The molly of pop culture: Serial podcast and other pop culture drugs….

This has been an exciting week of pop culture encounters–Wayne Coyne…Serial ending…movies…sadomasochism…books–I’m really high on it all. In fact I’ve been so overly stimulated with new things that I’ve been on the verge of nausea at times. Does that ever happen to you? You get so excited and overwhelmed and mentally racing that you feel motion sick? I literally have to take deep breaths and try to focus on only one thing at a time.

nightporterposterOn Monday night I attended an event called “Film Acoustics,” where a well known musician presents his/her favorite film to an audience and we watch the film then discuss. There was a small turnout to this first event; only around 50 people sitting in a very large old baroque style theater. The speaker was Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips, dressed in his standard tight and tattered suit, his hair wild and graying. He looked something like a Beckett character, which I find adorable. His movie was a strange 1974 film called The Night Porter. (It was reviewed negatively in 1975 by Roger Ebert and though I did like the film, I think I liked the idea of what it could have been and agree with Ebert’s review.)

Regardless, it makes for an odd night indeed to be sitting in a large, mostly empty, theater with darkened balconies and Wayne Coyne sitting so close behind you he’s practically breathing down your neck, watching on a large screen a Nazi and holocaust survivor engage in a sadomasochistic love affair that, well, can’t possibly end well. The discussion afterwards seemed to be dominated by, what I’ll loosely call “a gang,” of self described “intellectuals” and “graduates” who wanted to show off their German speaking/interpretation skills and refer to Wayne (yeah, I’d call him Wayne at this point) as “Mr. Coyne.” They would rattle on then, through much awkward hand motioning and nervous jargon, say “but Mr. Coyne is the authority and I defer to Mr. Coyne in this.” etc etc. One girl, a “painter” who assured us she’d had many worthwhile discussions on the topic of “paintings versus film,” wanted to know why paintings are never as popular or well loved as films. Or at least that’s what I thought she asked. My new BFF Wayne answered as if she asked why one becomes a painter or filmmaker instead of other things. And since we were deferring to “Mr. Coyne,” no one pushed the point. Wayne, of course, was very down to Earth, in speech if not in dress. He made some very good points about how as a creative person you need to just do “your thing” and not care about anything but “doing your thing.” Don’t create for others.

And this was only MONDAY!  I was (and still am) fresh off the high of this weekend’s library book sale (not to mention my over indulgence in cheesecake and chocolate pound cake).

On Tuesday and yesterday (Wednesday, as naturally follows Tuesday) I was completely absorbed in Barthelme and postmodernism. I ordered new books from the Barthelme 81 list. I read interviews online while texting with my husband about getting tickets to see commedian Maria Bamford and also tickets to see Lucinda Williams present HER movie choice, Wise Blood, at the next Film Acoustics. I researched plans for a winter snow tubing adventure. I read poems in the Evergreen Review from the ’60s.

Last night I watched a movie called Sunshine (2007) by Danny Boyle (who is brilliant) and thought it was a LOT better than Gravity and Interstellar. Yet, I’d never heard of it. Not that Danny Boyle is under-appreciated. The movie won awards and was a box office success. I’m just saying I managed to not hear of it, whereas I think I’d have to be on a spaceship on the sun to not have heard of Gravity or Interstellar. Though I’m not a rabid sci fi fan, I’ve realized I do love sci fi stories where there was this missing and failed first mission and the second mission comes upon the first mission or whatever and it is a bit mystery/crime solving or horror crossover. Like in The Thing. Alien. Etc.

Then today was the LAST EPISODE of SERIAL (the insanely popular podcast everyone is talking about, even me). So I started my day, eyes barely pulled apart and listened to every word, even the two minutes of “credits” at the end, hoping beyond hope for more…not wanting it to ever end. Even watching, and enjoying, the Funny or Die “final episode” spoof. But alas, Serial is done for now and it was a great ride. I guess I’ll have to go back to watching Dateline and I.D channel in order to get my true crime fix.

So I have tons of books around me….Beckett and Saul Bellow, and Flann O’Brien and dusty old college short story anthologies that I’ll finally bother to read some of the missed stories.

I have a documentary on Kurt Schwitters, one on Man Ray, and one on Marcel Duchamp to watch.

I have a new Mary J. Blige album to listen to.

I’m introducing myself to Lucinda Williams so I’ll know her music when I see her next month.

I have a short story to write. A novel to work on. A story to revise.

How the HELL can anyone EVER be bored? That’s a mystery to me.


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