Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dart's Rant Of The Day: Snake Plissken's Dilemma

The Chuck Palahniuk novel "Fight Club" was adapted to film and became a cult sensation. What many many people seem to forget is that it got a delayed release because of the Columbine Massacre (as did the Othello update "O"). The film studio was afraid to release the film for fear it may incite violence or encourage antisocial behavior across the nation shortly after it's didn't. What it instead it was speak to an entire generation (or certain members of it), some of us did and do feel like pawns used by ad agencies and corporations blinding chasing some dream rather than stopping the bus and saying "No. I don't want the shit you're trying to sell me and I know that you're lying to us all".

I found myself really identifying with the character of Tyler Durden we both lived double lives, slept very little and often went on missions the night before that seemed to spill over into my day job. I was working as a cross trained ticket booth agent, concession stand worker and I was also the closing usher/night security in a movie theater down the street from my house. At the same time I was still getting up doing graf throwups & bombing with stickers & stencils when I could get them made. The buff would take down everything I put up within was damn near pointless. I was not living the conventional lifestyle befitting a 24 year old and I didn't want to get an office job like everyone wanted me to. I knew I'd snap if I was forced to become a drone. I know me.

As a child, I saw a film called "Escape From New York" on Starcase Pay TV (before cable TV as we know it today existed) with my big brother Dave. This film fucked me up for life. First off, you have to remember the I'm a 70's kid and I remember when the inner city was run down and shit was gritty. I remember back when junkies and pimps where a regular sight in my neighborhood. In New York, it was so bad in the 70's that Hollywood kept making movies about it becoming a lawless hellhole in the near future ("Fort Apache: The Bronx" anyone?). In this film New York & the island of Manhattan is essentially a maximum security prison closed off from the rest of the world and the protagonist is some dude named Snake Plissken.

Back when I was a kid, I mostly saw violent Japanese cartoons mixed in with American ones that always had morals and stressed the importance of being good or doing the right and just thing. Here I was faced with a character who was in jail and called on to complete a mission. I figured that he was unjustly in jail and that in this film he'd get his redemption and become a hero. My older brother assured me that wasn't the case. I was confused...6 year old minds aren't built for understand the complex concept of the antihero, after all. As I watched Snake, all I could think of was how cool he was...I didn't realize that was because he genuinely didn't give a fuck. Snake wanted to accomplish his mission and bounce. Everything else was inconsequential.

At the end of the film, when Snake had a chance to become to hero and potentially save the world after he'd been set free he did something I never imagined he'd do as a small child. He fucked over the very people that freed him and plunged the entire country into potential trouble. Then the movie ended. I was completely confused. Why did he do that? Doesn't the hero save the world and get the girl? In this movie, the girl died and Snake made things potentially worse. My brother explained to me that Snake wasn't a good guy and that they pretty much used him and gave him no choice so when he got out why would he do right by them if they were only using him in the first place. Snake wasn't doing that mission of his own free will or the kindness of his heart, he was forced into it.

I became a blogger because I couldn't work at the dying record stores anymore or the dying video stores anymore. You don't need to pay experts in an age where all you need to do is look up merchandise in a database and use the Google bar. There was a time back when I WAS the goddamn Google bar. I was doing a typical night job until I got promoted and promoted until I was sitting in an office with 20 employees under me wearing a button up shirt, dress pants, dress shoes and when it hit my 30th birthday and I was offered a shot at managing my own CVS I had a 3/8ths life crisis and quit my job before I was wearing a tie, getting paid salary, taking teleconferences and the other shit I tried to avoid for years. I didn't want to get married and have kids and wake up doing that for the rest of my life.

Now I've been forced into another corner by the death of the print industry. I won't be starting up the online version of Ego Trip Magazine. There will be no more Nelson George's or Harry Allen's. No one's going to bring The Source back to it's former glory. Stress Magazine, Elemental Magazine and Mass Appeal are all dead and gone. This is all there is left. We're essentially in a barren post apocalyptic wasteland fighting for every scrap we can ("First!"), putting watermarks on images and video we don't even own so the entire world knows that we came up with the idea to regurgitate some found piece of media before they did. So what do I do now? Have you ever heard of a blogger getting a book deal strictly from posting random shit up 5x weekly for 3 straight years before? I haven't.

If you're looking towards me for an answer as to how to resurrect the dying art of journalism, help raise to quality of Hip Hop blogging across the board or how to reform the dying major label music industry model I simply won't be paying attention...I'll be too busy destroying that cassette tape I was supposed to give the President that would smooth everything over with the Soviets and prevent World War 3 from happening*

*If you haven't seen the movie yet then that reference simply won't make much sense.


1 comment:

ENIG MUE said...

damn that was bleak.