Wednesday, October 24, 2012
THIS, OF COURSE, is not today's lunch-- is that gag getting old? Who cares? This is a kind of a revenge lunch. Having made a trip to New York-- Manhattan, that is-- where I was struck dead mid-step no less than a half dozen times by the haughty aroma floating in the air around a cheese monger's stand, not least by the rafts contained in the Whole Foods in the basement of the Time Warner building on Columbus Circle, I came home to a half-wheel of Ile De France brie, which I had opened the week before we left, and which had ripened to great effect. In fact, everything here, except the mango and the black olives, is a left-over of some sort. Call it serendipity.
Today's lunch is a chili cheese tater tot combo which is almost good. Instead of my usual tamperable chili, I used a store brand that took twice as much tampering and still has that slight industrial sludge quality such things always do. I managed to cover it with enough cheese that it is palatable on the whole, and I managed to distract myself with Saranac's seasonal pumpkin ale, which was quite subtle and bearable as such things go, and then dropped a Sara IPA on top of that, which-- wait a moment-- in the words of George Carlin, "If I'm really pissed at 'em, I'll drop a watermelon on 'em! BOOOOOSSSHHH!" (If that's too deep a reference, it's from the bit wherein we find the phrase "Snap, Crackle, Fuck Him." If that's too deep for you, it's from the routine most commonly known as "Arguing With My Breakfast Cereal." Go do your research., It's good for you.)
This, rather obviously, is not the film of the day. This was one night last week when there was nothing else on, so I ended up watching it far sooner than I think I would have. Not that it';s not an excellent film, for what it is. It's just that it had three strikes against it starting out. First, it's very writerly, which I knew it would be, in not the worst possible way, but just in a way I thought would distract me. Secondly, it's more than a bit on the maudlin side, which I knew from reading the reviews when it was out in the theaters. Lastly, it banks a little hard on the cinematography, which, again, I got from the reviews. But in the end, I didn't like it for a completely different reason.
Not that I didn't like it. I did, for a couple of reasons, not least of which was watching Cloony do that in-just-over-his-head bit, which he did almost the whole way through, and which he does so very, very well. Also the cinematography, which was gorgeous and lush and had the added advantage OF HAWAII. I mean, that does help. But there were a coupla things that got me. First of all, the formula of having your characters, one at a time, Release Their Inner Assholes, is one I have never really liked. And then there's the Make The Angel The Demon ploy, which is well done here, but still. Once the card is played, it's played. You can only win one hand with it. But finally, there's the whole Whitey Must Pay factor. I'll explain that below. Originally I was going to entitle this "Crusty, Cheesy Goodness," but any fan and long-time viewer of South Park will know why the title above is infinitely funnier.
Because, in an earlier episode, the writers tweaked themselves over their own creativity by having a character respond to every evil scheme to destroy the town (concocted by Butters, in his alter ego of Professor Chaos) by insisting that The Simpsons employed the same plot device first. (Which, as an indication as to precisely how well fucking written this episode is, they had.) Which is to say, I would satirize this movie for the way they made all their "Hawaiians" white in an oddly appropriate way which is still pretty goddamned cloying in the long run, there's no point. South Park did it. Mahalo!