Jul 31, 2019

The Beach Bum

As of late, it has become quite trendy among certain circles to hate the so-called ‘Baby Boom Generation’ (aka people born between 1946 and 1964) and—considering the current super sorry pre-third world state of the United States—rightly so. Sure, subsequent generations like Generation X and Millennials are certainly not much better, but it was ultimately the Boomers—the most spoiled and, in turn, narcissistic and materialistic, generation in all of recorded human history—that was responsible for gleefully disposing of the ostensible ‘everyday fascism’ of traditional values and embracing so-called ‘free love,’ feminism, abortion, xenophilia/multiculturalism, and pretty much every single other social ill that has led to the steady decline of the United States, especially among the nation’s increasingly dwindling white majority.  Needless to say, the stereotypical boomer mentality is innately insufferable but of course Hollywood—the innately anti-Occidental social engineering system that regularly churns out infantile agitprop disguised as mindless entertainment that is responsible for brainwashing these people their entire lives, hence their total devotion to glaringly socially deleterious things ranging from the counterculture movement to greasy fast food—has rarely dared to openly outright mock its greatest supporters, at least until relatively recently in a somewhat unexpected form. Indeed, with his latest feature The Beach Bum (2019), (ex)junky auteur Harmony Korine—a Judaic director that has demonstrated a somewhat strange but not unexpected lifelong disdain for white people in general both in interviews and cinematically—has directed what might be the anti-boomer film par excellence to the point where he even managed to get boomer icon Jimmy Buffett to appear in the film. More than just an assuredly absurdist assault on boomers and their spiritually hollow pseudo-pagan hyper hedonistic tendencies and asinine aesthetic interests, the film also makes a mockery out of various other white American (pseudo)cultural trends since then, including negrophilia, JNCO jeans, lame mainstream rock like Creed, cracker-safe pop rap like Snoop Dogg, soulless extravagant weddings (that soon predictably end in divorce), beach party chic metrosexualism, and the most uniquely uncultivated form(s) of libertinism, among various other ludicrously loathsome things that remind one just how painfully culturally and spiritually retarded the United States really is.

As I regrettably predicted well over a decade ago, Korine seems to have suffered the same auteur curse as Orson Welles in terms of being unable to top his debut film Gummo (1997)—the lapsed junky filmmaker’s indubitable magnum opus—though I would argue that his latest couple more-mainstream-friendly films are certainly an improvement from where his career was headed for a while. Indeed, while his second feature Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) was a worthwhile experiment that highly benefited from an unforgettable acting performance from Werner Herzog, his third feature Mister Lonely (2007)—his first flick in almost a decade of sad dope-addled stagnation—was mostly a contrived bore and fourth Trash Humpers (2009) seemed like a half-hearted kosher con and rip-off of the organically grotesque aberrant-garde camcorder excursions of Hollywood actor turned true lumpenprole auteur Giuseppe Andrews like Trailer Town (2003) and Period Piece (2006). While Korine demonstrated some promise with the occasional interesting short like the jungle bunny fever dream Act Da Fool (2010) and Umshini Wam (2011) starring zany South African wigger rap group Die Antwoord, it was only with Spring Breakers (2012) that Korine refined his new aesthetic and managed to make a relatively mainstream film that knowingly and winkingly (and, some might say, cynically) mocks the mainstream. Undoubtedly, The Beach Bum, which features a somewhat similar nasty neon Florida aesthetic to Spring Breakers, goes even further and takes a humorously hypnotic approach to what can probably best described hyper hokey hyperrealism.  Indeed, featuring sun-soaked hick hobos and preposterously wealthy and equally effete negro dope dealers in their own totally tasteless and tacky vision of heaven, Korine's latest cinematic effort is a surprisingly feel-good-flick that paradoxically manages to inspire a magnificent misanthropy, as if the glistening sunny shots featured throughout the film are a sort of slyly sardonic foreshadowing of the apocalypse.  The film also manages to reinvent the stoner film in the sense that it will probably completely dumbfound the average stoner and completely ruin their much undeserved ‘good vibes.’

Virtually borrowing its ostensibly seductively sleazy melodramatic shell from the hit David Duchovny Showtime TV series Californication (2007-2014) in its degenerate dramedy approach to a hedonistic once-popular struggling writer (or, in this case, pothead ‘poet’) with a similarly fucked family life that includes a reluctant soulmate and a sassy daughter, Korine’s undeniably visually flavorsome flick also winks at (or, probably more accurately, goofily mocks) such classic pothead pictures as Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993) also starring Matthew McConaughey, the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski (1998), and Terry Gilliam’s Hunter S. Thompson adaptation Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). Indeed, just as Korine seemed very much stuck in the late-1990s MTV realm when he directed Spring Breakers (in fact, in interviews, Korine explained that he was at least partly inspired to direct the film due to personally missing this rather retarded rite-of-passage as a kid), The Beach Bum feels very much like the result of the auteur getting the idea for the film after binge-watching classic 1990s pothead flicks while high on weed, LSD, and/or Pabst Blue Ribbon (which, rather fittingly, is featured prominently throughout the film). Ironically (or not so), the film is also just as re-watchable as the most re-watchable of these classic cult stoner films, as if Korine wanted to ensure that the film would also become a timeless THC-tinged classic for the dope fiend filmgoers that it so merrily mocks. Considering that the boomer generation seems hopelessly stuck in the past (as marijuana abuse tends to do that to people), it is only fitting that the titular antihero portrayed by McConaughey is an exceedingly emotionally immature and infantile culture vulture that is like a virtual shit-magnet for virtually every superlatively shitty fashion and cultural trend from the late-1960s to late-1990s. In that sense, it makes perfect sense that the film stars such outmoded Afro-American pop culture figures as Snoop Dogg and Martin Lawrence alongside lame boomer ‘yacht rock’ favorites like Jimmy Buffet and Bertie Higgins. In short, like with his greatest films, Korine reveals with The Beach Bum that he is a sort of Talmudic alchemist by turning radically rancid goy shit into strangely refined kosher comedy gold.  Despite being indubitably Korine's most ludicrously lowbrow cinematic effort to date, there is a certain meta-tacky genius to the processions that really underscores the auteur's particular pathology-ridden ‘genius.’

 As pretty much everything about it, most notably its title and the character’s appearance, demonstrates, the film’s antihero is supposed to be a lovable-piece-of-hyper-hedonistic-hippie-white-trash-shit that is strangely traditionally American due to his somewhat dubious underdog status and shameless lack of cultivation and pretense, but an early scene in the film unequivocally exposes the fact that ‘Moondog’ (Matthew McConaughey)—a deceptively merry man that seems to bask in the idea of living in a modern-day Sodom of sun, surf, and semen—is a much more malevolent and malefic figure than his ‘hippie hobo chic’ persona and ‘perennial party’ lifestyle hints at. Indeed, while at a less than jamming Jimmy Buffet gig where he is a sort of low-key guest of honor, Moondog gets on stage and engages in a little self-described “poetic foreplay” and declares with a sort of sordid sinister smirk and understated foreboding menace, “One day, I will swallow up the world [laughs] And when I do, I hope you all perish violently,” thereupon demonstrating with one easy-to-miss line of dialogue that he is actually a very evil, albeit lazy, man the fetishizes a sort of savage Armageddon and ultimately the extermination of mankind as a whole.  Undoubtedly, what becomes immediately obvious about Moondog is that, despite apparently having a legendary reputation as a poet, his ostensible poetry basically ranges from incoherent gibberish to pornographic swill and he even prides himself on stealing great lines from great poets of the past. For example, Moondog brags to his best friend ‘Lingerie’ aka ‘Rie’ (Snoop Dogg)—a pathetically pot-plagued drug dealer and rapper whose ghetto-flavored arrogance is only transcended by his effete excess—that he once plagiarized D. H. Lawrence for a 7th grade poetry contest and proudly “won that motherfucker.” Despite his relative lack of pretense, Moondog—a sort of severely sun-tanned Shmendrik boomer king—is also not beneath berating his hobo homies for not immediately recognizing the decadent poetry of Charles Baudelaire.  Despite usually being so stoned and/or drunk that he can barely stand properly on both feet (in fact, the character has a peculiar posture and similarly goofy gait in general), Moondog is also not beneath putting up a preposterous tough guy front and stating unintentionally humorous things to wimpy Hebraic lawyers like, “I write poetry you little bitch.”

In short, Moondog is like a modern-day American equivalent to French decadent Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud if Rimbaud kept writing poetry well into middle-age instead of quitting at age 21 and sans the poesy prowess. Of course, even as a young teenager, Rimbaud never wrote anything nearly as retarded as Moondog self-satisfied words, “I was thinking about you. And I got up at about 4:00 a.m., and I had to take a piss, as guys do, and I looked down at my dick…and I had such affection in my heart when I did. Knowing that it had been inside you twice today…made me feel beautiful.” Notably, Rimbaud, who was also heavily influenced by Baudelaire, did seem to live by a personal poetic philosophy at the age of 16 that is quite similar to Moondog's as indicated by his words in a letter to his benefactor Georges Izambard: “I'm now making myself as scummy as I can. Why? I want to be a poet, and I'm working at turning myself into a seer. You won't understand any of this, and I'm almost incapable of explaining it to you. The idea is to reach the unknown by the derangement of all the senses. It involves enormous suffering, but one must be strong and be a born poet. It's really not my fault.”   Of course, while Rimbaud knew when to quit and decided that being a wandering merchant would be a much more preferable trade to scribbling lines before dying at a fairly premature age, Moondog is essentially a whacked-out wastrel living on borrowed time, or so he discovers after being forced to confront the complete and utter unsustainability of his particularly parasitic existence after his sugar momma unexpectedly croaks.

 Not unlike many self-described ‘artists’ and ‘poets’ in the United States, Moondog is, above all else, an all-consuming lecherous leech that is only able to maintain his hippie dip-shit poet lifestyle because he is wealthy; or, more specifically, he is very much the piss poor product of misguided generosity and lives off the wealth of his wanton mud shark wifey Minnie (Isla Fisher), who is actually deluded enough to believe that her serial philanderer hubby is a ‘genius’ and ‘great man.’ In other words, the only reason that Moondog is able to posture as a poet instead of a bum and maintain an extravagant lifestyle of unhinged bacchanalian buffoonery is because he lives off his would-be-hot-and-hip whore heiress wife, so naturally the antihero is placed in a somewhat precarious situation when his spouse tragically dies in a car crash and he is forced to fend for himself in what ultimately proves to be his own sort of softcore sativa-driven ‘mein kampf’ and the central (non)plot of the film. Indeed, for the majority of the film, the viewer watches as Moondog wanders around aimlessly and recklessly while he attempts to finish “the next great American novel” so that he can obtain his inheritance, which is frozen in escrow. Wisely (and, ultimately, quite prophetically) fearing that Moondog would “piss away her family fortune,” Minnie put a special clause in her will that her husband would not be able to obtain his inheritance until he cleaned up his life and finished his latest book. As can predicted in an anti-Hollywood film disguised as a Hollywood film that devilishly plays with mainstream genre conventions to the point of practically projectile-vomiting these mostly negligible narrative ingredients onto the viewer's face, Moondog naturally accomplishes this relatively simple task with a certain grotesque burn-out gusto, but not before going on an absurdist odyssey of magnificent idiocy to pothead purgatory that involves arrests, court-ordered drug rehab, escaping from rehab with the help of pyromaniacs, degenerate dolphin tours, and dauntingly dumb drug-smuggling flights with old blind negro pothead pilots, among other moronic missions. Needless to say, Moondog naturally kind of just falls into certain situations as he is a high time preference moron that seems incapable of planning ahead and instead just goes with the flow, especially when he has a steady flow of pot and booze as fuel. In fact, even Moondog’s new book is nothing more than recycled crap from his various drunken readings at seaside dive bars, as he is not the sort of guy that expends too much energy on anything, including his great ‘gift’ of the written word. Rather humorously and in a fashion that makes a grand mockery of the entire positively positive happy endings of hollow Hollywood films, Moondog even manages to secure the coveted Pulitzer for his latest collection of infantile scribbling, but then again Tyehimba Jess also once won one thereupon making the prize seemingly worthless nowadays. 

 There are many less than noble traits that epitomize boomers and the conclusion of The Beach Bum is certainly quite symbolic of the most loathsome of boomerisms. Indeed, after finally securing his inheritance of $50 million, Moondog buys a big boat that he idiotically names “success” and has the rest of the money placed on boat for a huge party involving fireworks, or as he states, “None of that sparkler bullshit that impresses lesbians, pregnant women and babies. No, no, no, let’s-let’s Valhalla this motherfucker.” Needless to say, Moondog, who is no Nordic god, destroys the money by setting it on fire in an allegorical scene that echoes the boomer propensity towards mindless consumerism and wasting money in general whilst refusing to plan for the future (hence why so many boomers are unable to retire and/or do not plan on leaving their children any sort of inheritance despite their relative financial success in life). Like the eponymous bum played by Michel Simon in Jean Renoir’s classic subversive frog comedy Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)—a film that clearly had an imperative influence on The Beach Bum—Moondog merely drifts away on a raft in the end and, to quote the classic frog comedy, the antihero is, “back to his old vagrancy, a free spirit once more.” 

 Admittedly, I lost a lot of respect for Korine after seeing him on a 2010 episode of the show Into the Night with... where he routinely complains about “white people” and even becomes noticeably dejected when Gaspar Noé informs him that he is not of the Hebraic persuasion as the Judaic director had long assumed. Undoubtedly, such sentiments hint that he was merely mocking the hopelessly hapless honkies in his magnum opus Gummo and Trash Humpers was nothing more of a grotesque continuation of such keen kosher supremacist sentiments, as if the aberrant auteur saw elderly Caucasian confederates as the most horrific (subhuman)beings in the entire world. Despite these glaring Hebraic hostilities, Korine has unequivocally demonstrated a sort of playfully savagely sardonic contempt for people of various races and creeds, including his own. Indeed, in the film, Jonah Hill—arguably the most insufferable young kosher comedic actor working today—portrays Moondog’s superlatively sleazy (and covertly kosher) agent ‘Lewis,’ who reveals himself to be the ultimate walking-and-talking Der Stürmer-esque stereotype by bragging with a certain awe-inspiring combination of hubris and chutzpah, “You know what I liked the most about being rich? You can just… be horrible to people, and they just have to take it.” Indeed, lecherous Lewis, who apparently once attempted to molest Moondog’s (then-underaged) daughter, looks and sounds like the mud-dwelling Cajun wigger nephew of Harvey Weinstein in what is probably the sole tolerable performance of Hill's mostly radically repugnant career.

Korine also playfully mocks the stereotypical bourgeois Jewish nuclear family unit in the form of the less than lovable Lipschitz family, who have their own atonal theme song that is proudly sung by their fat and bald doctor patriarch that seems like the sort of physician that would have secret cameras hidden around their practice. Luckily for the lovely Lipschitz family, they have enough money to go on an ostensible ‘dolphin tour’ where they pay witness to the fact that sharks like dark meat after a negro named ‘Captain Wack’ (Martin Lawrence)—a singularly inept (supposed) Vietnam War vet and dolphin tour guide dude that, despite accidentally causing the deaths of a number of his previous patrons, somehow always manages to get his permits reinstated (or so he gleefully brags)—has his foot bit off by a shark in a scenario that provides Moondog great grotesque giggles. Undoubtedly fulfilling various highly negative racial stereotypes, Captain Wack not only feeds his pet parrot cocaine and has had only license revoked numerous times due to the deadly nature of his sub-amateur dolphin tours, but he is also so supremely and surreally stupid—to the point of savagely mocking similar beloved black characters from stereotypical semitic stoner flicks—that he sincerely believes he that loses his foot as a result of dolphin with sharp teeth as opposed to a gam of sharks, but of course no character is more patently pathetic and insipidly idiotic as the titular antihero. 

 While The Beach Bum superficially depicts Moondog as a mostly harmless fun-loving Florida Keys freak whose ludicrously lurid ‘laissez-faire’ approach to life is supposed to be admired, the film gives the viewer enough clues to make it quite clear that the protagonist is nothing if not a putrid piece of shit of the ludicrously lonely and sorry sort and his hyper hedonism is nothing more than a pathological coping mechanism for such innate internal misery. Indeed, at the beginning of the film, Moondog not only frankly admits to his wife that, “I’m a bottom-feeder. I got to go low to get high. You know that,” but he also rather revealingly confesses in a rare candid non-clownish moment of pathetic self-reflection, “I don’t have any friends.” Indeed, while Moondog is almost always depicted with other degenerates and debauchees, these supposed friendships are nothing more than displays of mutual parasitism and exploitation where they merely encourage drug abuse and mindless/loveless sexual savagery. Arguably most revealingly, despite presenting himself as a sort of tie-dye Don Juan that is down to drive his dick into any wet and wild hole, Moondog is a literal emasculated cuckold whose wanton wife carries on a long-term affair with his supposed best friend (also, rather revealingly, Moondog is depicted simply performing lifeless cunnilingus and slavish foot fetish shit on his wife, as if he is simply incapable of asserting himself on her like a real man). Naturally, the same best friend, Lingerie—a dope-dealing gangster with his own personal thug mercenary force—not only talks Moondog into making a total fool of himself by encouraging him to wear drag (notably, it is ultimately for no reason, as the antihero's drag garb is almost indistinguishable from his everyday colorful crap kitsch costume), but he also gets him involved in possibly deadly behavior, including smuggling drugs in a plane flown by an elderly and nearly-blind Rastafarian negro in what seems to be Korine's ironic nod to the Snoop Dogg celluloid turd Soul Plane (2004).  Undoubtedly, virtually all of Moondog's behavior ultimately demonstrates that he has very little concern for human life, especially his own, but of course such is the natural result of the pathetically outmoded “Turn on, tune in, drop out” Weltanschauung that he so slavishly abides by.

 While The Beach Bum can certainly be compared to such prestigious films as Boudu Saved from Drowning and the rare bawdy guido cult flick like Pasolini's protege Sergio Citti's Casotto (1977) aka Beach House, it also manages to be quite comparable to some of the worst celluloid trash in film history, including the somehow-sometimes-entertaining celluloid turd National Lampoon's Last Resort (1993) starring Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Also, if the eponymous corpse of Weekend at Bernie's (1989) was reanimated as a dope zombie that fed on cheap beer, expensive weed, and piss poor untermensch pussy instead of human brains (which he could surely use), the creature would not be far off from Mr. Moondog as such a soulless scum-sucking sod barely carries any qualities that can admirably be described as human. In short, the sort of Sunshine State surrealism of The Beach Bum makes for an insanely ironical aesthetic when one considers the sheer and utter blackness that is indelibly marinated into Moondog’s sad little forsaken heart, subtly splenetic psyche, and cobwebbed abyss-like soul. Of course, one should not expect anything less from a film where slapstick humor is derived from the senseless abuse of elderly women and the brutal beating and robbery of paraplegic boomers by JNCO-sporting-and-Creed-loving evangelical pyromaniacs.

When Moondog literally burns his entire fortune at the end of the film, it almost seems like a moment of great allegorical purity as if to symbolize the complete and utter incineration of the plastic post-hippie pseudo-culture that pretty much epitomizes every single generation since the boomers, though that would be too generous of an interpretation, especially considering that the protagonist—like so many (self)destructive white trash types—survives the ordeal. Instead, Moondog’s coastal cash holocaust more symbolizes the all-consuming and all-destructive force that is demonic boomer plague than any sort of ‘Baptism by Fire.’  Undoubtedly, the cultural, aesthetic, and racial retardation of this plague is probably best highlighted in a scene where Jimmy Buffett and Snoop Dogg sing a song together in what is arguably the most accursed and cringe-worthy duet in all of human history. In that sense, Korine has certainly further refined his aberrant anti-aesthetic since Spring Breakers, as no one could dream up such dauntingly disgusting audio-visual vile with a sound mind, thus confirming the auteur’s place as America’s greatest and most artistically ruthless Judaic troll. Indeed, Korine does for his tribe what Sam Hyde and Million Dollar Extreme do for good goys and gals in terms of his anarchistic use of anti-humor, including the implementation of lovably grotesque racial caricatures that rape and ravish the soul with a twisted smile. 

 Undoubtedly, it is hard for me to imagine any intelligent person watching Korine’s film and not coming to the logical conclusion that the success of Snoop Dogg—both the real ‘man’ and his clearly quite autobiographical character ‘Lingerie’—symbolizes the height of clown world absurdity and mass cultural retardation in that that someone so decidedly dope-addled, dimwitted and delinquent could be so rich and famous to the point of being an ostensibly wholesome household name, which is one of the things The Beach Bum (seemingly unintentionally) really underscores in its hyper hokey hyperrealist hysteria. Of course, whereas Snoop Dogg epitomizes every negative stereotype of the ‘successful’ American negro as a self-centered snake that has gotten wealthy off promoting various forms of degeneracy to his own people (not to mention that various white philistines that love him), Moondog—a racially deracinated doper that is ruthlessly cuckolded by his beloved wife and supposed best friend—is a sort of anti-Faustian man as a proudly aimless anti-mensch that represents that antithesis of every great quality of white European men of the past. In short, Moondog is a spiritually castrated pile of dog shit that has even eclipsed Nietzsche’s last man in terms of abject worthlessness and passivity. While Moondog seems to be mindlessly striving for a completely intangible state of immaculate Ataraxia, he really just enjoys basking in the nefariously necrotic asshole of Sunshine Sodom, especially since it requires the least bit of physical and mental exertion to embrace such a licentious loser life. An excremental expression of the moronic mongrelized Hollywood joke of American (anti)alchemy, Moondog is human manure preposterously elevated to the level of a sort of great literary aristocracy that lives a hedonistic lifestyle worthy of ten debauched kings; or, in short, Korine's most ambitious joke yet.  Unfortunately, it is still no Gummo—joke or no joke.

 While it is well known that Korine is an (ex)junky, his pothead status seemed slightly more dubious, at least until he released Spring Breakers and especially The Beach Bum, the latter of which could have only been misbegottenly conceived by a full-fledged ganja glutton. Notably, out of all the Hebrews that I have ever personally known, every single one of them was a full-fledged pothead, including accountants, social workers, robotic students, and self-loathing anti-Zionists far-left wankers (notably, one chosenite I briefly befriended, whose father was apparently a bigwig at the Smithsonian Institution, claimed his entire family smoked, including an elderly uncle that was some sort of ‘weed scientist’ that hooked up all his other family members with high-grade pharmaceutical dope). Of course, the pathetic proliferation of cannabis-crusted kosher comedies reveal that there is a sort collective reefer madness among the tribe and Jewish film scholar Nathan Abrams has highlighted this less than flattering fact in his book The New Jew in Film: Exploring Jewishness and Judaism in Contemporary Cinema (2011). For example, when discussing Hebraic hack Judd Apatow’s miscegenation abortion Knocked Up (2007), Abrams notes, “Rogen plays another schlubby (Yiddish: clumsy, stupid or unattractive) Jewish stoner, Ben Stone […] Unemployed, his Jewish and homosocial daily life is characterized by routine drinking and smoking weed […] Apatow is unapologetic about Stone’s stoner qualities, lovingly detailed in the opening sequence. Indeed, the film celebrates Stone, as he, somewhat surprisingly but entirely in keeping with cinematic tradition, sleeps with an attractive blonde, professional shiksa.” In short, the United States has become such a glaringly semitic stoner dystopia and kosher cultural wasteland that hydro-laced Judeocentric fantasies, especially of the considerably insufferable Apatovian ‘Jew Tang Clan’ variety, are even the norm for the dumb (and probably stoned) white goy majority. Thankfully, Korine manages to at least transcend the sorry cinema of bong breath banality by taking it to such a sickeningly surreally silly extreme that one can only hysterically laugh at—as opposed to with—the rasta rabble and space cowboy untermenschen it depicts, though apparently that was not really the auteur’s true intent. 

 Apparently suffering from his own idiosyncratic onset of Trump Derangement Syndrome is what largely influenced Korine to make The Beach Bum, or as the filmmaker told IndieWire while seemingly possessed by the retrograde spirit of his kinsman Bob Dylan, “I started to feel like the times were changing, things were darker, everything was feeling more intense. I thought, maybe it’s time to laugh. I figured I’d just go for it and make my version of a comedy.” In short, the film is, like virtually all stoner comedies, a piece of inelegant excess-ridden escapism, albeit with an obvious meta-autistic Korine-ian touch. Of course, as everything from his debut acting role as the date-rape-drug-dealing club kid ‘Fidget’ in Larry Clark’s Kids (1995) to his various vaudevillian appearances on Late Show with David Letterman to his experimental ‘novel’ A Crack Up at the Race Riots (1998) to 2000 black-metal-inspired art exhibition The Sigil of the Cloven Hoof Marks Thy Path demonstrate, Korine is and has always been the ‘badken.’ A Yiddish word for “a professional fun-maker, jester, entertainer, verbose Jewish jokester and showman,” ‘badken’ certainly better describes Korine than auteur at this point in his career and the titular antihero of The Beach Bum indubitably acts as a sort of sociopathic boomer gentile equivalent to it. As to how Korine went from directing films featuring gay black dwarfs and Burzum to washed-up mainstream black comedians and Jimmy Buffet, one is certainly more than a little tempted to speculate that it was one-too-many bong hits. After all, weeds has especially deleterious effects in terms of lowering one’s standards and causing one to tolerate, well, crap, which explains how Korine has gone from citing great auteurs like John Cassavetes and Werner Herzog to insipidly stupid and soulless shit like the moronically merry multiculti marijuana movies of swarthy dip-shit duo Cheech & Chong as cinematic influences (indeed, Korine has referenced the films of the colored Cannabisseur partners as an imperative influence on The Beach Bum). 

 Notably, in a 1999 interview with Sean O’Hagan, Korine expressed rather high hopes in terms of his future place among the greats of cinema history, or as he explained in regard to his natural evolution as a cineaste, “I’d see a Fassbinder film, then go and get a book about him out of the library, and find out that he was into melodrama and Douglas Sirk. Then I’d go and seek out all of Sirk’s work. That’s how I figured out there was a continuum in cinema and directing that, hopefully, I’m part of today.” Unfortunately, it has been over two decades since Korine directed his masterful debut Gummo and none of his subsequent works are even in the same universe in terms of unbridled idiosyncratic majesty, unhinged unforgettably, and grotesque comedic gold. After finally kicking Cocteau’s kick, getting married, and becoming a father, Korine seems to have been finally tamed and The Beach Bum is the unequivocal proof that he is now a sort of ‘spiritual boomer’ as opposed to the perennial enfant terrible most of his fans hoped he would forever be. Still, The Beach Bum provides enough raunchy retarded fun to make for an aesthetically autistic double feature with The Big Lebowski (1998). From Gregg Araki’s embarrassingly stale stoner girl odyssey Smiley Face (2007) to the positively putrid anti-white multiculturalist agitpop of the heeb-helmed Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) to the beta boy buffoonery of Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), the stoner comedy is arguably the most insufferable and aesthetically worthless subgenre of all–time so for there to be a film like A Beach Bum that is actually highly re-watchable is almost a miracle of sorts. Also, Matthew McConaughey deserves credit for a singular acting performance that is like a modern-day Charlie Chaplin on LSD after being raped by a pack of crack-ridden rasta negroes.

As to why one should loathe stoners and everything they represent, I think Teutonic philosopher Oswald Spengler said it best when he wrote, “The common man wants nothing of life but health, longevity, amusement, comfort—‘happiness.’ He who does not despise this should turn his eyes from world history, for it contains nothing of the sort. The best that history has created is great suffering.”  In short, nothing good comes out of mindless happiness, especially of the artificial drug-induced sort.  Of course, Moondog—a man that cannot even muster a tear when his great love dies probably because he is too inebriated and is no longer in touch with normal human feelings—is a shitty poet because he does not know what it means to suffer.  Likewise, Korine's artistic stagnation seems to also be the result of his lack of suffering as the auteur seems to now be at his most stable and least self-destructive as a result of becoming a drug-free family man.  Luckily, Korine does not seem to be pot-free, which has resulted in two of the ‘greatest’ pothead flicks of all-time.  Indeed, it is kind of good to know that, as the fiery climax of The Beach Bum demonstrates, there are a couple films one can watch and laugh at while the world is in flames.  After all, while Hollywood and its films are harbingers-cum-symptoms of clown world, Korine's films at least bask in clown world and remind one that one is not insane to recognize that the modern world is simply insane and that there is no harm in sharing the occasional laugh from it.  In fact, it can certainly be argued that the fact that Korine's films even exist are a sure sign of end times and, even more than sad Slavs like Tarkovsky and Żuławski, they represent an apocalyptic aesthetic.  Judging by Korine's latest film, the world seems to end with nervous laughter as opposed to a whimper.  As for boomers, it is quite unfortunate that most of them will probably not live long enough to see the apocalypse that their nasty combination of narcissism, materialism, hedonism, and cosmopolitanism helped to ignite and accelerate.  On the bright side, thankfully John Lennon was assassinated long ago before he could perform an updated version of “Imagine” with Snoop Dogg.  In short, when Ludwig Klages decried the ascent of, “the post-historical mankind of the merely pseudo-living larva,” he still never could have foreseen a creature as wretchedly rakish and ruthlessly reprobate as the titular antihero of The Beach Bum.

-Ty E

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