June 8th, 2001


(no subject)

June 7, 2001

Reprinted without permission, from a reader:

"This is your dealie, write what you want, but I have a few suggestions. How in holy hell is this supposed to be therapeutic or even interesting if you don't put some of yourself into it? Talk about your friends and family for fuck's sake. Talk about what you're thinking about, talk about EVERYTHING!!! If you're not having fun with it, then neither is anyone else, then what's the point? If you just put words on a page, you might as well just masturbate on a copy of Hamlet for fuck's sake. At least that would be interesting, and clever art as well."

(I say, deliver me from clever art.)

I turn the question back on you readers? Am I uninteresting? More specifically, is what I'm writing here uninteresting? Am I, in applying the controls I have mentioned previously, cheating you, the reader out of a genuine experience? Let me know at hvconstat9@aol.com (one entry per person, please).

This also raises another question: what I'm a trying to get out of this? At the moment, I'm not sure. I suppose getting thoughts out of my head and on paper would help retard my headlong rush toward madness and bad prose, whether I was putting them up for public view or not. What do I get from putting them up for public view? Comment. A sense of importance, knowing people are reading what I'm writing. Maybe even a three-picture development deal at Miramax, I'm still hammering that one out. I'd like for people to want to read this because they're interested in what I may have to say, not just because they're friends or acquaintances. Is my content interesting enough to merit this? Who knows, this is only day four.

Writing about my family…. I could mention the strong resentment I'm beginning to feel toward my father, w/r/t his various infirmities and the strains they place on my life. (The primary strain being placed is this: because I have to stay home and play nurse/chauffeur/maid, my job search is hampered. (BACKGROUND: Anybody in the Chicago area need a PC Technician? Or a freelance movie critic?) My unemployment insurance is on its last legs, so I need a job if I'm going to continue to, like, eat, and read, and stuff.

Beyond that…there's not much to tell. I peer-pressured a friend into buying a DVD player (subliminal plug: why don't YOU have a DVD player yet? It's running neck-and-neck with oxygen as Greatest Thing Ever). That brings up a larger thought: what is the purpose of self-denial? On a financial level, I can understand how it makes sense, sure. But finance alone is not a good enough reason to practice self-denial. Be good to yourself, dammit!

Oy. That was touchy-feely. I'll try to stop.

Saw "Amores Perros" ("Love's A Bitch"), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu today. If you've heard of it, it was probably because it was one of the four contenders for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards that got steamrolled by (the superior) "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". "AP" is a story of life in Mexico, told, more or less, in three vignettes. Yes, there are echoes of "Pulp Fiction" and, to a lesser extent, "Magnolia". But Iñárritu is skillful enough to leave fingerprints on the work that are definitely his own. "AP" addresses class, vanity, politics, and love, and does so with a fairly deft touch. If you can find it in a theatre near you, I would recommend seeing "AP" if you have an interest in truly contemporary foreign film. (Sour note: the film does drag a bit in the third act.) Keep an eye on Iñárritu in the future; you're likely to be well rewarded.

(There. That should silence, briefly, those who thought me low/no-brow for seeing "The Animal".)

Gonna close tonight with some Illinois politics. (Those of you outside of Illinois, or without an interest in politics may skip ahead if you so desire.) Paul Vallas, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools announced that he would be leaving that post at the end of the current school year. The question on many people's minds has been: what next? I offer my suggestion:

Blagojevich/Vallas 2002.

Representative Rod Blagojevich, (D-IL) will be running for Governor in the Democratic primary next year. He could do significantly worse than to name Paul Vallas as his running mate. It seems win-win. Blagojevich shows commitment to education, and Vallas gets the opportunity to institute some of the reforms he brought in in Chicago statewide. I can hear one or two of you grumbling, "It'll never work-it's a ticket that ignores downstate!" To which I respond, "Yeah? So? Isn't it time the people of the Chicagoland area show the rest of the state who's rally in charge?" Remember, a vast majority of the counties in Illinois supported George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election, but at the end of the day, Illinois went to Al Gore, because of Gore's support in Chicago and the outlying suburbs. (Indeed-and this is based on half-remembered statistics from last November-I believe the only county Gore took south of Kankakee was Champaign: home, ostensibly, of liberal eggheads. And remember, neither "liberal" nor "egghead" is a dirty word.) Southern Illinois no longer has the population base to counter the will of Chicagoland (viz. the loss of a Congressional seat in S. IL in the post-2000 Census redistricting). Paradoxically, the only way Southern Illinois becomes important again is if Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) wins the Republican primary and squares off against a Chicago-area opponent. (Yes, I understand that Fitzgerald hasn't yet announced a candidacy, and the incumbent Governor, George Ryan is a Republican. Governor Ryan is also probably incapable of being re-elected, owing to the ongoing cloud from his tenure as Secretary of State.) If both candidates are from the Chicago area, the focus shifts downstate, to courting the vote of the otherwise-not-directly-represented-by-a-candidate Southern Illinoisan.

Mmm...politics. Anyway, that's about all I have for tonight. Contact me at the e-mail address listed above. Tonight link of the day is Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn. Barnhart is the TV critic for the Kansas City Star, and this is where he posts a lot of somewhat more free-form things on the medium, as well as hosting tvbarn2, the best damned TV discussion group on the net (instructions for joining are at the top of the page). http://www.tvbarn.com

6/8/2001 3:14 AM