I’m going to give Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby a pass. The only Luhrmann movie I’ve ever enjoyed was his Strictly Ballroom. There was something endearingly innocent and sweet about that movie, despite all the goofiness and cheesiness of the film. Moulin Rouge was a graffiti headache, a tornado of 56 different crayon colors melted down and then sprayed around with hallucinatory abandon. I wanted to punch Ewen MacGregor’s character in the face about halfway through for being such a dumb schmuck. At any rate (discounted or not), Gatsby looks like Moulin Rouge on 100 milligrams of Prednisone. And 3-d to boot?
Shudder. Gag me with a peacock feather.
The critic over at the Observer doesn’t sound that impressed, wrapping up his critique with a nasty uppercut to Luhrmann’s glass jaw: “…overwrought, asinine, exaggerated and boring. But in the end, about as romantic as a pet rock.”
Ah, romance and pet rocks. Ever a thrilling subject. Oh, pet rock, how shall I count the ways? I shall save my seven dollars from ending up in Baz’s pocket and, instead, invest it in several ice cream cones (Cherry and Double Chocolate Fudge).
To be honest, I never enjoyed Fitzgerald’s book from the first time it was inflicted on me in high school. Yeah, he’s a good writer and he knows how to draw characters, but who really cares about another story about angst? Angst is over-rated. At least his story is better than all the new angst-dreck coming out these days. Hot Girl becomes pool of angst due to Hot Guy ignoring her. Hot Angel Girl becomes pool of angst due to falling in love with Hot Demon (Hot Demon? Is that redundant or what?). Hot Girl becomes pool of angst due to falling in love with Hot Vampire Dude or Hot Werewolf Dude or Hot Biker Dude with lots of Hot Tattoos. Hot Girl achieves amazing abs of tanned steel while simultaneously melting into a pool of angst.
Which leads me to the other thought bubbling in my head: it is time to start the Grand Project: the secret demolition of the public school. I don’t mean the actual physical demolition of public schools (in case there are Homeland Security commissars reading this blog [buy my books, you Homeland Security commissars]). I mean the destruction of the idea, the anti-intellectual construct, the false god of public education.
Let’s face it. Other than a few isolated exceptions here and there, public school churns out illiterate worker drones addicted to entertainment, social media and Snickers bars. Public school no longer teaches the art of critical thinking. It teaches nonsense like diversity and tolerance (though, only when tolerance falls in line with politically correct sludge) and herd behavior.
So…it’s high time we set about undermining public school. How shall we begin? Much more on this later (though, I’m certainly going to draw inspiration from Geoffrey Searle’s fabulous classic Down With Skool–despite the fact he was targeting English private schools, there’s a great deal of energy that can be ported over into the public school arena).