Goodbye, but Not Farewell

When I decided to start a personal blog back in December 2005 (on Blogspot), I took it as an exciting endeavor. Posting items I had found around the web, creating new posts, sharing music, reviewing movies–all these things appealed to me at the beginning. In fact, I had some truly enjoyable moments.

Sharing my best of/worst of movies was always a delight, as was my excitement being a part of Piranha Man vs. Wolf Man: Howl of the Piranha. A couple of my buddies from Rochester, NY contributed to my blog. The live online blogging of The Oscars a few years ago taught me just how exhausting live blogging was, especially of shamelessly crass entertainment posing as cultural elegance. But the highlight, I felt, of DamnThatOjeda! was the first online interview ever with Barbara Anne Constable, star of the great cult classic Lady Terminator.

The last couple of years, in fact, have brought tremendous opportunities for me: acting, writing, stage managing, producing, lecturing, public relations, interviewing. Wow! For all those people who have assisted me by giving me the chance to be part of your projects, a big and hearty THANK YOU! You’ve made my move to Chicago a very positive one!

But as some great changes have occurred in my life career-wise, a change, I feel, must come with my involvement in cyberspace.

DamnThatOjeda! has covered movies, music, politics, humor and other tidbits of fun for almost 6 years (very hard to believe). However, I feel a change must come along. As you can see with these last several months, I haven’t been contributing to the blog as much as I felt I should have, and when I did, I consistently felt this blog was simply repeating or reposting blog entries found elsewhere. Doing so raises the legitimate question: why would anyone need to come to my blog when others more knowledgeable in such topics are providing the info themselves?

Thus, I feel the need to redirect my efforts in cyberspace. I’ve recently co-founded The Underground Multiplex with filmmaker Joseph R. Lewis, a fellow Rochesterian with a bold philosophy of creating art that matches my approach and thinking. Together we’ll be starting up the new blog (working title: Plex Mix, however this may change) which will serve as the nerve center for everything regarding The Underground Multiplex. We’ve added on Andrew Neel as a co-producer of the group and the three of us will bring you up to speed on everything going on with our new collective group. The important thing is that you are all invited to join us in helping make Chicago the capital of a movement of collective art creation–art and entertainment created with a committed sense of group involvement.

To do this, I must close this blog and give my full attention to The Underground Multiplex. I will continue on, of course, with entries on this new and exciting project as it will concentrate on our loves of movies, music and the creative process. You will definitely hear (and read) from me. In fact, it may be more often than in DamnThatOjeda!

To those who’ve followed this blog, my sincerest thanks! I’ve received complements from many of you and, believe me, I’ve taken them to heart. It’s given me a sense that this 6 year project was for a purpose, and that purpose was to further find ways to share the joy of creativity with you.

So, please take this as an invitation to join me and to join The Underground Multiplex. We will, of course, let you know when the new blog is ready for its debut.

Until then, I bid you adieu!

Peace and love,

Lew Ojeda

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

GA Republican Rep. Rob Woodall Makes a Fool of Himself and His Supporters

I’m surprised the beltway media was slow to this one. GA Rep. Representative Bob Woodall counters angry Medicare recipients challenging him about his vote to kill Medicare by telling them to take personal responsibility. The reaction is a rousing ovation by a large portion of the attendees. Head to 1:45 for the response.

Yeah! You want your government to take care of you, because your employer dropped you. When do you decide to take care of yourself? Cue applause.

You’ll notice a dissolve edit that skips over a pretty damning portion. What came immediately after that lovey fest was a slamming challenge by a great attendee forcing him to admit to choosing the government to take care of him “because it’s free.”

Congrats, Congressman! Less than two minutes after you berated audience members to care for themselves, you managed to look like a hypocrite and make your applauders seem like dumbasses.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Real Reason Why “The Beaver” Bombed at the Box Office

The new Mel Gibson/Jodi Foster movie The Beaver only took in a third of what Summit was hoping for this past weekend. Richie Fay, an exec at the studio, said the dismal numbers charted not because  people hate Mel Gibson, but that the movie’s “a tough sell.”

The not-hating Mel Gibson part I’m not so sure about, but Fay’s only partly right about the movie being a tough sell. If Summit were astute, they would have canned the movie and reshot it, hiring the youtube poster “Birthdayboypresents” who came up with the hilarious trailer remix that went viral.

Now that’s the movie I want to see.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Worst. Parade. Ever.

Emperor Governor Rick Snyder attended a parade at the first city he had taken over with his economic martial law policy. Watch the videos and please tell me what this man had to be thinking in accepting the position as Grand Marshall of the Blossomtime Grand Floral parade. With just a smattering of applause greeting him from the seated parade goers until he reaches deep into safe St. Joseph territory, Snyder walked the route with opponents dually flanking him on the sidewalks chanting “Recall Rick.” Watch both these videos at the scene, first from Eclectablog.

And another from TheRochesterCitizen:

More photos from Anne C. Savage at Eclectablog.

These videos and photos are very telling in how disastrous this photo-op event was.  No balloons, no musical band accompanying him, nothing even remotely festive surrounding Snyder as he’s walking down the road waving at supporters at St. Joseph. Few supporters in Benton Harbor, of course. Even the district’s own state senator Al Pscholka, facing the very real threat of a recall, ditched the event. I mean, Amway’s going to be one of the benefactors of the new financial dictatorship, so why not ask them to pony up a few bucks to make Heir Leader look a bit more like royalty. It’s not like they don’t know how to spend a little bit of money to make something look festive and exciting.

There were two major presences in the parade: the very prominent police appearance with officers on motorcycles, horseback and in the harbor, giving the parade an atmosphere of armed force (boy, that will go over well). The second was the hundreds of people following with signs and chants. That group becomes the focal point of that event.  By the time I finished watching it, I had absolutely no idea what this parade was supposed to commemorate except for what lies in store for Rick in the future.

Even if you like what Snyder’s trying to do (I hate it), your jaw has to drop at this major fuck up. He had to know this appearance was going to be contentious. Agreeing to show up and wave, hoping that opponents would just go away, demonstrates his internal conflict between arrogance and stupidity. It’s as though those two traits were different suits to wear that day and he had to make a choice between them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News Flash: Torture Did Not Get OBL

You should never ask those who don’t know what they’re talking about whether George Bush’s torture-happy policies helped kill Osama Bin Laden. Those persons just volunteer their idiocy freely through tweets. Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! interviews a former senior interrogator in Iraq about torture techniques and gets a good rundown of how water boarding was not helpful at all.

The GOP is desperately trying to claim the only thing that Occupant Bush was successful at doing. There’s nothing else–the economy, two wars, ditching the effort at getting OBL. Do they really want to be tagged as the Torture Party?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who Really Killed Osama Bin Laden?

Fox News shows us the truth about who actually killed Bin Laden in Abbotobad, capital of the province of Costellostan in Pakistan.

Great photoshop work by Blue Gal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The First Gay Horror Film That Isn’t (Horror)?

I never cease to be amazed by incredible previously unknown films. When browsing through the great video store Odd Obsession the other day, I came across a rare “horror” film titled Love Me Deadly.  I think I found a strong candidate for a future horror movie lecture at Facets Night School, because this one truly breaks the perverse meter.

Mary Wilcox (who later made numerous appearances on SCTV) stars as Lindsay Finch, a young woman who has a strange compulsive urge to visit the funerals of recently deceased handsome men. Dressed rather sexily for mourning, she pays her respects by French kissing corpses once all the other attendees have left the chapel.  The fixation is explained as Oedipal in scenes of adolescent Lindsay sharing close times–very close times–with her daddy.

Noticing her fondness for the darling departed is Fred McSweeney (Timothy Scott), a mortician member of a Satanic cult who is on to her necrophiliac ways. Despite his enticements, Lindsay wants to be “normal” and so finds solace with two different handsome hunks, Wade (played by Christopher Stone) and Alex (Lyle Waggoner).

From the ads and the trailers a viewer would figure that Love Me Deadly is a horror film. Certainly, there are elements of that genre in this movie, but the criticisms I’ve read about this movie being too melodramatic miss the point in an ironic way. The point is this movie is primarily a melodrama, perhaps the most perverse soap opera that Douglas Sirk never directed.

But is it gay? Um, yeah. It is. Trust me, it is.

Why? Well first, if you’re simply looking for naked dudes, this movie has full frontal male nudity given more prominence than female nudity.

Second, this is a movie about a “coming out” process. Lindsay doesn’t want to admit to anyone else that she loves the dead.  Fred wants her to be open about who she is, but only to his select group of people–his chosen ones. A microcosm of the hidden gay world is here and it’s reinforced in a remarkable key scene near the beginning.

Fred picks up a gay hustler named Billy Jo (I. William Quinn), but only after rejecting another one, a more flaming queer he deems “not his type.” Opting for the more “masculine” gay, Fred takes him to the mortuary where he proceeds to kill him in one of the most disturbing death scenes I’ve witnessed in a long time. Before his death, however, the out and proud Billy Jo challenges Fred’s straight marriage, thus reinforcing the latter’s closet status with his own necrophilia (read: homosexuality).

On the surface, this would appear to be a very anti-gay film. However, if you pay attention to the entire film, you’ll notice some aspects that convince me this actually achieves poetic justice from beyond the grave for that doomed openly gay man.

(SPOILER ALERT)

Lindsay’s two suitors, Wade and Alex, won’t ever be able to satisfy her. Try as they might, she doesn’t want to open her legs for either guy, although she desperately wants to leave the dead lovin’ behind her. For both these guys, the chastity is a direct blow to their straight masculinity, regardless of relationship status. It doesn’t matter that Wade is promiscuous and Alex settles into marriage with Lindsay. They’re both doomed, and in a final backhanded slap to both her live lovers, Alex discovers Lindsay pumping Billy Jo’s embalmed piston. Not only is Lindsay choosing to fuck a gay corpse, but it’s done in a celebratory Satanic ritual, counteracting her own dismal bedroom scene with an exasperated Alex.

In fact, the only way Alex is able to finally get some honeymoon nookie from his frigid wife is for himself to be frigid in lifelessness. Even then, it’s insult to injury as Lindsay has to be in a drugged state hallucinating that she’s porking dear departed daddy rather than her own husband.

Seen with a homocentric perspective, you can also find moments of hilarious high camp in the film.  Lindsay is almost too beautiful–almost like the desired image of a woman than an actual person. Contrast her astounding looks with Fred and the Satanic cult members and she looks way out of place indulging in such unsavory activities. When she isn’t looking like a Miss America contestant, she can be seen in pigtails and a little girl’s outfit dancing around her father’s grave. Alex finds her practically gurgling over her father’s plot, leading to a subsequent sequence of (perhaps) unintentional hilarity as both try to work through the crisis. What do you do when a spouse has a regressive psychotic episode? You plan a picnic!

Love Me Deadly owes more to Robert Aldrich than to, for example, George Romero. Much of this movie reminds me of the tone of other great Grand Guignol type movies such as What Ever Happend to Baby Jane?, which is, of course, thoroughly embraced by gay audiences. Such audiences should take note. It’s one of the most amorally entertaining takes on the very idea of relationships that you’ll ever see.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment