Don’t believe the hype, Rose.
The first time I watched Titanic also happened to be the first time I saw a pair of large naked boobs staring at me onscreen. They were Kate Winslet’s large naked boobs, of course. I was a confused young boy of nine sitting in the corner of the very first row of a Central New Jersey theater: my father to my right, my older sister to my left, and me and a rapidly mounting sense of awkwardness in the middle.
(Ahh… should I look? Should I not look? What’s everyone else doing? Oh god, something is happening in my pants!)
Fifteen or so years later I found myself again watching Titanic in a completely sold out theater, but this time from the corner of the last row, with very different company and about as far away from New Jersey as one can get without either burrowing to the Earth’s core or flying to the moon.
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So, you want to meet my mother you say? Sure, sure I think we can arrange that. You’ll have to find that bastion of liberalism that she and my father live upon. It’s a hill overlooking a small pond and two fields in the middle of the cow and horse and chicken and Republican country of Central New Jersey. Oh, it’s beautiful – no doubt about that – and what it lacks in nearby facilities that would entertain a teenager, it more than makes up for with its beautiful seclusion and the leafy trees that hide my childhood home from the neighbors for about three quarters of the year.
Even though I have seen countless films and have traveled through some of the darkest and most disturbing nether regions of the internet, there still remain moments when I am shocked out of my desensitized shell and genuinely and profoundly and utterly repulsed. Those also happen to be some of my very favorite moments. There’s certainly a devilish perversion in witnessing something so sick and twisted that it practically knocks you right off your seat (or at least there is for me anyway).
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Ah, Almost Famous. There will always be a special place in my heart for you, a place somewhere right next to my first OMG-BEST-BAND-EVR (Sublime), Hunter S. Thompson novels, and Ganguro porn (I regret nothing!).
Yes, as a budding writer/journalist before I knew I was a budding writer/journalist I loved watching Almost Famousand imagining my own awkward, gangly 15-year-old self traveling across the States, interviewing rockstars, and engaging in the kinds of wonderful debauchery that would bless me with lovely stories and a mild case of gonorrhea.
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Ah, the wonders of the internet. You start out with some very basic questions about human evolution and wind up looking at strange cartoon pictures of sexuality. Delightful.
Now, I assure you, I did not begin my journey through the bowels of Wikipedia with the express intention of seeing cartoon men (and some women) ejaculate onto each other in a variety of interesting ways. But once I found my way down that fascinating hallway of animated splooge, I simply couldn’t resist clicking on every new and wonderful term I came across.
Changes in the site, changes in the life.
If you’re new here: Welcome. If you’ve been here before: Welcome back.
So, I’m developing the details of my next travel excursion. Let’s just throw away that whole thing about “settling down” and moving into New York with things like leases and apartments and gym memberships that go unused and cheap sofas that have metal bars in all the most uncomfortable of places and making plans with people and being forced to come up with a whole variety of new excuses as to why you can’t come to this bar or that house party or that National Bowling League match (“Uhh… man I would, but I have a rule that Tuesdays are my ‘Wallow Alone in Drunken Misery’ nights. Yeah… yeah, you wouldn’t want to see that. I’ll catch up with you next time.”). Sure, that was the plan (and I guess that still will be the plan if I get offered some sort of amazing job), but times have changed.
Specifically, I just visited my French Canadian friend in Montreal, and – God Damn – but I seem to have gone and stuck myself with the needle of that most addictive and life-altering of drugs: Adventure. The thirst for newness and the quest for an escape from the stale and the fixed and the placid and the mortuary-like day-to-day existence of most of America, most of the Earth.
Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
It’s easy to take a look at my iTunes and stereotype me as a typical white country-boy with delusions of the ghetto. Whether it’s the frequency of seeing artists with “Young” in the name (Young Thug, Young Gangsta, Young Jeezy, Young Dro, Young Roddy) or the overwhelming prevalence of ebonics in the song titles (“Mo Money Mo Problems,” “Ova Da Wudz,” “Workin Em”) or perhaps it’s just the effortlessness at finding numerals in the album titles (Dedication 2, Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, Hunger for More 2, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx), it’s clear I have a deep well of interest in hip-hop culture and music.
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“What the fuck did you say to me, boy?”
“Sir, I just asked if you want to add fries with that.”
“Don’t fucking sir me, boy, trying to act all high and mighty and proper. Just get me my fucking hamburger, fucking raghead.”
The teenager’s head snaps back, as if he was slapped, and his mouth drops open. He throws Earl’s hamburger into its bag and, gritting his teeth, thrusts the bag through the drive-through window. Earl snatches the food and immediately claws open the hamburger wrapper.
“You probably spit in this too, didn’t you, raghead? Didn’t you?” Earl separates the pieces of the hamburger: pulling apart the bun, the beef patties, the lettuce, looking for the evidence of spit that eludes him.