Friday, January 08, 2010

Just 10 minutes of your time, please

I'm at that great bastion of democracy and free thought, the public library, and am doing one of those 10 minute free write thingies where I don't stop typing and just leave all this schtuff up there unedited for the world to enjoi. Besides, this ain't a paying gig, so whatsamatta U?

After watching Orson Welles' "The Stranger" and Roger Corman's "The Pit and the Pendulum," I realize that modern technology has robbed filmmaking of the simple and dramatic use of light and shadow. CGI has made subtlety an anachronism. Please bring back powerful characters, an interesting plot, and camera action that adds to the drama and beauty of a scene rather than bringing attention to itself, a la handheld first-person techniques so popular today. Not that I mind CGI or hand held shots. I just think something has been lost due to ease of technology.


All life is lived post-trail, for the trail, the outdoors, the wild places, sing in the soul, reverberate on the heartstrings and play freely in the memory, even while the body is encased in the protective womb of January.


The Greyhound experience is not to be missed. Bus vibration bringing all the body's essential oils to the surface. Scintillating overheard conversation like, "I guess I'm on furlough or whatever you want to call it. Cheap bastards just gave me food stamps and a bus ticket to get me to the halfway house." Riding Greyhound makes one ponder over the rationale of self-tattooing hearts and crosses on your hands. Or getting a neck tattoo done professionally. What goes through the minds of people who do such things? Do they hear all those doors of opportunity closing behind them. Two places where the cult of the neck tattoo go: County Courthouses to deal with their various legal difficulties, and Greyhound stations.

Setting the tone for the Greyhound journey, I paid $65 for a ride to a couple of recovering heroin addicts who know Asheville well because "that's where the methadone clinic is." Before I knew about this, they asked me if i minded if they smoked. I said "No," and that I had smoked for 10 years, quitting Oct. 26, 1998, at 5 p.m. I still dream about smoking, I said. Addiction's a powerful thing. The couple looked at each other in silence.

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