Monday, April 14, 2008

Social Behavior. . .

. . .is one of my fascinations.

(Quick Note: Today's blog really sucks. It's me harping about nothing. I'd only read this if you have nothing better to do, and nobody to call.)

People seeking out what's in their own best interest is the heart of all economic theory. With respect to that, some people have a skewered perception to the value they place on a particular item. A passion will shoot the price past equilibrium into the perverse. Comic book enthusiasts will justify the $120 on the Absolute Edition of The Watchmen. Cigar aficionados will drop upwards of $700 for a box of 25 Cohibas. I'm a movie guy. When the Dodge Theatre re-opened for a short period in 2000, I closed up RadioShack early to catch a screening of The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly. I arrived only to be told that they weren't running the feature. I was the only person who showed up. After telling the owner of how badly I'd been looking forward to this movie all week, he compromised. "If you can get ten, respectable (pause) people to show up, I'll run it."

It was a trap. There weren't ten respectable people in that entire town. I put fifty on the counter and said, "I'm ten respectable people."

I sat in the dead-center of the first row in the balcony. Never has a movie going experience rivaled it.

Sunday I woke up and headed to the Pulaski Park Record Fair. There, dozens of vendors placed thousands of LP's up for sale, trade, and discussion. I make no claim of being a vinyl purest. Cost and dedication hinder me from amassing the wall of records mounted throughout a series of rickety homemade shelves. I have the same appreciation for vinyl as I do laser disc. (Which I still buy and enjoy - shut up!) It takes watching or listening to something, and turns it into an event. To pull the disc from a sleeve, lay it on a platter, and drop the needle adds pomp to the process. There are several delicate steps involved. But that's not why I drove across town and spent half an hour trying to find this place.

I went to this fair to see the 12-inch version of me. Men in their late 20's thru early 30's who have spent so much time digging through stacks that their neck muscles have grown taut, and their fingernails are perpetually grimy. I saw four-hundred dollars exchanged for a mono pressing of The Beach Boys' Endless Summer. Two-hundred for a three-song promo of Springsteen's Nebraska. Three grand for Fleagle's only solo, heavily misogynistic, album Banana Slit. And everyone was interchangeable. The same tan jacket. Thick black glasses. Disheveled hair. Messenger bags that are the perfect size to transport records from point A to B. And each of them, alone. They come and find themselves in like company, yet they avoid one another at all costs.

In my circle of movie buffs, the same thing occurs. We travel to far out of the way theatres to attend screenings of obscurities. We sit in lawn furniture and folding chairs. The screen is often little more than a bed sheet with a PC speaker acting as the sound system. People would rather sit on the floor, then sit next to someone else. Before the lights are dimmed, everyone keeps to themselves and their paperback. When the movie is over, we shuffle out. Quietly.

I dragged a friend to a screening of Иди и смотри , easily one of the greatest war movies, ever. As the audience trickled in, his head turned. "She's hot," he exclaimed.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

"Attractive people don't come here."


Anonymous said...

even your bad blogs are better than that other blog.

Anonymous said...

i have a feeling that you accidentally implied that a.v.e has good blog entries. oops on you.