Friday, October 9, 2009

Tom Waits is nicer and more existential than me.

Deciding on just the right slutty Halloween costume is time-consuming, you guys, and sometimes I get so frustrated that I just need a break. That's when I look at the Internet, which lately seems to have a flood of information about upcoming cinematic experiences.

Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits (2 of my OG weird-old-white-man crushes!) just did a Times Online interview about
Doctor Parnassus - that Heath Ledger movie that Gilliam is directing and that Waits has a role in - and goddammit if these dudes aren't a dynamite comic duo. I had no idea! Tony Blair killing people, Tom being the perfect person to play the devil (I know what you're thinking, but Slutty Devil is so '05), the fact that reality is overrated, and when they're releasing Blackout! 3. These dudes got so much trouble/On their minds.

Somehow the conversation turns to politics, and TG captures my heart forever when he reveals he's given up his US citizenship and describes Republicans as shameless, brutal, knife-wielding hyenas! Direct quote! Marry me, Terry Gilliam!
He also reminds us all that once there was a wacky fake Texas cowboy who came in and roared his terrible roars and gnashed his terrible teeth and rolled his terrible eyes and showed his terrible claws for 8 horrendous years (in between vacations in Crawford, of course), and then broke the fuck out.

Gilliam: Obama has been given this poisoned chalice. He’s got four years to fix the economy, turn everything around, make the world a wonderful place — good luck. Isn’t it amazing how George Bush has just vanished? Not a peep. It’s like he disappeared.

Waits:I think the real problem was what Bush really wanted in life was to be the Commissioner of Baseball, and the job was not available. We all have a thousand parallel lives that could have been our lives, had we made different decisions along the way. We’re at the crossroads every day.

Leave it to Tom "Too amazing to be human" Waits to make Bush, uh, sympathetic? Slightly? And they said it could not be done! Bush, while always equaling evil and stupid in the course of human history, was also a guy whose dream in life was not impossible and was pretty damn within reach considering family ties and a big fat bank account, and he just couldn't make it happen. Politics and evildoing aside, we're only human so don't we feel for somebody who's always lamenting what could have been? (Yes. Yes we do.) On the Liberal Scale, Tom is somewhere between Chomsky and Tim Robbins, so his ability to size up the hopes and dreams of W in a calm and compassionate way is quite a feat. Plus this whole parallel lives concept is pretty grand, headtrip-wise. It makes me think about life, corny Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, the past's hold on us, and this* opposed to my usual thoughts of bathing suits, how I can somehow meet Lee Perry, and the Stiletto break.

Joe Tex - “I'm a Man.” Because he's a better Texan than George W. And a better man than George W. But then, so am I. Who isn't, really.


*The past is not only that which happened,
but also that which could have happened but did not.

- Tess Gallagher*

[Side note - in one of Raymond Carver's books his dedication to Tess, his wife, went simply:

“Tess, Tess, Tess, Tess.”

That's how it's done, gentlemen. And unsurprising for Carver, a guy whose exemplary life basically went: drink drink drink, master the unpretentious writing style, find yourself a good woman, and check out before your body starts to show signs of wear. Swoon.]

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