Here’s my bitch for today: the cult of livejournal versus actual writing. I am so fucking sick of reading journals in which some neato trendy person writes a “story” of a thousand words about their day or whatever, and they get 80 responses that are like “You are such a great writer! I can’t wait until you write a book and you become all rich and famous and quit your job at Starbucks. And I like your hair!” When I read this shit, it makes me want to go steal a signpost, sharpen one edge with my Dremel, and then jump off of a chair and skewer the bitch through my head, because I realize all is lost in the world, and I don’t even know why I fucking bother to write. A few things to point out to these sorts of people though. The first is that WRITERS DON’T GET RICH AND FAMOUS, YOU DOUCHEBAG. Some writers make some money, but we’re not talking about boy band levels of money or anything, and we’re not talking about the kind of fame where you’re touring from Borders to Borders in a huge bus like a Motley Crue video. With a few exceptions, most writers either work a day job, or fuck someone with a day job. Second, if you have never tried to write a book and you’re still toying around with journal entries, that’s like saying “I can run to the corner, maybe someday I will run the Boston Marathon.” Yeah, maybe you will, but not unless you run ten miles a day for the next year, and dicking around on livejournal to make your cam-buddies happy is not running ten miles. And of course, all of you are saying, “oh, Jon’s just jealous because nobody reads his journal.” No. The reason this pisses me off is the same as back in the dot-com days when someone would say “oh, this guy has a really neat web page on geocities, and it’s got an animated flame icon and everything. He must know a lot about computers. Maybe he should start a company.” No, maybe he should go FUCK HIMSELF.
I saw Dawn of the Dead last night, finally. I was feeling really fucked up all day because I switched blood pressure medicines because my endocrinologist, who we will call Dr. Mengele, decided to change to another kind, probably so Eli Lilly would make one of his boat payments or something. Anyway, all week, my mouth had been bothering me, like a cavity was coming in and I was eating too much sugar or something, until it got worse and worse and my whole mouth felt like it was ON FIRE. I didn’t link this to the new medicine for a few days, and though I was probably just getting yet another dental-related tragedy that would ultimately require me giving several thousand dollars to a dentist and/or going into the hills and shooting myself in the face. The burning felt like I was eating a tube of ben gay every few minutes (which I guess is better than eating a tube of gay cock every few minutes) and then I would either drink a lot of water or eat something and it would go away, but just for a few minutes, until I broke open about 12 benadryl capsules and snorted a line of that shit off a mirror and then passed out. But one night, while in this “drink water / lay down / curse mankind / get up” cycle, I went to google and put in “burning mouth” and luckily this is not the name of some festival in the desert, and I got the bright idea to put in “burning mouth lisinopril” and found a ton of web pages that told why I was fucked. So I stopped taking it entirely, and the burning is just about gone, but I went completely sideways as my circulatory system tried to figure out what the fuck was going on, and my brain acted accordingly. Which meant it was a perfect time to go see a movie.
I was skeptical about this new Dawn of the Dead, because I thought it might be some melanonin-enhanced travesty, with a bunch of thug rappas dressed in horror makeup and baggy jeans going “We be muthafuckin’ zombies! Brains, dog!” But all I can say about this movie was that it was absolutely, positively perfect. The only one single thing that I would’ve changed was that when they shot the Burt Reynolds zombie in the head, I would’ve made his toupee fly off in a different direction or something. There were real, old-school zombies everywhere, but some of the fast-cut or “how the fuck did they do that” imagery, like when they are backing up a truck full-speed and ramming into zombies like Babe Ruth hitting overripe cantaloupes with a lead pipe. There were plenty of guns, lots of headshots with full-on detail of exploding craniums, and other innovative zombie killings, like sticks through heads and whatnot. All of the chicks were hot, there was some good terror and drama, and the plot didn’t go stupid in the end.
One of my major complaints, however, is when people compare this to 28 Days Later, and say that 28… is a better movie. This is bullshit, and I will tell you why. 28 Days Later, although innovative and interesting, ultimately sucked. The ending completely blew, and it’s because it was a British movie, and as everyone knows, the British are a bunch of lightweights. The zombie movie is ultimately an American invention, and is a social construct showing the workingman against government, against society’s ills, and the whole thing relies on a perfect combination of these things. The British are a bunch of wankers and their society is the perfect mixture for some kind of movie like Love Actually or Bridget Jones or something. While Danny Boyle and company did manage to use some newer, more innovative film tricks with the fast cuts and speedy zombies that pulled me in, by the second act, they created some horrible commentary on the English working class that I really didn’t give a fuck about. And the third act is mostly a “oh look, the military is so bad” piece, which is probably why all of the no war losers in the US liked it so much. But the war part is vital to the formula, and you need the national guard there shooting zombies in the head for the metaphor to work, and that is why the British will never make a good horror zombie bloodbath movie, and should just stick to making stuff like Coldplay albums.
The other complaint I have about reviews is that, as someone mentioned on IMDB, a dearth of reviewers have equated Dawn of the Dead to a giant NRA wankfest. This is simply stupid. There are a few reasons why there were so many guns in the movie. One is that there are fewer and fewer guns in movies these days because in order to have guns, you have to have people die, and that might push you up to an R rating instead of the coveted PG-13, and that costs you money, and movies are released by whores and suckers of Satan’s cock that only care about money. So it’s getting rarer that you see an R-rated horror or action film (like The Punisher) that shows all-out gun-based violence. There’s also probably some Hollywood based activist group that lobbies the big studios to put less guns in movies, which figures. Also, in 28 Days there were no guns because they were in London, not Wisconsin. Also they wanted to keep the guns to the military folk to prop up the lame premise of the failed third act. Finally, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A ZOMBIE, PUT IT IN A TIME OUT? You shoot them in the fucking head. That is the one lesson that we should all learn from this movie: SHOOT THEM IN THE FUCKING HEAD. This also works with vampires, werewolves, aliens, carjackers, terrorists, and Jesus freaks. (Note that shooting them in the head doesn’t always work if you are on the Peter Jackson zombie theory with Dead Alive. Your best defense there is to never go to New Zealand or Australia.)
Another minor observation is that it’s interesting how people will now buy the mass terror in these sorts of movies. I mean, if me and Ray were watching a zombie movie ten years ago, we would duly note, “man, there’s no way all those people would just drop all their shit and run out of their house and run away like that. I bet everyone would stay behind and take some shit or something.” Well, after 9/11 and being one of those people that ran like fuck up Broadway and didn’t take something, it’s a much easier sell for them to set up this sort of disaster. It used to be that zombie movies used to spend a lot of time ramping up the whole “it’s spreading and we don’t know what it is, maybe we should sit here and do nothing” angle, but Dawn of the Dead pretty much blew through it by the opening credits, and I applaud them.
That’s about it. I was vaguely thinking of going to see Kill Bill this afternoon, but I don’t really want to pay $10.50 to watch Quentin Tarantino massage his prostate for two hours, so I guess I’ll stay home and watch TV instead.