Monday, February 06, 2006

Rubbish blokes

Long ago in the mists of time, I challenged a chef mate whose food I (and Big Finish) adore to outfeed me and the two younger brothers.

On Saturday, she won that contest hands down with a great vat of coc-au-vin, a sausage thing, veg and apple crumble. Still feel full and it's been two days, and the brothers were escorted home by Greenpeace. Hurrah!

Then it was off to the pub till 1 in the morning for B's birthday thing. A great deal of bollocks talked, of course, though I did agree some stylistic sound-things for Benny. Spent yesterday not feeling too chipper...

Got B Sideways, which an academic mate of the Dr's had recommended, and drew him a card making fun of his rubbish knees. The film's won various awards and is about two blokes (30-somethings, so the packaging says), off on a week's wine-tasting in California, 'cos one of them's about to get hitched.

They're both rubbish blokes, in different ways. One of them's a narcissistic actor who's never gonna make the big time, the other's a despressed, divorcee schoolteacher whose novel no one wants to publish.

They arse about, drink too much, meet some women, and it's an easy, hippy sort of comedy with some hippy sort of musings on life. In the vein, I guess of Hal Ashby, who did (my faves) Harold and Maude and Being There.

As well as very funny, it's also pretty damning of men's bullshitting, and the damage such fantasies do. Talking shit, it seems, can really hurt people - especially when the lies catch up with you. And as an adamant writer, boozer and bullshitter, it really struck a chord.

Also read books 3-6 of Y: The Last Man, which offers some chance that rubbish old Yorick is not the last, best hope for humanity. All-but-one of the men dying out is a cod-sf wheeze, done by everyone from Mary Shelley to soft-porn. And the comic acknowledges and plays with that. And though there's sex and violence and boy-comic tropes a-plenty, it's actually really good and quite bright.

Liked the shitty revelation why Yorick alone was spared, and it's full of near-credible details about the rest of the world, like the attacks on sperm banks and the nuclear meltdown abroad. Even the sea-bent sapphism of the rest of the population is not too exploitatively handled. There's a geeky gag about the Golden Gate Bridge which had me giggling, and the plot keeps coming with nice reveals and reversals.

Still, I'm feeling the same characters recur a little too often - especially when the thing's gone into such detail about the vastness of ground to be covered and the time taken in getting across America. It's that irritating feeling of plot convenience in something that's otherwise so deftly crafted.

One day I shall share with you my (brilliant) theory on the three kinds of bloke. In the meantime, it's fun to read something lefty that doesn't automatically assume the world is much better by getting shot of all the rubbish blokes. As a rubbish bloke myself, I'm grateful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought 'Sideways' was so overrated and pretty boring to be honest.

But that may be because I am a great bloke... ;-)