movies from ages past in themed night theatre binges...where you can drink beer and eat blue cheeseburgers while watching Walking Tall or Dawn of the Dead in a surround sound holocaust of brutal imagery. In such an envirement, I would thrive.
But I Cannot. Those film festivals are all far away, and I am stuck doing some of the most intense work of my life on this fucking house.
So, when I am not working, I have begun having my own film festivals...culled not from Immaculate 35mm prints like Quentin, but from the back lots of Hastings Entertainment.
I had a job where I repaired video tapes, and then watched them to make sure they're working.
You're not supposed to watch the WHOLE movie, just fast forward, check, fast forward, check...blah blah blah.
I watch the WHOLE movie. Fuck it, it's compensation for the shit pay.
So in a given week, I probably watched twenty movies I had never seen. When I'm working on the house, I watch another twenty, because I go to the store and stock up on 49 cent rentals, and then have them going while I paint, chalk, chop, sand, hammer, pry and tamper.
This week was John Wayne Week.
You can, if you so choose, watch every John Wayne movie ever made for about fifteen dollars at the local video superstore. This is what I've been doing. This is why I'm going somewhat nuts.
Last night I watched "The Alamo", "warwagon", and "Rooster Cogburn" while I was working. I suppose I should say half-watched--I WAS working, after all.
Listening to the Duke pontificate while you're doing basic carpentry is soothing on some level I had never imagined. I felt more like an American during those moments than I have ever felt in my entire life. When I got my first truck, and my Dad helped me wax it while we were listening to the Beach Boys, I was an American THEN...but it doesn't have the cultural memory injection that having John Wayne give a "This is it boys, The Point of No Return" Pep Talk to you while you're hammering down 4-inch stud nails does...
So. All day with the Duke. A christmas tradition in some parts of the country, and I can see why. John Wayne was THE American Way for us. He was everything that was STRONG and VITAL about our country. He was our BEST ATTITUDES, up on the Screen.
Listen sometime to the speech Wayne gives about the Meaning of the Word Repulbic in "The Alamo." or, In the same movie, the speech he gives about Finally having a Cause worth Fighting for. These are the things that are at the Core of America...
John Wayne hit that shit in a way nobody could...If you were a bad guy needing to be taken down a peg or two--he'd KNOCK YOUR ASS OUT. If you were a damsel in need of some help--HE'D HELP YA, DAMNED IF HE WOULDN'T. Need a man to stand with ya to the end--WHEN THE CHIPS'RE DOWN, I'LL BE THERE, PILGRIM.
In real life, John Wayne wasn't like this. Although it's been said repeatedly that Wayne was the same person off screen as On Screen...Well, he said some really racist shit in his famous Playboy interview...so that kinda dulls his image...
He atoned for it. Asked for forgiveness, in Public. Said he was Sorry for what he'd said. I dunno. That sounds like maybe he meant it.
The thing I was going to talk about originally was that Last Night I had a Brain-Movie, and It starred John Wayne. That is to say: I saw so much of John Wayne over the last few days that I fucking dreamed a Movie with Him In it when I went to sleep.
A John Wayne Brain-movie. Friends: There was a mixture of Every Western, Every Action Movie, and Every Juicy bit of Dialogue I have ever seen in that.
Roland of the Dark Tower was Mixed with "The Wild Bunch" and "The Magnificent Seven".
Shakespearean Overtones of Tragedy, comedy. A message amongst the story of cosmic import.
I could go on and on, but this movie even had a fucking title, in my dream.
Jesus. It sounds utterly ridiculous, doesn't it? It is.
But it was the coolest dream I have had in my entire life. I was MOVED by it. I was CRYING from it. I was hoping against hope that the Hero would win the day against the impossible odds, Get the Girl, and ride off into the Technicolor Sunset.
It was Fucking Great.
But I'm not going to write about that, because my dreams are just dreams. And all it means is that I watched too many John Wayne Movies yesterday.
But you know something?
I'm doing the same today.