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Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'll Probably Never See "Citizen Kane"

My wife is currently struggling with the concept of being human, and forgiving herself for being so.

Oftentimes, I'm pretty reasonably comfortable with my humanity, my flaws and my foibles, my acne and my wrinkles, my blunders and my anxieties. Sometimes, though, I just can't seem to shake the fact that, when it all boils down to gravy, I just don't measure up.

Measure up to what, of course, the question becomes. To whose standards? To what level? To whose ideal?

Probably my own, though I think society bears some of the blame here. I love blaming society. It makes me sound so, I don't know, Proustian.


I'm deeply flawed. I say racist and offensive things. I'm often insensitive and pernicious, I'm all over four-letter words like they're my best friends or chicks I want to fuck.


I'm a hypocrite and a charlatan and a faker and a dirty old man and a complainer and a dreamer and an insipid coward and a concealer and a crybaby.

And I've never seen "Citizen Kane." And I probably never will.


I don't know. I'm just not that into black-and-white films. The only black-and-white stuff on film that I really love are "3 Stooges" shorts, and I only really like the ones with Curly. Shemp I never really got into very much, Joe Besser is just a wimpy, gay stereotype, and Curly Joe DeRita was, well, a fourth-rate Curly impersonator, and not a very good one at that.

Oh, and I love "Dr. Strangelove," of course. I think it's illegal to call yourself a Peter Sellers Freak without loving that movie. Plus, it was James Earl Jones's first on-screen role. I mean, it's a piece of history in so many ways.

But "Citizen Kane"? I don't know-- just doesn't interest me. Sure, I've seen clips. And I've heard about sticking the fucking camera in a hole in the ground a hundred times. And I know it's, like, #1 on the AFI Most Important Contributions to Cinematic Whatever of All Times.

I know.

But, it's just something about it. "Rosebud." Whatever. That style of acting, it's just so... representational. So affected. So... uninteresting. And Orson Welles is probably going to come back from the grave and give me a nipple-twist for saying this but, like, in the grand scheme of things, who gives a shit if I've never seen "Citizen Kane"? It makes me an imperfect connoisseur of the film medium, for sure.

I'll admit that. It does. So does never seeing, "Gone with the Wind." Or "Inherit the Wind." Or "A Mighty Wind." Basically, all those windy movies I've kind of just skipped over for whatever reason. I don't know, I'm sure a cunning psychologist could come up with something pretty enticing about that.

Can I really say, "I love movies" without ever having seen "Citizen Kane," arguably one of the most influential movies ever made? I don't know. I get away with saying "I love Mark Twain" without ever having read much of his novel writing.

Does that make me something of a cheat? Does it make my enthusiasm for a subject matter somewhat hollow?

Or, does it make me human?

I don't know. But, either way, I'll probably never see "Citizen Kane." Why? Because, truth be told, I'd rather pop in "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" and laugh my ass off as Peter Sellers destroys his own apartment trying to engage Burt Kwouk in yet another Cato/Clouseau battle royale any day.

And that, if anything, makes me about as human as I can be.

1 comment:

  1. You have spared yourself 1:19 that I regrettably will never get back.


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