Monday, February 28, 2011

In Defense of Arthaus

It’s 4 in the morning. I haven’t slept. Lights are off, but the screen is too bright. Still wearing shades. Cheap pair, ten bucks. Hot coffee sitting beside the laptop. Black, no sugar. From the computer speaker blares Ephel Duath. Avant-gard jazz-fusion metal. The screen lights up. Another message. My good friend from Australia compliments me on this rare find. I’ve got work in four hours. I minimize the chatbox and press pause on the youtube player. Scroll to the next video. Sopor Aeternum’s “In Der Palastra.” A man in drag dances slowly back and forth in his apartment. The video is shot in black and white, framed in a photo as if it were being saved in a scrapbook. Illegible words scroll across the screen along with the music.

Pretentious? Maybe. But if you think that might prevent me from enjoying this morning’s relaxation ritual by telling me I only like it to seem sophisticated, then you can go fuck yourself. I’ve had this argument twice this week. I went back home this weekend to visit my family and brought a bottle of absinthe with me. My mother gave it a try since the alcohol content is greatly diluted when you water it down. She was absolutely convinced it was terrible, which is fine. I do not begrudge her. But then I told her I was interested in acquiring a more expensive bottle from Emile Pernot (link here) for my birthday and she told me I was being pretentious. A 100 dollar bottle of absinthe tastes just as terrible as a 30 or 40 dollar bottle, she assures me. Never mind she never even knew the drink existed prior to my bringing it home for consumption. No, any bottle of alcohol that costs over 50 dollars must naturally only be drunk by pricks pretending to be high society.

Later, when I returned from my weekend at my family’s place I was talking to a friend about a project we were assigned in my film appreciation class. She was doing hers on a specific movie, and I was doing it over French New Wave cinema. She rolled her eyes and asked me how terrible the movies I had seen were. I told her I actually quite enjoyed “Breathless,” it was charming and a very pleasant change from the movies I was used to seeing. I had plans to watch other films by Goddard set up for this weekend in fact. Que the 10 minute rant about how I was trying too hard to act like a cinema snob.

I get the obnoxious behavior of those who enjoy these things because they feel it makes them cultured or sophisticated. I am not, however, cultured or sophisticated. I play Saints Row II. I listen to Blood Sucking Zombies from Outer Space, Zombie Ghost Train, and other fun psychobilly/gothabilly/horror punk bands. Nor do I pretend to be high society. But I find it very amusing that I am apparently not allowed to like certain things because they make me seem like I’m trying to seem like I’m part of something that I’m very openly not a part of. If you read that last sentence and actually understood what it meant, slap yourself right now. I’m gonna go back to my expensive absinthe, black coffee, weird experimental metal, zombie movies, alt porn, and my assortment of 90’s cartoons including SWAT KATS and Pirates of Dark Water. Because fuck you, that’s why.

As always,
Love Under Will


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