Dennis Hopper:
“you kids, you got no respect for nothing”

“After many hours of listening to Hopper talk … it became increasingly clear that he needed to tell his own story … When I think about Hopper, I hear his voice in my head: the nasal Kansas vowels; the cowboy twang; and last but not least, the semicolons where periods would normally go, contributing to a sense that his thoughts, like works of art, are never finished, only abandoned, that he never really stops talking, that there’s always one more observation or pronouncement or dirty joke …”– Matt Zoller Seitz, who made the following video appreciation, Dennis Hopper: The Middle Word in Life.

I was never a fan of the Hopper; and Easy Rider did nothing – noth-ing! – for me, but man, he really did talk great. Early on in this compulsively watchable collage Hopper delivers this splendid (and deeply ironic rant):

“That’s why the world is turning to shit, ’cos you kids, you got no respect for nothing, no respect … nothing lasts – you got no Sinatras, no Elvises – you got noth-thing!”

Another rebel bites the dust. Now we got no Hopper.

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Sex and the City:
an accidental candid snapshot of the sick, dying heart of America

A longish while back, I used to look forward to Sex and the City nights on telly. Recently, when posters for Sex and the CIty 2 popped up across town I was struck by what a horrendous vision it presented. This glassy dead-eyed, pumped- and pimped-up woman, more monster than mistress, striding across the sand like a ceramic-skinned Maenad bent on destroying ancient civilisations – Persia, Mesopotamia, Arabia …

Matt Zoller Seitz, who made the video above, has a very sharp de-preciation of Sex and the City 2 (in which the gals go to Abu Dhabi, thus the poster) – a fine piece of zeitgeist analysis that makes me feel like I’m making sense to myself.

He starts:

sex-and-the-city-2“A friend describes the “Sex and the City” films as Ladies’ ‘Star Wars.’ The description isn’t far off the mark – not just because the TV series and the spinoff films are critic-proof revenue-generators, but also because Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her gal pals inhabit a universe so far removed from anything resembling reality that it might as well be science fiction.”

And ends:

“At the same time, though, much like Transformers 2Sex and the City 2 is more than harmless escapism. It’s an accidental candid snapshot of the sick, dying heart of America, a film so pleased with its vacuous, trashy, art-free extravagance that its poster should be taped to the dingy walls of terrorist sleeper agents worldwide. More depressing and alarming than the movies themselves is the notion that a certain culture, a certain mindset, birthed it, without a pang of remorse or even apparent self-awareness, much less self-criticism. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why they hate us.”

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(I have not seen it but of course I know how it ends – nowadays we can know everything without experiencing it. What seems to be missing so egregiously is that Sam – the nymphomanic – goes to bed with another pale-skin European, rather than entering cross-racial and cross-cultural intercourse. If Sam had felt an Arab man maybe there might have been a human understanding. But that would have been another America.)

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