Sunday, December 30, 2007


The unhinged peculiarity of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was staggering(!) upon recent viewing. How long had it been? Five years? Ten years since I'd seen it last? Unlike certain movies associated with childhood that would yield disastrous viewings (I'm looking at you Garbage Pail Kids), Big Adventure held its own. The breadth of the Adventure is wild and I'd most certainly argue its merits to any disbeliever. Although it doesn't exactly strike me as a kids movie, I should thank my folks for letting me watch it in the 1980s. Shortly after becoming reacquainted with the film, BTH purchased the entire Pee-Wee's Playhouse series on DVD, which I should perhaps thank God for. Worth at least its weight in gold if distributed across a dozen or so VHS tapes, Pee-Wee & Ms. Yvonne's Puppet Dance, along with Gary Panter's brilliant set design, was the cinch.

Admittedly, I'm pretty far removed from parenting and, well, children, but if the continuing homogenization of culture is any indicator, I would assume there's not a show quite like Pee-Wee's on television now. What I do come into contact with -- mostly clothing commercials and neighborhood kids -- leaves me with a feeling of deep disappointment and detachment from my own childhood. Please, parents: stop buying Starter jackets for your nerdy kids. Don't force your children to become tiny adults with credit cards and cell phones. If I have kids, I hope to teach them focus and discipline, but I want their imaginations to run wild. They should know, deeply, that anything is possible and anyone who disagrees is very sadly mistaken.

2008 will be the year I begin subscribing to Esquire. My last entry was to be about drawing a line from my ideals as a teenager to the person I am now. It proved difficult and while I may return to that idea at some point, it's in the distance. My late teens and early 20s were characterized by a loosening of persona and the self. When I started to reel myself back in, I was very much the same person I've always been (the one who got confused in the "looseness") and someone a little different. In a very small way, subscribing to Esquire represents the latter. [Maybe using the phrase "a magazine like Esquire" is a bad way of saying that I was ignorant in youth as to the difference between Maxim and Playboy and Esquire. For the record, Maxim is really dumb plus half-naked women, Playboy is less dumb and has a kind of "cursory intelligence" -- that is, it feigns an air of sophistication -- plus naked women, and Esquire is intelligent plus mostly clothed women.] Why subscribing to a magazine means anything, I don't know. I suppose it's because I based a lot of my personality on my friends in certain ways and I can't picture any of my longtime friends reading Esquire. But then, this is becoming a continuation of something I started on a few posts back.

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