I'm feeling like I have to see Movie 43 now that the Post and Daily News agree its the worst movie ever made.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) January 27, 2013
Well, that's some stiff competition, right there. Rotten Tomatoes gives you the critics' blurbs on this Peter Farrelly . . . offering.
I haven't seen it, and don't expect to, despite sharing some of J-Pod's rubbernecking morbid curiosity, but among the things I might consider before going to this movie I would name a recreational fecal transplant.
Our culture is so superfluously crappy that I feel no impulse to seek out highly concentrated crap at a movie theater. I'd rather wait on something like this.
On the other hand, it seems that Fleetwood Mac's Rumours—which Enoch believes is the greatest pop album ever made—is seeing a resurgence in the UK. I like a lot of challenging music, music that pressures and deforms the expected, but Rumours is an album that surprises by how thoroughly and continuously it delivers sheer pleasure. That doesn't sound very sophisticated, but it is.
On occasion, I've written about songs featuring deformation of traditional forms, such as Brian Eno's "Back in Judy's Jungle," which turns the waltz into an alien form, but I've also written about pop standards that are so well crafted, so clean and crystalline, that they defy improvement. The Flamingo's version of "I Only Have Eyes for You" is one of those pieces, somehow crossing over into psychedelia by virtue of sheer simplicity of conception, which is a strange effect indeed. At Mom and Dad's place, they play oldies a lot, and I'd have to say that "It's All In the Game" is another of those pop standards that stands out for sheer clarity and homely wisdom. On the other hand, I heard "Happy Days Are Here Again" sung in a minor key. It was wannabe sophisticated. The deformation was simply unattractive, because it was such an obvious play, and a pretty strange selection, in my view, for assisted living. Tom Jones' "Daughter of Darkness" is just disturbing, any way you slice it. Whoever decided it ought to be on the playlist hadn't listened closely to the lyrics, I hope.
I'm thinking about these things in part because of the whisky ads I've been seeing on television. There's a series for Dewar's with a Scottish woman that's pretty much a long sneer at people who don't take their alcohol 'seriously.' Others tout Jim Beam's "Devil's Cut," featuring visits to subterranean caverns where the real party's going on, with the real, serious partiers. It's all so sneerious, in its cultish invitation to come over to a dark side of disinhibition, as though misery doesn't lie that way, Angus.
But if you find offensiveness and transgression attractive per se, maybe this movie is your bag, baby.