I am whatever you say I am
One of the many things I did during the very full weekend (New York AND L.A.) just past was take in the new Eminem film, "8 Mile." I must admit that before the movie, I wasn't that familiar with Mr. Eminem. To me, Slim Shady might as well have been a brand of pantyhose. I went to see the movie because I'm a fan of the director Curtis Hanson. I loved his previous work in L.A. Confidential, featuring a trio of the greatest actors of our time, Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, and Danny DeVito. His other movies, The Joy Luck Club and The Boys From Brazil, are also among my all-time favorites.
But it was Eminem's performance, and his brilliant rhyming, that entranced me, from the hardscrabble realism of the opening-credit sequence to the thrilling interracial rap showdown at the end. Rarely has a movie shown interracial friendships in such a positive and realistic light. My black friends and I often have the wittiest conversations on so many wonderful topics. Also, Brittany Murphy is quite a piece of cooze. Whooo!
That said, I don't know why Eminem gets attacked so frequently, and with so much bile, by our pundit class. Witness the whiff of desperation that permeates Garth Vakharian's vicious assault on him in Slate. Well, Garth, when you say that Eminem's lyrics spread "the most vile forms of homophobia and misogyny," aren't you being un-American, like most people who hate America? The War on Terror needs to be fought on all fronts, and Eminem is our supreme cultural product, not to mention the most brilliant lyricist and songcrafter of our time, if not all time. Those who go after Eminem go after me, and therefore go after all that is good and right and reasonable in this world.
On a somewhat sadder note, I returned home yesterday morning after a rather dreary red-eye from California to find that my beloved manservant Roger had left. The closet in his small, cold, dark basement room was empty, the bed stripped bare, the food bowl for his beloved cat, Mr. Hitchens, piled high, as though master would be gone for a long, long time. Not only am I heartbroken, but I'm also hungry. There's nothing in this damn house to eat for breakfast. Roger, if you're reading this, I'm sorry for whatever I did. I'll even raise your pay $70 per week. All is forgiven on this end if it's forgiven on yours. Please come back, and bring pomegranates.
Has anyone seen my garage-door opener?