Sunday, July 18, 2010
Ten Thousand Best Friends or, Fucking Festivals: How Do They Work?
Tom Bissell has a long essay in the most recent issue of Harper's that tries to unpack the discomfiting thing that is Tommy Wiseau and The Room. (It's subscriber-only, but the whole issue is pretty great and worth a newsstand buy) While the best parts of the article are mostly just Bissell struggling to describe Wiseau's brain-damaged-vampire personality and his baffling film, Bissell also comes surprisingly close to accomplishing the incredibly and obviously futile task of figuring out what, if anything, the whole deal means. "Surprisingly," because The Room's cult following is so manifestly the result of an idiot echo chamber that there is, ultimately, not really a whole lot there to write about besides how inexplicable Wiseau and his film are.
It's not that I don't find this stuff funny, and Bissell's descriptions of those two foundational weirdnesses (and of Wiseau's face) are very amusing; it's a good piece. But beyond the obvious point of The Room being resistant to criticism is the fact -- the ontological truth -- that the film exists at a level beyond and beneath any sort of analysis. The simultaneously simple and irreducibly complex fact of its existence is what's most interesting about it, and there's only so much than can be said about that.
All of which is kind of a long way of saying that Gallagher is performing at this year's Gathering of the Juggalos. AND I QUOTE:
Awesome Dre: Gallagher up in this bitch, though? Smashing watermelons with the sludge-o-matic (sic) and shit?
DJ Clay: (Medium-sized beat) Is that the real Gallagher?
Awesome Dre: Man, the original Gallagher, man, not that fake-ass Gilligan motherfucker, neither.
Good thing it's The Real Original Gallagher, because he has really taken his act to some unique and terrible new places. Also, Ron Jeremy will be telling dick jokes and Afroman is performing and Tila Tequila will be onstage at Ladies Night (sic?) (and also went to high school with Sweet Sugar Slam?). The words "If you like midgets" are uttered in the video, and both Superfly Snuka and Todd Bridges will be wrestling. It's kind of corny that the profane-but-crypto-populist rhetoric of the last Juggalo video has been replaced here by some intra-demographic synergy for ICP's long-awaited greasepaint western, "Big Money Rustlas," but... anyway, the judgments don't matter. They aren't even really possible. There is nothing to say about any of this. There is nothing to do about it. It simply is, and the fact of its existence is challenging enough. The 11th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos is like humidity.