For The Future
I rented Chinatown this afternoon. Haven't seen it in ten years. Maybe more. The younger Jack Nicholson. I compared it to L.A. Confidential a few days ago and I was wondering if it was just as good as I recalled or if it was like one of those rock albums I listened to at one time with enthusiasm and now sit downstairs discarded in a box behind the furnace. The ending is cleaner than L.A. Confidential, but then Polansky was the director flavor of the month back when it was made and the movie wouldn't have made any sense without it.
It's been cold and foggy in the mornings, traditional San Francisco weather. Periods of heat in the spring and fall, but cool ocean air and fog in the summer. Except when there isn't. When I lived in Napa I developed a "there will always be a solid week of 100 degree heat in July or August" theory of reality which may or may not hold over time, "but the summer will otherwise be relatively cool and liveable". As you can see, nothing much happening here inside my head today in Oakland. It's been a weekend with a couple of rental movies, coffee for breakfast down by the lake and a three minute reading of the Sunday paper.
They talk about the television wasteland. I sometimes pass cars with bumper stickers that say "Kill a Television Set", and that's a nice smug and politically correct sentiment, but how about newspapers? The Sunday papers? Two and a half pounds of real estate, classifieds, tour ship travelogues and slick printed magazines with a celebrity on the cover with a new movie out and whose management retains copy approval. So where does this leave me?
Viv talks about her recent acquisition of digital cable. Five hundred channels. BBC One, Two and Three. L.A.
Confidential, perhaps, playing continuously on channel four hundred and thirty one, L.A. noir under a pale and humid sky, palm trees and white stucco buildings, four inch heels and straight eight automobiles, snub nose .38's in their glove compartments. You don't see those anymore. There was a time in the forties and fifties when the well outfitted movie/television gangster carried an attitude and a snub nose detective special. Now it's a fifteen shot military Beretta, one magazine after another, mayhem and murder rolled out on an assembly line. It is Sunday in the early evening. I have some work that I need to finish before morning and I am thinking of going to the store for a quart of beer and the video store for something ratty and evil with plenty of sex and snappy patter. L.A. Confidential or Chinatown only more, um, Quentin Tarrantino. I haven't seen Pulp Fiction or Angel Heart in a while and they're both sitting in the VCR cabinet. Work can wait until tomorrow.
If you've followed this far you well understand I checked out at some point before I started this and I'm running on empty. I vacuumed the rug earlier today and it's interesting to sit here in an empty mind surrounded by relative cleanliness. Yet I write. And you, dear reader, read. What does this mean, do you suppose, for the future?