Sunday, February 9, 2014

Olympic Darkness

"Nur Kinder und einfache Leute tragen lebhafte Farben." - Goethe
Only children and simpletons wear bright colors ...

February is the new April ... and in the black first days of this winterest month, I have been virtually stunned into silence.

First, there was a transit nightmare, as getting to and from the "Big Game" did not go (at all) as planned for tens of thousands of frustrated football fans, and millions of inconvenienced "New Yorkers".

Across the river that same Super Sunday -- actually in New York -- Philip Seymour Hoffman died, ingloriously, with a needle hanging out of his arm.  Hollywood couldn't have scripted a more evocative image of a heroin overdose.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman was an addict ... He died a junkie's death.

Also that same day, flying in the face of his own misguided logic that in some small way, an exit by overdose might be a good thing -- its transmitted "message" perhaps being taken to heart, as opposed to being ignored or simply not received at all by other nodding junkies suddenly waking up, saying, "You know what?  Philip Seymour Hoffman died.  Let me quit." --

Sadly, it's unlikely that this became the case anywhere.  Philip Seymour Hoffman just died.  Ingloriously.

But I was going to say, also on the same day that he died, that un-Super Sunday, there were considerably more drug overdoses than PSH once babbled to Aaron Sorkin lives would be "saved" in the event that one of those two suffered a fatal overdose ...

No, Phil:  your stupid and preventable death did not lead to "10 people who were about to" die, not dying.  You took a drug you knew could kill you, and it did.

That's what happened.  That's the message you left behind.  A message of despair, not hope.  In no way was it a "positive" thing.

It's going to take many decades -- and vast adjustments in profit motive, economies of scale and, most dauntingly, demand fueling supply -- for any acceptance of responsibility, let alone global behavioral shifts or awakenings of consciousness concerning illicit drug use, to occur.  If I were an addict, your sad death wouldn't do it for me, Big Guy (Sorry to be telling you this too late).

Thank God for the comic relief of Russia!  Between the knee-knocking toilets (and "no fishing"!! signs), the piss-colored tap water, the stray dogs, the unfinished hotel rooms, the nonetheless pride at a 'job well done' in Sochi, and the costumed police choir busting into "Get Lucky" ... I giggle aloud at my bushy-browed brethren, and my S-K-Y swells and bursts with delight ...

And then I read about Woody Allen.

Woody has long been a hero of mine ... His obnoxious Upper East Side phase notwithstanding, I think, and have always believed, the guy's comic gold.  When I was younger and trying to win friends, impress girls or dismiss various teachers, I'd absorb the absurdities of Without Feathers, for example, or Getting Even ...and too often spit them back out whole, unexpurgated.  Completely ripped off, at times word for word ...

I was really a loser!  But I thought Woody Allen was a genius ... and though I no longer plagiarize him, I still think he is.

All of which leads up to the new best thing I've ever read by Woody Allen, his matter-of-fact, supposedly (hopefully!) final response to the resurfaced claims by his daughter that she was sexually abused by him twenty years ago.  These disturbing and serious allegations were investigated at the time and found unsubstantiated.  No criminal charges were ever filed, and the matter became closed ... until somehow, it wasn't anymore.

Now it should be.  Together, with the wastedly talented Philip Seymour Hoffman, may things rest in peace.