Thursday, October 20, 2005

10-13-2005 -- The Cemetery

I've had all day to think about it, and I still can't believe that I can't believe the Art Heroes over at the EAG picked Randall Stout's design. I mean, I joked about it two weeks ago and everything -- "stainless steel skateboard ramp" etc. -- but I didn't think anyone would go along with that clodgy mess of bullshit "organic" forms and useless, pandering decoration. Once again, I underestimate the abilty of the tasteless, braying drone-elite of Edmonn...

...nnnaaaah, fuckit. What do I care? The thing'll never get built, anyway; we're only a few years away (at best) from a worldwide economic disaster. Prosperity Cheques or no, we're heading for a point where oil -- and thus, everything else -- is going to be so dear, and life so cheap, even a joke building like Stout's will seem like the Fabled Towers of Atlantis compared to the post-industrial ruins we'll be squatting in. Nothing a body can do about it now except learn how to famr and shoot straight -- pressed for time, the latter alone will suffice -- so I might as well go "la la la la la" for another couple winters and keep drawing my pay. Like, you know what I'm really into these days? Airwolf.

They just released that action on DVD a little while ago, and if you haven't seen the legendary superchopper action-adventure series since it was broadcast, you owe it to yourself to pick it up (it's only worth a rental; put the purchase price toward fuel, bullets and seed) and experience the thrill of helicopter-based international Reaganism all over again. What a revelation! Remember the Cold War? The Libyans? Airwolf brings that flavor on back to you, somthered in a creamy sauce of Vietnam that I was too unsophisticated to really appreciate back then -- then, it was all about the helicopter.

The Airwolf itself is still as awesome as ever it was when I would model it with legos; what really surprised me is how little the chopper actually features in the series, and how much of its screentime is stiched together from poorly matched military stock footage and clips from what seems to be a single afternoon each of stunt flying and interiors -- in addition to having an awesome name (and playing the 'cello for eagles) pilot Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent), is so highly trained and precise, he squints and pulls the trigger in exactly the same way every time. The best part (among an embarassment of best parts, including Ernest Borgnine) is how it always gets personal; after squibbing away the Libyan (or whoever) defences with rockets, Airwolf always settles down to hover at about five feet in the middle of the bad-guy base and just pivots around, methodically machinegunning dudes. Since Airwolf is bulletproof -- and by the way, also needs no fuel, maintenance, ammo stores or support infrastructure -- you'll usually get a shot of the bad guy just pumping useless bullets into the copter's nose before stock-footage Stringfellow squints and unloads. Rad!

But, like I said, it's not all invincibility and blowing things away; Stringfellow, along with everybody else he encounters, including Russians and Libyans, has a lingering Vietnam problem. I mean, these cats are really messed. I didn't really "get it" when I was ten, but watching Airwolf now really makes me realize how bad a prolonged, bloody, disastrous war can fuck people up. When Stringfellow flew back to Vietnam to rescue a kidnapped boy he might have fathered, the producers made the towheaded little scamp look "half-breed" by daubing slanty eyeliner on him so he looked more like a Glam Scout. Will escapist action-adventure TV shows ten years after the Iraq war ends feature blond brats in brownface?

Ha! Listen to me... "After the Iraq war ends!" As another 80s icon would say, I kill me; at least, I hope I do before somebody else does. Wal-Marts, automobiles, convenience food, civil society and even television itself will end before the Oil Wars will. Good luck out there, friends. May you be buried in individual graves.

2 comments:

Garnet said...

I understand that in the never-aired concluding episode, Stringfellow succumbs to his Vietnam damage and goes mad, attacking everyone around him. Then Borgnine, manning the controls of the Airwolf, does the only thing he can: with a single, precise, perfect shot, one special .05-caliber bullet neatly removes the offending part of Stringfellow's brain. After that, he's only good for cleaning up around the base and fighting evil with a rubber-tipped Special Olympics javelin, but it's basically a happy ending. Nice hearing from you again, DRZ. It's been too long.

mike w said...

Update your fucking blog, you jackass.