“I’d have to say…asphinctersayswhat?”

So I’m not dead or anything, just working a lot and trying to establish some kind of routine in this town. Making friends in the big city is hard! Minnesotans are polite, but Minneapolitans(?) are incredibly guarded. Dammit! Isn’t my earnest small-town manner charming you? Sigh.

So hey, Threadbared picked apart Harmony Korine’s film for Proenza Schouler so I don’t have to! Awesome. Mostly because Harmony Korine drives me into fits of frothing, snarling rage to the point where I can barely articulate myself.

Maybe it’s unfair, because I haven’t seen any of his movies besides Gummo, which was a while ago. I just have so little patience for people who produce art saying, essentially, “look at these wacky poor people! What a bunch of weirdos with strange, empty lives! Teehee!” I grew up working class in small towns and while I certainly don’t buy into romanticized notions of “rednecks” or what have you, I also cannot fucking stand when someone takes my childhood environment and exaggerates the shit out of it, just so educated urbanite types can look at it and chuckle and gasp in shock and feel superior. I understand that Korine grew up in the same kinds of places I did, but I also am pretty sure he’s aware of who usually sees his films (hint: not people from that background). Why portray poor folks as actual people when you can go for cheap shock by portraying them as circus freaks?

And hey, just listen to the man himself talk about his project: “The pattern and paint drips on their clothes spoke to me. It said, ‘go fuck up the world, burn shit, blow it up, drink a lot of malt liquor and eat some fried chicken, watch some strippers throw down the booty and find god.'” Malt liquor and fried chicken! Oh, that’s precious. Fuck off, Korine. And quit using Bathory in your soundtracks, asshole.

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~ by Smellen on September 7, 2010.

5 Responses to ““I’d have to say…asphinctersayswhat?””

  1. came from threadbared, and I have to tell you I’m in love!
    1. Feminist cultural studies obsession
    1.5 Intersectional/materialist-relationality feminist theory obsession
    2. Thrash metal/ anarcho punk obsession
    3. Obscure horror/cult movie obsession (cronenberg love)
    4. Material/ Pop Culture obsession
    need I say more?
    I don’t write online so I don’t have articulate examples of similar writing/subject position obsessions to bro down with you about but I recognize these feelings: and im crushin hard!
    We should be friends in real life,
    love,
    jen

  2. Somehow Mr. Korine had something to do with “Until The Light Takes Us.” Hmm.

    Still, I wonder: “The pattern and paint drips on their clothes spoke to me. It said, ‘go fuck up the world, burn shit, blow it up, drink a lot of malt liquor and eat some fried chicken, watch some strippers throw down the booty and find god.’”
    Not only did you peg the “malt liquor and chicken” bit (REALLY?!), but there’s also something remarkable about romanticizing nihilism like this. Such a back-to-the-wall position may seem ‘authentic’ somehow, but is judged so from a dizzying extent of privilege which takes the sting out of it. “Man, it must feel so REAL…”

    • re: Korine and Until the Light Takes Us:blurgh, that makes me even less inclined to actually see that movie sober.

      And yes about the romanticization of lower-class nihilism by over-privileged nitwits trying to make themselves look edgy. I am so over people throwing out tales of squalor to participate in some weird-ass authenticity contest. Especially if it’s meant to impress a hip young urbanite audience.

      I know some people were saying stuff like “hey, this film isn’t offensive because those girls are like the delinquent black girls in my neighborhood! People like that do exist!” And, okay, I didn’t grow up in a poor black neighborhood but I did grow up in the kind of dead-end white working class towns featured in Gummo. And yes, some fucked up shit went down in the places I grew up. I’m not going to pretend it didn’t. But I’m also not okay with ninnies like Korine using that kind of shit just to BLOW THE MINDS of some cokehead New Yorkers. The people I grew up around may have been fucked up in some ways but they were people, not a fucking sideshow.

      Gah, see? I can’t talk about this guy without devolving into a profanity fountain.

      • I have a pet theory, still rather hairless and needing some exercise, that Korine and his social strata are focusing on and romanticizing lower-class nihilism as a way of coping with their own. Which sounds extremely obvious now that it’s written out. But you read his description of what the pants spoke to him (?!?!?!?!) and it’s him talking to himself. The sort of desires that seem so authentic but would interrupt a career track.

        Blink blink.

        This is really a bigger question than just Korine, and someday I’ll get a post up about it – it touches on everything from black metal becoming academicized to our wholesale failure to imagine a future – but in the meantime, you may get a huge kick of out this:

        http://www.bust.com/blog/2010/09/14/not-even-camille-paglia-understands-the-phenomenon-that-is-lady-gaga.html

        And/or you may, like me, just get even more misanthropic.

  3. a few things to say about the movie gummo:
    1) WORD on the whole icky feel of the movie. i couldn’t even finish it, and i was disgusted with the weird sideshow aspect of the whole thing. as someone that grew up in a really shitty ghetto (although not a white one), i know that i would be pissed if a similar movie was made featuring interesting crackheads or prostitutes or something (i haven’t watched act da fool yet, though).

    2) i have a friend that grew up in the very gummo-esque town of eureka, ca and he said that when the movie came out, all the punks and metalheads dug it and felt like it was representin’ their fucked up hood in some way, although it’s not the same town. i’ve been to eureka and i really did see some spectacularly gummo-ish scenes happening in real life. not an excuse for gummo, but just another perspective from someone i know.

    3) i’ll be damned if that soundtrack isn’t just really good. ESPECIALLY the bethlehem track. i’ve never heard any other bethlehem that i like, but that song really rips my ears off. in a good way.

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