Nothing to complain about

At the St Francis for an early morning double feature, The Professional was plenty of fun, full of preposterous action like I like. When bad guys slaughter everyone in her family, young Mathilda turns for refuge to Leon, the nice man down the hall.

It turns out that the killer bad guys were corrupt DEA agents, and it further turns out that the nice neighbor is a contract killer for the mob, so eventually it’s Leon and Mathilda against the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Finally, a just war!

The Professional’s corrupt DEA agents are a redundancy, like PIN number or LCD display. I believe every adult ought to have the freedom to smoke, snort, or inject whatever he/she wants into his/her own body. It’s not your body if you don’t have that right, so whether corrupt or straight-arrow, DEA agents are the bad guys, period. I enjoyed watching some of them die in this movie.

I’m not sure, though, about the February-October romance between 12-year-old Mathilda and late-middle-aged Leon, the hit-man. It made me queasy, but it was tastefully done, nothing explicit, and didn’t detract too much from the sheer joy of watching drug agents die.

When the lights came up between shows, I tried reading a zine, but I could see my own breath. With the movie to distract me, I hadn’t realized it was cold enough to hang beef in the cinema. Brrr.

The St Frank is a discount theater, two bucks for two movies, and the audience is always lower class like me, with some bums sleeping in the seats. I suppose the place isn’t highly profitable, and turning on the heat costs money. It was about 45° outside, though, and it seemed colder inside. Is that possible?

Decided I’d rather have my health than shiver through the second feature, Fresh, so I came home, read some zines, napped, read some more zines, wrote, and then napped again. The napping was the best part.

When I awoke, it was only 5:30 in the afternoon but it looked like the middle of the night out my window. Those goofs in Congress have us messing with the clocks twice a year, for no reason I can figure.

I needed to go to a convenience store several blocks away, because they’re the only shop around here that sells La Tapatia tortillas, which are the best tortillas that exist and the only brand I'll buy. 

When I bundled up and stepped into the cold night air, my legs hijacked me and started walking toward the O’Farrell Cafe for an evening breakfast. The O’Farrell was closed for the day, though, so instead I had my cheese omelet for dinner at The Original Perfect Hamburger, at Geary & Jones. It was pretty good, but a little stingy on the hash browns, and it came to six bucks with tip. Doug says maybe.

Then, onward to the store with the good tortillas. I started filling my basket with soups and such, working my way toward the tortillas, but sadly, tragically, outrageously, they’re not selling tortillas I want any more. They’re selling some other brand, but if I wanted some other brand I’d be in some other store. Sigh.

I tell ya, it’s not easy being a lazy fat white dude, with a job but almost no responsibilities, a roof over my head, reasonably good health, food on the shelf, maybe a few friends, and realistically nothing to complain about. But ‘nothing to complain about’, my ass. There’s always something to complain about, if you put your mind to it.

 From Pathetic Life #7
Sunday, December 18, 1994
(first entry)

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.

Addendum, 2021: Before dying, I’m on a mission to rewatch old movies I remember fondly, and a month or so ago The Professional was on that list. I wasn’t sure whether my perv receptors had been heightened over the years, or if I was watching perhaps a director’s recut that had amped up 12-year-old Natalie Portman’s precociousness. 

With a little light Googling, I’ve learned that the perved-up version is actually the original edit (titled Leon: The Professional), but it tested poorly with American audiences in 1994, so it was shortened by 23-25 minutes (and retitled simply The Professional) for for its US release.

In this entry, I was definitely reviewing the shortened-for-America version.

The longer version has little-kid Portman drunk on champagne and demanding that Leon kiss her, insisting that they sleep in the same bed, pleading with him to be her "first time," and other obvious sexual situations. The degeneracy drowns out the movie's delightful violence, and convinces me there’s something seriously wrong-in-the-head with the movie's writer-director Luc Besson.

Pathetic Life 

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  1. It's been a long time since I saw it, but if you haven't done so, you should seek out Fresh. It's really damn good.


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