Once again it's past deadline and I'm just starting the kino review. I know you're sick of me starting every kino review off this way but this time it's bad, really bad. Worse than the others. Wanna know how bad? It's 9am and half the pages aren't finished. Not one page is printed out for films. And the film guy is coming any minute. But what's worse is that this isn't even the last thing we gotta do. Oh no, folks, not by a long-shot.
We took some personnel hits this issue. Rudnitsky took off to Tynda, a five-day train ride from Moscow. That's one-fourth of the staff. Flounder got brutally stomped outside of his apartment and is on the eXile's injured reserve, in a hospital for another week. He's the fourth eXile editor to get brutally stomped in as many years. I wonder when my ticket will be up.
That's where looking like a black ass helps: thugs would rather pick on someone paler than me. Maybe that's why my ancestors evolved their dark complexion, five o'clock shadows and excess hair: to ward off predators.
Anyway, this issue has been left mostly to Dr. Dolan and me. I had one of those rampages through irresponsibility over the past week, so I didn't prepare. It was more a case of I couldn't prepare. I had that urge to fuck everything up, starting with my mind. That urge hits me every few months and there's nothing I can do about it. This time it started last Thursday. I fueled myself up for a writing project, but as always got sidetracked... first on the web, where I wasted about 30 straight hours. Then I got insanely horny and tracked down an old flame whom I'd deflowered a few years ago. Folks, when it comes to tapping ex-girlfriends whom you've treated like shit, don't do as I do: stay away. Turn the other testicle. You always pay in spades. The only way you don't pay in this life is by staying away. That's why the Unabomber made so much sense.
Now, the reviews. I'd say stay away, but that won't help most of you. It's not really worth bitching about Moscow's movie theater selection. It sucks, but when I look back at my year in America, almost every movie sucked there too. And believe me, when I lived in Kentucky, I saw EVERY goddamn movie that Hollywood could feed me. I was always willing to give Hollywood the benefit of the doubt over what Kentucky had to offer: heat. Movie theaters were the only air-conditioned biospheres in the Ohio Valley.
This is a movie about death. Like all American movies about death, it propagates the very worst lies we believe about ourselves. Take the beginning to Dragonfly. Kevin Costner's wife dies in a mud avalanche in Venezuela. The movie's first glaring error takes place in the opening scene, when alleged Venezuelan guerrillas attack Costner's wife's medical clinic in the junble; the greaser in charge says, "We need to get to Colombia," and herds everyone onto a bus. Now I ask you, since when was Colombia safer than Venezuela? Since when did Venezuela have guerrillas and Colombia didn't?
Next lie. Her funeral is packed. Afterwards, Costner's friends talk to him with total ease and confidence about the loss of his wife. They lack the fear and crippling discomfort that all Americans feel when dealing with someone else's death. Americans hide from death plain and simple. They can't deal, dude.
Take my stepfather. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer, he was a vice president at a leading electronics company. He'd been with the company his whole life. He had friends whom he golfed with, or worked with, or went to dinner parties with. When he was given nine months to live, his and my mother's friends fled like jackrabbits. Woosh! Never saw them again. They didn't want to get bummed out. They were uncomfortable as hell. My stepfather's rapid slide into skeletal death scared them, ruined their golf game, fucked with their handicaps.
So rather they stayed away and resealed their lives without my stepfather. His company fired him before he died, then did him the "honor" of giving him a corporate roast. That was one of the most horrible afternoons of my life. They thought it was normal - corporate roasting a man with half his hair missing, barely able to walk... jokes about how he'd padded his expense account and cheated on the golf course. My stepfather forced his laughs. The roast was the only setting that his corporate friends felt comfortable in - after that they disappeared. Until his funeral.