I confronted him about his use of language, the way the black workmates he wrote about read as ghetto-style and under-educated. White people had goofy accents in his comic, but didn’t seem to get that treatment in his book. He took the criticism real well, listening attentively. Finally he interjected.
“Y’got a few minutes?” he asked. “Cuz if ya do, I wanna take ya to my job and introduce ya t’ some a’ those people. You’ll meet ’em and see for yerself — I ain’t givin’ them a hard way t’go. I just write ’em as I hear ’em.”
Off to his gig we went, and as it turns out, the people he wrote about were exactly as he wrote them, and the writer in me tuned my ears to the music in their voices. I began to hear people in a whole other way — Pekar was taking risk with the written language I hadn’t seen or heard before….
Go here to read the whole thing–which you absolutely must do.
You might be surprised to learn who wrote this (scroll down to find it). Or maybe not:
Several readers have complained about my dissing of 2001. I stand my ground. There’s one point a couple readers have made though I will concede. They say if I’d seen it when it first came out I would think differently. That is undoubtedly true. But some movies — and books and bands and art — are significant because they break new ground and some are significant because they are timeless….it seems to me that 2001 was pathbreaking but it wasn’t timeless. I feel the same way about Citizen Kane, by the way. I watched it in film class in college so I know all about the groundbreaking techniques used in the film. But those techniques have now been absorbed by the trade. What’s left is a pioneering movie which is more interesting as a historical document in the history cinema than as a movie. Just as the Model T was a great advance in the history of automotive innovation, but there are plenty of other cars I’d rather drive, there are plenty of “great” movies I wouldn’t choose seeing again over the chance to watch Road House one more time. There are plenty of music videos I’d rather watch than Un Chien Andalou, even though Un Chien Andalou is their artistic father.
What I want to know is, which Road House does he have in mind? I have a sinking feeling it’s not this one.