Recommendations

Just because the town of Bangkok is filled with pretty women stolen from their Isaan villages and enslaved in sleazy bars and filthy massage parlors for the sole purpose of having paid sex with fat middle-aged men every day of their lives, doesn't mean that if you happen *to be* a fat, middle-aged man you have to have paid sex with these women every day you're in town.

Particularly because as soon as you hit town you realize that going out by yourself to these places is so ultra sleazy and demeaning and also kinda boring to boot if you've done it a hundred times before. You wonder what it's all about. Alfie.

Need a wingman, someone to deflect the conscience with beer and bravado, because after all I'm just a man, I am going to surrender to the hormones sooner or later...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday was a clean day 'for example'.

It was a day instead of gastronomic and literary recommendations:

"Bourbon St", the apparently famous Cajun restaurant off Sukhomvit Soi 22, behind the Mambo Cabaret. I only had a serve of the red-bean, sausage and rice (Monday special) but it was yummy. Never heard of it - it's probably a local farang secret to keep the tourists out - never been there before but probably will go again! Recommended by Scott.

While slurping up the beans, I read the "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett. Fantasy-Humour. Never read any of his stuff before, probably won't read any more. Why? Way too funny, way too addictive. There's thousands of his books on the shelves! I'd never get anything done! Recommended by Indy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tonight I watched a movie I had picked up for 59 Baht (S$3) in the bargain bin of a genuine store - The Rapture in which Mimi Rodgers, as I recall, reveals her really large saggy tits. She was of course a bit of recurring guest star in some of the X-file series. Then wow!!! Spooky, mystic, weird, who comes up as the co-star in this movie but a young David fucking Duchovny! (His name on the DVD cover didn't gain my attention earlier. I immediately thought: Hey, they had something going on!!!! Some sort of Graduate, Mrs Robinson thing... but cut to the chase, E@L ...)

In this movie, Mimi (Sharon) is a bored telephonist and major sex-games player who gets caught in a millenarianism Christian religious cult that is going around like a body-snatcher virus and so gives up her swinging (those tits!) ways. And then, like wow, The Rapture as in The Apocalypse, actually happens -- the Four Horsemen, Gabriel's trumpet, prison walls falling open, people being taken up to Heaven...

...and I am thinking: Is this for real? Is this an ironic piss-take of Christian fundamentalism with heaps (a bit) of steamy sex, or actually a subversive Christian propaganda movie pretending not to be? I mean it's got lines that almost echo exactly some of the religious jokes from South Park -- "The correct answer is 'The Mormons'. I'm sorry but the rest of you will be going to Hell. Correct answer - 'The Mormons'" -- and yet the fervour of Mimi's performance as the newly blissed out Jesus freak is utterly convincing. Then there's a stunning climax, which if it doesn't produce fear and trembling in you, check your pulse... After this harrowing episode, Mimi is not quite so taken with God and religion after all. Not that God doesn't exist, because in this movie obviously He does, but He is a right callous Old Testament type bastard...

Angie: Have you heard the word of God? It's the greatest gift of all time. You have to trust completely in God. He'll forgive you of all your sins.
Sharon: Who forgives God?



No answer. The answer cannot be given, because the question the movie poses - if you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God - the problem of suffering, is completely unanswerable.

It's quite a brain twister, and I'm not the only one disturbed and enthralled by it.

It's my recommendation to you this lonely, meaningless night... hang on, there's a knock on the hotel door...


E@L: Hello?
7DAs: Do you realise these are the Last Days...
E@L: Oh, fuck off...


E@L

MORE...


Posted by: expat@large on May 09, 07 | 1:13 am | Profile


OTHER MONKEYS SAID



watch the juggling over at my place :)


Posted by: savannah on May 09, 07 | 4:28 am

You enjoyed it...~quiet wow~...I was really expecting a trash commentary from you about it, after all its not as high-brow as you usually read...and of course you realise you will have to read "The Light Fantastic" just to find out what happens. to Rincewind and Twoflower.


Posted by: Indiana on May 09, 07 | 6:56 am

The Rapture was the first movie written and directed by Michael Tolkin, who wrote the novel and subsequent screenplay for the Robert Altman film The Player. He recently published a sequel to The Player.

When I think about Mimi Rogers, I think about how those huge breasts went to waste as the first Mrs. Tom Cruise. And how they were not put to good enough use as Elizabeth Hurley's mom in the first Austin Powers movie.


Posted by: spike on May 09, 07 | 11:02 am

have you started against the day?


Posted by: savannah on May 09, 07 | 11:32 am

Sav: bandwidth issues for streaming movies here in BKK.

Indy: Laughed my socks off - in a restaurant this can be embarrassing. And antisocial. I'm thinking, even after only the first book, how can there be any jokes LEFT?

Spike: aaah, he wrote The Player - great stuff. "movies these days, too many cuts, jumping around" says Fred Ward in the 10 minutes single shot at the start...

Mimi is definitely some sort of Mother Earth figure to those boys... Yes Liz Hurley suckling on those ample jugs, the mind boggles...

Sav: my hardcover edition pf ATD is too big and heavy to pack into the suitcase (you have packing suggestions?), plus I want to read Mason&Dixon first, also a hardcover.


Posted by: expat@large on May 09, 07 | 12:44 pm

i just put them in my carry on...usually 2, a hardback (serious stuff) and 1 paperback...if it's a long flight/layovers, etc..magazines i can finish and leave/toss. (are you mocking my skillset, sir?)


Posted by: savannah on May 09, 07 | 12:59 pm

Sav: moi, mocking? I already have five paperbacks with me for a typical two week trip plus whatever I buy when away... My "laptap" is quite heavy as I have an extended battery, for moments like this, sitting in the dealer's office without having to worry about what type of electricity connection I have brought.


Posted by: expat@large on May 09, 07 | 1:19 pm

Oh no! Not the bloody fleshpots again...same old same old...been there done that...better off with a good book.


Posted by: Dick on May 13, 07 | 2:47 am

Dick: back safely on dry land? Excellent. You know, as he dropped trou in Lolita's this afternoon, my buddy Bruce noticed a fair copy of "Anxious Pleasures: A Novel After Kafka" had fallen out from the pocket of his oversize M&S cargo shorts.

He picked up the slender volume and glanced through it as the indifferent but excellent fellatrice young Yuy orally coaxed his gradually numbing member to its humble and not necessarily inevitable tumescence. At one page he read these lines: "once I wished for peace on earth, and everyone on the planet disappeared."

Immediately upon reading these words, his vision clouded and he drifted into unquiet dreams where he imagined the story of a book, another story in itself, a vision, a metaphor, that once read would change the person who read it, would metamorphisize them into new people, different people, new things: insects, chrysalids, larvae, butterflies, clerks, surveyors, criminals, writers, hunger artists... only to realise that as he dreamed of fulfilling this transfiguration his seed was shooting forth... only to be spat ceremoniously onto a chilled antiseptic wet-paper napkin and cast aside by chubby faced Yuy. "You OK? she asked, as if there was the vaguest possibility he might not...

~~~~~~

"I read this book," said the guy in Flyers pools bar. "It changed my life."

"For the better?" asked Bruce. "I mean, look at you man, you're stilll a bum playing pool in a bar in Bangkok with alcoholic depressed losers like me. Or did this book turn you into a cockroach? A faun? A tree?"

"No dude, John Connolly. 'S called The Book of... something Things. Forgotten things...? No, *Lost* Things. Brill, lux. It will change you forever."

"For the better?" asked Bruce once more, wanting to be sure.


Posted by: expat@large on May 13, 07 | 3:53 am

You should be aware that the first few Discworld books are definitely not of the quality of the later ones.

They (generally anyway) get better as they go along, although the Vimes/Carrot books get a bit more serious.


Posted by: odaiwai on May 13, 07 | 7:34 pm

"better" is easier to say retrospectively, but imagine if the other hadn't been written??? It's just a light laugh: anyway I got burnt out on fantasy with Michael Moorcock's eternal champion series 30 years ago. Now that I am deeply into my midlife crisis, I'll stick with the serious, heavy philosophical stuff (well, not totally) as it makes me happier knowing that other people are more miserable than me... Plus - I have a roomful of books not even started which I must work on before I started buying more, however much "better" they are.


Posted by: expat@large on May 13, 07 | 7:51 pm

Think of Pratchett as allegorical satire rather than fantasy and try Small Gods. It'll appeal to your philosophical instincts, and it's far easier on the brain than Moorcock's interminable sex-obsessed Eternal Champion. For one thing, it doesn't take itself nearly as seriously, and it makes fun of evangelical religions.

Fit a Pratchett in between the 'weighty tomes' and you may think their weight is just self-important wank and some issues are best dealt with by a healthy dose of satire and a pint of Winkles Old Peculiar.


Posted by: odaiwai on May 14, 07 | 2:33 am

Odaiwai: probbly I came across as a pretentious wanker book-snob there, (guilty as charged! some would say...) it's just that there's so many of these Discworld books that it's daunting to think I might I get hooked...

Some of that stuff I don't like - Neil Gaiman for example leaves me cold, the way he stretches it for plot twists... Not that Pratchett doesn't but as you say, its more satire.

p.s. And I thought winkles were the puckerings around an arsehole... Oh that's WRINKLES...


Posted by: expat@large on May 14, 07 | 12:04 pm

Phil, don't worry about getting hooked on Pratchett. He doesn't excrete Pynchonesque movements - most of his books are light reads with plenty of story and humour. You won't *NEED* to read all of them, although you may *want* to.

Seriously try Small Gods, which makes fun of those who think you should love their Invisible Friend, and have a go at The Last Continent, which makes fun of Queenslanders[1].

[1] Or indeed anyone from outside the borders of Victoria.


Posted by: odaiwai on May 17, 07 | 12:55 am

Odawai: as should all of us from The Garden(ing) State (of Victoria)! LOL!!

Actually, I am sure I could squeeze in a few Pratchetts now and then, or even a Ruth Rendell (private joke) - will go for the onse you mention first.


Posted by: expat@large on May 17, 07 | 4:54 pm


THIS MONKEY SAYS




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