Monday, January 30, 2006

saturday night room-temperature

Apparently there is this thing in the world where discos sort of, do not exactly exist any more. One of these weekend nights was supposed to be spent dancing – don’t let this lead you to conclude that I have anything approaching a social life, we had friends staying over – but what do we do after a massive Telengana dinner but head paunch-first to Easy Rider, the sort of biker-beer-cigarettes pub that is exactly the opposite of anyone’s idea of a disco. The enjoyable evening that followed consisted near entirely of exhibitionist machismo in all-caps.

Me: What am I doing smelling like I was pulled from a burning building, when we could be somewhere doing the jiggety-jig?
DJ: * plays L.A. Woman*
Me: Oh, this is my favourite Doors song! After Peace Frog. And Riders on the Storm. And the first four minutes of The End.
Everyone Else, bellowing along: AREYAHALUGGYLIGDDLELADYILDACIDDYOLIGHD!
Me: This is like a scene out of Beowulf, isn't it? Only there's no monster.
Everyone Else: ORYAHANODDERLOSTAYNJULL…
Me: Or monster's mother.
Everyone Else: CIDDYOLIGHDDD!
Me: But all the singing and stamping and feelin' the mojo risin' is very in character.
Everyone Else: CIDDYONIGHDDD!
Me: I get the feeling my lone voice cannot be heard amid your masculine din.
Everyone Else: PREDDYDAMRIGHDD! CIDYONIGHDD!


While this was happening, Gladiator was playing soundlessly on the telly that I sat facing. I was transfixed, mostly since I haven’t had any passive audio-visual consumption in months. Connie Nielsen is beautiful, and Joaquin Phoenix is better. He reminds me of every Byronic hero I have ever seen hammed up in Hollywood and how he beats them all at hamming it up. Forget - for your own good - Orson Welles trying to be Mr Rochester in that awful old adaptation of Jane Eyre. Joaquin Phoenix and eyeliner is a match like something out of a Charlotte Bronte pr0n fantasy, I tell you.

So, soundless Gladiator was awesome. The pattern of the film is really starkly obvious without all the mumbly dialogue and Hans Zimmer to confuse you. It’s one long cycle of people wanting to make other people their bitches, other people protesting, and people finally beating other people down with crude instruments and making them their bitches. Russell Crowe has made a career out of this. I mean, talk about effective communication. In the last sequence, the basic diegesis, if you watch it without words and music, is:

The EMPEROR is pretty.
The BITCHMAKER is growly.
A DUEL is fought.
Although it is more like a HOMOEROTIC LOVERS' QUARREL STRAIGHT OUT OF CATULLUS.
Communication is very straightforward as SWORDS are used.
The THRUST AND PARRY basically translates into the BITCHMAKER saying, ‘BITCH! BITCH! BITCH!’
And the EMPEROR going ‘NO! NO! NO!’ flailing about in his pristine off-white skirts.
And the BITCHMAKER refusing to understand, since he is THICK AS CREAM, and continuing with the ‘BITCH! BITCH! BITCH!
And the EMPEROR dies.
And the BITCHMAKER dies.
Which proves that BITCHMAKING is a dangerous sport and deservedly died out with the Roman Empire.
And that THE BITCHMAKER RETURNS would be a pretty cool name for a sequel.

Just as we were leaving the club, we were unable to escape hearing the young gentlemen at the next table in their cups – considerably descended in them – having a MACHO CONVERSATION, of the sort REAL MEN have on a jolly Saturday BOYS NIGHT OUT.

Gentleman the First: WHERE WILL YOU BE ON THE NIGHT OF THE FOURTH?
Gentleman the Second: *IS SILENT*
Gentleman the First: WHERE WILL YOU BE ON THE NIGHT OF THE FOURTH, HUH?
Gentleman the Second: AT HOME.
Gentleman the First: THAT’S RIGHT. AT HOME. SHAGGING!
Gentleman the Second: …
Gentleman the First: I WILL BE AT THE JETHRO TULL CONCERT AND YOU WILL BE SHAGGING AT HOME.
Everyone Else: … who are we supposed to be envying?

I mean. These guys do know that that HEAVY METAL Grammy for Tull all those years back was a MISTAKE?

--

I have a bookshelf now, which brings the total number of items of furniture in our flat up to four. My books look lovely. And my flatmate has an iTrip, which brings the number of expensive little electronic gadgets in our flat up to three million. Our priorities are in perfect order.

current musix: artie shaw - frenesi

7 comments:

  1. Congrats on the addition to the milla family. What's this one called?

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. You know Catullus?

    http://sourapplemartini.blogspot.com/
    2005_08_18_sourapplemartini_archive.html

    Marry me already!

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  4. THE BITCHMAKER RETURNS

    I let out a burst of shrill gut-laughter so forceful that Z, in the shower across the house, turned the water off, stepped out, opened the door, and said, "Good God, what's wrong?"

    "Um... I'll send you a link."

    -- (dragonlady7 from lj)

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  5. :)
    hilarious, as usual.
    *gags* Btw, i watched Major Star yesterday, and was instantly reminded of you..:)

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  6. @ k.c.: thank you! the trip is now christened ariel, in a departure from the 'illa' tradition. if you were interested, the bookshelf's name is dmitri.

    @ vikster: heh. story of my life. and i think living in sin is more catullan.

    @ bartender: hi! and i'm very glad to have made you laugh. startlingly.

    @ kate: "and they've overthrown nikolas the second, who used to be bizarre!"

    "the tsar, baldrick."

    cracks me up every time i think of it. oh, and "she was the ironmonger's daughter, but she knew a surprising lot about fish." BWAH.

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