This gallery contains 10 photos.
Red Moleskine Art Show: Chapter 1
EVEN THE LORAX
ON HIS SMALL YELLOW STUMP
FELT A THICKENING FEELING
GROW WITH A LUMP AND A BUMP
AS HE SAW MONEY PILE HIGH
RIGHT UP PAST HIS THROAT.
THE ONCELER WAS RIGHT,
HE THOUGHT WITH A SIGH.
EVERYONE HAS A PRICE
AND NOW SO DO I.
I wrote this when The Lorax was first released because I was irritated that the characters from the film were being used to sell cars:
Admittedly they were hybrid cars but it seemed to fly in the face of everything that Dr. Seuss, his friend Theodor Geisel and the whole meaning of the original Lorax story stood for.
I have updated this post with the above comment because I am still fucking irritated by the whole concept. For those who have not had the pleasure of reading The Lorax the message is pretty clear. It is a moral warning against the excesses of Industrial Capitalism. So it fills my throat with bile, bile that has flowed up from my stomach, to see the characters for a story that is explicitly warning against the kind of rampant consumerist capitalism, that car companies have been instrumental in creating and perpetrating, are used to hawk their products.
The only way I can express my fucking irritation is in my tiny little blog.
So here I am Fighting the Power.
I am definitely still fucking irritated but I cannot deny that The Lorax commercial is beautifully animated and I am a sucker for fine animation.
Oh how hilarious The Real World is. I don’t understand one moment of it.
I must go for a drive in my air conditioned car to calm down.
I was talking with a friend about how much we love the way that American movies from the 1970s look. We rattled off a few of the macho gritty films that we loved; The French Connection, Black Sunday, Klute,Prime Cut; as much to show off our knowledge as to make our point about a particular film aesthetic. The washed out colours, the use in genre pictures of the new wave hand held camera that would become so derigeur, the location shooting outside on the cold streets of whatever city they happened to be in at the time; Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. This is how I came to know and love America before I moved here. The overwhelming of the senses through big architecture, big emotion, big human interaction. All of this, as it turns out, artificial and created for the films that I watched – but I was not to know this at the time. I had not yet experienced the boredom of America, it’s long empty roads of meaninglessness. I had not experienced it’s tired citizens and it’s angry indecision. I was ignorant of the simmering cauldron of anger that boiled below the surface; acting as threat and fuel to all the fine people of this nation. Recollecting the manner in which I watched these films I realised that I had seen most of these works, not at the cinema, with pristine new prints, but late night on British television with the volume down so as not to wake the rest of the house on a tiny set with poor colour correction, little contrast and the glow from the tubes that gave any hope of showing the directors vision short shrift. My understanding of the aesthetic had been totally false, filtered, by chance and the limitations of 1980s technology, into washed out pastels that had never been the intention of the filmmakers. It was not an America that had ever supposed to exist or an America that, now with the advent of Blu-ray and online movie stores, would ever exist again. Yet, even now, I recall with nostalgia, the hunched shoulders of Popeye Doyle as he swaggers down the street to save America from Europe’s heroine barons, the relentless stride of Lee Marvin as he tries to save Sissy Spacek from Gene Hackman, the obsessional drive of Robert Shaw to stop a terrorist attack on a football stadium. It just makes me realise that what we want others to see is not necessarily the thing that they will see and what we ourselves observe can be filtered through any manner of myriad devices, experiences, dreams and nightmares. Will anyone say the same of Transformers: Dark of the Moon? I suspect not. Then my mind wanders to a deeper problem, beyond aesthetics and something that still exists, albeit in a more subtle way today. I was watching films where white men get things done, white men strive and fail; everyone else is a backdrop to their drama, their hopes and dreams. It is not the America I live in. It is not really an America that has ever existed. The America I live in is a kaleidoscope, shifting, pulsing and alive; archetype free with a story constantly in flux pushing relentlessly on into a future it knows, deep down, it has no control over. It is a country with no easy answers and absent heroes. That is why I love America. That is why America terrifies me.