I borrowed five books to read and it turned out only one was worth reading, a Bret Easton Ellis-The Informers, and I’m certain Ellis is as getting tired of being compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald as I’m of reading his work and finding his over moneyed New York types tiresomely predictable with an ennui from a life of too many options and not the will to go down one well mowed lane and living.
There was a time when a year did not seem to end, when a month seemed forever and I was in school, waiting for October and November when the newspapers became more colourful with red sleighs and bells and Punky Brewster and Different Strokes had merry tunes. Now the days whizz by and its four months left to 2008 and the time seems so little and I still have so much to do, so much I planned for this year yet to be accomplished but I’m not in despair, just a little taken aback when all this time passed and how come.
There was a book by Tom Robbins, there was a book by Margaret Atwood, there was a book by some woman called May Cantwell with the worst type of memoirs-the syrupy kind, American Girl, there was Frederic Tuten with his deplorable attempt to make Tintin grow up, what the fuck? I loathed all was before me and was complaining to myself when I remembered an American writer who wrote The Last of the Mohicans who was challenged if he could do better than the writers he was complaining of wasting his evening and money with their terrible writing. Apparently he could.
Well, I read his adventure yarns too long to remember exactly what was in them, Daniel Day Lewis reminded me recently when I happened to watch a DVD of The Last of the Mohicans, so I went out and also got There Will Be Blood because I cannot watch one Daniel Day Lewis movie and I’m thinking of getting Gangs of New York again because Lewis was mesmerizing in that one too. I read the Gangs of New York book too and boy could that guy write, a journalist who could write! There is another book in Aristoc Booklex I got my eye on by him too as soon as the money piles stack up. But what I really want is a Daniel Day Lewis collection.
I began to collect one of Morgan Freeman when my heart stopped at the Yahoo! news flash that Freeman had been in a car accident and he was in a stable but serious condition. You never know how much an actor means to you until you think he is about to die or God forbid, actually dies like Heath Ledger did though since Ten Things I Hate About You, I had not found Ledger that compelling, he was always too self aware of how much he could act well to actually get out of himself and act better than he did. A comment on IMDB about Freeman reminded me why I love Freeman so much and why I still scroll through the mostly gibberish of wall posts on such fora… a fan said that if he could have one Hollywood dream come true, he would like his life to be narrated by Morgan Freeman in the Hollywood movie version of his life, if he ever stops being a fan and actually does something more meaningful than being a Dilbert government clerk.
I used to love Keanu Reeves this way. Before the Matrix Revolution and all that came after. I still Point Break. Then again I’m a fan who thinks Tom Cruise has never made a better movie than Cocktail. I have this theory that like in life, in the body of movies an actor makes there is that one movie where you see the actor making a career choice: for the money or the greatness, and I think Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise made their choices in those movies, chose the money. Sometimes I think Johnny Depp did that too after the first Pirates of the Caribbean, duplicating a delicious creation of his fertile mind to the ludicrous gayness he is now. I weep for him. Yeah, I love movies like that, been watching a lot more of them than I have had a chance to do in many months, thinking of beginning a column in any newspaper that will let me a serious critique not just of one movie but a whole history of movies, actors, directors, a mesh of all I have watched because I have watched as many movies and I have read books, I hope there are a few more people out there who would like to know what I think of some and some periods of film, excepting series which I cannot bring myself to watch no matter how much the delicious joys of Grey’s Anatomy are preached to me, 24, One Tree Hill, whatever, I have even stopped watching Smallville which once was a secret addiction The Phantom once found me espousing as the reason to join a certain video library. I will not yet write about series.
So you’re wondering is Daniel Day Lewis my favourite actor? Not really. I do like the quirky story about him that he momentarily stopped acting for a long while to learn the craft of shoe making and supposedly makes great shoes. I thought having a fall back profession was taken by Lewis to the lowest level possible though I must confess I would like to wear a Daniel Day Lewis shoe. By the way! Let me say this and get it out before I forget, American Beauty is a piece of shit movie, yeah Ernest I said that. American Beauty is a pretentious piece of shit movie masquerading as French existentialism. What a crap out. Better to spend your hours watching The Usual Suspects, there Kevin Spacey was truly great and you can learn from there why Sean Penn will never make my list of the greatest actors of his generation no matter how many people sing his praises.
I want to make a list of the greatest erotic films I have watched. Just for just. Movies to make you cream your pants. Movies to make you take out that brandy and forget it in your glass till it goes flat, the curtain edges lighting up because you watched them till morning. Movies that make you go to bed and whisper words you have not whispered to the sleeping form in bed because after them, you cannot sleep until you have emptied, ha!
Then I want to make a list of books so dirty, so subversive, dripping wet with sex, novels that make you hide between library shelves because you do not want anyone to see the flaring of your nostrils as you read, books that describe in detail the sweatiness of sex, uh, Lady Chatterley and Lolita nothing, let’s pay a summer’s visit to the Italians and the Spaniards, and some of those Latin Americans like Marquez who have hidden delights One Thousand Nights of Solitude hide in their confession robes, I want to do that too.
Movies and books should not be dead things but pulsating beings, uncontrolled and crazy and real as that scene from Divisionz that makes you understand what Donald Mugisha is talking about when he talks about guerrilla movie making, yeah! Come on! Movies and books should be as unsafe and scary as when you enter a clinic for a blood check up and you’re waiting for the results of the HIV/AIDS test you asked for, and just for a moment as the doctor goes through his required counseling, you think you just might have the disease, movies and books should be like that, real life! Take a Sylver Kyagulanyi song lyric and see your life, uh huh, I want to make real for you like that!
What am I saying to you? I want books like On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Last Exit to Brooklyn by Selby Jr or the Tropic of Cancer by Miller or The People’s Graduate by Austin Bukenya, fuckit, even Moses Isegawa’s Abyssinian Chronicles is realer, give me that! I’ll take a racist movie like Gone with the Wind, a full of historical lies Sound of Music as long as it pulsates with felt life, a desire to take the cup of life to the lips and drink fulsomely because life is short, life is brief, it does not matter how you live it or at what grade as long as you live it fully, do you get what I’m saying? I want art like that. I want to talk to you about art like that. Better to be wrong and passionate than right and lifeless. So what am I saying to ya?
I’m saying these last four months of the year now that back on Ugandan soil I’m going to go for the Kadongo Kamu singer and the Bobi Wines and the Priscilla’s and the Bella’s and not one Isaiah Katumwa jazz show because these other guys speak the truth of Ugandan life as surely as Chaucer and Boccaccio and Dante did of their Dark Ages and if you find me drinking to Paul Kafeero and Philly Lutaaya, it’s because they were our poet laureates. I’ll spend these four months finding the truest and the illest again, and damn it, I’m going to make some real great art too, and be a part of them too!