that is why i had such a good time at this movie, even though i am well aware of its crappiness. it was this group energy that the theater had, that i had meant to mention last night. if i had seen this movie on video, i would have Hated it. but seeing it on the big screen during opening weekend, allowed it to be what could be classified as a fun experience. seeing any teen movie opening weekend is always a wonderful experience. it is exactly like attending a high school assembly and that is what makes it so much fun. the subversive chaos of an audience full of teens. someone in the audience will invariably aww! really loud at all the cheesy parts of the movie. people will clap during songs. there are disruptive people all around looking for attention. and, the assistant principal is talking about something or other, senior dues maybe and caps and gowns, and we are in the auditorium, hoping that someone throws the first rock. it is never us. we just laugh giddily with excitment that someone else was brave enough to do it and is pointing a laser pointer at her, or someone is making loud noises. and we love it, because none of us take assistant prinicpal spears that seriously. we deflate her with our own laughter and antics. and this is why seeing teen movies in the theater is such an awesome experience.
and that is how it all works. you shoot, but you never ever ever miss. don't listen to that bullshit about: eh, you shoot and miss. that's a lie. when you shoot, you are always going to hit something. bullets and arrows don't just disappear into thin air - they motherfucking hit something. it may not be the bullseye or even the target, but it is still something that will be hit.
i have a new favorite writer. about a month agao, i read a really edgy story in the washington post style section lampooning gay life. i looked at the byline and saw it was written by hank stuever. then i read a really good article about k-mart culture versus that of wal-mart and target. it was so well-written, and i saw this kid's name again. whenever i see an article written by him, i always read it, because it always turns out to be so so wonderful. today, there was an article about figure skating culture that just blew me away with some of the sentances. here's the link for the story. and what follows is a brief section of the article to let you see how kick-ass a writer this guy is.
It's not truly a Winter Olympics until the world is riveted by the tragedies of the sport no one claims to like and so many people clearly love. Up in the Wasatch Mountains, where manly men and blond goddesses measure themselves against nature and the digital clock, and not against the subjective sniffings of a Dalmatian-coated Cruella, there is exasperation and fascination: "It had to be figure skating," harrumphs a man carrying his skis off a shuttle bus in Park City on Tuesday afternoon, as the flap over the pairs skating results the night before was just gaining momentum. "It's always figure skating that everyone winds up all upset about."
"Buncha wussies," says his friend, also ready to hit the slopes.
Which is, Freudlike, to scratch one's chin and think, hmmmmmmm, wussies. A hack psychological workup makes you think that perhaps figure skating really is gay after all, in a metaphorical sense. It is the misidentified "other" of the Olympiad, the thing so different and fey that it unsettles the mainstream.
This theory is hardly about the gay men among its male competitors, who set off even the low-wattage gaydar of Middle America and then reject all questions of their sexual orientation as being beside the point. To watch the hierarchy of figure skating react and shift uncomfortably this week in Salt Lake is to sense a familiar repression. Figure skating is in the closet about its true feelings and identity, and thus acts out with kneecappings and backstage deceit.
It behaves like a classic closet case in that it is not what it says it is (sport or theater? Both?), and in its desire to be all things (glamorous yet restrained, not too this, and never too that), it takes on a manic desperation to please.
In its utter shyness and fear of failure, it opts for the artifice of showmanship (jazz hands, and those sappily dramatic stares toward the ceiling) and thunderous arenas in which to display its neuroses. Figure skating is a child in tights and tutu set loose on the bully playground of the Olympics, and so it almost always takes a harsh drubbing.