Living with this capacity for psychic input isn’t all spirituality and personal growth. Sometimes animals or spirit friends have profound and startling things to say about life, the universe and everything, but sometimes they just want to talk about food, sex and entertainment. Wednesday was one of those nights.
To set this up, I’ll say that I’m not a film buff at all. I know what I like, and it’s generally pretty immature and low brow (so long as it isn’t stupidly racist or sexist. Ironically racist and sexist is fine.) I don’t like scary movies, and I really find that art movies are wasted on me. My movie / tv genre is comedy (or lightweight action/comedy.)
Now I’m not going to go and actually recommend any of these movies, because if you’re not a fan of stupid comedy, you’re not going to like them, and if you ARE a fan of stupid comedy, you will have already seen them (probably). One of my favourite movies ever is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s about the boyfriend of a famous cheesy actress of a CSI-type TV show – Sarah, the star, dumps the protagonist, who spirals through the breakup-mourning process and hilarity ensues.
In this movie, a parody rock-star character appears as Sarah’s new boyfriend, Aldous Snow from the band, Infant Sorrow. He sings hilarious parody rock-star songs like, “Someone should do something!” (help mother earth) and “Inside of You” an utterly squicking over-the-top metaphor for the obvious.
This new-to-me movie, Get Him To The Greek, picks up Aldous Snow six years later after a typical train wreck rock star life. His career took a downturn after writing a patronizing and (ironically) racist song called African Child, in which he presents himself as a white African Christ from space. He copes with the resulting fallout by breaking his years-long sobriety and generally going down in flames.
The movie takes you through this larger-than-life insanity of the music industry, the merciless users and the nice guy caught up in what should be the job of his dreams turned nightmare. Sweetie actually knows a guy who works for Sony who is eerily like “Jazz Guy” from this movie. Part of what was so funny about this movie was seeing this setting and villainous record exec characters after hearing about all this crap from Kurt. Apparently, this movie isn’t much of an exaggeration.
The movie stands on its own for fans of Sarah Marshall and other irreverent comedies like the Harold & Kumar movies. In fact, the guy who plays Kumar is in this movie too, which is fun, and so are a lot of *actual* rock stars like Pink and the drummer from Metallica.
What was really fun about watching this movie was when Kurt decided to pop in and watch it with us, and it seems he brought Sid (Vicious) along. See, this is why there’s a disclaimer on the top of this blog – I can be rolling along all new-age normal talking about spirits and animal communication, then I say something unbelievable like “I was watching this movie with my Sweetie and the spirits of Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious…”
So suspend your disbelief people, if you dare to read on!
It was Sweetie, myself and Happy the dog all crammed on our 1970s floral print velour couch, and “the boys” I perceived as sitting on the back of the couch. Convenient, since we had no other seating available to them, and for some reason spirits really do like to sit down when we’re having long conversations.
I wasn’t surprised to see Kurt, since Sweetie had already watched the movie and told me there were Beatles and Nirvana callouts throughout the film. I was surprised to see Sid, since we only spoke with him for a brief period of time many months ago and he seemed to have disappeared. Sometimes they do that, it’s actually quite exceptional that they’d stick around to form what I can only describe as a friendship, and very rare that they’d show up to watch a movie.
Their commentary added some extra fun to the viewing. The first that comes to mind was Kurt going, “Ahhhh! Ah hahahaha! Ahhh! It’s him!” Having this total fan moment the second Metallica’s drummer came on to the screen. Sweetie said, “Yeah, that’s really him!” and Kurt said, “I wrote that guy a letter once, to try and get him to drum for us (Nirvana). I never heard back,” and I got this feeling that Kurt was such a huge (somewhat closeted) Metallica fan.
At one point the record exec, after sending Aldous Snow on stage with a hideously broken arm, was ranting about how indestructible British musicians are, and how they never die. “Look at Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, British rock stars don’t ever die!” And then I hear Sid go, “Excuse me, dead British rock star right here. Hello?” And he and Kurt were having this giggle/snicker fest about it.
The funniest was at the end of the movie, when Aldous was teasing his friend who was wearing a large blue flannel shirt. “Is this your grunge look? You look like a lesbian!” My inner lesbian feminist went, “Heeey!” and a second later I hear Kurt: “Well, you DO have a shirt that looks like that!”
He’s right, I do. So much for indignation.
At one point, Kurt & Sid were energetically discussing who Aldous Snow’s character was based upon. It started with Kurt saying, “Can you believe this asshole is based upon me?” And then Sid goes, “Uh, how is he based upon you, he’s British. Mate.”
Thus ensued this background discussion about Aldous’ personality, his sense of humour, his dress, his accent, his crazy-making abilities (his love of de-railing and messing up the lives and plans of others), the style of his addiction (and I didn’t know that addicts have styles, but I guess they do.) Sid then pointed out that they actually PLAYED one a sex pistols song (I am an anarchist).
Sweetie, who didn’t mention whether she was aware of this background chatter, chimed in “I think he looks like Freddy Mercury.” That shut both the boys up pretty quickly.
Hey, Kurt, are you there? Did you want to say anything about the movie?
Yeah, I think they should do a movie with a blond rock star, (grin, smokes cigarette).
You want to see a parody based on Kurt Cobain? Yeah, people still take my life so fucking seriously. *I* didn’t take it that seriously, even when (teen spirit) was out and we had made it, we were these big rock stars, I would just laugh about it. I just couldn’t get over the irony, here’s me, this rock star. And I was just a kid, you know? I never grew up. Maybe I was in the right business after all (exhales smoke – okay I guess it wasn’t a cigarette, nice buddy.)
Kurt’s showing me this character parody of him, this big, dumb blond rock star who is, like, indestructible. Kind of like super-man, and he can withstand / keep up with the rock star lifestyle without it making him tired or sick or addicted to anything, and people can punch him and he just shakes it off. Kind of like a gorgeous Forrest Gump of a rock star, “But not quite that dumb!” Kurt qualifies.
Kind of like zoolander, but a musician, sans the huge ego. There’s this endearing, dumb ignorance of the industry, it’s corruption and how it’s supposed to destroy him, but it doesn’t because he’s this super-man guy who never gets hurt or tired or sees the bad in people.
That’s actually really sweet, Kurt.
Yeah, it’s about creating your reality, right? He’s participating in this crazy, corrupted world but he doesn’t see or experience any of the negative things, he just lives it, and loves it, and helps people by being around, bringing them into his perception of things. He restores the faith. A rock star Jesus for the industry!
Ha! Why doncha ask Jesus what he’d think of that?
He says the Christ spirit is in all of us. (Kurt didn’t miss a beat, and he’s got this smug smirk look on his face, he knows he’s got me.)
I love you, man. Thanks for the visit, it’s been a while. (Shows me he’s been visiting Sweetie at work when she does laundry. Kurt’s really more Sweetie’s buddy. I think they understand each other.)
Kurt, did you bring Sid to the movie? Do you two hang out a lot?
Yeah, well, (shows me how much they have/had in common in the last rock star life, the anarchy, the subversive sense of humour, the rejection of culture.)
Last time I saw you guys together, it was like you were helping him, is that right?
Naw, we’re helping each other. We’re just friends. (brothers) (This is similar to when I asked Kurt and John what their relationship was, and I got this sense of love, and a bond, and the word “brothers”. I don’t exactly understand what that means, maybe it’s how you describe a long-term friendship of spirit.)
Who was that saying, “I am a golden god?” during the move last night?
Oh, that was me – it was (movie) “Almost Famous” – we’d like to watch that next.
Awesome. Guess we’ll have another spirit movie night coming up. (Oh, and High Fidelity!)
It’s entries like this that I’m glad this blog is not directly associated with my professional website. 😉
Happy Friday, everyone.
I was just about to post this when I got this email from Sweetie, referencing the piano we’re learning to play:
Okay. I have like a million (okay, a thousand) sheet music PDF files that actually work and are opening. And a lot of them are songs that I’d actually want to play, and pretty much all the songs that I *used* to know how to play are in there too, so I can re-learn them.
Oh, and there’s a lot of songs that you’d like to learn also… i.e. songs you like moreso than me, like Alanis and Harry Potter stuff. Hallelujah is there, and I want to learn that immediately; it looks pretty easy. Really awesome because I just woke up this morning thinking, "I need to learn that song". And there it is!
Oh and Metallica’s there, because apparently they keep popping up. (Of course Kurt thinks I should learn it… maybe I will… heavy metal + piano = funny).
Imagine is there too so I want to print that out right away. Bohemian Rhapsody… that’s pretty epic. A whole bunch of Tori Amos.
One side effect of talking to dead rock stars is they encourage you to play music. Okay guys, John, Kurt, George, could you please help us get a piano and a nice acoustic guitar to keep at home and learn on? We’d really appreciate it. I’ve been wanting to learn both for quite a while.
7 thoughts on “Watching movies with spooks”
I was just thinking that’s a nice picture of Kurt you used in this post, and then I remembered something.
I was looking through Cobain Unseen one day, kind of thinking, “That’s a really good photo”, “This one’s nice”, etc. and then Kurt popped in and started laughing, and said, “You just like it when I shave!” And I was like, “…Ohh. Yeah”. Huh. That’s apparently the judgment criteria, right there: Shaving, or lack of shaving. Seriously, you can’t even see his face in the above pic. But he shaved — so I like it.
So I realized with some horror that I suddenly sounded like everyone over 30 in the 90s, so I said in my best “mom” voice, “Well! Why do you wanna hide your pretty face?”. But he actually gave a pretty earnest answer, like he worried about looking too young, or baby faced, or pretty, and wanted to look older and tougher.
Just now I was like, “Pfft. Goatees are so 90s”, and he was like, “Yeah. I started that trend”. And shows me me, in high school, dating a boy with chin length hair and a goatee. Me: “Well, it was really more of a Trent Reznor thing, black t-shirt, black jeans, Docs, (my) black mesh long-sleeved shirt…” (Cause, uh… *that* shit is timeless. Wait, what was my point again?)
I do see his point about the movie being somewhat about him, as he’d brought that up during the scene in which Aldous is threatening/attempting suicide. Plus they did mention Nirvana. And the whole Seattle thing. When the record company guy asks what he would do in Seattle there’s almost like an unwritten line of dialogue I’m hearing, like: “Well, there’s lots of fucked-up rock stars you could babysit. Although not as many as there used to be now that Kurt Cobain is gone, and that guy from Mother Love Bone, and Layne Staley from Alice in Chains. And Jimi Hendrix. But there’s new ones all the time, so go check it out!” It’s also the flip-side of “British rock stars don’t die”, you know?
Also I love how much he likes Metallica. I think he actually told you not to tell anyone, but I don’t actually think he really cares. It’s like, I think when he was alive he wanted everyone to think he stopped listening to heavy metal the day he discovered punk rock, but it’s not like he has anything to prove now. Who’s going to tell him he’s not cool because he’s a heavy metal fan boy?
And I mean, I remember we were listening to Metallica one day when it came on the radio and even we had to admit it was really good. It was like a freaking orchestra with heavy electric guitars.
i really like the film treatment idea also. I remember one time a long time ago you’d asked me why Kurt was a hero of mine, not really getting the whole hero thing and I didn’t have a good answer. But I figured out that part of it was there’s all this pressure to “figure out your life”, and plan it, and i just didn’t really want to do that, I wanted to live it. So I mean you could look at Kurt and go, “Oh okay. Well, he seems to be navigating the adult world all right. He’s doing something he loves, and not really taking all the shit that goes on around it too seriously. He looks like he’s got it figured out. There’s some hope”. But I guess it became increasingly apparent (I think it was the coma) that Kurt was *not* actually okay, and that the adult world was fucked up and you don’t actually get to navigate it by your own rules after all.
I guess it would be cool to see that whole thing play out better. Like superheroes. Because regular heroes are just fragile human beings I guess.
I remember when he died for a long time I really thought he must’ve just said, “fuck it”, and run away to the mountains of Washington or something. One day I asked him why he didn’t just do that, and he said “Because you don’t get to be a tragic rock star and live happily ever after”. Which I kind of get, although I’m still trying to figure out why that’s better than being a “troubled” rock star.
Anyway, my thoughts on the post. 🙂
Yes, yes EXACTLY! I forgot to mention the part that he wanted it to have a happy ending.
Oh shit, I forgot about the “don’t tell anyone about the Metallica thing” stipulation, I’m sorry Kurt. If he was really serious about it, he would’ve said something before I posted the entry.
Besides, I’m not sure it was that big a secret that he liked them, was it? Wasn’t there some mention of that in the Heavier than Heaven biography? My brain is a sieve when it comes to this stuff. Maybe part of his persona when he was alive was that he only/always/ever loved punk rock.
I think the facial hair thing dates back to when we were initially talking to John and were mildly appalled by the 70s don’t trim or shave ANYTHING trend. I was all, “Where’d John go?” And he was all, “At least I WASHED my hair!”
Ugh, I think the 90s tapped out my facial hair tolerance… and it’s Movember again.
“Because you don’t get to be a tragic rock star and live happily ever after”. Which I kind of get, although I’m still trying to figure out why that’s better than being a “troubled” rock star.
OMG, that’s heartbreaking. You know what? Be a heroic rock star. I think people loved him because he gave them hope, like you said, not because he was tragic… maybe in spite of it. Otherwise, why were so many people absolutely torn apart when he died?
My understanding of his/the band’s stance on heavy metal was that it was like, “oh, well I used to listen to that stuff but I don’t anymore, because I know better now, and that stuff is really sexist/racist, etc.” (I don’t actually think Metallica are though, they’re just dicks for different reasons :D)
Oh yeah, John/hair/the 70s. Well that beard he grew around the time of that bed-in was just out of control. I don’t understand hippie hair. :s
I totally remember that “at least I wash my hair” comment of John’s. I think we were watching Nirvana MTV Unplugged at the time. And I said something like, “Remember how all these companies started selling products in the 90s to make it look like you didn’t wash your hair?”. And you said that Kurt said that he used them too, that he claimed his hair was actually clean and that he put product in it? I actually found an article that supports that. This blog actually (amusingly) posted a critique of Kurt’s hygiene:
It fails to mention the claim though (made in Heavier Than Heaven) that he never brushed his teeth and just ate apples, but never had bad breath.
(I’m skeptical about that one… I’m pretty sure the sun doesn’t actually shine out of Kurt’s ass, after all.)
Check out the related articles on the blog too, it’s good stuff and they’re obviously big fans. There’s stuff on Marley, too.
Cool, thanks Sweetie. It looks like this is randomized articles? Maybe the link isn’t working for me. I was looking at the article on Kurt’s hygiene and suddenly smelled my ex bf (w not d) whose BO I actually liked. Maybe Kurt was one of those guys who smell good when they don’t shower. They’re like unicorns, those guys.
Well, guns n roses are racist sexist assholes, but I still sing along to Sweet Child Of Mine. Sometimes good music stands alone!
Oops, this is the link to the article:
That other one just links to the tag.
Not wanting any more olfactory details, I just stopped reading. I don’t need to know how he really smelled. 🙂
And what if it really was bad? I don’t need another “fish scales are awesome” incident. (my cat sunshine gave me the taste, texture, smell – the whole experience – trying to convince me to give her raw fish scales. It was literally like having a mouth full of fish scales.)