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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Well, Allow Me to Retort...
Drugs: Good or Bad? (Part Deux)

This post is going to be more or less a "fantasy dialogue" with the Onion AV Club's article of the same name which is, I quote, a "handy guide to drug cinema, designed to help readers make informed decisions about which drugs to abuse and which to avoid."

I wanted to explore this theme further, being an ardent fan of drug cinema myself, because I had the twitchy feeling they missed a few ringers.

...But then, that could be the drugs talking.

Either way I present to you...

Drugs - Good or Bad? Part 2 - taiwan_on explores her own personal (film) stash.

Drug: Speed (in two parts)

AKA: nitro, crystal, quartz, red phosphorus (also: "gak" or "gank"? Which is it guys? I thought I heard both in "The Salton Sea")

Movie 1: "Spun" (2002)

Danger of drug dramatized through: I'm not sure, really, did this movie have a plot? Oh, yeah, uhh, something about Max Fischer from "Rushmore" trying to score some crank at John Leguizamo's house, and then he's driving Mickey Rourke and Eminem's girlfriend around, who's a cook, a guy who makes speed. Mickey Rourke, I mean. Not Eminem's girlfriend, she's just a tweaker with a dyed green poodle. And she's also not Eminem's girlfriend in real life, just in that one movie. And by poodle I mean an actual dog. It's not a euphemism for her pubic hair or anything. But haha, that would be rather amusing of me, no? Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, the plot. So, he's driving Mickey Rourke around, and Mickey launches into this speech about pussy, at least I think the word he kept using was pussy. It could have been cunt, but I'm not really sure because I caught the lametacular Wal-Mart version on Skinemax or something and they kept bleeping it out. No shit, kitten, they bleeped it out. And they blurred out the (shaved?) naughty bits of the stripper Max Fisher tied to his hotel bed as well as the cartoon genitals in the random animation sequences, for chrissake, which not only further illustrates the current death throes of the First Amendment, but makes the whole thing feel much creepier in a really degrading Japanese scat-porn kind of way. But anyways, Mickey talks about pussy and uh, the for the next hour and forty or so minutes, there is no plot whatsoever.

Nature of high: Speed grants users a license to behave however they damn well please, regardless of how distasteful, antisocial and generally assholish and annoying everyone else finds it. Tweakers cannot be depended on to untie you when they're finished.

Representative imagery: See "Requiem for a Dream", "The Wall" "Bevis & Butthead Do America", "Natural Born Killers", "Doom Generation" and "Jacob's Ladder". No, seriously, see them, because obviously the director, Jonas Akerlund (a music video director, also obviously) did. It's all quick cuts and dialated pupils and blurry faces and bleachy over-exposure, and intense color saturation, and trailer-park American anime and OH! the plagiaristic horror of it! They should have titled this "Cooler Bits From Other Movies Redux". And the really sad part is that if I had the opportunity to make a movie right now, this is how I'm afraid I'd fuck it up too. Brrr! Scary!

Tragic Consequences: an unfortunate disregard for personal/oral hygine, the inability to shit properly, a slew of grade-a actors doing bold, scary things and acting their asses off for a movie that is SO totally NOT worth it.

Is rehabilitation possible? Not for our hapless director.

Is the drug good or bad? If you value your grill and regular, healthy bowel movements then this is a bad choice for you. However, if you are looking for a better income than, say, working in retail (if you're lucky), and you'd like to take a permanent vacation from all personal accountability, speed's the way to go.

Movie 2: "The Salton Sea" (2002)

Danger of drug dramatized through: a bereft Val Kilmer, after helplessly witnessing his wife's murder, broods, tweaks, repeats. Formerly known as jazz musician Tom Van Allen, he changes his name to Danny Parker, combs some temporary green hair color into his faux-hawk and spends days on end in a dark den of iniquity hoovering large quantities of crystal with really interesting, quirkily attractive and entertaining people.

Nature of high: Upon speed intake, users blast off to the crashing beats of the Chemical Brothers to a warm, welcoming brotherhood of sorts where people concoct outlandish schemes to steal Bob Hope's stool sample, spit out quotable one-liners and apparently bond like there's no fucking tomorrow. Hollywood, in case you didn't know, is enjoying a bit of a romance with speed like it's the new coke or something. But it's so "New Coke", if you know what I mean. Whatever happened to heroin chic? You thought "The Punisher" sucked, just wait for the inevitable come-down when Tinseltown starts sketching out. Then we'll all be sorry.

Representative imagery: a few high speed scenic shots intercut with lingering moments of dingy, sad, rock bottom calm. A festive, manic drug-den party that never ends save for the loving way the camera slithers along during downtime. Lots of shots of exhausted revellers languidly intertwined in a blissful communal intimacy that the film and narrator repeatedly remind us, you and I will never know. All to a cool soundtrack. Basically an advertisement for how cool speed is with none of the ugly imagery "Spun" offers. Madison Avenue, eat your heart out! Still, overall a much better movie than "Spun", mainly because it has a plot.

Tragic Consequences: the ability to lose weight and keep it off, a propensity to organize sock drawers, new social networking possibilities that allow one to meet fascinating and hilarious characters that you would totally put in a movie as soon as you get your shit together, as well as fantastic money making opportunities outside the normal 9 to 5 structure, freedom from conventional responsibilities and mad verbal skillz. Jeezus, where do I sign up? Oh, wait, hold on. The possibility of a plastic prosthetic nose is a definite deal breaker for me.

Is rehabilitation possible? For some, possibly. But I have a feeling the rest of these guys will go right on tootin', outlive us all, and have loads of fun doing it if this movie is any indication.

Is the drug good or bad? Let's face it, meth is a bullshit drug for anyone interested in hopping the fast track to becoming a raging asshole. Though "Salton Sea" somehow manages to make it look like a viable and appealing lifestyle option to some, it must be noted that "Spun" probably represented a truer speed reality, constipation, gum disease and all.

...Look Kitten, it's getting late and taiwan_on has to get up in the morning and go to fucking work. For shameful wages. This is a consequence of not doing the right drugs, according to Hollywood.

But tomorrow, if I'm feeling ambitious, maybe we'll tackle heroin, coke and alcohol. Or maybe not. We'll see.

You did know alcohol was a drug, right Kitten? Okay, just checking.


posted by taiwan_on 'round 1:31 AM#
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Female/26-30. Lives in United States/Massachusettes/Brockton/North Brockton, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes Film/Writing.
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United States, Massachusettes,
Brockton, North Brockton,
English, Female, 26-30,
Film, Writing.



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