Saturday, February 15, 2014

On Fear Loathing and Pump Wearing Monsters

Recently I watched a film entitled Party Monster, – which from now on will be referred to as PM – and overall I found the film was tedious, disturbing and yet not as graphic or immoral as I expected.  Based off a book by James St. James, it’s the Biofilm of him and Michael X starting the Club Kid trend of narcissism, douchebaggery and overall contemptuousness.  At the end of this unpleasant experience, I thought of a film I quite enjoy, and is based off a novel I am currently reading, namely Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas – from here on referred to as FaL.  This too is a quote-unquote “drug movie” and is about the end and failure of a movement rather than the beginning of one; yet they both share a type of moral depravity.  And while the film both exhibits two drug addicts who are demented and inconsiderate of all others, I find Raul Duke and Dr. Gonzo a likable bunch, while James and Michael are two people who have irritated me more than any other two people in quite some time.
Is it because they’re homosexuals?  I have nothing against gays, but I confess I did find their “fagginess” something that left me irked.  Doug Stanhope is a comedian who does material on this that’s worth looking up, though he has far better material in my estimation.  But I don’t think it’s solely or even mostly due to this preference in taste or becoming slightly irritated at men wearing short shorts and talking like bad caricatures of fourteen year old girls.  First let me say that I don’t think that it’s exactly a form of subconscious homophobia, rather that when these two characters act “faggy” I realize right away that they present an air of pomposity and insincerity that irritates the Existentialist in me to my very core.  These are the type of people who claim they’re – though the main characters are usually fairly direct with their intentions and motivations – merely trying to express themselves when they have no unique self to express and little-more than attention whores whose currency is stares and who provide their customer – though this relationship isn’t always voluntary as it is with prostitutes – with nothing asides from the occasional hysterical fit.  Everything about these people is fake and is a thin veil to cover up deep psychological problems.  Unable to take anything seriously – as James says almost explicitly – they instead want to live in a froofy anti-intellectual world of drugs and meaningless frivolities that also arouses deep contempt in the Socialist and Philosopher aspects of my person. 
Raul Duke and Gonzo are clearly comic constructs of two fun-loving drug addicts who still take life seriously, are paranoid and worried about being caught in humorous ways and who are overall likable people despite them being in some ways immoral and Hedonistic; while as I’ve stated the characters of PM are self-absorbed, egotistical and more annoying than Jar Jar Binks – yes I’m willing to go that far.  Also Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas, while being no Catcher in the Rye or 1984, is about something; namely the failure of the Hippy counterculture movement of the 60’s in its naïve view that the forces of Goodness, Freedom and Love could vanquish Evil, Tradition and Hate simply because it was ethically superior and without the use of not only any force but any real tactics, possessing a religious and mystical psychology and mindset that ultimately was a major aspect of its downfall and discrediting into comedy. 
And in this defeat, many lost youth surrendered to the drugs they were told by fools like Aldous Huxley were “consciousness expanding” but now were taking out of Nihilism and illness rather than naiveté and a desire to grow.  Though I personally don’t find how anyone could honestly belief these drugs which disorientate the mind could sharpen or expand it.  I’ve heard that Cocaine is a substance which quickens the mind, and is a drug that clearly gives one more energy, but such is not one of the “reality-altering substances” that the Hippy movement was advocating.  As a quick side-note, we should be glad that narcotics are not necessary or overall beneficial in intelligence or perception enhancement or improvement.  If such were the case, it would mean that intelligence, cleverness and depth could be bought, rather than merely the perception of such which I’ve gathered alcohol and other drugs can have said effect for some. 
Overall Fear and Loathing while a comedy is a movie of some depth and substance interjected sporadically while being entertaining throughout.  Party Monster on the other hand is about a very niche and minor sub-group in America, if about anything larger than two drug addicts one of which murders his drug dealer.  One could try to make it an argument for the vanity, shallowness, callowness and selfishness of the Capitalist system, but then a Left-wing critique could be made of half the movies produced by Hollywood.  Such a critique makes sense for a move along the lines of American Psycho, though Brett Easton Ellis claims he did not intend the novel to be work of political allegory in any way, and is simply a personal reflection piece and work of art, but even if that were true that does not mean that the material for a critique of the Reagan-Era and its hypocritical values is not blatant and plentiful.
There are of course other distinctions of the characters and their respective films.  FaL depicts two junkies of slightly above-average intelligence (though Duke essentially being Hunter S Thompson would be somewhat above, rather than slightly; I never considered Thompson to be a genius or person of considerable regard as some drug users do, but I do consider him to be a funny intelligent person that deserves to be commended but not adored) who both do something of at-least some worth though do drugs and create some minor mayhem along the way like put hunting knives against photographers throats (throats in the singular) and skimp out on paying bills.  Things which would be and should be real serious crimes in our society, but aren’t awful enough that they can’t be used as material for a comedy and fun-loving hyjinx.  PM however shows two detestable degenerates who do nothing but “party” (codeword for get wasted) and try to find new and more extravagant ways to exploit others for cash.  If you’re a genius like Karl Marx and you spend your life writing and participating in revolutionary activity, I can easily look past doing a little begging when necessary, especially when you don’t get paid the sum for your works that you deserve; but if all you do is Heroin and try to advertise a lifestyle of drug use and superficial minded worthlessness, describing it as “glamour” and “fabulousness” than in any ideal society you would either be essentially be forced to get a real job and be mocked for looking and acting like such a little shit.  This is something that Marxism and Conservatism is actually in agreement on.  Who knew?
The music is clearly better in FaL than in PM, but since it’s only reasonable to want any “Club Kid” who likes strobe seizure-inducing “music” to be shot on sight, I don’t think that this needs to be stated.  Both films’ music compliment the film effectively, FaL has hits of Classic Rock that accentuate the film like a hit of audible acid mixed in the film which is something of a “drug experience” itself.  While PM has music that’s forgettable to the fortunate and lingering in the damned; those poor souls who will have “Everything good is bad, everything bad is good” repeat in their minds like a fucking alien transmission.  The lyrics resemble to those who don’t pay attention to semantics a piece of Cynical wisdom, that is, much of what societies deems is a value or noble is immoral or petty, and much of what it deems immoral and perverse is actually the standard of virtue and dignity.  However, the song – and the film in its nihilism and vanity – is stating that which is objectively good is in-fact bad, and that which is in-fact is a vice is actually something to be admired. 
This is the psychology of Hedonism and drug use in a nut shell, usually anti-intellectual and willing to do anything to get a fix, next to religion, drug use was clearly the original sin of the Hippy movement, and overall is what prevented it from going adequately to the Left.  Advocacy of drugs is something we see in Liberals and Hindu Spiritualists, but Marxists and most Socialists have always known subconsciously and stated explicitly that drugs are a last refuge for the poor and a vice of decadent Hedonism for the rich, much like Alcohol which is of course is a drug – those who say it is not are simpletons.  There is somewhat of a unfortunate trend of drug use among Anarchists, as well-as in the Punk movement, both of which I feel have value – Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys blasting Hippies and Democrats for example for being pseudo-Leftists both politically and psychologically – but need to get their proverbial shit together if they are going to represent a legitimate ideology or be a legitimate movement.  Revolutionaries have to be against more kinds of parties than the political kind.
Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas is in-part about the death of the American Dream through the logical end of one of its ideals, namely the realization of middle-class decadence and Negative Liberty.  Raul Duke and his partner do all drugs known to Man – though they are worried of-course about the law and cops living in the 1970’s – they essentially are without any kind of financial or political restraint, and in the end we see at-best the meaninglessness and insanity of drug use, ignoring much of its latent horrors to keep the movie lively and enjoyable.  Party Monster however is about nothing besides perhaps the perversions of the Hedonist psychology.  It is a movie that is ugly and about ugly people.  Fear and Loathing takes us into Bat Country, while seeing Party Monster would make me glad to be a Bat-out-of-Hell, as long-as when I departed Hell I wouldn’t be flying into a theater with this travesty playing especially considering it was most-likely playing in Hell as my seemingly eternal punishment.

Also:  Who was in charge of the camera work in PM?  There are so many close shots it looks like they’re filming a documentary about acme.  Which would be an unfunny joke that would be valid if the actors actually did have skin blemishes.  That’s me, telling unfunny jokes that aren’t even accurate or functional.  And there might be material for a fan theory where Michael in PM is Kevin from Home Alone, but is sexually warped through interactions with his uncle (“Get out of here you noisy little pervert!”) and his deviancy has transformed into decadence and depravity through being forgotten and left to fend for himself fifteen times every Christmas, Halloween and Arbor Day.  Because if it sells, sell-out.  
Last thing:  Sell is one of those words that were if you think it repeatedly it loses all meaning and seems very odd.

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