Tuesday, April 16, 2013

le contempt

le contempt

she sat perfectly cross-legged, her head positioned just so...  her face was seemingly expressionless but the music danced across her eyes, its rhythms butchering a kind of fandango in a macabre psychoesque manner.  she held an affinity with villa lobos, or so she felt;  all those exotic latin phrases couched in european harmonies—bach sambas, astrid gilberto on the beach with a duport stradivarius.  she loved his works for cello, the Bachianas Brasileiras etc, but it was his guitar etudes that she loved the most.  she even went as far as attempting a transcription for cello but gave it up after a while.  all latin composers are guitarists at heart.

it was a marathon session:  all seventeen string quartets by hector villa lobos, played straight through with only two ten minute breaks.  a kind of exclusive rave for grownups and ultra hipsters;  no invintations, just word of mouth and the ability to sit for hours on end like some greco-roman tombstone frieze.  it was held outdoors in a huge backyard gazebo like structures, a natural amphitheater on private grounds forty minuets outside la.  dress, like all these affairs, was hyper formal— diana vreeland on crack, alice de janze after a bender, holly golightly on those rare evenings when she couldn't fanagle the powder room...    no supper, just hors d' oeuvres all freakishly designed and white wines from the russian river valley, so as not to corrupt the palate.

she shunned the after-parties, clambakes and assorted opium-den-like soirees unless perhaps in the company of a client whose taste borders on the hieronymousboschian, or when courting a particularly illusive contract.  no, it was more than enough to be seen at these events, to be gleaned tapping ones toes, preferably in-time and hanging out after the festivities with the performers, trading jibes on the last few years of arnold schoenberg and exclaiming in wonder at the prevailing trend to favor the second viennese school at leading american musical institutions.

oh my god…the poco andantino

this declaration was immediately echoed by all

…and that tempo!

perfect, they exclaimed to a man, perfect!

she held the ear of the cellist steadfast.  rapid quips regarding resin, humidity and that (choice of edits fixit ).  

did you hear about (relevant cellist teacher/repair etc fixit )  

no, she had not.  the chatter rose and fell intermittantly, pockets rising up; the violinist and his usual cadre of lackeys hanger's-on fixit, the violist and his anarchists and of course, true to any serious gathering of musicians, one player has usually bolted before the last harmonic dissolves into the stratosphere…  in this case, the second violinist, on retainer from some odd pool of usual suspects.  

she stayed though, just at the breaking point of congeniallity, to admire and console, to smile and nod, to give this occassion its proper due, knowing as she did, with perhaps only a mere handful of others, that this was a once in a lifetime happening, a convergence of constellations and appropriate prophecies the like of which will not be seen again in her lifetime, perhaps no other's.  


she awoke each morning to a selection of dialoques from various plays and film; bogart's asides to captain rainey fixit, bernstein's girl in the white parosal, a collection of monologues from the great george sanders, gielgud's fixit rant afore the bat of malmsey fixit, butley and that bit about the seminal fuck and of course burton and his roadhouse confessions, "when i was sixteen and going to prep school during the punic wars…,"  these alarums would manifest in her a myriad of dreams and situations; would emerce her in fantastical scenarios, sometimes troubling but mostly divine and revelatory.

she entered the underground structure through a dedicated lane whizzing at just under seventyfive, this parking garage, this maze of architecture and turned an immediate right into the reserved spaces.  she carried nothing but a sleek leather shoulder case and made her way pavlovian toward the etched steel elevators lovingly programmed to return to garage level during the first few hours of the business day.

parker posey stood all parkyposeyesque, as is parker posey's wont, in the middle of the foyer munching an non-descript something or other waiting with the patience of ten thousand suns on que for the ladies room.  

come with me...

she led parker posey through a set of inconspicuous double doors, down halls turning here and there and into a anti-chamber like room with shocking glass walls floor to ceiling and deceptively simple formica-like tables bereft of drawers or cabinets or any discernable artifacts save sculpted black high grade plastic pencil holders.  there were low lying leather chairs and couches and space...loads and loads of space.

parker posey sat upon an impossible porcelan structure contemplating a scene out of what she thought must be some (relevant renaissance painting/scene etc) with her impossible bangs and peed with the insciounces of ten thousand suns.

they each sat upon one of the low lying leather chairs and couches, she and parker posey.  she looked like rahda mitchell.  she was rahda mitchell, for all intents and purposes, so we shall call her rahda henceforth.  she had that slim heatlhy amazon look and those full heroin chic features.  her eyes were a constant exhausted green, as though she were perpetually tired of seeing, as though burdoned with intensely keen insights into the psyche and soul of the world.

they did not talk business.  that would have been rude.  the subjects were music, film and fine dining.

you know that scene i mean?
i think so...
you know, the one towards the end, the one where the theme builds and rises...  and there they are, just the two of them and that theme...
oh my god, that theme...
i know, i love it.  it's my favorite piece of music!
mine too!
...and then scorsese uses it.  but he gives it its proper due, as though restoring it to its rightful sainted place...
i don't remember that.
you know, in casino...that scene at the end.  although, i think he used it in a couple of places.
hmmmm, i'll have to look for that.
yeah, it's right at the end.
oh my god, i love film.
...and music!
...and music...oh my god!

but what i mean is... i want to use that... the juxtaposition.  opposing ideas;  that of the grandiose paired with the seemingly mundane...  but of course it's not mundane, is it?  it's all grandiose though we arn't at first aware of it.  it's that final realization, when it all sinks in...that's what i want to go for!

that's amazing!  you're just amazing!


at doobies the owner suanterd up towards the podium and like moses, parted the twentysomethings darlings who had gathered to gossip about the nights list.  

anything respectable?
that guy, you know, on that show…you know the one i mean…with that girl and that other guy…
the one with the…and his hair that looks all…he's in that movie…you know…with that other guy…
that's  the one!
who else?
kadaffi's wife hannibal…
oh, did she make it out?
is she bringing her maid?
are they getting along?
i thought there had been a reconciliation…
we could puree the steak tartar and she could suck it through a straw!
that's using yer noggin!
that's why i make the big bucks!

ahhh…miss mitchell.
yep.  she'll be here in twenty.  would you care to do the honors?
well, i don't wanna seem pushy…
no, not in this town.
well, maybe just this once.  i'll wear a reagan mask.
she'll love you for it!

like stretch limos and red carpets, valet parking had become anathema, the stuff of american idol finalists and the real housewives of tunis, samy's camera on fairfax.  no self-respecting restuaranteur would set up shop within a 10 mile radius of la but they don't tell you that in the guide to celebrity mailboxes of the rich and famous.  doobies was a converted case study house reject on the outskirts of malibu; a double X-layout, open beams and faux dooryards, floor to ceiling glass and unadorned walls, free of dogs playing poker or reproductions of eisenstaedt's kiss.  like cumulus clouds or popcorn ceilings, you were free to make up your own artwork.  

like the best ski resorts, you don't see a hint of their presence until you are upon them.  golf carts took you up an impossibly steep driveway lined with local fauna; desert chaparral and palos verdes stone walls in loving states of disrepair.  you sat in the back, always, near the infinity pool whose almost imperceptible movements washed the atmosphere with patterns of light and dark.  there was no bar but drinks were served in the expansive foyer and outside around the pool and if one were smart, one could schmooze for hours just waiting for a table or negotiating trips to the restroom.  

doobie had a mahleresque walk; every fourth of fifth step he took a little step, a kind of neurotic hop, no doubt a hazzard of being a genius, a moniker he deserves for managing to keep a restuarant open in southern california for more than five years.  he greeted radha with a modicum of wit and whisked her away along with parker posey down the odd configurations of X halls, neurotically but charmingly pausing here and there, producing a succession of disturbances with his funny walk, as though perhaps in the midst of recognizing a patron, monty hall or the mayor of the city.  

again this sly aversion to talking trade.  segues into metaphors and conumdrums, innuendo and conjecture…ceo gossip and rumours of ipos.  radha had one vice, an annoying habit of working ayn rand into every conversation.  not so much due to her philosophy, but that one photo taken off the boat, the one with the pre-veronica lake hairstyle and langorius mouth, all loretta young and knocked up.  she likens rand's excursions into objectivism to youthful exhuberance and a penchant for wagner, nothing to kick her out of bed for…  a detour on the path to enlightenment.  …and as to her steadfast philosophical tenets and embarrassing fiction; well, we all have bills to pay.  

what a fucking little nazi bitch!
yeah, well…they weren't all bad.  they banned smoking in public.
i'd rather die of cancer.  have you ever tried to read atlas shrugged?
of course!  it just needs to be editied but the institute won't allow it.
the institute..!  THE INSTITUTE!!!
okay, look… all philosophies go full circle and come right back to the same thing.  i mean, how many times can you rewrite dale carnegie's how to win friends and influence people?
what the fuck are you talking about?

she didn't know.  she just liked frank lloyd wright.  comtemplating fallingwater in public has lost her more contracts than ordering jug wine at maxim's.  

ya know, fine wine is really a late twentieth century invention…the romans watered down their wine!
you're an idiot!
...public drunkeness was frowned upon.
i want to fuck you.

they skipped the port.

--------  Kieślowski's

(aisles on wheels like some indonessian bazaar, merchants peddling their wares; their rice bowls, sixteen hour days peddling cardboard two stories high; the waste capitiol of the universe, a landlocked great pacific garbage patch in and about la's garment district.  syballine like structures, monuments and reliquries to billy wilder, obelisks to kubrick, gravestones of the wit and wisdom of george s. kaufman  all gnome guarded, these keepers of the gates of interchangeable culture, transformer pastiche, these would-be anarchists and future vagabonds(…) a wailing wall of douglas sirk, an oracle of roger corman, indistinguishable from their brothers post modernists, surrealists, 70s realism, the gung-hoism of james cameron, the stop-motion of ray harryhausen so as not to tax the minds of our newly landed gentry, (add much more) all on display sans judgment, a pure crystalline democracy of consumerism for the asking.  

at veni vidi vici (curb side dvd sellers like new york, sidewalk sellers and partial condemed store fronts) the aisles were ridicuously close.  you couldn't walk past another person unless you were prepared to get close.  thankfully, the place was virtually empty at this time of night.  the employees were indistinguishable from the clientele, or vice versa.  you could just as easily get as much help from a customer as you could from the owner and just because somebody was filing through the bins, organizing and alphbetizing, didn't mean they actually worked there.  the store occupied the bottom floor of a partially condemed building in a row of dilapidated structues, a once fashionable artist colony back in the forties.  endless aisles of dvds, vhs, laserdisc, even betamax.  the selction was daunting, (foreign, indian, bollywood etc) there was a basement for the privaleged, the 400, an E-ticket for the algonguin set fixit,  a wrought iron spiral staircase (pages of shirley jackson) led you to a sub-structure, a hoarder's wet dream, with a blatant and comfy disregard for wheel-chair access and local fire codes.  it was here that she learned all about paul thomas anderson from some phantom kid customer.  he gave her a series of dissertations on each of his films, textbook stuff, stuff out of columbia university, pte and philosophy, crackhead jargon…  "magnolia is the citizen kane of our time..!"  she was hooked.  he repeated his performance in the following weeks with bergman, antonioni, buenel, cocteau, herzog, kieslowski…it never stopped.  she tried once to praise him to the front desk but they had never heard of him.  just some random kid pulling his tour of duty at veni vidi vici, a future quentin tarantino or wes anderson. 

it's society out of control…
you're reaching.
the decay of morals, a godless universe!
they're just mimes, not german beatniks…
don't you see…the rules no longer apply!
no, i disagree.  he's never that deep.  it's more on the surface…more like; we make up the rules as we go along! why do you think he throws the ball back?  
it's in the script…
fuck you!
he's just doing what we all do.  we make it up as we go along..!
my point exactly; a godless universe!

So, there you are... I've been upstairs looking 
all over for you...
There is a moment of silence during which Anna's father deliberately ignores 
her presence. She stares at him intently, trying to determine his mood and 
wondering how she is going to tell him what she has to say before she leaves. 
Finally, he turns around and faces her.
Oh, I thought you were already on the high 
Anna is barely able to control her temper, but realizing that the discussion 
is about to take the usual sarcastic turn, she immediately checks herself.
No, not yet, Dad.
Her father fixes her with a long ironic look. Conscious of his daughter's 
haste, he is apparently trying his best to detain her.
Isn't it fashionable any more to put on a 
sailor's cap with the name of the yacht? 

No, Dad, it isn't.

she liked the reflection of the film on her windows.  a solid striking black patch against the backdrop of the city lights, all reds and yellows, and blues and greens.  she kept each film on for days, just let them repeat over and over, as if some random scene might strike an insight or revelation at her most vulnerable.  she didn't look for clues in any conventional sense.  she just let it happen in its own time, like cumulus clouds or popcorn ceilings. 


die kunst der fuge rang bell-like and bounced itself off the open beamed ceiling and sank in tulmult in what could only be mistaken for lush seventies shag carpet, albeit twice removed.  a piano transcription, vladimir fetzman, which keeps things nice and tidy, unmuddled.  she could take most bach in small doses but she could listen to art of the fugue all day; no overly clever melodies calling to mind mid 80s mustard commercials or east coast investment broker ads, just pure contrapuntal love.  her kitchen was something out of kubrick; pure light, over exposed and glistening.  a klimt-like reproduction lined the wall of the foyer to the streets.  the figures, all viennese bourgeosie, olympianesque poses and come hither eyes, floated up towards the ceiling, scandalous.

all things celestial, the conjunction of jupiter and venus, the comings of the march equinox, and the the lady of the lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that She, jenny snyder, was to carry Excalibur…and become General Store Manager of Starbucks #6153, an albertson's franchise whose steadfast refusal to accept starbuck's giftcards garnered a degree of snobbery second to none, save perhaps a cobbler within a 20 mile radius of the presidential mansion of ferdinand marcos.  the que was something out of dachau; durer's witches, half-naked, half supine, half prone, world weary stares, fatalistic smart phone gestures…  this was the main entrance to the port of the city and not radha's usual watering hole and to cement this point, the two baristas working the back bar were debating the finer issues of graphic novel illustration; the expository role of non-functional harmony in the early works of alan moore.  like two turkish aqaba gunners on the eve of the attack, they waxed, they wanned, they posited with exhorbitant glee and new found revelation.  

the  rain in sp in main in the pl


you can tell the homeless in libraries and at starbucks.  they all have huge laptops and dangling wall warts and they suck up bandwidth like twelve years olds; youtube,dailymotion, hulu, vimeo.  even youporn.  you'd think they would have the courtesey to wipe the toilet seat and tip the baristas a nickel.  
(note: this might be better for confessions)


No comments:

Post a Comment