Screenshot from HBO's magnificent "Band of Brothers."

Some kids have nightmares; ours wakes with laughing fits. The other night she came down the hall laughing; stood in my door, half-awake, crinkle-eyed, giggling. She snickered all the way down the hall. She was laughing when I tucked her back in. Not a word spoken. The next day she said she dreamed of swimming in green Jell-O, although I don’t know if that was the risible fantasy that got her up and sent her to my studio. I hope she inherits my wild dreams and near-perfect recall of same; it makes for amusing tales to tell the spouse in the morning, if nothing else. The day after the Swartzenegger election I dreamed that I lived on a farm, and we had hired Frankenstein to help out with the chores. I was going from the barn to the house, and there he was - classic Frank, mohair vest, lunker boots, green shirt, neck bolts. He’s moving some hay. He looked harmless enough, but in the dream I’m thinking, jeez, Frankenstein? We had to hire Frankenstein?

Wrote about Kill Bill in the paper the other day, and how I really had no desire to see clever violence. Lots of letters telling me I am an idiot or I am just misguided and owe to myself to see this marvelous homage to 70s Hong Kong decapitation-genre movies, and lighten up dude! Fine. I’m not opposed to violence in movies or games. Hardly. I just don’t want to give Tarantino any money. For all the “art” in his movies, they’re about nothing more than degradation. Of the audience, the characters, the actors, and anything that isn’t yet spattered with blood, spit or shit. “Reservoir Dogs” was on TV the other night, and I hadn’t seen it in a while. There he was in the opening scene with that interminable monologue about Madonna, and it now sounds so forced, so precious, so Quentin. It’s like the dialogue he wrote for “Crimson Tide” - it clangs on the ear. It jumps up and down and demands attention. Listen to me, listen to me! I’m a clever boy who knows the distinctions between Silver Age Jack Kirby “Silver Surfer” comic books and the latter artists whose work will always stand in their shadow! None of this matters, but I know the difference and you don’t, and that makes me matter.

In the trailer there’s a fight sequence - yeah, that really narrows it down - between The Bride and some other woman who I’m sure dies in a way that’s spectacular, well-shot and edited, and contains 298 references to other such deaths in mid-60s Thai “Battle Royale” precursors whose actors were drawn entirely from Bangkok brothels, etc. The fight is interrupted when the child of Uma’s opponent comes home from school. The women have to hide their weapons behind their backs. Hah hah! Go up to your room, mommy’s busy. Then Uma kills mom.

Hah hah! It rocks! Awesome! The way she stabbed her, and that soundtrack!

But now the little girl has no mommy.

Dude, it’s just a movie.

Okay, so then it’s okay if Uma goes upstairs and cuts the little girl’s head off?

Well, no -

Why not? It’s just a movie.

The other woman was bad. She deserved it.

Yes, “bad.” A complex moral position in a Tarantino film. He’s really wrestled with the definition of “bad,” hasn’t he.

One of these days he’ll make a movie where the hero kills a kid. And if it gets cut from the final release, he’ll hang on to a copy so he can run it in his home theater, and sit in the middle of the room with a bucket of popcorn in one hand and his personal pink crayola-stub in the other.

If you saw it and liked it, fine; matter of taste. I know others have a completely different take on this sort of movie, and see it from a different perspective. I don’t think you’re eeeevil. It’s one thing to watch it and get it.

It’s another thing entirely to want to make it. To sit upright in bed at 5 AM and think: of course, of course! While the heroine’s in a coma, she’s repeatedly raped! I’ll set the scene to “The Hokey Pokey!” What makes it worse is knowing that if QT ever used mob money to make a film and fell behind on the payments, he would be shrieking like a gored pig the moment they started to bend his pinky back.

But, who am I to say. A simple man, with simple pleasures. I Tivo’d “Trapped,” a movie about a kidnapped child. The bad guy is Kevin Bacon. The good thing about a movie where Kevin Bacon plays the bad guy is that you get to see Kevin Bacon get it in the end. Guaranteed, brother. I mean, if you called a movie “Kevin Bacon Gets A Harpoon in the Groin, and Deservedly So” people will line up around the block. It’s not because people necessarily harbor any great burning hate for the fellow, but there had to be some payback for “Footloose,” and this is it. He does the whole despicable bad-guy thing well, too, and that makes you like him a little; if you saw him in a restaurant, you’d say “hey, Kevin, keep making those movies where you make that big wide-eyed surprised face when you get the harpoon in the groin, okay? They’re great!” You’d never say that to Judd Nelson.

I think Judd Nelson and Steven Seagal should make a John Woo movie where they swap faces. It would be called “Pudge/ Off.” Main joke: no one could tell that they switched faces! Hah ha.

I kill myself. Or I will, if I don’t stop working. Criminey. Been tapping away at bookwork all day today, and have to return to it now. On the other hand, I got the Matrix ReHashed DVD today at Target. I was standing there in the DVD section; a clerk came up and asked if he could help. He looked like one of those guys who hung out in AICN forums discussing LOTR and AOTC and KB pt.1 and why the greenlighting of DD2 shows that Hollywood is devoted to ripping out the hearts of all our childhood dreams and stepping on them with golf cleats. He’d understand!

“It sucks,” I said, holding up the Matrix box. “But I know I’m still going to buy it.”

“Have a good day,” he smiled.

Hey! I wanted some cross-generational validation, you!

Eh. Off to other items. I needed . . . well, nothing. But that’s not the point. Some Target trips are backorder / stockroom errands, where you get the stuff you will need. So I got socks and speaker wire and polishing cloths and Halloween candles and diapers (she’s trained, yes, but for those nighttime moments, you want to be safe. Side note, for which she will someday curse my name for mentioning it in a public forum: yesterday I noted our Thrilling Voyage to the Computer store, where we hit the head. She irrigated the bowl, we washed and cleaned, went back to the showroom floor. She was looking at Windows machines and said “I have to poop.” Well, Windows will do that to you, child. You’re either disgusted, or scared of the security holes. Back to the loo we went.

She tried, but all was for naught.

“It’s no use,” she said. “It’s just no use.”

Three years old. It’s no use! Too cute.)

I missed Gnat on this trip, so I bought her a Hello Kitty camera. Not a real one. Just pretend. (Side note, for which she will say awwww some day: She wanted to watch “A Bug’s Life” the other day, and I said fine; was going to do the weekly segment on the Hewitt show, and needed a distraction. She assured me that it was not too scary. “Even the grasshoppers?” We’d watched this before, and I knew she thought the grasshoppers were scary. Hell, I thought they were scary. “They’re not real,” she said. “It’s just a movie, dad.”

When I finished the radio show I went downstairs. She was watching the segment where the grasshoppers first show up. “Just pretend. It’s just pretend,” she was chanting to herself. “Just pretend. It’s just pretend. Just pretend. It’s just - oh HI, daddy!”)

Back to work. Yes, the Matrix is running in a window in the corner of the screen. And yes, I’m rooting for Agent Smith. He has one thing no one in Zion has:


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