mariachi

When I met my wife’s friend B___ he was wearing a black Fred Perry track suit, an 80s-Italian-guy-on-the-Jersey-Shore-meets-Compton-dope-dealer amount of gold jewelry. His hair and sunglasses were very Liam Gallagher.

We’d learn later that he was just getting a nice dope habit going, but for this night he was put together and months away from crashing. He and I hit it off fairly well. He seemed distracted by a dried out contact lens and kept jamming his eye, trying to induce tears to relieve his ocular suffering.

He was stumbling about on the edge of a dance floor when a brutal fight broke out between two goth girls. It wasn’t just a few shoves, either. It was a hair pulling, you stole my man, beat down that still ranks as one of the most intense fights I’ve ever seen in person.

B____ didn’t even look up. He wasn’t even interested. He just punched something into his Nokia and walked towards the bar. I remember thinking at the time, “this dude must be used to seeing some crazy shit if this brawl doesn’t even register.” That thought was confirmed as I grew to know him.

 

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metairie

Growing up in the suburbs of New Orleans makes you a strange person. Metairie and Kenner are basically the burbs from Poltergeist, haunted by their great graveyard sister city to the east.

Construction is newer, but nothing is modern. It was old when it was new. If you tried to be a skateboarder in the 80s it was rough going. All the streets and sidewalks are broken, especially in the older neighborhoods.

We all imagined hands coming out of those cracks, at least I did. Everyone said they knew a haunted house. I’ve been in a bunch, but I never saw anything supernatural. Maybe one day the paint will peel and some wild creature will try to kill us all.

girls

I really have to give it to Lena Dunham. Last week’s episode of¬†GIRLS was very well done. There are spoilers to follow.

There are only two characters in the main scenes, Hannah and a famous writer named Chuck Palmer. Everything happens through dialog. It’s set in the writer’s beautiful and orderly apartment. The setting is unlike earlier seasons where all the action takes place in dumpy apartments and grimy cafes. As Hannah becomes a real writer, she is moving in nicer circles, even while she mines her past for stories.

This story centers around an alleged sexual impropriety from Palmer. A fan claims he abused their relationship to pressure her into sex. She was not the only person speaking out and Hannah wrote a piece about it for an obscure website. Palmer, impressed by her writing and incensed she would take the word of a stranger over his, invites Hannah over to talk about it.

Things start off defensively. Palmer tells his side of the story, explains his motives in a fairly open way; Hannah gives him a short but not too tinny breakdown of her reasons, historical, political, and personal, for her willingness to believe the victim.

Palmer seems manipulative from the opening. Or perhaps it’s that I’m used to things going sideways on this show. He explains the story from his point of view and makes a connection of sorts with Hannah. They bond over a first edition of a Philip Roth novel which he gives her. I think the acting in this scene is first rate. Hannah seems very happy and taken by complete surprise by Palmer’s generosity. There is a flash of corruption foreshadowing his real motivation, to offer her a payment she might not be able to pass up when he whips his dick out.

We’ve just heard Hannah’s repartee with Palmer over power dynamics and sexual abuse and this is a test for her. She goes in for his dick like season 1 Hannah would’ve, but with a look of confused horror.

Dunham, who I don’t always have the nicest things to say about, is very good at awkwardness and tension. The moment Palmer unfurls his dong is hilarious and embarrassing to watch.¬†Palmer’s daughter comes home early, interrupting the dick handling, robbing Hannah of her moment to decide whether she wants to make a point of standing up for what she believes in, or kind of sell out for sex.

I love this end because it doesn’t let the viewer know if this is still the same old Hannah or if there’s actually been a change.