this is the perfect place to get jumped

Month: March, 2015

like sunday, like rain critical analysis

i can spoil this movie with just three words: no blowjob scene. (you’d think that after five years of rewrites, and a $1,000,000 budget, autocratic actor/director frank whaley would have spotted his script’s missing piece.)

synopsis: eleanor, a girl too pretty for her poor family, leaves home to pursue the lifestyle of a brooklyn musician’s girlfriend. when the couple break up she spitefully breaks her bf dennis’s guitar by tossing it out of the window of their shared apartment. in desperation he smashes a glass when he confronts her at work, and gets her fired as unintentional retribution. in minutes eleanor lucks from homeless and unemployed to live-in nanny for reggie, a wealthy, prodigious musical youth with stereotypical taste in classical everything. (just once i’d like a prodigious movie youth with unconventional taste in noise, hermann nitsch and motocross.) for the last two acts she spends a boring summer impressed by reggie’s staid conversations as they slowly fall in love, and in the end she chooses to move back to appalachia to work as a waitress while her father dies, and doesn’t give reggie any farewell head.

today’s indy movies are a commercial byproduct of the film industrial complex, and operate under executive guidelines that promote the status quo in attempts to earn very slow money. but like sunday, like rain was written like a get-rich-quick scheme: a famous enough cast and a straightforward premise with complete disregard for exploring its unintended taboo. for any serious investor this production was a trap, but for those with a vague interest in movies and a real interest in stultifying a filmmaker’s vision by exerting their dominance in a realm where they have no understanding, there isn’t even much imagination to stultify; the script wasn’t neutered because it never had balls.

as i watched the trailer my eyes welled up with pavlovian tears of embarrassment, just as they did in the days of open mic at the college co-op. my dearly personal memories of those locations (alder manor, snug harbor, the school with the dead turtles floating in the tank) were soiled by the tacky dialogue that poor leighton was much too pretty to say. i paused the trailer for a paper towel break, and couldn’t force myself to finish it.

inexcusable was frank’s ruthless behavior on set. nobody needed to rage quit, nobody needed to cry, nobody needed to miss homeschooling, nobody needed to lose sleep or become vertiginous with work related strain. some of the crew members were recent transplants from matthew barney’s infamous river of fundament, the six-hour diarrhea art musical. even given the clout of that director, the maxim of production always remains the same: a job is a job. doesn’t matter if the film is groundbreaking or anodyne, the crew always deserves respect. with human shit a daily hero’s prop on the set of river of fundament, i’ll wager the crew would still prefer to work for barney than take frank’s shit.

i am still extremely grateful to have experienced the thrill of working on a meaningless indy, as demonstrated by my thorough ramblings here, here and here. (week four’s notes are written in tongues.) i made some friends i never saw again, some friends i rarely see, some friends that i haven’t seen yet but know they are still out there somewhere, and some friends i hope never to see or hear from again. i got to goof off, drive a truck, talk shit, get yelled at and leave sets with trays of free chicken. the money i made as a driver PA was definitely not worth the effort i was forced to exert, (my paycheck after an 80 work week was $500 before taxes, and there were some interns that worked for free) but the memories still haunt me in the best ways:

on one occasion i was lucky enough to witness the real life bonding of co-stars: while locking up (locking up: production term for temporarily disallowing pedestrian traffic to preserve the authenticity of the shot) the foot path in riverside park a man on a bike became irate. “…and what exactly is the name of this film?” he demanded, his gruffness forcing me to shrink back into my shell. “ugh…like sunday….like rain….” i croaked, embarrassed, knowing that my answer was a set he was eager to spike. “well,” he said, puffing his chest arrogantly, “your film is raining on my fucking sunday!” shocked by his rudeness and defending the youth of her costar, leighton held nothing back. “hey! there are children present!” she screamed as the bike douche rolled past me, ruining the shot and forcing AD cecily to scream at me over walkie bc frank screamed at her on set.

production people need to chill, and not the type of imitation friendliness they use to greet complete strangers like lost childhood friends…they need to actually chill because at the end of the stress and the exhaustion and the abuse and the meager paycheck this movie is the outcome.

my 2nd banned Yelp review

all YELP reviews are biased in favor of the reviewer, but, according to their rigorous guidelines, it is only the reviews that “appear” to be written by disgruntled ex-employees that deserve to be banned. (my integrity has no limits; i admit my bias before i admit that i “worked” at mominette.) if i was an actual employee, i can promise i would have written a scathing diatribe on glassdoor.com. YELP holds itself in too high a regard.

as always, please decide for yourself:

“Hi Jonathan,

We wanted to let you know that we’ve removed your review of Mominette. Our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) because it appears you were an employee of the business you reviewed.

We hope you will continue to participate on Yelp while keeping our Content Guidelines in mind.

Removed Content:

‘my bias began two years ago when i wasn’t hired after working through a five hour brunch shift on a snowy st. patrick’s day. i was paid thirty dollars cash, an order of eggs benedict, bottomless coffee and some special habanero taquitos that the bored chefs made without solicitation, piling them onto a plate and urging me to “eat more” every time i passed it.

when management informed me one week later via lengthy, apologetic text that they “couldn’t fit me on the schedule” i spitefully avoided the place, which proved difficult because i live around the corner, and all of my roommates had begun flings with the bartenders.

ashley became addicted to momi’s vegetable lasagna and i accompanied her on these drunken dinners, sipping tap water as she hit on the bartender with the ponytail, who offered us free desserts for being sexy/loyal customers.

as management shifted from the brittle haired douche with the phony accent and a new girlfriend every week to the bald french men who spent last wednesday night in my living room playing my records at 3am as ashley sobbed and listed the worst qualities of her ex-bf, my irritation with momi softened.

mollica invited me to dinner in our hood, and texted me from his seat at mominette, which prompted my involuntary groan both because of my bias, and because he didn’t give me a chance to select another option. i arrived late and ordered only after mollica and adam both received their pork chop and burger, respectively. i talked and ordered the duck hash while mollica ate and listened. (silence is always an indicator of enjoyment.) adam engaged me in conversation and at the end of the meal admitted that his burger “wasn’t anything special.”

when the waiter took my order for duck hash he warned me that it was “very light.” i appreciated his honesty, although i assumed as much because it is listed under appetizers. i informed him that i didn’t mind it’s lightness so long as it was delicious.

my duck hash arrived in a the shape of a can of pinto beans, with a circular, organic fried egg sitting at its apex. because the duck came shredded (the same shape as lo mein beef) the texture of the bird’s flesh was lost on me. I did feel some of the ends of the duck shreds were crisp, but the mash of potato that served as the bed for the duck was overwhelming. the darkness of the dining room also capped my ability to savor everything, since i couldn’t see what i was eating, and my phone died mid-photo. it’s a superficial criticism to ask for more meat but i love to eat ducks and could have used a few more shreds tbh.

only a bone remained on mollica’s empty plate. he owes me $5 bc momi doesn’t accept credit cards (its written in tiny print at the bottom of the menu).’

Regards,

N.”

accepting reality and making changes

while locked in a stinky underground cage surrounded by rash, dangerous men for hopping a turnstile in one of the most progressive cities in the world last thursday, i have come to the verifiable conclusion that the nypd are a bloated and useless institution of sensitive and uneducated bullies.

if only to distance my mind from the unfortunate reality of the criminal justice system and the prison industrial complex my lifestyle has been hedonistically curated around writing five page soap operas, working freelance jobs in a glamorous industry, and attending semi-exclusive parties with varieties of designer drugs for sale. but when confronted with the first phase of systematic life destruction and welling up with tears at mere hour 10, i am forced to examine my actions, and the actions of the police, as a lesson in civics and policy:

after i finished my bottle of Smirnoff and bought some ‘za to soak it up responsibly i took a giant step over the turnstile with the litheness of a ballerina and made eye contact with two short, stocky men in polyester blue suits at the base of the stairs. when they greeted me like a bully after my change on the lunch line i stood my ground and responded with drunkard’s confidence that i would like to receive my ticket. bc the cop’s authority (not his safety) was threatened, my savory pizza crust was slapped from my mouth, and my soft wrists met the cold steel of the law.

i laughed at the officer while they routinely inspected my crotch for drugs because i didn’t have work until the following evening, and because being lighthearted in the midst of an aggressor’s wrath is my satyagraha for making them feel inconsequential.

for the two hours i was in the custody of my arresting officers i was called bro more times than all of my four years on the jv wrestling team. they asked me why i jumped over the turnstile (i was clearly drunk) instead of asking me why i thought i was arrested (im shocked that this is a misdemeanor/the officers are pussies).

my drunken ass was more articulate than my sober arresting officers; they garbled every sentence over eight words. the topics i did parse from overhearing their friendly conversations to one another all regarded sports, clash of clans, and where/when they were going to eat next.

when i was finally seated in my cell’s only remaining corner i thought about how the police probably drink lemonade with their pizza, and in the backs of their mind believe in the illuminati…and how they gleefully accept the excuse that COs give inmates, slandering them as liars to disguise the fact that they don’t know anything about the law they enforce…and how the men who probably considered those formative hs years to be their best have never entertained thoughts of a higher education yet are awarded with a cushy career intimidating the public without repercussion.

this is a reality worth weeping for.

a laughable ny post article from last year about “new york’s biggest gang,”(besides the nypd) asserts that there are “525 confirmed members” of a gang called The Mac Baller Brims, (ive never heard of them either) whose stray bullets have “claimed at least five innocent bystanders” since 2006, and “dominate Rikers Island, where they control the contraband and decide who lives and dies.” reading between the lines offers a perspective without spin: gang violence usually involves other gang members, and if an unfortunate bystander is killed the gang members are eventually sentenced to hell island where they are mistreated for eternity and still manage to kill their own and sell drugs. if the biggest gang in nyc is 525 confirmed members in the boonies of the outer boros, why are there “34,000 uniformed police officers patrolling New York’s streets, and 51,000 employees overall — more than the FBI” ?

at least gangs in new york provided the streets with black market goods and respected their leadership. the nypd only knows how to take, and publicly disrespects the mayor, their commander-in-chief. if the troops don’t turn their backs on the president for sending them away from their families to die in an occupied country, why would police turn their backs on a mayor who lets them sit in a car, eating fast food into OT?

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“gang violence,” the war on drugs, the war on terror, etc. are all veils that force the public into consent for a police state, with propaganda campaigns to support this fear of “terror” that can be seen and heard on the subways everyday. propaganda is slick, and reflects the marketing techniques of the times; do not expect it to resemble the Soviet Cold War propaganda that was identified in elementary school. expect it to resemble entertainment about capturing child molesters.

becoming a voice of dissent begins by writing on my little blog and making public a record of the fraudulence of the police force; becoming part of the community and peacefully resisting authority is the second step.

upon my return to the precinct where my belongings were held overnight i gave my voucher to an officer with slicked hair behind the desk. i was told to take a seat, bro as the man ignored my voucher to tell his bored  colleague a long winded story about an off-duty driving incident sans punchline. i rolled my eyes and paced the precinct nervously until another officer told me, can you please sit down and relax bro? the officer with the slicked hair disappeared, and after five minutes of relaxing another one of the numerous unengaged officers noticed me, apologized for the wait and quickly fetched my belongings.

my turnstile hop in view of the precinct was butter smooth, and i smirked unmolested on the ride home.

happens every time

(a sun was peaking above the tips of the granaries, the sky a fade of flaxen ash. water dripped sparkling grey into sewers, draining beneath the street’s surface. industrial tubes of green, red and yellow crisscrossed against the sky in all directions.)

jeansunrise

i was giving corinne a ride home in my forklift. as we witnessed the illumination of the streets she became obsessed with my ass. she slid her hand slowly down my back and dragged her open palm across it, moving her face towards my cheeks and nuzzling against my jean shorts. she caressed and fondled my ass as i operated the lift, imploring me to fart for her. i was requisitely tumescent without her touching my cock, and very enthusiastic to get us home, but the forklift could only move so fast.

her apartment was a cozy bed and breakfast nestled between warehouses, and on its porch were two rocking chairs facing the street, a matted quilt hanging over the banister. corinne hopped off the lift and waited for me to park it in front.

she stood waiting quietly on the sidewalk with her arms at her sides. i approached softly, hesitated, then reached underneath her sweater and caressed her torso, gliding my hands across her breasts and down her hips. without forewarning she pushed away from me and took off up the stairs, slamming her front door. when the drape in the bay window of her cozy cottage finally settled i meekly started my forklift and drove down the wet cobblestone streets, in the direction of the sunrise.