Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fade Away

"It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out. I don't appreciate worship of dead Sid Vicious or of dead James Dean or of dead John Wayne. It's the same thing. Making Sid Vicious a hero, Jim Morrison—it's garbage to me. I worship the people who survive . . . Sid Vicious died for what? So that we might rock? I mean, it's garbage, you know. If Neil Young admires that sentiment so much, why doesn't he do it? Because he sure as hell faded away and came back many times, like all of us. No, thank you. I'll take the living and the healthy." —John Lennon, Playboy Interview, 1980

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Shouldn't I Work for the NSA?

"Why shouldn't I work for the NSA? That's a tough one, but I'll give it a shot. Say I'm working at NSA. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself because I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and 1,500 people I never had a problem with get killed. Now the politicians are saying, 'Send in the marines to secure the area' because they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, getting shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called because they were pulling a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some guy from Southie taking shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, because he'll work for 15 cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at 250 a gallon. And naturally they're taking their sweet time bringing the oil back and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long until he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the job interviews, which sucks because the shrapnel in his ass is giving him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starving because every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're serving is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what do I think? I'm holding out for something better. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president."
-Good Will Hunting [1997]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something Magnificent

"In life itself, apart from the beliefs in what comes before or after it, there is something magnificent. There is something to be found in life that can give so much to a person that he feels that he could swell up and then just burst. That 'something' is simply the act of living life to the fullest." - Richard Farina

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chasing Ghosts

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Billy Batts Busting Balls


Goodfellas: Batts (Frank Vincent), a sleazy gangster with a hysterical toupee, has just been released after a long stint in the pen. During a quiet welcome home party at an out-of-the-way bar, he starts busting fellow gangster Tommy’s balls. Tommy (Joe Pesci) gets pissed because Batts tells everybody about Tommy’s early days when he shined all of the older gangster’s shoes: "Relax, would ya. What’s got into you? I haven’t seen you in a fuckin’ time and I’m breaking your balls a little bit, I’m only kidding with ya." Batts' comment to Tommy, ". . . why don’t you go get your fuckin’ shine box?" sends Tommy over the edge. Later that evening, Tommy returns looking to kill Batts. Tommy, Jimmy (Robert DeNiro) and Henry (Ray Liotta) end up beating the living shit out of this guy and throwing him in the trunk of their car. (Side note: According to Movie Minutia, the song "Atlantis" by Donovan is playing in the background while Batts is getting beaten.) So they take Batts upstate to bury him but soon realize he’s still alive and kicking back there in the trunk. So they have to pull over and finish him off. It turns out Batts was a "made guy," which means Tommy’s essentially "fucked." During a ceremony where Tommy believes he’s going to get made himself, he instead gets a bullet to the head. End of story.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Break Away

"I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." - John Muir

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Barney's Beanery

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Shel Silverstein on "The Johnny Cash Show"