Friday, December 7, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
i only knew the guy for two years of my life. i worked with him, at a dumpy-ass hostel that i "managed". he was a co-worker. we would do projects together. lay floors. paint walls. hang signs.
we were thrown together by circumstance. otherwise, we would never have reason to cross paths.
his name was Mitchell Cannon. we all called him Country.
he was a black man. from the south. north carolina, if i remember correctly. i only understood half of what he said, because his drawl was so predominant. the half i heard, i loved. the half i didn't, i always imagined was even better.
why did i like him? he was kind. he was soft. he was mellow. he was honest. he had a good heart. he lived up to his nickname.
i left that job a couple years ago, and had only visited a couple times since. last time i saw Country, he was sicker than before. i learned right before i left the job that he had contracted AIDS. through a needle. yeah, Country had a drug reliance, and because of that he had caught his death.
i went to the old hostel today and asked for him. they said he had died. six months ago. my head bowed. a heavy weight suddenly rested there. i was instantly frozen with how life can stop you in your tracks. it can say "fuck you" on a dime. hell, a nickel.
i walked around for a bit and tried to enter this information into my circuitry.
i was with a friend at the time, and for many hours after. when we finally parted ways i hopped on the J train, to home. i finally had a silence within myself to process, and found myself instantly crying. heavy. on a crowded subway. i hurt. i really hurt.
i really liked that guy. i liked his open eyes to the world and his open heart to the unexpected. there are people that you know for 80 years, and there are people that you know for 2. i knew Mitchell Cannon for 2. he was a man. he was beautiful. he was alive. he was lost. he was singular. he was unique.
i will miss him.
his name was Mitchell Cannon. his name was Country.
Friday, August 3, 2012
I told somebody I liked "We Bought A Zoo" today. Their reply was "Wasn't that supposed to be corny?". This got me to thinking.
Movies deemed as corny tend to be movies about love or hope or, dare I say it, happiness. Rom-Com's, for example. There are a lot of people that will admit having a proclivity to staying away from these types of movies.
I very rarely have heard a friend of mine say they weren't going to see a violent movie, like 'Pulp Fiction' or 'Goodfellas' or 'Saw'. But I've had a ton of them say they weren't going to see these corny-type movies, like 'Sleepless In Seattle' or 'The Vow' or "He's Just Not That Into You'.
I'm not going to make a statement about gun control or anything like that here. I know we're on the heels of the massacre in Colorado, but this really isn't about this. But think about it, wouldn't you agree that it's your experience also that you have more friends shying away from corny movies than violent ones? I'm generalizing here, of course a lot of us do go to both types, and I'm sure there are some people that won't go to 'Saw' types. I just find it interesting that when it comes to saying they won't got to a movie, it's rarely because it's too violent, but often is because it's corny.
People will go and watch a movie like 'Casino' and not really think twice about the fact that a guy gets his life ended by being beat by a baseball bat. In fact, that scene is talked about with a great deal of admiration. But the 'Jerry Maguire' scene where he says "You had me at hello", yeah, that's made fun of all the time. People, a dude was beat to death with a baseball bat! Think about how fundamentally wrong that is. It happens in real life and the culprit goes to jail for life. It happens in a movie and we enjoy our sour patch kids during the scene. But when we hear Jerry say his line, it's chastised as cheesy.
I for one don't like 'Reservoir Dogs' for instance, and it is because of the violence. I hate shit like that, and don't enjoy seeing it. At all. But you sit me in front of a movie like 'We Bought A Zoo', which is about love, hope, positivity and yes, happiness, and I'm all over it. Is that corny? By most people's definition, yes. And a lot of people will think that people of this ilk are a good target for chiding. "Holy crap, you liked 'You've Got Mail'?...what a dork".
I'm not saying much here really, not making any grand statements. But I do find it very interesting, the whole corny/violence viewpoint. Some of you will read this piece and view it as corny in and of itself. If you've read any of my stories in this blog, you probably view them as such as well. Well, I view them like that myself, but it's done on purpose. I want to throw out love and positivity and hope, because I think in general not enough people do. And if that's corny, so be it. I'm cool with that. In my opinion, enjoying seeing a guy beat to death with a baseball bat is waaaaaay cornier, and it is a bit unsettling that things are skewed the other way.
If the ideal human state is a pure heart, soul and mind, where love and happiness rule, then how nuts is it that a movie that at least tries to border on these themes is shunned, and a movie that is quite the opposite is more accepted? Have we veered that far away from the ideal? Yikes! This makes me want to punch everyone...a ticket to paradise.