Saturday, January 29, 2011

rise above!

Friday, January 28, 2011

spacehunter: adventures in the forbidden zone [1983]

what's that? you thought the arts of the 3-d movie is sooo new? almost every flick that isn't a drama is released in 3-d. i've seen more 3-d movies these past two years than i have the last 25 years. the technology is vastly improved now but i still think of 3-d as a gimmick, a way to get you off the internets, off the smart phone, off the gaming systems, and into the theater.

it's a pretty effective gimmick, today and yesterday. altho the techniques for shooting a movie in 3-d are fairly old it wasn't until the 1950s when the movie studios were threatened by the ascendency of television. the studio execs needed some thing to get people back in the theaters. 3-d was that thing. however, it was a horrible experience and you were more likely to have a headache and eye trauma from the cheap paper 3-d glasses you needed to wear to potentially see an item from the screen careen toward your head. often what you saw onscreen was a mass of blurred images that increased the pain in your retinas.

the second wave of 3-d movies arrived when mom and pop video shops sprang up all over the u.s. when we lucky kids could get a vhs player and watch movies in our own homes. a different, younger set of studio execs panicked and needed some thing to get people back to the theaters. the techniques of 3-d hadn't improved since the 1950s but no matter, it was novel.

that's where this pic enters the scene. it was shot in 3-d and i saw it at the theater. i was there to witness the film in all its multidimensional glory. that was 1983 and it was the first time i watched the movie. i might've watched it again on vhs tape but i can't be sure. i know i did see it again for the first time in years a few nights ago online at it's worse than i remembered it.

spacehunter is the lead character played by peter strauss, a kind of nomadic cowboy odd-job man of deep space. the movie begins with a star cruiser blowing up after only one escape pod managing to escape. inside that pod are three bimbos who crash land on a desert planet, the forbidden zone of the title. something weird happened in the forbidden zone, medical experiments gone awry and the place is run by a despotic freak named overdog played by michael ironside. there is a reward to rescue the women and that's when our hero enters the scene.

oh boy. lots of cheap fx. the sets look cobbled together from the scrap ends of the sets for the second star wars film, the empire strikes back [1980] and the space vehicles are actual models where you can almost see the hand pushing them just out of frame. oh yes, ernie hudson is also in this pic as strauss' main odd-job man rival cum partner. and i think this is molly ringwald's first movie where she plays an urchin who guides spacehunter into overdog's lair.

i was surprised to read ivan reitman -- director of ghostbusters [1984] and other comedies -- produced this turd. and i'm pretty sure it is harold ramis' voice that announces the reward for the rescue of the women. maybe they were under contract, or maybe they have a fondness for b-movies and wanted to make their own. if it is the latter they succeeded because this is a b-movie par excellence. i remembered this flick as being much dirtier in its sexual imagery. there is an undertone of depravation present, like when overdog commands a minion to undress one of the captured ladies, slowly. or when we see strauss' partner on board his ship, she is supposed to be an android but she is in her knickers with that just out of the shower vibe. as filthy as those might sound there's no sex in this movie at all. it must've been the overheated imagination of a 15-year-old mind when i watched this movie for the first time in 1983.

there's also little violence despite the near-heroic efforts of the filmmaker, lamont johnson who was an unknown quantity to me then, and now, of making an action film. no tension, too, because there is little doubt our hero can get things done. in short, this is a damn fine b-movie. a few months ago molly ringwald was signing her newly published book about being a middle-aged wife and mother at the local borders. our very good friends b. and s. went to the signing, bought her book and exchanged a few words with ringwald. they wanted us to come with them. well, why not. ringwald is to our generation what gena rowlands is to the generation before ours. if i was going to get ringwald's autograph i'd want it to be on something unique and fairly rare. i thought of tracking down a copy of this flick and asking her to sign it. then i thought better of it. ringwald might not even list this flick on her c.v. anyway. i mean if i was ringwald i'd most likely not own up to this movie. but i'm not ringwald and i'd be damn proud to have my name in the credits. if it were me i'd sign away whatever piece of crap memorabilia that is thrust before me. because in the end what matters is that the love you take is equal to the love you make. dig.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the fog

there is an eerie beauty to fog. it was very foggy this morning but by early afternoon the fog had burned off and the sun lit up like an acetylene torch. not for long. when i left the office this evening the fog returned. big time. walking into the fog felt like being enveloped in a white cloth. pleasantly. or like being in a film noir. so i played with images on the way home. one moment i'm marlowe slinking thru the streets suspicious of everyone. the next moment i look for those creatures in the film/book versions of stephen king's the mist. i really didn't need the fog to scare myself, because like that frost poem, i can scare myself with my own desert places. still, it was beautiful, the play of light from the streets, the traffic, the building upon the fog. cozy nearly. a bonus hour in a day that was long and tedious. in the streets tonight, in the fog, i felt sure in my footing. in the dark i didn't need to check my smile in deference to the thinking of others that i might've lost my mind. it was lost in the fog once i stepped thru the door.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the loop

far as going to readings these past few years i've been outta the loop. i was a regular fixture, i think i was what might be called a regular fixture, at readings. sac has a fair number of reading series. but when nick was born i stopped spending so much time away from home. plus, with this new-fangled thing called the internets a universe of poetry, and readings, is right at my fingertips. i think for the most part writers are loners who are happiest with their books, their keyboards, their pen and paper, and maybe the telephone.

still, one must get out every now and again. santa cruz based poet james maughn read last night. that got my ass out of my usual routine of not going to readings and i went to this one. i'm glad i did. maughn is a wonderful poet. his reading was full, rich and concise. he read this marvelous sound aleatory poem that was published as a broadside but i'm afraid i forgot its title. after the reading i bought his book kata [blazevox, 2009] and two of his chapbooks. maughn also edits a journal called ping-pong and had two issues for sale. i'd have bought those as well if i had enough cash on me but if it was between the book and chaps and the few dollars i had left over for the collections jar and getting the two journals, well now, i'll have to make do. i flipped one issue of the journal and read a couple of poems by jason morris, a poet who is brand new to me. i mentioned that i liked morris' work and maughn lit up and described him as an old friend and terrific poet who lives in san francisco.

it was also instructive to learn maughn's obsession with the martial arts -- the title of his book, kata, is the word for the forms that one learns as a student of karate -- reflected my own experiences. when i was a kid to about 15 to 16 years old i was crazy-insane over karate. my love of the martial arts has not left me and i still toy with the idea of going back to my studies. at some point in my life my love for the martial arts had transmogrified with a love of language and poetry. maughn too and took his love of both, the mind and body if you will, and created poems of shimmering beauty.

there you have it. i broke out of my shall and got, however briefly, back into the loop. james maughn was a pleasure to hear read and talk to after the reading. he knocked, in the figurative sense, my socks off.

also, please be sure to read the 10 year anniversary issue of the great zine shampoo. poet/editor/blogger del ray cross publishes out of love and it is evident in his zine. i can't believe 10 years have passed by so quickly. but for del's efforts i give him nine bows.

and but don't miss these remembrances and poems for f.a. nettelbeck by kevin opstedal here, stephen kessler here, greg evason here and paul harrison here.

rage at the dying of the light? fuckin' a, right, man.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

monster jam

call it complete. what's a 'monster jam'? you ask. only a gaggle of customized trucks fitted with tractor-sized wheels, souped up engines, and a track to run in about the size of a large living room. each truck has its own personality and name. thus we have el toro loco, grave digger, tropical thunder. you get the picture.

nicholas loves monster trucks. at the age of six he knows more about the sport, its individual trucks, than i thought. so at the souvenir stand he asked if he could have a maximum destruction. i didn't see a sign for it and i didn't know what he was talking about. sure enough, maximum destruction is the name of a monster truck and they had a hot wheels toy version of the same.

oooo wheee! it was fun. really, really fun. those damn trucks raced on a very small track at arco arena, a mid-sized stadium where the kings have their home base. at least for a while. the owners of the kings are threatening to take their team to another city if the city doesn't cough up some dough to get a new stadium built. my reaction to that, i'll draw them up a map out of town.

those damn truck are loud! if we didn't already come prepared with earplugs we might be at the e.r. right now for busted ear drums. it was a spectacular display of machine, including a robot called megasaurus that ate a car! it did. i swear. it ate a car! the whole show reminded me of the faux competitors of professional wrestling. ostensibly these are monster truck races, which are merely excuses to drive these vehicles and charge ticket prices and sell much merchandise. oh what the hell. nick loved it. i promised to take him to the next one. maybe next time maximum destruction will be on the bill.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

f.a. nettelbeck [1950 - 2011]

i just learned last night that the oregon poet f.a. nettelbeck passed away last thursday. over the past two years i'd become addicted to his blog sewing memory where nettelbeck published hundreds of poems. the man was prolific as hell. i didn't know him personally, only as a reader and fellow traveller down this wacky, wild and oftentimes rueful road of a life in poetry. death, in spite of my post last night, took another one too early. fucking hell.

Friday, January 21, 2011

t-shirts & shorts?

i've said it before. there are two kinds of californians. there is the type that wear t-shirt and shorts no matter the temperature as long as a sliver of sun is shining. then there is the type who put on the sweaters and ear muffs when the sun peaks behind a scrim of clouds and the temperature dips below 65 f.

i'm the latter kind. i love cold but hate being cold. i bundle up big time. but can you believe it? today was like spring. the whole weekend is supposed to be sunny and warm. the walk home tonight was san jacket with my sleeves rolled up, and the streets of mid-town teeming with people ready to get their groove on.

i'm sure to see people in t-shirts and shorts tomorrow and sunday. i might join them if it's warm enough. in the meantime i was thinking about aging and age. there was an article on the radio with a guy who wrote a book about artists in old age. how fecundity in later life was fairly rare. the writer posited that maybe one reason why artists historically died young is because everyone died young. as little as 150 years ago i'd be at the age of 43 well into geezer hood. now with examples like keith richards gracing the cover the rolling stone magazine and art-rockers sonic youth who are now sitting in their 50s with greying heads as proof perhaps the ideas of the life of artists and aging need to be reassessed.

i mean even the young get old. right? the differences between generations stopped mattering to me by the time i hit 25. i admit that i'm biased and like the author of the new book about artists in old age i have a vested interest in the subject because i am now officially an old man, relatively, and still learning my art.

maybe that's it: energy and enthusiasm. i heard the southern writer reynolds price passed away. i haven't read much by price but what little i have read i was struck by a lyricism and a passion for living, what iggy pop called LUST FOR LIFE, a joy in utter being. who has the answers? i sure as hell don't. most of us don't know where we are going and how we'll get there. but we might have an idea. what force drives the green fuse for me is just that thing old iggy pop told us about. fucking LUST FOR LIFE.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a chance to dream

like i've said before i remember my dreams only when i'm feeling stressed or if my sleep is disturbed somehow

it's been nearly a week now and i remember this dream still

the particulars are hazy to nonexistent

but i was rewriting/revising a piece of text

in hardcopy

the paper was smooth while the ink was clear and bold

one word needed to go it required a change

i highlighted the word like i would by right-clicking on the computer

i changed the word in much the same way as if i were using the laptop

i discovered

in the beginning was the word and it was interactive

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

frozen [2010]

i live just down the road from lake tahoe. lake tahoe is gorgeous! but the lake is better known for two things, its casinos, and its ski resorts. i rarely gamble and i never ski. i do go to tahoe when i can but i would rather look at the lake and explore the surrounding environs than step into those temples of tobacco smoke and desperation. the ski resorts too i reckon are abominations of honest, god-fearing mountains, slicing the crap out of nature so people can slide down on snow with sticks strapped to their feet.

clearly i'm in the minority regarding my thoughts on ski resorts and skiing since there are a hell of a lot of skiers living in sac. why not. the snow is hot and it is just up the road a bit. the lifts are reliable if not cheap. and that's just the set-up for this imminently watchable chamber piece of a horror flick. three goofballs can't cough up enough dough to pay for lift tickets so they bribe the lift operator with a few dollars so they can ski to their hearts content.

one wrinkle. its getting late, big weather is moving in, it is already dark and the lift operator wants to go home. oh but for one last run! please?! the goofballs up the ante a bit to a hundred dollars and get that one last lift. to hell.

a sequence of mishaps occur and the lift is shut down while our three protagonists are heading up the mountain. the lights of the resort and the runs shut down and our three are left dangling in the air about 50 ft off the ground. at first they can't believe they'd been forgotten and left on the lift. then they believe it. sunday night and the resort won't open up again till the next friday. a whole week to wait, or freeze to death, or worse.

it's the worse that makes this flick work as well as it does. the actors do a believable job of bravado and panic. the writing is crisp and the photography and editing are sharp. if this flick reminds me of a similar set-up in the two-against-nature-but-this-time-stuck-in-the-sea open water [2003] perhaps maybe there is a new sub-genre of horror movie where ordinary people must fight to survive in situations in nature that are unlikely but wholly convincing. nature no longer produces atomic monsters like godzilla or mutations that are the result of toxic pollution. nature can kill us with no outside help alone, thank you very much, and maybe this new sub-genre, let's call it, um, nature kill, reminds us that nature is awesome and we are a small part of nature.

awesomeness. that's not how i'd describe this pic even if i enjoyed it. there was a certain level of dread the filmmakers created that worked despite my b.s. detector going off a few times when our goofballs did something stupid. but that is the nature of horror movies. if the characters all behaved sensibly and with good common sense then i'd be stuck watching only lame-ass sitcoms and reality tv. the only horror would be a shot of my blood-shot eyes as i reached for the remote hoping for a shot of nature maybe on the national geographic channel or on public television. or maybe i could just shut the damn tube off and hop in my car, drive up the road into the hills and see tahoe firsthand. that might be awesome too. if it doesn't try to kill me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


i am trying to lose my ego
but everytime i try
i stub my right foot
and stumble over
right where i left it

Saturday, January 15, 2011

a proclamation [after & thru thoreau, relunctly]

i have endeavored to work thru my fears
alas, i cannot come to the end of them

quote unquote

You pass the tomb of the Unknown Poet
remorseless and dedicated
scared that words might fall out on the drive

--gig ryan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

a murder

sections of i street are completely swathed in birdshit. downtown sac is a flood of deciduous trees and the birds love them. bummer for you if you park your car downtown for even a minute because you will find your vehicle splotched in white, grey and yellow droppings so thick they make an impasto as hard as concrete.

it's a bad habit, i know. when i walk i tend to keep my head down, literally. i get lost in thought, i suppose, and i'm looking at the sidewalk but not seeing it. the same goes for traffic. i look out for traffic but i miss the cars on the road, much like not seeing the forest for the trees. that sort of thing.

the past 2 nights i endeavoured to change that. look up at the buildings, the sky, the few stars one can see in a city. by early evening the cold is settling in. the sky is now empurpled and losing color quick. the crows have returned to the trees for the night. they are thick, those crows, and loud. cawing to each other as if they were young men at a football game.

quite a sight to watch these crows circle over head in a cluster. even better is to watch them settle down for the night. i think of van gogh's last painting 'crows over a wheatfield.' yes, there is a mad energy of the crows.

i don't know where the crows go in summer nights. for the summer the crows are creatures of the day where their wings and caws float above and thru the city in broad daylight. but not in winter. i don't know where the crows go during the winter day. at night i know where they are, settling down in the city shellacking the sidewalks, streets and a few stray cars in their shit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

it's only rock&roll but i like it

without realizing my attraction to it i find myself amazed by what the 1st and 2nd generation nyc school can do with a poem. today i was a wreck. my little rant a couple posts back bothered me. what i wanted to convey was a sense of isolation and a numbing case of inconsequence because the world and its ills are too large for me to make an adequate response. i said, 'no agit-prop, please' or some thing like that but i think perhaps these wild days and nights require the sort of engaged writing with the culture at large, yes, but the public sphere too. politics and poetry of the kind that ginsberg practiced, catullus knew too, cavafy also and a horde of post-war eastern european writers.

i found myself wondering where are the protest songs of this generation coming of age. where is the anger and frustration of the kind i knew it back when i was growing up in reagan's america and i had hardcore punk to express anger at injustice and evil. i was going to delete that post that detailed a bit of my own muteness in the growing horrors we call our era. but then i didn't since it was a rambling mess my language i hope was an honest expression of my confusion.

and then, again, i discovered this morning life staring right in my face. i got only about 2 or 3 hrs sleep last night and to invert the title of that old jacques tourneur flick i walked with a zombie [1943] to my own condition, i walked as a zombie. i usually read a few poems or a few pages every morning before work. sometimes whole chapbooks or chapters often just a clutch of texts. i pulled off the shelf the selected poems of steve carey ed. by edmund berrigan [subpress 2009] and read this poem:

Got Live If You Want It

Mick wore a white shirt,
rust-coloured (brownish) suede jacket,
and really stylish modish pants;
tweedish striped in the same rust, black,
and white (background). He wore
flat heeled brown shoes and was
fantastic looking. Brian wore a white shirt
under a red top (stunning red against his
golden hair) and beige or white slacks.
Looking at his boots, I'd never noticed
before how small his feet are!
"Keef" wore a regular suit (white shirt)
and boots, and Charlie also
had on a suit with a blue shirt.
Bill wore black slacks, and a leather jacket.

this list of what the members of the rolling stones wore is life pulsing and dynamic. i was floored and was, again, given a proof to the powers of poetry. at least for this old dude. how carey achieves the remarkable in a few strokes of his pen is beyond my powers of description. this is the sort of poetry that i want. this is the kind of writing that makes me glad to be alive, here and now, today and for tomorrow. in the end it is, as we know, only rock&roll, but i like it.


before i go to bed tonight here's a pic i found by one of the coolest dudes in poetry, thom gunn. i goddamn love this pic, from gunn's izod jersey to the panther on his forearm to the books in the room. it makes me happy looking at the photo, makes me damned glad, despite the shit, to be alive.

this fucking violent world

ever had the urge to resist the urge to write? does that sound contradictory. so be it. the itch to write is the there but i'm afraid my response to this world is inadequate for my lame language. you know what i mean, i hope. you've heard the news from arizona. this fucking violent world. what is the better response, outright condemnation, an attempt at level-headed reportage, anger, despair, throw-up-your-hands-in-the-air? all of the above? more? i sure as shit don't know. i've gone to a few favorite blogs and sites tonight for answers and all i've found are what i've expected, anger, confusion, the need to press on. and then what?

and then what?!

no fucking agit-prop, please. perhaps there are no answers. of the kind that can be expressed immediately after the fact. long soul-searching is in order, perhaps. but also what might be called forth is a re-validation on the necessities of our human condition.

ponder that for a while, what that might mean to you.

as for me, it was a lovely pre-spring day today. we worked in the garden. i listened to music. read some favorite blogs. read the first 20 plus pages of a memoir by an old punk rocker cum buddhist teacher. attempted to anchor myself, again, in our wild world.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

quote unquote

a poem is poetry. . .in so far as the reader feels it to have been the only way out of the tongue-tied profanity.

--samuel beckett

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

quote unquote

Awoke thinking about thinking about that again.

--jean vengua

to catch a thief [or not]

tonight clicking thru some blogs i read

this piece by scottish poet rob a. mackenzie

about having his things almost stolen in a supermarket

that reminds me of an incident last winter

leaving the office & walking down k st mall

a dilapidated dirt-mall that the city is always attempting

to kickstart into a place where you might actually want to go

anyway k st mall is a pedestrian outdoor venue that ends

at the convention center

it was there wating for the light to turn green so i could

cross the street & i'm among a crowd

when this dude sidles up to me real close

too close it felt like & gave off

this creepy vibe that i ignore

but then the light changed

about half a block down i thought i'd better check

my backpack

i always have my backpack with me

sure enough it's been zipped open

large enough for a hand to stick in

nothing is missing

for a moment i'm pissed

i knew it was that creep who tried to pull a pickpocket on me

fucker i thought next time i trust my instincts

& back away or turn to face him so he'd be not so bold

instead about a block later i begin thinking that if that dude

did manage to steal some of the contents of my backpack

he'd be sorely disappointed

a book of poetry?!

a moleskin with handwriting so bad it makes hannibal lecter seem sane?!

a cheap inkpen?!

a tupperware container with the scraps of a sandwich?!

dude couldn't sell that shit on the streets for more dope

now could he

Monday, January 03, 2011

cities on a plain

there was a report on npr today from rockhampton, queensland where there is massive flooding. i wrote a quick email to mark young, who lives in rockhampton, to see if he's okay but recalled on earlier post on the floods that mark's house is on a hill where he said he is safe from the rising waters. mark wrote back that he's fine and that he posted a lengthy report on the floods here. whew!

sac is also on a floodplain and we've lived thru two major ones these past 25 years or so. i recall the major floods of 1986. i was 19 years old and living with my family. our house is located several blocks from the american river, one of two rivers in the sacramento region, the other is called the sacramento river. the american was rising fast. the main artery to get to higher ground, watt avenue, crossed the american about a half mile from our house and the waters were so high that the american river was lapping the botton of the span. the worry was if the levies that are used for flood control broke we'd be in serious trouble. we'd need a boat rather than a car to get out.

the levies did break in the delta area and the flooding there was catastrophic. it was horrible for places like rio linda, an agricultural community, as well as many other enclaves. the levies held in my neighborhood but there were seepages here and there. in the midst of the rains i was driving home from rosemont, a neighborhood about 3 miles from our house. the rains were so swift and heavy that the sewers backed up and began flooding the streets. when i got to my own street i hit a pool of water so large it swallowed the front of the vehicle. i thought the levy breached so i jumped out of the car and pushed it to the side of the road, and ran thru 3 ft of water the several blocks home.

having a boat on hand is not a bad idea for those of us who live in the sacramento valley. the levy systems were reinforced a few years ago relieving my section of town, east sac, the legal obligation of maintaining flood insurance. we kept the insurance. because it will flood again. nature has her own ways and cannot be stopped, maybe mitigated a bit, but never stopped. the history of sacramento is one of water. the rivers are what made this a great region for agriculture. but history is a long tale of bad planning and wishful thinking. last fall we took a tour of the underground tunnels of old sac. the tunnels exist because after a damaging flood in the mid-19th century city officials required building owners to raise their properties several feet. the raising of buildings created these cool, but now because of development quickly disappearing, underground passageways, but did not prevent future floods. how could it. i recall the the swift waters of the american and sacramento rivers in 1986 when it looked like the world as i knew it would be swallowed in a deluge. there's been other floods since then but i remember that year especially because how close the waters were to home, my home. it was scary as hell.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

thank god it's friday [1978]

the year is 1978 and disco is hots! the queen of the dance floor, donna summer, needs a movie vehicle to capitalize on this thing called disco. what to do? make a movie with summer acting herself in a disco! it's a no-brainer.

seriously, this pic is a no-brainer. really, no brain. i remember when this movie was released, i was 11 years old, but hadn't seen it until yesterday. on our new blu-ray dvd player is a hook-up for wi-fi and bundled on the system is a movie website crackle where there are a couple hundred movies to choose from and a like number of tv shows. for a movie geek this set-up is a wet dream. for sure, and this flick was one of the choices.

i really just wanted to watch the first few minutes but in the opening credits i saw the names, jeff goldblum, debra winger and teri nunn. goldblum and winger? is it really them? fo sho, 'tis the same. i wonder if this tiny flick is still on their resume. the real reason i watched this all the way thru is because of nunn. teri nunn was lead vocalist for the synth-slutty band, berlin, a guilty pleasure for me, and i've had a crush on nunn since i was 15 or 16 years old. but surely, nunn was too young to play in this movie, right?

apparently nunn was 16 or 17 when she played the role of an under-aged wannabe disco queen trying to sneak in to the zoo, a discotec owned by goldblum. winger assays a nice girl who is dragged to the zoo by her friend but who really is only looking for a nice guy to fall in love with. summer portrays an aspiring singer who sneaks into the d.j. booth when the band, the commodores, booked to play the dance contest, the contest nunn and her friend wants to compete in so they can win the $50.00 grand prize in order to buy tickets to see the rock outfit kiss, are late and she saved the day by singing her heart out. there's not a dry eye at the zoo when she's done.

oh it's a zany night in the city alright. continuing sight gags, such as the parking lot scenes where goldblum's car is constantly being bumped by passing vehicles, fall flat. no chemistry with the characters, and all are fairly unlikable. there are many mustaches present, some are on the dudes. and the music, except for the songs by summer, suck! nunn is lovely and it surprised me to see her in this flick because i didn't know she was an actress as well as singer. as for nunn's later incarnation as a singer, well i prefer that one, she has a great voice and her sexual tramp image was great if overshadowed by another singer, madonna.

this film is episodic and i can't recall one funny scene. i looked it up afterward and, yep, it's a comedy. but only in a technical sense. what this pic really is is a period piece of an era in pop culture. a time that won't come again, when easy sex, loose drug use, and a general partying gestalt expressed a generation that lived thru an unpopular war, high inflation, the energy crisis, and polyester suits. hey wait a minute, except for the polyester suits and the inflation, that could be now! well, shit, i guess it's time to party like it's 1999.