Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Obama Victory Plate

This was inevitable, I guess. But what wasn't inevitable is the moment during the commercial when the young white guy writing a letter at his desk pauses to look at the Obama Victory Plate for inspiration. That's when I picked up the phone to order mine!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sex education (unwittingly)

I went to see the William Eggleston exhibit at the Whitney Museum yesterday. I like his photographs (if you're a Big Star/Alex Chilton fan you will already be familiar with his work from the Radio City and Like Flies on Sherbert album covers), but I was eager to see the video, Stranded in Canton, that's also part of the exhibit. It's mainly footage Eggleston shot during the early 70s in Memphis, Mississippi, and Louisiana. And since a good part of it was shot in bars in Memphis, it's mostly Eggleston's friends rambling drunkenly and lurching toward the camera. In many respects it's not that different than countless scenes you've probably already seen on Cops (although as far as I know, Cops has never featured a couple geeks biting the heads off of chickens). I'm not quite sure why I would find this so appealing, but it may be because I prefer watching humans in their most natural state: drunk, dumb, and barely civilized.

Later, while exploring the Progress exhibit on another floor, I had to chuckle when a well-meaning mom encouraged her young son and daughter to check out Ammo by Robert Rauschenberg (the NY Times described it as a sculpture of "obscurely erotic images of human body parts silk-screened on plexiglass backlighted by blinking lights"). "Look at the flashing lights," mom said as her kids approached the sculpture. For her sake, I hoped the kids couldn't make out the only images I could: cunnilingus, wide open beaver, and dangling balls mid-coitus.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not High

I haven't gotten stoned since I was a junior in high school. My brother was a freshman at Stockton State College in NJ at the time and had access to some really strong shit (Stockton had a notorious reputation as a "party school"). Home for the weekend, we smoked a joint of "Hawaiian" at a party and I got so high that I had to remove myself from the party to sit in the car and contemplate the fact that I had somehow become deceased. Even though I was utterly convinced that I was dead and that my existence had shifted to the astral plane, I had enough sense to wait in the car to be driven home and not embarrass myself any further. I'm not sure how long I sat there alone in the car, but with all the paranoid philosophical pondering going on in my mind, it felt like an eternity. I thought pot was supposed to be fun, like the time my brother and I got a friend to laugh so hard that we thought he might asphyxiate (well, maybe not that fun). What the fuck was this? It sure wasn't my idea of fun. To make matters worse, when I woke the next morning, I realized I still wasn't right in the head. I wasn't as locked in and as paranoid as the night before (I no longer thought I was dead), but I wasn't completely straight either. For about a week, I privately wondered if I might be going insane or if I had done permanent damage to my brain. And, of course, I didn't tell anyone what was going on out of fear that they would think I was really having a mental breakdown. When the effects finally dissipated, I swore off pot for good, which wasn't easy considering the grief I took from a friend (the laughing guy) who was really gung ho for getting high (naturally, he later went on to become a DEA agent) .

Imagine my surprise when I found myself smoking up in the parking lot of a comedy club with an attractive woman in a leopard costume last Halloween night. Would I have been so reckless had the guy dressed as "Sonny Bono after he hit the tree" asked me to spark one up? Probably not. I had just met the leopard lady and figured sharing a joint might make us best friends forever (they're right, high school never ends). On our way out to her car I got a bit of a scare when the leopard lady bragged about the high cost and quality of the weed we were about to smoke. That's when I figured I wasn't going to make it home that night. My friends would have to deal with me as if I were a corpse once I became a toasted, catatonic mummy. It wouldn't be pretty. Fortunately, things didn't end that badly. We smoked up and didn't get high (although I did manage to burn my fingers with my out of practice roach handling). After the leopard lady disposed of the dead roach with a bunch of 0thers under the passenger side car mat (I didn't even raise an eyebrow), we returned to the comedy club. "Are you high?" she asked as we settled back into our seats. "No, are you?" "No." "You got beat," I said using an expression for bum pot I hadn't used since the late 70s. And my friends and I laughed at the verbal flashback.

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