What Do You See?

Heard joke once:

Man goes to the doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says "But doctor... I am Pagliacci."

Good joke. Everybody laugh.

Roll on snare drum.

~Rorschach, The Watchmen

Woke up once at 8:00 AM. Sun was glary through blinds. Went through my morning routine. Showering and flossing were both involved. Walked to bus stop. Felt the hairs on my arm stand on end and brush the inside of my jacket in response to the cold. One girl waiting for the 9:05 to campus would have been pretty had she not hit puberty quite so hard. Acne scars marred her otherwise gorgeous countenance. I couldn't stop staring at her-- face forward, jaw set stern against the morning chill and my stare. I began to wonder if she was bitter over it. Up until her metamorphosis into a woman, she probably received attention in buckets. Now she didn't elicit a second glance from anyone besides me. Life had given her a gift of incredible value and then removed it piece by piece. Like a kidnapper with his hostage's fingers. I've still seen worse.

Sitting out front of my first class, I spoke with a stuttering woman. She asked me if I liked Harry Potter without any prompting. I had only read the fourth book. I told her what I read had been good. She said she'd never read any of them. She only asked because that's one of those things people talk about. I continued talking despite awkwardness. She eventually got around to something about being spanked. I got the feeling she didn't get to talk to many people. Her manner was squirrelly, and she tripped over every third word like clockwork. She is thirty-something and alone and lonely. I am twenty-something, but I can relate.

I went to lunch on Franklin. The homeless had started to dress warm. I pass by them every day, inured to their begging. They ask me for money, even when I have earphones in. I only know because I sometimes walk with the sound off. They know I don't give anymore, but they ask anyway. "Spare change?" They've reduced their begging to two lazy words. After lunch I was accosted by a new woman. She asked for change as I waited to cross an intersection. I told her I was very busy and put my earphones in. She screamed at me about Louisiana. About how I'll be in her place when a hurricane as bad as Katrina hits NC. I wondered whether her story was true and continued on, not looking behind. I decided her anger separated her from the other homeless on Franklin. The rest wouldn't care if you hit them with a cattle prod. At least she felt something. Too bad she felt entitled to the money I held. It's not even mine.

(You don't want to read this paragraph.) I thought about the Groenes and Joseph Edward Duncan. Joseph Edward Duncan bludgeoned three people to death: Brenda Groene, her boyfriend, and her 13 year-old son. He then took Brenda's children, eight and nine year-olds, Shasta and Dylan, and brought them to his cabin. There, he sexually assaulted them repeatedly. He made videos in which he hanged Dylan to the point of death, only to give him slack so he could hang him again, masturbating all the while. He got Shasta to drag an unconscious Dylan over a campfire. Then he killed Dylan with a shotgun, chopped him into pieces, and got Shasta to burn his body.

Nothing feels right. Every day I put up with this cosmic joke. I can't imagine there's a good, Kind Mr. God up in Heaven waiting for Dylan to be molested and tortured and finally murdered. I can't imagine some higher power waiting to explain to Shasta once she dies that everything she did in the charge of her captor was for the greatest good of the Universe or helped make the good in the world stand out. Wow, that's some good good now that the Groene family was murdered. She's going to have big problems. There's no way around that. I look out at the world and see all the little cruelties staring back at me reminding me of the bigger ones. The girl at the bus, the lonely stutterer, the justifiably angry homeless woman. The big, human-driven cruelty I can't explain. The kind of cruelty that wraps itself around the pyloric region of my stomach and squeezes until I feel like vomiting.

There's a convicted child molester on the street adjoining mine. I think about that every day, too.

I'm done for now.


Hair Like Jesus Wore It. Hallelujah! I Adore It!

Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
Trying mighty hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)

Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
or umberellas in their mitts,
Puttin' on the ritz.
~Irving Berlin (or Taco)

This is a busy post. It does not rest on single ideas, but seeks to draw connections where they don't exist. As a result, the reader will be left with a "what the fuck?" type of feeling.

The subject of movie hair is very close to my heart. Well, actually, no. It's not. But just pretend for the moment that it is. It'll make all the typing I'm about to do worthwhile. There are many men in cinema history that exemplify the commitment movie stars have to perfect hair. The two people I have chosen are Johnny Depp in "Nightmare on Elm Street" and Nathan Fillion in "Serenity." But more on those men later. (See? Told you.)

Fred Astaire was more than just a dancer. He was a consummate gentleman, a cavalier, and a man for whom any movement looked just as easy as breathing. I saw "Swing Time" a week ago, and was completely wow-ed by that man's talent. Dancing with Ginger Rogers, he seemed to float across dance floors with a smoothness completely alien to the current booty-dancing standard style. Everything was so smooth, so easy that it seemed like Astaire was riding his feet rather than driving them. And what can be said of Ginger Rogers except for "Rowwrr?" Nothing, that's what.

Astaire_Fred-002, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

The evaluation of Astaire's first screen test: "Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little."

I think Johnny Depp's hair from his aforementioned role in "Nightmare On Elm Street" most closely parallels the character Fred Astaire was. Everything about that hair was so effortless. Even in dire straits, the hair remained calm and adroit. Seriously, watch Nightmare sometime. See if you can spot any time at which Depp's hair looks other than perfect. Depp's is the hair of an aristocrat, all feathery and unresponsive to the dangers surrounding it. Fred Astaire, too, seems to keep his style relatively consistent. The same look. The same showmanship. He and Depp's hair are institutions representing staid romance and propriety. You could always rely on Depp's hair to be there. It's comforting. Just like his character in the film. Just like Fred Astaire.

nightmare013, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

He makes it look so easy.

nightmare010, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

Hello, Charlie Sheen? Is your refrigerator running? It is? Well, YOUR HAIR SUCKED IN PLATOON!

Gene Kelly is the obvious comparison to Mr. Astaire. Gene Kelly once said of himself: "I arrived in Hollywood twenty pounds overweight and as strong as an ox. But if I put on white tails and a tux like Astaire, I still looked like a truck driver." Gene Kelly was the dancer of the proletariat (the truck drivers). His workmanlike attitude fashioned new steps. He mixed styles and varied his art, attempting to make new, bold statements in his dancing. He existed to change, to excite his viewer, and to wow you with his talent and athleticism. (Really, what the fuck am I talking about?) Everything in Kelly's performances vary, at times, too much. When people (who hate musicals) think of musicals today, they think of the hokey, overblown acting in Kelly's work. Kelly never stops trying to entertain you with his variation. Just like Fillion's hair in "Serenity."

AA731b, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

"Fred Astaire represented the aristocracy, I represented the proletariat."

I don't really want to spoil anything about such a new movie for those people who've yet to see it, so I'll just stick to the hair. It's perfect from every angle, and, what's more, it's shape changes. Fillion's hair dips and spikes in all the right places. It also goes through several significant alterations over the course of the movie. When Malcolm Reynolds gets roughed up, the hair reflects it. Whenever he's sleepy, the hair reflects it. Whenever he's just being cool, the hair reflects it. It's a character you come to love, just like the rest of the movie's cast.

images_filmstills_02, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

From left: Damn fine hair. Damn big gun. Adam Baldwin, formerly of "Full Metal Jacket."

So yeah. Pick your favorites. Any other instances of perfect hair in cinema history you want to bring up? I know you have a thing or two to say, Suley.


This Year's Girl

What's so great about the Barrier Reef?
What's so fine about art?
What's so good about a "Good Times Van"
When you're working on a broken,
Working on a broken,
Working on a broken man?
~Old 97's, "Barrier Reef"

I’m not that attractive. No, wait. Strike that. I’m not very handsome. I’m about 5’8” or 5’9” with a wide, squared jaw. My features are not delicate. A little cherubic, perhaps, but not delicate. However, over the course of the past year, I’ve seduced six different women. This isn’t bragging. I’m not deluding myself into thinking I’m irresistible. Clayton (Clayton=Beast over on Suley’s blog) has probably gleaned much more attention than I have. Hell, pretty much any lady could easily seduce twice that number of men in ten months. Even five months. Five weeks? But, considering my past, that number, six, is pie in the sky high.

To effect this, I acted entirely unlike myself. I would flirt. I would create innuendo. I would play interested. I would not be deathly afraid of them. I did this all for attention. I did not care.

I also never consummated a relationship. Not even in the loosest, least sexual sense. I would make them infer that I would be good boyfriend material, play as if I had what they wanted, and set myself up for relationship after relationship, but never made the connection. I was a man-tease. AM a man-tease? Am I?

To make a long story shortish, I was told by my dearest lesbian friend that I was being a jerk. I needed to provide these girls with a fair chance, rather than just a wink, some reassurance that I was there for them, and the dust cloud of my unexpected departure. What I still don't know is whether that lesbian had enough insight into the situation to really nail down what I should do.

But I took her advice anyway. I am now the proud owner of a second relationship. Look how she shines. Now what? How do you do the dance if you don't know the steps? I just stand in the corner doing the white-boy shuffle while every other couple is out on the dance floor bustin' it superfly. I'm now responsible for another human being's feelings. I fear I may already matter to her. I can't tell. I can't know. I can't think. I can't stop producing these short sentences for effect. Christ. I'm leaving.


A Rough Beginning

"Oh, I just don't know where to begin..."
Elvis Costello, "Accidents Will Happen"


This blog's name was gleaned from the Beck song "Novacane." Some of you might know it. In fact, most of you might know it. About half of the song is composed of kickass titles for genius works not yet written. Names such as "Undercover Convoy" and "Stillborn And Dazed" This blog was a whim and a listen away from being called "Chromosome Cowboy." I'm sure I would've justified it in some way later. But for those of you (of the two of you) thinking that this journal will live up to it's striking name, I've got news. It probably won't. I can't be Beck. If I were, I'd be funkier, and the previous paragraph would have made less sense. So with resignation not due this awe-inspiring title, I begin my belated blog.

The heavens carry low when pregnant. Does that mean that rainstorms are masculine? I only ask because I need to know the correct expletive to use when I am suddenly douched with rain. As has occurred the past week. Continually. "Bitch," I yell. "Bastard," I yell. "Bastitch," I compromise. The worst douching came on Friday when I tried to return from a much-needed workout at the gym. I carried my MP3 player, as silence disturbs me on long excursions, and headed for home with precarious cumulostratus providing my ceiling. About halfway home, the sky began falling in a manner most hardcore. I tucked the MP3 into the pocket of my sweats and attempted to provide an outcropping of flesh to protect it from the deluge. The resulting gait resembled what one might imagine of a hunchback. In addition to this, the heavy rain soaked through my hair and began pouring down into my eyes. To regain any semblance of vision, I had to squint and gnarl all of the muscles in my face.

quasimodo, originally uploaded by Sweet Daddy Freakout.

I want to suck your blood! No, wait...

My Quasimodo impression was complete. About seven eigths of the way there, I ran past a pair of couples carrying large umbrellas. They snorted and asked me "How ya doin, guy?" When I saw them I planned on yelling "The bells! The bells!" to truly go all out with the impression, but when I saw that they had already taken joy in my suffering, I merely said, "I'm great!" and jogged calmly past them. No fair taking joy unless I let you. I had to bolt the last eighth of the way home. I would've made Wally West proud. Upon entering my apartment, I discovered my MP3 player was bone dry. I exulted in my triumph, and showered out of habit. The end.

I'm bad at ending stories.

Be patient, gentle readers. There will be more to come.