Folks. Folks out there! I’m overworked, overtaxed, underslept and colonized by hostile bugs once more. Not that I’m complaining. I should be, but for some reason I’m happy with my crap condition, cheerful despite the paperwork, the meetings, the mucus, the two a.m. staring into semi-darkness from my pillow. How in god’s name is this situation juicing up my endorphins? It may be the season, which, despite being slow in arrival and colder than ten slushies dumped in my bath, always regresses me back to adolescence. It’s a little local infraction of the second law of thermodynamics. Every Spring I unstir the tapioca back out of the pudding, and the yokel inside me stands agog (the rube inside me’s too drunk to care, and the cynic thinks it’s a trick).
I don’t really drop a few years: still at 33, with the slight but stubborn love handles, the body hair creep, the radiant lines at the eye’s outer vertex. I just act like I’m eighteen and can abuse my body all I want. 3 AM house party? Sure! Long-abandoned drug? Hell, just this once. So it was that I ended up Friday night drinking absinthe with a bunch of lawyers and up ‘n’ coming neoconservative power politicians. Elsewhere like-minded people were meeting in bohemian apartments and swank pads, drinking wine or flapping their bodies around to a DJ. I got a bunch of hemi-demi-intellects watching Tivo’d baseball games and spilling absinthe flames on the countertop. I tried to escape into those green anisette fumes (because I swear, absinthe seems to vaporize the instant it hits your stomach, rushing into your lungs and sinuses, leaking out your tear ducts and quite possibly fumigating your cerebral cortex) but they kept asking me questions, all of which were really one of two questions: So you’re a documentary filmmaker, hey? And isn't that cool?
I tried to tell them that what they were thinking of - a Michael Moore, an Erroll Morris - was a long way from what I was, which is a producer for a documentary television series. I’m not the guy, I told them, who runs out with a camera to interrogate the public (like I used to be); I’m the guy in the office who signs purchase orders, breaks down scripts and hovers over the shooting schedule. I’m not intrepid; I’m management. It turned out that they didn’t care. These people inhabited the corporate world of managers and meetings, where no shame is attached to phrases like team player or the one I can't bring myself to write (involves boxes). For them, I embodied the kick-ass cool end of management. They understood film and television as a business with a cultural product, some of it trash, some of it art. Which made me a trash artist, an adept at manipulating resources (money and people) to the ends of entertainment. Which is to say, the entertainment of lawyers. If I’d been an actual artist they would never have let me at their absinthe.
So let it be known: I’m a trash artist whore for Eurotrash drinks. Pass it on. I’m available for conventions and parties.