Thursday, March 27, 2008

Today, Tomorrow And Yesterday

Tomorrow’s post is going to be something special for the occasion.

Tomorrow’s post will be short. I wrote it yesterday morning. It will be short, but it summarizes my feelings about life in general and this blog in particular. And it’s about monsters, so it’s not wildly off-topic for a change!


Before I get to tomorrow, however, I want to revisit two very recent posts.


Just a few days ago, back on Monday, I wrote:

Although I try pretty darn hard to have as few
of the seven characteristics of a supervillain as possible,
just like Lex, the supervillain on Smallville,
I still manage, damn it, to push away
everybody who tries to be my friend

I wish this were not true.

In fact, in my whole life, of all the subjunctives I’ve banged my stupid head against, this one is the hardest, this one hurts the most.

I won’t forget. Nope. Won’t even try to forget.

I won’t forget for two good reasons:

First, lucky people get a second chance, and when they screw up that second chance, really lucky people get a third, fourth or even fifth chance to try and get things right. If I’m one of those really lucky people, if I get a completely undeserved third, fourth or even fifth chance to get things right, I want to remember all the stupid things I’ve done and I want to remember all the wonderful, cool things my mistakes cost me.

Second, even if the people in my present life sail off beyond the horizon, out of sight forever, I will meet new people in the future. Any stupidity I can spare them by remembering what I did in the past can only help.

So, no, I’m not going to forget. I’m not going to try to forget.


Last week Friday I posted:

The title of this painting by Karen Kilimnik is “Chloe (from Blood on Satan’s Claw).” It is an oil on canvas work from 1996 that was shown in an exhibit called “Facing Reality: The Seavest Collection of Contemporary Realism Exhibition” at the Neuberger Museum of Art.

This is an oil painting of an unknown actress playing a bit part in an obscure film. (The film “Blood on Satan’s Claw,” 1971, doesn’t list a ‘Chloe’ in the credits.) Does the process of Kilimnik singling out this image and calling our attention to it in an oil painting make a statement about something? Old movies? Unknown actresses?

Is there a point to this?

Yesterday afternoon I was reading Andy Warhol’s autobiography. A passage made me think about how Kilimnik made use of that fleeting, lost moment from a fleeting, lost film.

Warhol wrote:

I always like to work on leftovers, doing the leftover things. Things that were discarded, that everybody knew were no good, I always thought had a great potential to be funny. It was like recycling work. I always thought there was a lot of humor in leftovers. When I see an old Esther Williams movie and a hundred girls are jumping off their swings, I think of what the auditions must have been like and about all the takes where maybe one girl didn’t have the nerve to jump when she was supposed to, and I think about her left over on the swing. So that take of the scene was a leftover on the editing-room floor—an out-take—and the girl was probably a leftover at that point—she was probably fired—so the whole scene is much funnier than the real scene where everything went right, and the girl who didn’t jump is the star of the out-take.

I’m not saying that popular taste is bad so that what’s left over from the bad taste is good: I’m saying that what’s left over is probably bad, but if you can take it and make it good or at least interesting, then you’re not wasting as much as you would otherwise. You’re recycling work and you’re recycling people, and you’re running your business as a by-product of other businesses. Of other directly competitive businesses, as a matter of fact. So that’s a very economical operating procedure. It’s also the funniest operating procedure because, as I said, leftovers are inherently funny.

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

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This is post #499.

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