Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Pop culture moment. We're watching Moulin Rouge, and what started as fascination is turning into disgust. Such beautiful costumes, sets, it would be delightful if they actually stuck to authentic gay nineties music. The 1890s, preferably.
Where is the accordion? This has probably been said a million times before...where are the automata, the harpsichord?
I have a fondness of musicals, having forced friends to watch the Marian, Madam Librarian scene from the Music Man over and over.
They do tend to run a very careful line between sappiness, camp, and tears. Valley of the Dolls and Cabaret hit all those notes for me. Rent...the first time I saw it I cried and cried, but later it seemed an over-romanticized circus.
Because there is that division between what is real, and what is lived, and what is voyeuristic, and what is exploitative.
Admittedly, I had to leave Jon Wagner's Narrative Ethics class. My essay was called an ethical disaster...and I realized I was fundamentally an unethical writer. Drastically so.
I write from experience, from what I have known, seen, born witness to. It was sometimes bleak, and it was often cruel. There was no music, and the velvet curtains were vomit-smeared.
Survivors guilt. I am still alive. I'm sorry. I miss you, I miss the people I used to know. But I had to leave, I was dying. I was doing cocaine alone every night, I had herpes sores on my face, on my hands, and of course. I was being sexually exploited and I didn't care. I had a death wish, I knew I was going to die, and I wanted pleasure before the end.
Somehow, I didn't die. Somehow, I'm still alive. Somehow, it goes on.