July 15th, 2005

flavored with age

Holy calamity, scream insanity! All you ever gonna be's another great fan of me. BREAK!

Today is the birth anniversary of "Calamity" Jon Morris. He is a great artist, a good guy, and a one smart fellow he felt smart. We are collaborating on a comic which should be in stores around summer of 2065, and someday I hope to actually meet him. He's fucking around in San Diego with nerds today, but maybe he will read this anyway, when I say, "happy birthday, calamityjon!"

I invite all of you who know and love him to tell stories here of his shameful, disgusting behavior. Feel free to make it up if you must, like the time he paid a hooker to dress up like Bill Willingham and deliver a lecture about political correctness and the immorality of publishers while giving him a chicken broth enema.
flavored with age

Bizarro Coen Brothers

Blood Stupid (1984): Romance between a dull-witted strip club owner's wife and an even more dull-witted bartender ends happily, with an original score by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Dan Hedaya steals the show as the vengeful strip club owner who runs his establishment from the grave until he is accidentally dug up by his wife's paramour. M. Emmet Walsh also stars as the private detective who has nothing to do with the affair, but likes tits.

Raising Massachusetts (1987): Screwball comedy about a furniture magnate desperate to unload his bratty, unattractive offspring on a hapless sheet metal worker. His plans are almost foiled by the interference of Randall "Tex" Cobb, playing a Harvard linguistics professor turned biker outlaw. Holly Hunter and Nicolas Cage star as the pseudoparents of baby Nathan Jr. (Ron Jeremy). Notable for the characters' arch, mannered dialogue and introspective behavior.

Muller's Crossing (1990): In 1930s Berlin, a gang of lighthearted criminals run a cabaret/transvestite empire. The shabbily dressed hobo king (Ronald Reagan) is advised by Tom, a dull-witted and disloyal henchman with a florid Spanish accent. When conflict arises with rival gangster Casper the Friendly Ghost, Tom initiates an elaborate triple-cross to set things right by his boss, but quickly loses track of the details and is murdered by brownshirts.

Fartin' Bink (1991): Phony, insincere New York playwright Bink Boxdale (John Turturro) has made a name for himself writing melodromatic sagas of working-class people who cannot control their flatulence. Invited to Los Angeles to become part of the Jew-run media, he gets a room in a fancy hotel next to polished Yale lecturer Charlie Meadows, who may or may not be Charlie Manson. But a bad case of constipation may spell trouble for his budding career.

The Cocksucker Proxy (1994): In another of the Bizarro Coen's straight-faced, heavy-handed melodramas, conniving young go-getter Norville Barnes (Vincent Gallo) invents a simple, efficient, and easy-to-produce autofellation device -- "you know, for kids!". However, his new job at the top of Cocksucker Industries may just be part of an elaborate scam by the board of directors to ruin the company and get free room and board at the local poorhouse.

Gofar (1996): This lighthearted romp is a real change of pace for the Coens. Set in the industrial sector of Port Sudan on the coast of east Africa, it concerns itself with the hilarious antics of several local yokels who take part in a well-conceived murder/slavery ring until the run afoul of canny regional sherrif Marja al-Q'underson, who cracks both their scheme and their skulls. Much humor derives from the distinctive north Sudanese accents of the cast.

The Big Liebowitz (1998): Set in the Los Angeles of the early 1990s, this labyrinthine tale of Kafkaesque horror involves Bill Liebowitz, owner of the Golden Apple comic book shop, who is accidentally mistaken for Annie Liebowitz and forced to take posed, formalist pictures of celebrities. Together with his best friend (also named Bill Liebowitz), he attempts to clear his name, profession and gender, only to be mistaken for law firm Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman.

O Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Romeo? (2000): Another first for the Bizarro Coens, this all-hillbilly adaptation of Bizarro Shakespeare's fairy-tale romance also features an unforgettable soundtrack of Japanese noisecore. Particularly unforgettable is the scene where Romeo Ulysses McGill (George Clooney) pursues his estranged pig Juliet while the Gerogerigegege masturbates noisily on the soundtrack. Coen favorite John Goodman plays Juliet.

The Man Who Was There (2001): One of the Bizarro Coens' finest films, this screwball-noir classic is laden with dense philosophical meaning that, fortunately, was all left on the cutting room floor during the editing process. It's the story of a barber (Rue McLanahan) who really wants to be a dry cleaner, or vice versa, and contemplates committing a murder in order to fund the new career, but then decides against it and goes back to cutting hair or something.

The Ladykissers (2004): The first Bizarro Coen Brothers movie to not feature an original script by the two (the screenplay was co-written with Bizarro William Faulkner and Bizarro Gracie Allen), The Ladykissers involves a quintet of brilliant criminal masterminds led by Professor Doerr (Jerry Lewis) who dig a tunnel in which they will kiss all the pretty ladies in town. They run into trouble when it turns out that the owner of the house isn't pretty at all.
flavored with age

By "Irish" they mean "totally made up"

Just a reminder to my fellow Chicagoland heads: I will be reading a couple of short pieces at the 20th annual Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival this Sunday, the 17th, between 2PM and 2:30PM. Come see me, hear me, shake my hand. My frivolous nonsense aside, the festival should be fun: there's tons of good food and music, at the least, and if the weather holds up, Dawes Park (Sheridan & Church, in Evanston) is quite lovely.

Details are here; spoken word schedule is here; directions here. And yes, it's free. Come say how do.