13 April 2010

Polyanna Bullshit

There is a lot that divides people: politics, religion, sports, veganism, and on and on. Those who go barefoot and those who don’t. It’s kinda like the great Todd Snider song Conservative Christian. Now I guess I have to tell you some of the lyrics are:
Conservative Christian, right-wing Republican, straight white American male,
gay-bashing, Black-fearing, war fighting, tree-killing, regional leaders of sales.
Frat-housing, keg-tapping, shirt-tucking, back-slapping haters of Hippies like me,
tree-hugging, peace-loving, pot-smoking, porn-watching lazy-ass hippies like me

I guess that what divides us really starts early. By the time we get to college you can tell fifty feet away who the SigPi’s are (steroid using muscle heads) and who the SigChi’s are (maybe Satan worshippers? They all wore black nail polish, but for sure they did alot of coke). As we move into adulthood it becomes a little more difficult to distinguish ourselves from one another and you really have to get to know someone before you learn their views on the all-dividing factor, the factor who defines what we truly value, and that factor is Jennifer Aniston.

It used to be Meg Ryan but, happily, she has moved on. My dear sister, who I love, said to me one day, “Oh poor Jen. I just wish she could find somebody.” I wanted to puke just to get it out of my system but couldn’t, and here I am two months later and I am still talking about it. Whether she can act or not is beside the point. She’s so nice all the time. And she’s got a great body but she looks like a golden retriever. I don’t mean she looks like a dog as in she is ugly, I just mean that she seems so eager to please. And I don’t think she has an original or creative idea in that pretty head of hers. She reminds me of a Nora Ephron film. When a character is hurt emotionally, we have to hear R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. When a character is in drag, we have to hear Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like A Lady. People who like Jennifer Aniston need to be told what to think. There is no subtlety and no originality and anything outside the margins is taboo and weird. Which brings us to Jennifer Aniston’s doppleganger, Angelina Jolie.

Outside the margins, check. Taboo and weird, double check. A self-admitted wild child, Angelina used to bug me by constantly reminding us of how edgy she is. I would have to say, however, that she is real. Not any realer than Aniston, but I believe that that is who she really is. She is definitely not boring. If Aniston is an Ephron film, then Jolie is a Barbet Schroeder film, most notably, Barfly. I actually saw Barfly with my mom and my other sister. I knew what to expect from the movie but I never planned to see it with my mom. She was a tag-along, and I tried to back out but could tell I was hurting her feelings. So I went anyway and our evening hit its low when Mickey Rourke (portraying the alcoholic/slum-hotel-residing poet Charles Bukowski) told the bartender that his “mother’s cunt smells like ammonia.” Nice. Not exactly When Harry Met Sally. I liked Barfly. I liked its rawness, I liked Mickey Rourke, and I liked watching the once demure Faye Dunaway pull someone’s hair out by the roots. But what I liked most is Schroeder did not back the scene with R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. My mom and my sister (the Aniston fan) hated this movie.

There is a bar in Rochester-New York called The Bug Jar. There isn't much to it and it doesn't open until seven at night. There is a giant fly hanging from the ceiling fan over the bar and, of course, when the fan it on is flies in one big circle. The place is dark and there are no tvs because the people who come here don't care about sports (I would say they don't watch tv but do those people really exist anymore?). But there is a monitor that is hooked up to catch the action on the stage in the backroom and that stage gets alot of action. It is The Bug Jar's reason for existence: music and live music. To give you a feel of the crowd, I can tell you that I once vowed never to go back after a dominatrix asked me if I wanted to see the old guy she had on a leash (who was my dad's age and wearing a white dress) get spanked (FYI - the going rate to witness said act is one dollar). The Bug Jar is like the CBGB's of Western New York and its regular crowd dresses accordingly. Across the street and down a little ways was a place called Oxford's. Like the name implies, Oxford's crowd was full of mostly young, wannabe upwardly mobile, hair-gelled and tricked out people. There were lots of tvs at Oxford's and some of the guys wore pink shirts. I remember an acquaintance from snooty suburb Mendon (who was a business major and wearing a pink shirt at the time) laugh at the idea of going to The Bug Jar. "No, not going to the freak show," or something like that. I'm not sure if he knew that the regular crowd at The Bug Jar probably thought the same thing of Oxford's.

I'm never going to like Beaches, or Meg Ryan, or care about the castaways from American Idol. I like raw fish and kind of admire people with purple hair. I would never go someplace crowded to spend six bucks on a drink when I can pay three and see some live music. I don't always go along with what's going on. I can even remember disliking Bruce Springsteen when Born In The U.S.A. played on the radio on an endless loop (I'm not always correct on this stuff). Everyone has their differences. Maybe I'm just anti-authoritarian by nature and it all comes down to that. I think that, had they lived in town, Jennifer Aniston could be found at Oxford's on the weekends and Angelina down the street at The Bug Jar.

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