Tuesday, May 18, 2010

well I don't need safety gloves because I'm homer simp...

Man, I just saw that Forrest Gump movie for the first time and know what? It spoke to me. That Forrest! Sheeeeeeeit! What a good boy. He’s the god damned American Dream, son! Tell you what! I mean, he ain’t too bright, right? Right! Good! Don’t need to be! Know why? Well, I’ll tell you: God. He loves him. That’s enough. He loves his momma, he loves his god and he’s just a good simple honest hardworking salt of the earth boy with enough brains in his head to know what he knows and stay away from whatever keeps people from loving god and mommas out there.

Hell, did you know old Forrest is a millionaire? Damn straight! He’s loaded! I KNEW he was a good boy when I saw how he wanted no truck with the floozys and the booze and the longhairs (I mean will you LOOK at that haircut! Those pants! That sensible button up tucked into said pants! That’s the kind of Walmartian total package that just SCREAMS America and moms and babies and drubbing communist China using nothing more than a fifth grade education and a small paddle). NOW I can go to Bubba Gumps shrimp co. and know that my money is going to a good, hard working simple boy who wants nothing more than to do some jogging and keep it simple all while pining for his (spoiler alert) dead highschool sweetheart wife and his (one more time, folks) dead momma. Oh, sure. I know he ain’t real, but the good folks that named their place of business after Forrest’s whimsical dedication to his dead buddy’s dream have got to have their hearts in the right place, right? I mean, there’s no room for cynicism and corporate synergy and the notion of preying on stupid scared people by disguising corporate colonialism as jingoistic and highly anti-intellectual sloganeering in a story that beautiful, right?

And hell, even if it was, ain’t that America’s main export anyway these days? Xenophobia and blind nationalism and slavelike devotion to cancerous box stores and their food providing subsidies? I mean, besides oil, folks! You’re welcome Mexico! Heyooo!

What? Sure it was us! Who else has the money and the ballsacks to ruin a big fancy ship? No one, that’s who! USA! USA!

I mean, seriously, those Mexicans don’t need to hop the border no more folks! We just set them up for life! We should start calling the gulf of Mexico “little Saudi Arabia” right? I mean, it ain’t nothing but oil, folks! And if my book learnin’ don’t deceive me, that’s exactly what we’re blowin’ up all those dune [expletive deleted] over in Crapistan for, right? Sure it is. So there you go! Problem solved. USA! USA!

I bet now all them Mexicans in AZ are gonna stop with carrying their papers (if they got ‘em [not likely]). Now that we went n fixed Mexico up all nice you can bet your bible that they’re gonna stop crying about that law that gives em a free ride back to little Saudi Arabia when they leave their (fraudulently obtained) driver’s license at home. Bet on it!

Okay, anyway, enough of that. I just watched Forrest Gump for the first time (I know, it’s an old movie and everyone’s seen it. What rock do I live under? Nice one…whatever. Dumb movie and I wish I’d never seen it. How’s that, assholes?) and now I get it. That was the cultural inroad that successfully posited anti-intellectualism as the true perfect manifestation of the American dream. Now, I’m not suggesting that all the teabaggers and Glen Becks of the world wouldn’t exist without Forrest Gump, but I AM suggesting that it played a crucial role in softening the cervix of the national consciousness (to fashion a metaphor out of some terms I’ve heard a lot of recently) and grounding this anti-intellectualism in something familiar. It didn’t cook up the movement, but it helped to plate it. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say it put it in a cardboard bucket and smothered it in gravy, but whatever. You get the idea. What a fucking shitty excuse for a movie. It’s like avatar. THIS is what you pulled out all these technical stops for? Great. I guess that’s what pushes innovation…bad storytelling and/or thinly veiled pandering to idiots. I mean, at least a good band invented distortion. That’s about it though. Everything else is because of crappy stories. It’s true. Penicillin? Bad story. The two headed dildo? Thinly veiled entreaty to pretend that eating sub sandwiches is somehow good for you. And on and on like that, folks.

Okay, so in the spirit of pseudo intellectual/literary discourse, I’d like to point out that Forrest Gump is undoubtedly one of the biggest pro-corporate colonialism films of all time. I mean, it’s right in the story. The whole movie is about a dummy just kind of rolling with the punches as business folks and huge companies take care of stuff and slap his likeness on things (even if he doesn’t really wanna endorse em, y’all!) and he winds up so very rich and so very happy.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the people who wrote it had a sinister motive. I don’t think that’s the case. But it’s interesting that as it panders to big (evil? Sure.) corporate interests and the notion of leaving things in the hands of A) god and B) people in suits who know more than you, that they’ve completely recapitulated the traditional American literary trope of how geographic America shapes morality and financial success.

Here’s what I mean: Everyone knows that as you go west in American literature you gain moral fiber even as your finances wither away. Likewise, any trip east is met with economic gain and moral bankruptcy. That’s the tradition, folks. Read Grapes of Wrath or the Great Gatsby for a couple of prominent examples of this. And lest you think I’m unfairly holding a dumb movie about a mongo with a three dollar haircut to the standards of American classics, I’d like to point out that there’s more than passing references to both of these books in Gump AND the scope of the film certainly suggests that it at least would like to be perceived as a new American classic (and for some crappy reason, it is), so it’s actually not a stretch, smart guy!

Anyway, Robin Wright Penn goes west to hang out with (and commit sodomy with) longhairs and lives the morally bankrupt (sad! Empty!) lifestyle that only getting filthy rich with your cock/cunt out can provide, but as she heads back east, she gets her hair cut at walmart and a shapeless dress and comes home to die, married and well…wealthy, I guess, (thank you dummy!) but actually looking a lot like a poor person and living among the salt of the earth and all that. And of course there’s Forrest’s whole thing. Going east to find both his moral and economic peaks, from his stint in China, big upping the USA (in probably the most unbelievable part of the whole movie. There’s no way a hick from Alabama can beat the Chinese in ping pong. I’ll never believe it) to his wonderfully amiable racially diverse home in Alabama where his momma and dead friends and heretofore unknown son and all that stuff reside, along with his stick-to-itiveness and checks for millions of dollars, of course.

That’s a complete rewrite of an American tradition that, when applied to classics makes the East egg a center of good hearted philanthropy and the notion of attempting to better yourself by setting out for the promised land as a surefire descent into depravity, cocaine, blowjobs and suicide.

Whatever. Stupid fucking movie. Insulting even.
Oh, you liked it? Bully for you. I think it sucks.

See you all at Subterranean tomorrow, right? We’re having a party and the money is going to a good cause. There’s gonna be raffles for cubs tickets and shit there too, folks, so bring your dildos for the silent dildo auction.

What? Of course I’m serious.

Okay, I’m out of here. Nap time.

Ta.

36 comments:

Bridgett said...

I've never seen Forrest Gump, but that's because Tom Hanks annoys the piss out of me.

Dan said...

True, it has stupid American bullshit in it, but it is creativity and entertainment, with pretty good acting. Fucking lighten up?

Maximilian said...

i don't think it's a bad movie but i also don't think it's a good movie. it's just... out there, and i really don't care about it.

but friends of mine invented a nice drinking game to the movie. the only rule is: drink a shot every time you here the name forrest. i think it lasted about half an hour.

Blake said...

Oh, come ON. Lieutenant Dan, man. Dude had no legs! Fucking hilarious!

Robb said...

I think I speak for everyone when I say we're nothing but envious you'd never seen FG. If I'm not crazy a cash-in sequel was written to the original book (Gump and Co.?) which supposedly has the EXACT same plot, except ol Forest stumbles through a different set of significant historical events this time...small miracle that never came to cinematic fruition

Robb said...

I will concede Lt Dan was pretty hilarious; I always laighed my ass off in the scene where he and Forrest are with the hookers and he falls out of the chair

Scott said...

woo hoo sub t tomorrow!

limited nobility said...

I read a little bit of the book in a grocery store when I was in fourth grade while my mom shopped (maybe a half a chapter) and all I remember was forrest seemed petulant and analytical and im pretty sure was making fun of lesser tards.I may be wrong but It struck me as very different in tone than the film.Really doesnt matter its not like people are always going on about zemickisesque films or have any idea who wrote the book and im sure beck and palin's film inspirations are more ironic network for glenn and dances with wolves/white fang or something infuriating like that for sarah

dustyfloors said...

SubT.
Can't wait!

Word verification:
buthypor

It's like a mood ring. I am feeling very butt hyper today!

Candice said...

now i feel like an asshole for liking that movie.

nd said...

Even more unbelievable than a hick from Alabama beating the Chinese in ping pong is the fact you're having a nap with a newborn in the house. Not buying it.

Jody said...

I like this movie. I guess I never really looked into it too deeply. It's probably been about 10 years since I've seen it last.

laurabm said...

I hope youre kidding! How is Lt. Dan hilarious? Not saying you have to pity handicapped people but I dont see how hes funny. Hey Dusty, how many people fit in Sub? Im hoping its tiny.

cmx said...

i gotta say that i do enjoy forest gump. and really, robb, that scene? i guess it's not fresh in my mind but i don't think that was supposed to be comic relief. as i recall it was supposed to show how broken down he had become. either im remembering it wrong or you possibly have aspergers. or maybe i need to lighten up and watch all those wacky guys stumbling all over the beach in saving private ryan.

super stoked for tomorrow. i feel like a 10 year old on christmas eve.

cmx said...

he's not funny because he is in a wheel chair. thats just stupid. hes funny because of his behavior and outlook on life.

Andrew said...

forrest gump is probably top 5 all-time favorites for me. but then again so is Leon and that got shit on by the bad sandwhich king a few months ago also so what do i know?

Robb said...

the longer version of that anecdote, cmx, is - F Gump came out in '94 when I was in third/fourth grade. Depite my best intentions I'd giggle at Lt Dan's fall the first few times I saw it, even though the tone of the scene clearly said "This is SAAAAAD!" Then, I'd immediately feel guilty for the next 5-10 minutes over having basically laughed at a handicapped person's expense. This pattern ensued the first few times I saw FG.
That said, fuck FG. It's one of the most shamelessly manipulative flicks hollywood's ever shat out. It can even hang with Shawshank in that department, no small feat. Case in point, that scene - a better flick could have found a more subtle and tasteful way to show Dan's plight and evoke our sympathy than a crude bellyflop from his chair while a pair of fundamentally unlikable coked out skanks--their presence solely to heighten our emotional response via their crude reaction--laugh and jeer. It has nothing to say, which would be fine if only it didn't take itself so seriously. That said I DO get the appeal, so Forrest lovers, love away!!

Hamilton Martin said...

my problem with FG is Jenny. She's a whore. She doesn't want anything to do with Forrest because he's a tard so she goes off and drugs it up and fucks every rock star, etc. and then finally when she's all ate up with AIDS and broke and has a baby who she never informed Forrest of, and he just happens to be a millionaire, she goes back to him. She's a fucking bitch whore who takes advantage of a retard's crush, its always bothered the shit outta me

Banana@1000MPH said...

Robb, don't bring Shawshank into this.

Robb said...

You're right. I think it's one of the flew flicks you're guaranteed to piss off even more ppl by shitting on than FG. Shawshank lovers, love away! Did Bk poopoo Leon? I dont remember that

disastermarch said...

i think your all reading in to this way to much, FG is a family film that (at least in my mind) is a funny/romantic comedy whose only real point is to show how anyone (even the "dumb" kid from AL) can show up anywhere in history and unbeknownst to him become an influence on history, pop culture, corporate america, whatever you want to call it. I see it as the ultimate joke of the movie that he ends up rich/famous/inspiring without even realizing it or trying to (which really shows how much of a crap-shoot the economic reality in this country is, not that believing in the machine and their agenda will make you rich). While your argument makes sense BK I really don't see an intentional cometary on how being a good, dumb, god-fearing 'Merican is profitable or how the movie is the "biggest pro-corporate colonialism" pushing film of all time. sure, you guys might see it that way but if all you truly believe that ALL pop media is trying to push products or the colonial/corporate agenda, of course your going to see it that way even if that is no where close to the intended point.

then again I'm a math guy, not a literary guy. I'm with Dan and Candice, I enjoyed this movie (and Shawshank too, btw). so tag, your it.

Moore Sketches! said...

how about those blackhaaaaaaaaawks?!

Dave said...

Socks! Does anyone have an extra ticket for the show tomorrow? My roommate got screwed and needs one desperately--more than willing to make a deal. Let me know, please and thanks!

limited nobility said...

I agree with cmx.Dan isnt funny because he is in a wheelchair.He's funny because he falls out of it........You still love it so own that shit robb!

Toto said...

i've got 3 things to say(i'm feeling organized)

1-FG is the reason why third world countries like mine are where we are.and also the reason why we hate most of you "north americans" (see what i did there?i said "north" americans, because as a person from argentina i'm from america too,south america that is.).i don't really hate you.

3-i just saw a movie called groundhog day,it was probably worst than shawshank and FG together.

2-Frank Grimes is by far the best character to ever appear in a simpsons episode

Toto said...

FORREST GUMP IS A HATE FACTORY.

(i just felt like writing that up there and leaving,i think that makes me look cool and mysterious,i also think is a good band name for a crust punk band or something.it would also do it for a book's title,about nationalism and american history in general.for now i'm just gonna use it for a song title for my lame band)

J said...

Dude, you're right. Forrest Gump spoke to me in all the worst ways. In fact, after I saw it many years ago, I decided I'd been taking my life in completely the wrong direction! I quit school at 10 years old, got a flat-top and some high-waters, joined the army, then sat and started praying for my mother to get cancer and for me to get sent into a brushfire war in some fucking jebus-forsaken jungle country. Worked out great. Accidentally boned my high school sweetheart and I spend hours talking to uninterested strangers on park benches.

Get real, bro. It's a fucking movie. Just because it IS social commentary in pretty much every way you described, doesn't mean viewers see it as such. It's a fucking feel-good movie.

You should do Shrek next. I really fault that movie for making it seem like things end happily ever after, when the world is actually a giant gaping shithole through which the wind whistles.

Word verification: uncling. A small uncle.

planespotting said...

@Dave - I happen to have one. Post your e-mail address and I'll contact you with more info.

Brendan Kelly said...

J-
That essay wasn't for dumb people, so I see why it upset you. The fact is, and I'm gonna do this slowly this time, anything, be it pop culture, a politician a philosophy or a method of selling sandwiches that posits the theory that being stupid is okay (in the case of FG not just okay, but the best, purest, most genuinely American way to be that there is) is insulting to my country, my intelligence and very, very dangerous in the hands of extremely stupid people who get very little validation outside of Palin rallies and episodes of Maury Povich. SO, I'm not gonna lighten up, bro.
That movie sucks and the message IS poison.
Um...sorry you relate to it. Maybe you should take some night classes.
As for shrek, how bout this, smartguy: She has to turn ugly to be with shrek, eh? That's fucked up. Why can't the beautiful princess love the ogre and just be happy being herself and having an ogre husband? That's either a message about settling for less, a crazy stab at female self esteem or some kind of veiled comment on race mixing.
Up next, your mom: your mom's so fat that I cut her and she bled gravy.

There's a new entry coming this afternoon folks. be patient. See you tonight!

Candice said...

I love you, Brendan. See you tonight...in my dreams.

meo150 said...

forrest gump was one of the best movies of that time period. hes much less of a character that people try to be like than todays thugs and gangsters, who are probably doing a lot worse for perspectives of todays youth. yeah, it definately fueled a lot of the problems you mentioned, but at least he was genuine and sincere.

dustyfloors said...

My girlfriend got off work last night (at her bar) and hung out there and got pretty wasted. She came home at 6:30am and was puking.
Me getting ready for work and being sensitive about her situation told her that she better not be a piece of shit tonight for this show...
She told me that is why she was throwing up so she wouldn't have as bad a hangover.
True love.

Word verification: foundude...
Name of the first gay bar I open? Yes.

thelasttimeisawyou said...

At which point does it suggest "being stupid" is ok? he isn't acting stupid for the sake of it - he was born like that? If anything the film emphasises what he achives DESPITE being born retarded - besides his mental capacities is more an emotional hook for the sake of the film and the audience then any pro-commercial or conglomerate commentary? jeez!

Forest Gump is just a template standard character - you make him vunerable, likeable, pure but with limitations or defects be they mental or physical - then you do the worst possible things to him - kill his friends, wife, mum - send him to war - yet he still triumphs - its just a feel good story. The catch is the nostalgia that sets and links him to various important events during that time - its just a sort of plot device - to differeniate it from any standard - small town boy does good story. Sure films are there to be studied and analysed but you could make an argument for the complete oppositte. You could take it that any body no matter how small can have a huge impact on peoples lives and the world - take that message out of it rather than cynical sublimal propopaganda

Tom said...

Oh man, Frank Grimes is definitely 1 of the best Simpsons characters. Some guys on punktastic made a sweet Descendents/Frank Grimes 'Homer Sucks' shirt, it was fucking awesome, wish I bought 1 now.

Drew Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew Brooks said...

As someone that was born and raised and actually still lives in Alabama, I've got two things to say.

1) Forrest Gump furthers the stereotype that every person down here is a slow-talking fucking moron. Because of that, I hate Forrest Gump. Not everyone down here is that much of a fucktard. It's simply not true. There are, believe it or not, lots of intelligent, open-minded, culturally diverse people down here that don't act like everything that's good in the world is the work of God and they contribute to trying to drag my home state out of the hole that it's been dug in to pretty much since Alabama has been a state.

2) I've playing ping pong against Chinese exchange students and you're right BK, they have a gift. I didn't think ping pong balls could leave bruises until I played against a guy from Shanghai. He whooped my ass.