Clearly, someone has a hot plate.

MONDAY — A day at the office, and then a night at the movies — The Hatchet Man and The Public Enemy, more pre-Code dramas at the Roxie.

Hatchet is notable mostly for its overt racism, and for making a serial killer the hero, without even a hint that the police might be interested. Edward G Robinson and Loretta Young both play Asian-Americans — white actors in yellow-face. All in all, it was distasteful. Even trying to put myself in the mindset from when the movie was made, trying not to notice the racism ... the movie still sucked.

The Public Enemy, though, was dynamite. Another 'important issue' drama, which I guess was a genre back then but sure isn't today. It's about a bunch of violent outlaws making big money running a liquor cartel during Prohibition. It seemed more dated than you'd expect an old movie to be, so I began mentally translating the plot into the present, imagining that the violent outlaws were running a drug cartel instead, during our present Prohibition. And man, once I looked at it that way, Public Enemy was a remarkable movie.

It's unmistakably an indictment of Prohibition, showing Cagney's character as a small-time hood who probably wouldn't have done much damage, maybe might have gone straight, but with so much easy money from running booze (drugs), he became an extremely violent big-time crime lord instead.

And to think, it was made by a giant studio, Warner Bros, while liquor was illegal. Whether you think the War on Drugs is right or wrong (pssst — it's horribly, morally wrong), can you imagine a big Hollywood studio making a movie that seriously, pointedly calls for the legalization of marijuana and sacred shrooms?

♦ ♦ ♦   

TUESDAY — Speaking of prohibition, cooking is expressly forbidden by the rules of this fine hotel, yet most mornings the halls seem to smell of sausage, and in the evening the scent of luscious lasagna or casserole is unavoidable. Clearly, someone has a hot plate.

Yeah, I have a hot plate, too, but I'm eating peanut butter sandwiches.

♦ ♦ ♦   

WEDNESDAY — It's been approved by my boss: I've got next Tuesday off work (without pay, of course). Maggie arrives Monday night, and I certainly hope I'm in no condition to work on Tuesday.

Also official, my mom is coming for a visit early next month. She is a bit motherly, maybe more than most mothers, but I love her, and look forward to seeing her. Lunch together would be ideal, or we could even spend a day together. But she'll be here for 3½ days, so trepidation abounds.

My mom talks a lot about dead people, and people I don't know, and dead people I didn't know when they were alive. She thinks I'm a Christian and a virgin, when I haven't been either for twenty years. She remembers every lie I've ever told, and she's the only guilt trip I'm not immune to. Put it all together, it spells Mother. Her plane arrives on July 1...

♦ ♦ ♦   

THURSDAY — Tonight was the last of the pre-Code festival at the Roxie. Two with James Cagney — Taxi (1932), and Blonde Crazy (1931). Both were fun, with no real messages. The crazy blonde was Joan Blondell, who's always one of my favorites of her era. In this one she slaps a dozen men's faces, before becoming Cagney's platonic partner in a clever con game.

I would've enjoyed the movies more if my hemorrhoids weren't zinging me so bad. I had to stand up for the last twenty minutes of the last show, leaning against the theater's back wall.

 From Pathetic Life #1
Monday - Thursday,
June 6, 7, 8, & 9, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


Pathetic Life 

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  1. Speaking of hot plates: I've lived in a single room since 1985, and I use a very SAFE, FIREPROOF hot plate: a magnetic induction stove top. Cooks fantastic, and in about a third of the time quicker. A delight to use. Find 'em on Amazon of course, or if you live in a city with a Chinatown, go to one of their kitchenware or appliances outlets.

    1. Free-standing, a countertop device? I looked at the full-size kitchen models years and years ago, and they're cool but way bugger and way way more expensive than I need. A little tabletop version, though...


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