Oh, You Pretty Things
by Eric J Baker
It has been quite a busy week here at Pure Film Creative. Our style guru, James Tuttle, went on location to file a report from sweltering Manhattan, covering art, theater, and fine dining in one devil-may-care swoop and, at the same time, showing us east-coasters what good hair looks like. Meanwhile, our ringleader James Killough’s Marcus Bachmann post went homo-viral, drawing more traffic than Buddha’s birthday in Seoul (Seriously. Have you ever been to South Korea in May? You can’t turn around without hitting your head on a paper lantern).
My role in all this was to sit back and go, “Hmmm,” which was a lot more work than it sounds. Because it means I was thinking. I was thinking that PFC is ostensibly an entertainment, culture, and arts Web site, in that order, yet politics has been poking its repulsive head out of the sewer quite a bit here lately, like an outtake from the imaginary remake of C.H.U.D. (For real, Hollywood. Get on that remake already). Although Tuttle has been keeping it real, Killough and I are guilty of milking the Bachmann name for all it’s worth in clicks. So, for me, no more bat-shit crazy congressional reps or their self-loathing, closeted gay husbands after today.
That’s right. This is my last post with that mentions politics.* PFC is about pretty, not ugly.
Let’s use my home state of New Jersey as an illustration of pretty vs. ugly. Above, on the right, is our belligerent governor, Chris Christie, current GOP darling (holy fucking beer goggles, Republican Party! Lay off the sauce), and on the left is Jersey-born Paul Rudd, an actor with easygoing, everyman good looks and charm. He could be Cusack’s kid brother. Now tell me, who’s prettier?
Lest anyone accuse me of left-wing media bias, below I’ve also included photos of our previous governor, John Corzine (a Democrat who had a promising career in politics until he ran for office) and the actress Emma Bell, star of the forthcoming Final Destination 5, who grew up about 10 miles from where I did. In case you’re not sure, Emma is the blonde on the right. Not only is she quite nicer to look at than J-Corz, she’s got sharp canine teeth, which is weirdly sexy to me, possibly bordering on fetishistic, and I’m no goth. In fact, if she never gets cast in a vampire role, a crime has been committed. Don’t make me go Minority Report and arrest you right now, movie people. Twilight this chick.
A side note about New Jersey governors and me: I am a cosmic magnet for New Jersey governors. I’ve met the last four of them, all while they were in office, going back 20 years, without trying; they all inadvertently showed up in places I was going to be anyway. Including the infamous Jim McGreevey, who preferred conducting “business” at the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the Turnpike rather than the statehouse. Before his career-ending scandal, I ran into him on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, which, right there, should have tipped all of us off to what was coming (no, he didn’t proposition me, despite the presence of a public restroom within eyesight). All I can say is: Look at your calendar Chris Christie. We have a date with destiny.
Back to this “pretty vs. ugly” business… PFC is about pretty, but not just run-of-the-mill pretty. Anybody can post pics of movie stars. Pure Film Creative exists in the maniera, which is more than just a 16th century art style. It’s Style, with a capital S. In the cinquecento, wit and erudition were prized, and they are still valued here, which is probably one of the reasons no one gets mad when we bash Bachmann. None of her followers reads above a third-grade level (and only the ones with teeth can do that), so I doubt they’d get past the first paragraph of one of our stories.
Damn, Bachmann managed to worm her way back in. You’ve got to give her credit for her spunk. Wait. Did I just make an unintentional slang reference to semen? Ah well, Salvador Dalí wasn’t above base humor, but that doesn’t stop his paintings from fetching upwards of seventy-five-million bucks at auction. Seventy-five-million bucks is probably equal to the combined production budget for all five of those Final Destination films, by the way, the third edition of which stars the fabulous Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a PFC favorite, and the first and second of which star Ali Larter, another New Jersey native. Notice the Jersey motif I have going? I’d better end this thing with a bang.
Note: I want to see if Killough is going to stick a Dalí, Winstead, or Larter image here. Or some other surprise. **whistles and waits**
That Killough is an interesting guy, but he turns into a hard-ass when I start writing like an art professor. “Get this didactic shit off my desk and come back with something funny,” he says, looking suspiciously like Jackie Cooper in Superman.
And I, with my Jimmy Olsen simplicity and naïve charm, say, “But you don’t have a desk.”
And he says, “You are my funny monkey, Baker. Remember that. Be funny or there’s no carrot cake.”
Well, I live for carrot cake, so I’ll keep this short… Art in the maniera was characterized by exaggerated beauty, effortless effort, and elongated figures often placed in twisting poses and impossibly balanced. Sort of like Dr Seuss pictures, but with more tits and less green eggs and ham. Some art purists consider works of this period to be affected and overly stylized, but I love it for those same reasons. Which is why I really dig these images by contemporary mannerist-cum-surrealist photographer Vladimir Fedotko.
I was turned on to Fedotko by my pal and benign stalker Hanson Anderson – who is neither pretty nor sane. In fact, I bet he sees shit like this every time he opens his eyes.
But anyway, Fedotko captures everything a person might love or hate about Mannerism. Whatever your reaction, though, you can’t deny it’s prettier than anything happening in politics, and a hell of a lot more interesting than the… yawn… debt ceiling negotiations. For fuck’s sake, I know it’s important from a Fall of the American Empire standpoint, but can’t we get some people in there to straighten it out so I can start reading the news again?
I say we put New Jersey’s own Joe Pesci on the case. Is anyone more Jersey than this guy? Fuggetaboutit! He’ll sit Boehner and Obama down and have a nice little talk… Just three goodfellas shooting the shit. Sure, Pesci might not be much to look at, but that debt crisis will be resolved so fast, youse guys won’t know what hit-cha.
Special thanks: To David Bowie for writing “Oh, You Pretty Things” in 1971 and putting it on the first album I ever bought, Hunky Dory, which, like, 32 years later gave me the idea for the name of this post. “Queen Bitch” is a better song from the same album and will make an awesome blog title someday, but I get the feeling Killough or Tuttle might need it before I do.