This Many Boyfriends Club: The Stoner Auteur


Some time ago I was snarking on unpretty-to-me ladies. I meant to follow up on men. It's not as if they are any better. For a spell, I was concerned with indie dudes who have started looking like lesbians, Thurston Moore being a top contender (Wes Anderson will get there eventually). David Gordon Green was also up there, as I was thinking about going to see him speak at the premiere of Prince Avalanche but got too agoraphobic and weird about attending a screening alone. I mean, really, who cares? But seriously, I was kind of shocked that he's not even 40 (Danny McBride either, which is also disconcerting) because he has that soft "Low T" losing your angles face.  

I've been on a hard Eastbound & Down Bender where I've been recommending it to friends without cable, which is to say all friends. George Washington sucked me in way after the fact and made me kind of fall in love with whatever mind must've came up with such a lovely, subtle movie, especially at 25. And then that same brain was responsible for contributing to the fictional world that supports Kenny Powers? Are you male me? Can I meet you?

75% of the appeal comes from the music, I think. Pathos. Hubris. Downfall. The soundtrack is always spot on. I was thinking a most representative scene was the baseball showdown in the third series where Kenny is on a  comeback. The percussion starts in  (1:44) fuzzy synths and tinkles slowly build up… there's always a lull (I don’t know terminology for all the things that happen in music but there probably is one) that makes  me want to cry and then victory. Maybe you need context. Maybe not, though. This case was unusual in that I wasn't even familiar with the song ("Without You" by Rainbow Arabia) so it's clearly not triggering nostalgia emotions.

I also got feelings from the way "Alive and Kicking" swept in (3:13) at the finale of an episode in the final season. So perfect, from lonely piano notes to percussion swarm, up to the on-top-of-the-world climax. No one under 35 could've possibly chosen the lesser Simple Minds hit for optimal poignancy. Unfortunately, YouTubers cut these clips off at the credits–the songs always hit at the very end–not allowing for the full glory play out. Don't make me have to start making my own snippets (it took me 30 minutes to get what I wanted from The Americans and The Bridge because I'm inept with video).

I would not say that I’m particularly attracted to David Gordon Green on a gut visual level (my biggest beef with Tinder and online dating in general–we're all looks-driven, but just because you have a nice face [I'll immediately dismiss anyone displaying abs] doesn't mean we'd get along) but I think we’d have fun together even though he reeks of dog person-ness. I don’t camp or fish or swim in lakes, which obviously goes hand in  hand with canine love. He also strikes me as someone who would've married young and by now would have two teenage kids making me feel even older than the three years separating us, but he doesn't appear to have any more domestic  obligations than I do. I've also never been a huge stoner, despite my NW upbringing, and this brand of humor is classically pothead.  As I age and get busier, though, I appreciate slowness and absurdity more. The concept of a productive, successful stoner holds more appeal the older I get.

Recently, I got a friend hooked on Eastbound & Down–we watched most of season one and two interspersed with The Returned to tamp down the French horror series' heaviness–but between Christmas and New Year's she jumped ahead to the third season. She had been talking about Kenny Powers (and how he has no upper arm muscle tone and strangely small shoulders compared to his girth–I would totally have this build if I were a man) and the scene where he's on a coke bender and Shane dies. OK, that's an awesome music-fueled scene, from the understated Bauhaus in the background to the Bangles crescendo. Has "Walk Like an Egyptian" ever been used for such effect?

Best YouTube comment: Lol @ doing coke in your 40's and dying from it.

LOL at 30-something dudes looking middle aged.

On New Year's Eve I drank more than enough, made it home by 4am and still poured a shot of Jim Beam (bought at Duty Free in Dubai, knowing I'd be unable to buy alcohol once in the city) to re-watch the above scene.  I would like to say that ushering in 2014 in this manner is some sort of metaphor for the year ahead, but I'm pretty sure it only means that I like watching Eastbound & Down a little too much (the finale made me bawl) and it's even better if you're drunk or high.

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