Monday, October 11, 2004

Don't Go Back To Huntsville

Fuck politics.
I mean, sure, it was unavoidable, with the debates, and the election only a few weeks away, that the column would turn excessively toward the nation's #1 sport for the stupid and evil, but I'm tired of it. And I bet you are too. Except for the bit about Bush part-owning a timber company, which, since it turned out to be true, is pretty fuckin' funny. "Need some wood", indeed.
But I've felt for a while now that it'd be a good idea to get back to the roots of the column, the kind of thing that I'm known for. Which is why I was so very happy, in my perusals of the news, to stumble across three brand new retarded Texans.
So, with a nostalgic tear in my eye, I would like to issue the following memo to Huntsville, TX residents Bobby Wooderson, Andy Slater, and Richard "Pink" Floyd. YOU ARE DUMB.
The three men, you see, went to school with acclaimed film director Richard Linklater, who, in his admittedly semi-autobiographical movie, "Dazed and Confused", included three characters - David Wooderson, Ron Slater, and Randall "Pink" Floyd. The movie came out in 1993, to modest success, but it apparently took over a decade for it to reach the desert hinterlands of Huntsville, TX, because now that the DVD has been out for two years, the locals have, according to the brand new lawsuit filed on behalf of the retards, made the three men's lives a living hell.
The case, which is being tried in New Mexico because the movie is eleven fucking years old and the New Mexico legal system is kind to slow people, raises a number of interesting legal questions. Can an artist freely utilize his own past to make works of fiction? Is it possible to make life in Huntsville, Texas more of a living hell? And is it possible to have any sympathy whatsoever for a car salesman who has kept his high school nickname of "Pink" Floyd for the past 28 years.
So what form, exactly, did the "relentless harassment, embarassment, and ridicule" take? What cruel emotional torture did these three men suffer to such an extent that they finally got around to taking legal action? The pain must have been unimaginable. Luckily, we don't have to imagine it, because it's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"People make assumptions, basically, that he's [Slater's] involved in illegal drugs." - Attorney Ernest Freeman.
"We had fun in high school, but there is nothing true about that movie. Yet, I am having to deal with it all the time." - "Pink" Floyd.
And when Wooderson brought his son to Harvard, "all the kids there wanted to do was smoke pot with him", according to lead attorney Bill Robins III. Pronoun experts analyzing Mr. Robins' statements were unable to clarify whether it was the father or the son who received the cannabis-related taunting at one of the nation's most respected institutions of higher learning.
That's... pretty much it. No death threats, no vandals painting large "Have A Nice Day" smilies on the plaintiffs' new vinyl siding, just a bunch of pot jokes from a bunch of Texans who ran out of things to rent at Blockbuster and thought "Dazed and Confused" was a season-set of "That 70's Show" with that nice Ashton Kutcher boy in it.
The fact of the matter is, nobody would have made the connection to the movie if any of these guys had been either willing, or able, to GET THE FUCK OUT OF HUNTSVILLE. That's what Linklater did, and he got to make School of Rock. You three stuck around, and all you get to do is sell cars, put in kitchen cabinets, and "work in the technology sector", which is so vague that it probably means "holding the keys to the video game cabinet at Wal-Mart". And all of a sudden, now it's Linklater's fault that your lives suck? Just because people in Huntsville think it's funny to make toking gestures in your direction? Get over it. The people of Huntsville probably think it's funny to tell people the town was named after a guy named Mike.
Why, were it not for your lawyers' strident assurance that you were "not the type of people who are out to get a cheap buck", I would have thought you were precisely the type of people who are otu to get a cheap buck. Also the type of people who don't stay through the credits. Also the type of people who don't read much. I mean, having never seen the movie, I cannot guarantee that the disclaimer about "any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" is in there, but I bet it is. Of course you weren't nearly as interesting as the characters in the movie. Of course your dialogue was worse. It was a MOVIE.
And you should be thankful it's a movie. 'Cause if it was a documentary, you know what they would have done for the DVD? They'd have come back to Huntsville, cameras in hand, to shoot a special feature about where the three of you are now. And if you think you were relentlessly harassed, embarrassed, and ridiculed for "appearing" in "Dazed and Confused", that hypothetical followup would have you jumping off the nearest bridge.