Today I am a little fed up with quality. I’m a little bit tired of superhuman perfection, whether in the hands of the old masters or a modern super-computer. I want to see some wires in my special effects. I’m looking for a little velvet on my Elvis. How about a little fun? Does everything have to be about something? Hell no. As Deborah Kerr was heard to say over and over, “Let’s stop everything and have sex right here!” Good idea, Debbie.
Taste, schmaste! I want to see schmaltz. I want lurid yellows and reds on my postcards. Hell, let’s have postcards, at all. Give me vibrant colors that bleed into my days, that call from spinner racks mounted to every surface in every highway stop or drug store. Bring me sexual jokes of doubtful taste, exaggerated claims and wild accusations, double entendres of singular power.
I want to look at an image every now and then and know there is a standard, no bullshit, struggling human being behind it working with old style tools.
Perfection and sophistication are plenty swell, but they sure do get boring. You can pretend to culture all you want, but even Shakespeare knew that nothing sells tickets like ass jokes.
Loudon Wainwright III once sang, “Sometimes I feel ugly and old, excuse me baby if I’m acting bold, my head gets hot but my feet are cold, oh excuse me…” and maybe it is partly that notion of being old and judgmental that brings this disquiet. There’s a lot of brattiness, but damned little boldness for all we pretend otherwise. Maybe I’m dissatisfied because I feel overwhelmed by a world I barely understand anymore, a world so precise that someone, somewhere might be indexing my molecules because, well, you never know when you’re going to need that. “I’m tired and thirsty and I’m looking for my youth. I’m a little uncool, and I’m a little uncouth.” If that’s the case, then write me off. Presume the feeling will pass. But don’t bet on it.
I’m pretty sure I will never look at the professionally marketed business, the branded-and-sanded-to-a-perfect-non-threatening-finish enterprise with anything but boredom and contempt, or the wistful wish that we could somehow muss it up a little, improve it the way a fresh pie would improve the face of Daniel Day Lewis. But it is not to be. We may never see the like of this sort of place again, the snarkless innocence of the totally clueless. But we can dream.