Monday, December 12, 2016


265. TED
One other thing that
always mixed up my
head was the feelings
I'd get from movies and
books. There was a
little hole-in-the-wall
movie theater in
Woodbridge, called
the Woodbridge
Theater (whatd'ya
know about that!)...
For a period of time
myself and a friend
of mine, Kenny,
were having his
father drive us over
there for whatever
Saturday or Sunday
movie was playing.
It never did much
matter, it was all the
same crap  - Hayley
Mills in The Family
Trap, or the Trapp
Family, or Mission To
Mars or some crummy
western or Journey
To the Center of
the Earth. All equal,
and interchangeable
with each other, fluff
movie fodder for
11-year olds. We'd go
in, it would be dark,
we'd watch an hour
and a half or so of
whatever junk was
playing, and then
we'd walk outside
again into that crazy
and blinding light  -
the kind of light you
only get after sitting
in a movie house for
an hour or so on  a
perfectly good day.
And everything I
had just seen would
dissolve away. The
light just ate up
every image and
after-image. There
was never a movie
of any consequence
with something that
stayed  - except
maybe the Martian
landings in Invaders
From Mars, and
those little pins
they put in the
backs of servile
earthling heads
after they'd
them into drones
and dullards. But
anyway, it all
would quickly
fade. And that
was weird because
all you'd have after
that was whatever
advertising material
you'd still see, and
the things around
in newspapers
and all, proclaiming
the movie. That's
the 'image' you kept.
Or I kept. ON the
other hand, every
book I ever read
presented to me
strong, almost
tactile and real,
characters and
that always stayed
with me. Robinson
Caruso, Last of
the Mohicans,
Tales, Natty
Bumpo, Phileas
Fogg, all that
Jules Verne and
Mark Twain stuff,
even biblical
characters. I
never needed
any movie to
bring the words
and the fiery
'staff of being'
to any of that.
To this day it's
like that  -  I
can't sit through
anything, and
John Wayne
makes me puke.
All that old stuff
is risible. I just
hear the voices
and get ill. I
never can believe
the slavish devotion
idiot Americans
have for this stuff,
from the old to
the now. The now,
thankfully, I know
nothing about and
don't want to.
Looking at a
film today,
everything (same
in today's music)
everything is
squeezed flat, and
obviously provoked
and mannered.
There's no depth,
no angles, certainly
NO reality. Nothing
ever happens accidentally.
The cameras move for
you, they push you
along. The 'story' is
libelous or foul, and
bears no relation to
our reality. The world
is a sick skirmish.
Fact of the matter is,
I don't think I've been
to the movies in forty
years, or more, with
any serious intent
about learning
something or viewing
a valid point of view.
I am not subservient
to anyone, certainly
not to the likes of
John Wayne and
his ridiculous posse
of the insane. All
that stuff died long
ago, and I hope it
all gets buried and
tamped down good.
A graveyard of banalities
could not have been any
worse. To exit from the
movie house and go back
to life meant, for me, back
to books  -  where at least
the paginated linearity
took me somewhere.
I could break all the
bounds by just combining
the words I'd read and
MY own self-created
pictures within my head.
They were real, and
remained so; I could
walk and travel with
them, through the 
same houses
and palaces and 
adventures we'd 
share. A new twist 
added to this or that, 
I knew exactly, in 
character, how to 
feel and how to 
react. That became 
the dimensionality 
of the life I entered. 
Some sort of sideways 
portal out, where 
everything took on 
other meanings, from 
here and into some 
other plane. In the old
1967 New York City, 
besides the skee-ball 
palaces and trinket 
shops, tacky stores 
and porno palaces 
and tramps and 
hookers, there'd 
be rows, seemingly 
endless, of overly 
ornate and lit movie 
houses. Old style, 
each with the old,
monstrous marquee 
jutting out over the 
sidewalk, hundreds 
of colored bulbs 
blinking on and 
off in oddball 
combinations of 
pattern and intensity, 
showcasing names 
and talents, titles 
and soon-to-come 
titles. These grand 
palaces would suck 
in all the people, by
the hundreds, movie-goers, 
gawkers, travelers and 
tourists. You'd see them 
exiting, blinded and 
confused by the intense 
reality of the street, 
and still addle-brained 
and groggy by the 
'non-reality of the 
fading reality' they'd 
just viewed and not 
sure which was really 
real. It was a gaunt 
and confusing scene
 for so many, but 
always fun to watch. 
Ted, from Dubuque, 
in his bright red 
dress pants and 
scurvy jacket, 
struggling along 
to the nearest pizza 
seat or bar to figure 
all this stuff out. 
It should have 
been called 
'What the Hell?
Street'. Movies 
faded, like the 
cigarette smoke 
from that big 
billboard guy 
above the street, 
blowing fake 
out at all hours.
There's Ted; he's
just found the 

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