9.17.18

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“First we worship the blind god, then we worship the sighted one.”
–quote from a dream, 7/17/99

On this day in 1925, an 18-year-old Frida Kahlo was caught in a horrific accident between the wooden bus she was riding on and a streetcar. Almost killed, Kahlo suffered fractures on her ribs, both her legs, and her collarbone—as well as having an iron handrail puncture her pelvis. She would have medical problems for the rest of her life as the result of these injuries.

She credited the gruesome accident with making her focus on becoming a painter.

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***

I am way way way way WAY way way too excited about this Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” movie being made. I just saw the first pictures from this movie set…and they really made me lose my fool mind, they really did. God-damn.

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I think it’s just…there’s a bit with the Suicide Squad Joker, played by Jared Leto, that I liked…it was an interesting “take” and design. But it wasn’t made for me. It wasn’t the type of movie, superhero-or-otherwise, I’d go to see personally. I think I kinda aged out of that stuff. And that’s **fine**. There should be movies for younger people. There should be “fresh takes” on these characters.

That said: I looked at the bunch of pics for this new movie, and it really felt like something **I’d** want to watch. And this is all **terribly** important, you see, because I’m a Jokerologist. I track the reflection of Society within every iteration of The Joker.

See, I made a comic book on it and everything:

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The plot of the movie sort of hearkens back to the 1982 Martin Scorsese film The King Of Comedy (and I believe Scorsese is involved in the new Joker movie), in which Robert De Nero plays a down-on-his luck comedian who kidnaps a Johnny Carson-like host (Jerry Lewis). In this Joker film, he is also a down-on-his-luck comedian.

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And so then, if the Joker from The Dark Knight represented this deep anarchistic “doing it for the lulz” impulse that was such a Rosetta Stone for everything that came after…and the Suicide Squad Joker was more like some mindless narcissistic gangster/club kid…then what is this new one supposed to represent?

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***

He got the voices speakin’ riddles
He got the eye as black as coal
He got a suitcase covered with rattlesnake hide
And he stand right in the road

Now here is an interesting music video for John Fogerty’s “The Old Man Down The Road”:

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So it starts with Fogerty as the shaman-type character wearing bone necklaces and stuff. We follow a red wire—a wire from an amp/speaker—through all these different scenarios, across this park/forest/swamp like environment. And all those scenarios are: the stages of Life!

We’re going through all the different stages of life here—childhood, first love, sex, death—following the red wire, which represents this vital “vein” or artery of human existence. And it could be stages in his life, or anybody’s life; it’s completely archetypal.

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And it ends with the wire plugged into Fogerty’s guitar as he finishes the song, symbolizing how his music is derived/transmitted from this larger, more metaphysical “pool.”

Anyway: a neat little bit of narrative contained in what we assume is a throwaway mid-80s music video.

Have a good Monday.

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