Sorry To Bother You

Sorry-to-Bother-You-poster

The movie strikes one of my favorite balances: it’s weird and stylish without being avant-garde or impenetrable. It’s obviously a movie telling a story, there’s no question of “wait, did that happen ,” or “did I misunderstand the purpose of that scene,” there are little splashes of excitement and whimsy that separate it from a movie made by anyone other than Boots Riley. Scott Pilgrim and Dazed and Confused fill that same role for me, and they’re some of my all-time faves. A movie can score so many extra points from me just for trying. It can be a “bad movie” and still wedge itself into my heart (I’m lookin’ at you, Smokin’ Aces).

It draws a lot from Idiocracy, which is a hard comparison to avoid given Terry Crews’s similarly small role in both and the popularity of self-abuse game shows (though the timbre of this flick’s 150-million-viewer strong I Got The Shit Kicked Out of Me is a measure darker). I felt StBY was less cynical, though. Even with the folks happy to be slaves under Silicon-Valley endgame company Worryfree, Idiocracy opens with humanity already totally done for. And I always appreciate cynicism in the service of utopia rather than a bitter stew.

The bloody head-wound worsening until his third act redemption was on-the-nose, but Lakeith’s stagger throughout made him look weighed down. The world is always crushing him. And now I’m embarrassed that I didn’t register whether or not it persisted after that same redemption moment.

Armie Hammer did a pitch-perfect sneering Winklevii, so it stands to reason that he’d be the best fit for the sort of dictator tech-bro we see ascending to power around us every day. He’s won me over, big time, and I love comparing his maxed-out persona here with the snuggly big-brother-lover he played in Call Me By Your Name.

So simple that maybe you missed it but the popular soft drink is named Soda Cola. Made better for not rubbing it in the audience’s face (though it certainly rubs Cassius’s face). And along those lines, I am so embarrassed that it took me until the actual last reading of his name that “Cassius Green” = “Cash Is Green,” but there’s no WAY anyone else missed that.

And there was even more! Loved the costuming; psychedelic suits, bold ties, one-of-a-kind earrings. Extra flair like Mr. ____’s eyepatch seems a little try-hard when you focus on it, but who gives a shit? David Cross and Patton Oswalt were truly the best selections for white voice; I’ll follow Lily James into the dark after Baby Driver. So cool to see fellow NYU-er and inspired comedienne Kate Berlant show up (… Though now that I think about it, she vanishes halfway through, hm), along with cameos by Bay Area comics Kamau W. Bell and Nato Green. The Coup and tUnE-yArDs synthesize their boisterous joy for a soundtrack that had me swaying and tapping my toes every time a beat dropped. I’m going to be listening to “Level It Up” and “Hey Saturday Night” for the rest of the month, guaranteed. And let’s not forget, Patton starred in The Coup’s video for “The Magic Clap” back in 2012, which was, of course, from an album titled Sorry To Bother You.

Finally: I’ve spent some time lingering in Layover, the Oakland bar hosting several scenes. Just need to cap this on my cool, y’know?

The New York Times, “An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2016 Presidential Election”

Oh christ I’m half-staff at this map. Gimme that granular data. I don’t even care about what they’re trying to show me, I’m tracking down precincts where like 8 people voted for Trump and 5 for Hillary. Could move there and make an actual difference, change the world. Combine this with Google Streetview. Show me the houses and color them red and blue. I’m an explorer.

EDIT: “Brian what are you rambling on about now, how could you possibly find anything interest-” motherfucker i just uncovered the dark truth that 80% of the Area 51 aliens voted for Trump, how was your Friday evening with wine and friends you cur

area51 vote

“It Is Olivia’s Birthday: A Multimedia Retrospective”

Might as well keep the birthday rap train steaming along given that I never shared this back in October beyond texting it to Olivia (though she did post it on her Facebook wall at the time). It must be wild being my friend. Y’all are so lucky.

listen up yall got a friend named Olivia
birthday call so i’m droppin trivia
she’s way progressive to a point: shivvin ya
she’s downright quick as a fox: vivica
she’s everybody’s only favorite Quakerchic
she called me Birna and the nickname sticked
Livejournal page turna and an improv whiz
acting in plays and giving Jesse shiz
on that InstaQueen level Princess Diana
law to the lawless, reigns from Atlanta
tearin down the system with a fervor that’s rare
it’s why she hides her identity: last name Claire
and if these 27 years sound like fantasy
there’s evidence here:
it happened, a whole fam-i-ly

adopted a Gremlin one eye and tremblin
a gecko named Jucci patterned like Gucci
tattoo legend Michael ceramics gone wild
not the only pot we enjoy just a trifle
all four got that vital love always in cycle
You think you can be better than them? Try to!
party strooooong, Livvy’s worth a parade
or at least a song better than mine from 8th grade

Exiting my car at the sidewalk, a man sitting on some nearby stairs said “you look so kind!” I said “I try,” but it was hard to hear over the sound of my heart bursting. I think it was my sunshine yellow shirt what tricked him so.

Leaving the office, my boss’s housekeeper offered her traditional “be careful,” but this time she poked her head from around the corner and gave me the “I’m watching you” double-fingers. Is this yet criminal menacing?

On a flight several days ago, I sat next to a woman who held a pillow in her lap during take-off. I looked over about twenty minutes later and she had nodded off sitting up, neck at a 90 degree angle to her shoulders. The pillow remained on her lap. I reached up and turned off her reading light—the plane fell dark. Hers was the only light on.

Alex Cameron, “Candy May”

Massive role model vibes from Alex Cameron. Highlights are any clips of him dancing, like the hotel parking lot or the strip mall parking lot or the Vegas sidewalk with his saxophone boy Roy Malloy. I’m left with one question: for such a scummy life, how does he keep those white jeans spotless? Dude’s torso is entirely spots.