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Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 21, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022
The one thing that does rankle me, though, is that the obituary I found for him online completely erases any mention of his first marriage (the one to my mother), and while his survivors are listed, I am not among them. I suppose I should not be in way surprised, as the man actively worked to erase all evidence of his existence prior to the divorce from my mother (save for his acknowledgement of my older half-sister who was born to another mother some seven years before I debuted), something I discovered when I had lunch with my my younger half-sister some fifteen years ago when she tracked me down via the internet after not having seen me since she was three. She told me because she was shocked to see the photo album that I brought with me during the lunch where we met up when she was an adult. She had never seen even one photo of him from before he married her mother, so my erasure is part and parcel for the life he re-imagined himself into. In short, my dad basically erased all evidence of his life prior to his second marriage, starting as far back as 1976, but my existence and presence remained an inconvenient anchor to a relationship that he never wanted to be in in the first place. And I was a disappointment by not being the fantasy son that he wanted, and if he could have he would have started over while completely forgetting the child he sired in a relationship he felt forced into by parental pressure. He started over with his new wife and kids and reinvented himself as a sepia Caucasian, a case of denial and self-loathing the like of which I have never seen.
My favorite story of my dad, if I can even call it that... No. It's more of an anecdote that perfectly outlined his character: According to my mother, early in my parents' marriage, it was apparent that things were not working out, and my mom, being the old school southern gal that she is, suggested that they go back to the church and see if that would help them. (Mom was raised in a strict Episcopalian household, and her religious programming persists to this day.) Hearing this, dad reportedly responded with "You don't need church. I am your god." (Having lived with the man for the first ten years of my life, I absolutely believe he said that.) When mom told me that, I said "If I were you and he said that to me, I would have immediately bailed." Mom just looked at me with sad eyes and a weary expression and simply said "I wasn't that strong then."
As for any deeper expression of feelings I may have on the matter of Oscar's passing, they may eventually come, but right now I am just numb. I came to terms with my inner demons regarding him, demons that I sought to drown with booze and drugs for far too long, and since then I have been at peace with all that went down. I survived is what matters, and if anything, his legacy to me was a carved in stone example of what NOT to be as a spouse and as an influence on children. That said, the man that his second wife and kids lived with and knew was a complete reinvention of the man that my mother and I knew, so perhaps he found some measure of happiness in a family of his own choosing.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
The day has finally come when the Regal Court Street Stadium 12, more recently the Regal UA Court Street, dimmed its lights for the final time, and I cannot say I'm really all that shocked. The 12-screen multiplex in downtown Brooklyn was a management disaster and the audiences there were sometimes nightmarish. Seeing animated films there was the worst, because ghetto parents used it as an excuse to let their kids run around unsupervised while they sat back and got their drink on while devouring Popeye's (from the one a few doors up the street) and littering the floor with its bones and boxes. After my experience of seeing Ratatouille there, a cartoon that isn't a kid's movie at all, I swore off seeing animated films anywhere other than an arthouse like the Film Forum.
Probably my most cherished memory of the place and its annoying audiences was when I saw STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES with my lover at the time. We were seated to the right of an overweight, bespectacled guy in his mid-thirties who kept his gaze locked on the screen while saying aloud to himself, but which all present could not help but hear, comments like "And THAT...is why he is a MASTER...of THE DARK SIDE," and my favorite, when Yoda whipped out his lightsaber: "And NOW...You shall see why he is called...THE MASTER." He threw out comments like that from the start of the film to the end (when he stood up, thrust both fists into the air and whopped "WHOO-HOO!!!") and it was simultaneously annoying and hilarious. I don't know if the guy was just socially awkward or on the spectrum or what, but I swear to whatever gods there may be, I would give my left arm for his commentary to accompany the film's DVD as an extra.
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME was my last movie there. I went by myself a couple of weeks back and found the place damned near deserted, so it was obvious that the end was approaching. That said, for my money, as a theater, it was pretty much the most palatable of the mainstream Joe Sixpack ones I've been to in Brooklyn during my 25 years living here. It was convenient to get to and, if you caught a movie with a civilized audience (a rare occurrence), it could be quite pleasant.
Requiescat en pace, Court Street Stadium 12. If you ran more exploitation films, you would be remembered as a solid grindhouse.
Thursday, January 13, 2022
I'm gearing up for my mom's 89th birthday, which is next week, and along with some culinary goodies — four quality fillets of catfish (frozen for transport), an excellent Cajun fish breading, and the promise of a meal at the excellent Westfair Fish and Chips (provided they are open for dining and not just takeout — I happened upon this big doll of Plastic Man and had to get it for her.
My mother is a first generation superhero fan, having been born five years before the debut of Superman (the OG superhero), and when she was a kid her favorites were Wonder Woman and Plastic Man. She has a sort of shrine to Wonder Woman in her entertainment media room, but she has no representation for Plas, largely because most of the figures of him suck. I mean, let's face it, his powers are among the most visual out there, and they do not translate as a solid toy, but I figured something of this scale would be a striking addition to her collection. It has a jaunty animated look, modeled as it is after how Plas looks on the JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION cartoon, and his neck elongates, which is better than nothing.
Anyway, the point is that now my mom will have Plastic Man. Even if she just displays him in the box, at least he will be present.
Just thought of something: Considering how ROADHOUSE (1989) ends, the citizens of Jasper, Missouri could have simply murdered uber-asshole crime boss Brad Wesley at the get-go, instead of hiring Dalton as the Double Deuce's cooler. That simple act of singular homicide would have saved several lives and untold millions in property damage. But then I guess the movie would be only two minutes long, so there you go...
Hedorah, aka the Smog Monster, from GODZILLA VERSUS HEDORAH (1971). Basically, an anthropomorphic mass of the foulest diarrhea imaginable.
One of the many downsides of late stage kidney failure is being forced to go on phosphorus blockers, as phosphorus is detrimental to one's system (as one's kidneys are no longer able to process it) and the stuff is in damned near everything we consume. In my case, I have to take horse-choker Auryxia pills, two with every meal as prescribed, but for me it's four, because the prescribed dose is not effective on me. (The upped dose is doctor-approved.) It greatly reduces my body's phosphorus level, but the unfortunate side-effect is that it does bad things to one's...leavings. In short, it turns your doody black, and accompanies that with an unholy redolence the like of which would hold one of Lovecraft's Elder Gods at bay from our plane of reality. The foulness is truly diabolical, and it requires three simultaneous sticks of burning incense to exorcise it.
Ah, life's rich pageantry...
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
The other day I noted Jennifer Beals turning up on THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, and in the wake of that I was reminded of a poster of Beals that I bought during the height of her FLASHDANCE popularity. I liked it because it wasn't the same movie poster image of her that was inescapable during 1983, plus she was the rare Café au lait gorgeous chick to get the spotlight, so I snagged the poster for my collection. That said, I totally forgot about it until just now and I recalled that it's around here somewhere, rolled up in one of my many tubes of posters. Whenever I can finally afford a large living space in which I can put together my own museum/gallery, this might get framed as a monument to the era in which I came of age.
Saturday, January 08, 2022
Last night I had a dream in which I was part of the throng that was admitted to a secret free sneak preview of a new movie. As we were admitted, we were told that part of the deal was that was had to sit through the entirety of the film, and the doors to the auditorium would be locked to ensure that we sat through the whole thing. Along with a crowd that included several people that I know, I settled in with a tub of popcorn and waited for the lights to dim. After a number of arthouse trailers — nearly always a bad sign — the film finally started. The opening titles said it all:
Asymmetrical Productions Presents:
BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD
At the sight of this the audience began to murmur amongst itself, and some of us thought it was a joke along the lines of the phony credits at the beginning of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. But no. In no time we realized that we were to be subjected to a three-and-a-half-hour experimental black-and-white live-action iteration of the Mike Judge cartoon series that was set on a sound stage featuring minimalist set dressing, with a soundtrack of loud industrial noises.
After about five minutes, the audience attempted to leave but, as previously stated, all exits were locked, so there was no escape. As the film dragged on, the audience became irate and began lobbing cups of soda, buckets of popcorn, hot dogs, candy, anything that wasn't nailed down at the screen, but those siege efforts were foiled by a cleverly-disguised shield that protected the screening's backdrop.
As the audience reached a fever pitch, I awoke from my dream, disappointed because I wanted to see how it all came out. That, and I wanted to see how Lynch would handle the Great Cornholio. Alas...