Monday, February 14, 2011

Been Thinkin' About Jivin'....

It was Early November when I scrapped my first Jive. I remember I was going to begin by adapting an Ol’ Johnny Carson routine to paper. It was gonna go something like this right here….

1. Spend 2 hours strapped to a gurney like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange and forced to watch Revolutionary Road for the 2nd time….

2. Attend a 2 hour “VH1 Storytellers” event where Darryl Worley gives in-depth analysis of the meanings and inspirations behind his lyrics…..

3. Spend 2 hours listening to a girlfriend try and explain to me why she’s leaving me for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino….

......Name 3 things I’d rather experience than 2 hours of gridlock traffic in any city…at any time.

Last fall, as I was frequently traveling long distances by plane and by automobile to the southern tip of the state, I had weekends that were almost completely sabotaged by flight delays and gridlock traffic. One Friday, it was my turn to pick my friend up from the airport. I was looking forward to experiencing the satisfaction that comes with the successful implementation of “the perfect airport-pickup”. I left earlier than anyone would ever have even considered leaving. I was way ahead of schedule…that was until I merged on to North Stemmons Fwy. My friend flew from Houston to Dallas before my car moved an inch. “Now, Christopher, surely you moved a mile, a block, or at least a car-length”, you might suggest. Nope…I didn’t move one damn inch. Literally. Instead of being cool, calm and collected, I arrived at the airport as an out of breath, sweaty mess. When I was asked why I wasn’t there waiting, I almost lost it. It set the tone for what would be another aggravating weekend. Written with the same gusto as the unforgettable spoken phrase about what water will do to mattresses or what mustard will do to shirts, I planned to comment on how “Gridlock Ruins Plans”...and it really does. And that’s a fact, Jack.

I was gonna write it…but scrapped it.

Then I was going to write a Jive that would showcase the entire 1st Act of a screenplay that I’ve been writing. Feeling as though my intellectual property would be wasted, I wanted to post it so that someone might read it, film it, and make a fortune. Then, I would attempt to sue them for “stealing” my idea. It was a stupid idea that I dismissed fairly quickly. However, the idea did spark a question about what would be the Top5 titles of a screenplay written about my life. Get Rich or Quit Tryin’ would have to top that list.

I was gonna write it…but didn’t.

On a related topic, I was going to write a Jive that would voice my excitement about making movies again. For the past five years, I somehow managed to get paid for making “videos”. It has become my identity and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. However, during this period, I only made music videos; shelving all other ideas I may have had. Well…I did make Frank Goes To The Klan Rally (2007) in which I fought off actual Network News Crews in order to “get the shot”, but it did not require much preparation. I was proud of myself for creating something “off the cuff” like that, though.

I was going to Jive about our “Return to the Streets” and all the webisodes that I hope to showcase in the Top5 Drive-In in the months to come. I was going to discuss my pleasure in realizing how much I’ve improved as a director and the satisfaction I've derived from witnessing Frank’s improved acting ability. I didn’t have to mutter my “go-to line of direction” either. I never once suggested to Frank that he should “try and act more natural”.

Then there was the Jive about American Idol that I started and never completed. Yep…I thought about it. I was going to make a bold statement by suggesting that this has been the most enjoyable season for me since Taylor Hicks won in 2006. Not to sound creepy or suggest that I’m obsessed with her or anything, but of course my new-found enjoyment has to do with the addition of Jennifer Lopez to the show. She’s Just About As Pretty As It Gets. I’m no John Hinckley* or anything…just an admirer of her beauty. I was going to “caboose” the Jive (thanks, Brent) with my Top5 Most Beautiful Actresses. I would have listed:

5. Mila Kunis
4. Rosario Dawson
3. Salma Hayek
2. Eva Mendes
1. Jennifer Lopez
* I originally placed Catherine Keener at #5 until I was called out on it. She's my favorite actress but not in the league of the other Top5.

I remember I was asked on more than one occasion which Beatle I preferred - John or Paul. I thought about writing about that too. I love Paul McCartney's music and consider him to be the most famous entertainer in the world. However, I base my decision about who I prefer on this scenario - I can "Imagine" (Pun!) a situation in which John and Paul are sitting around sharing a smoke in the Dakota Apartments. Obladi Oblada plays on the radio. John says to Paul, "You are a more talented bloke than that, man. Really, Paul"? I can't think of one John Lennon tune where after listening to it, Paul could retort by posing the same question back at his former bandmate. Think about it. If you prefer the optimistic sounds of Paul McCartney's beautiful music, I can't fault you. Just know that John was realistic enough to know better.

Ringo was the "Funny one", George was the "Quiet one", Paul was the "Cute one, and John was the "Talented one". Enough said.

I say that knowing full-well that Oh Darling is one of my favorite songs of all-time...maybe even Top5 Beatle tunes...

....And then there was the Jive I scrapped about my anger at Roberto Alomor being voted in to the MLB Hall Of Fame. A product of the 90's Steroid Era being voted in first round...WHAT? He makes Michael Irvin look like the Rev. Gene Ratliff**. Looking past the fact that Jeff Bagwell did not even get voted in and the fact that Alomar played on a Baltimore Oriole team with such proven "sluggers" as Brady Anderson, Bobby Bonilla and Rafael Palmeiro (tear) , the SOB spit in umpire John Hirschbeck's face. This is such a dasterdly move that I failed to even include it in Video Joe's Moral Code of Ethics (see Jive archives). I would not even spit in Bin Laden's face. I was gonna write about how such an act would rank just below pushing a fully-clothed man in a swimming pool ,while the man in question was in mid-conversation with a Blind Date. I was gonna write about that but instead, wanted to let that soggy cousin of mine know that I'm so happy that it all worked out for him in the end.

Roberto Alamor is lucky that he wasn't good enough to hit 762 homeruns and that his measily-steroid-induced 210 homeruns snuck him into the HOF. He snuck into the Hall of Fame faster than that Nolan Ryan fastball sped by him in The Express' 7th No-hitter.

Anyway, in the spirit of Dwight Yoakum...I've been thinkin' about Jivin', long enough to change my mind.
Feelin' Good ALL the Time
* John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress Jodie Foster. BTW, I bet he took her "coming out" announcement personally.
** Gene Ratliff was a former Minister of mine at Gordon Methodist Church. He was my favorite.