I read a review of the remake of The
Longest Yard that called it a two-hour beer commercial.
Of course, the review also said that having pro wrestlers in it gave it authenticity.
You have to wonder about the acumen of anyone who considers a pro wrestler authentic. The review also called the movie homophobic, because it made fun of transvestite cheerleaders.
A transvestite isn't a homosexual. That's like calling a pro wrestler a pro football player. One is real and one is fake.
In the original, Ray Nitschke played a middle linebacker for the guards. In the remake, Edward Bunker plays a prisoner. I'd be more afraid of Edward Bunker than I would of Ray Nitschke.
Old Folks didn't watch The Longest Yard when it came out. He thought football movies were stupid. Or Burt Reynolds movies were stupid.
Now, he identified with Burt Reynolds. He thought some of his movies held up.
Burt had been a star, washed-up, and a star again, with his dignity intact.
That's not easy to do.
Old Folks had his dignity. He had a washed-up streak going that would make most actors, or athletes, envious. 33 years, going on 34.
A writer, you didn't need a facelift. The more wrinkles you had the more character it gave you. The more books you'd had rejected the more street cred you had.
Did Brew look depressed to you? Down in the dumps? He wasn't even angry. It was the best of all possible worlds, and he was Fortune's favorite child.
They used to say Burt Reynolds looked like Marlon Brando. But they didn't say he looked like Marlon Brando playing Sakini in The Teahouse of the August Moon.
It's hard to keep your dignity when you look like Sakini in The Teahouse of the August Moon.
Old Folks wore a pair of earplugs around his neck to show that he was a writer, who had to shut out passive conversation. Also, movie soundtracks tended to be too loud, for Old Folks. He wanted to protect what hearing he had left.
On Fridays, Old Folks cleaned the house, then went to a matinee. It was like playing hooky.
During the week, when he had the house to himself, he screened old movies, watching the Special Features on the DVD disc.
Once, he rented a remake of Charade that had the original movie, Charade, on the same disc, or as part of a two-disc set.
The Aviator had a History Channel documentary of Howard Hughes on the Special Features disc.
Cockfighter had a documentary about Warren Oates on the end. Across the Border.
Old Folks's idea of a good time was to read Cockfighter, read the 30,000-word piece Charles Willeford wrote about basing Cockfighter on The Odyssey, read Willeford's account of acting in the movie, Cockfighter Journal: The Story of a Shooting, with a signed introduction by James Lee Burke ($165, from abebooks.com), watch the video, Cockfighter, watch the documentary at the end, Across the Border.
Old Folks once put out a newsletter called Low-Rent Cinéaste.
A video store could give it away, free. Increase rentals of their older titles, which just sat there while the New Releases flew off the shelves.
Low-rent a play on cheaper video rentals and a pejorative term for tinkers, squatters, and migrant laborers living in places like The Cason Apartments or Zeder Courts in Delray Beach, both now torn down.
The Cason Cottage has been restored. When Old Folks was a boy his Aunt Claribel lived there.
Not to be confused with The Cottage, the hovel on the edge of historic colored town Old Folks lived in when his first book, Screed, was published.
Not enough colored people on TV.
Not enough colored people on TV.
The remake of The Longest Yard had colored people in it.
Old Folks didn't know if it did them justice or not, but he was sure they, colored people, weren't satisfied with just that. They wanted more.
Old Folks wanted less white people on TV. Fewer white people, actually.
Old Folks would stick with books, himself. Stick with the people who read books. Like the guy in Michael Connelly's The Closers, at the homeless shelter who was reading Ask the Dust.
A closer is a detective who works on cold cases and brings them to a successful resolution.
Hoke Moseley was working on cold case files as far back as New Hope for the Dead. Now, it's an industry.
A closer is also a salesman, who "closes" the deal.
Old Folks had closed the deal on Bukowski Never Did This, his new book, which was coming out next month, the first book he had published since Forty, his 40th book, 17 years ago.
It only seemed like a long time.
After you turn 65, the years go by in a grunt, Uncle David said, and he killed 50 Japs on Peleliu.
He also said, when offered some deer meat, "No thanks, I can remember when we had to eat it."
Old Folks had fewer years to live now than he had already lived.
Home | About | Mail