Monday, August 3, 2009

Drinks! Drinks for my friends!

That classic line is from Micky Rourke's first incarnation, in his role as Bukowski, the great street poet (who always reminds me of Tom Waites -- or maybe it's the other way around) in the movie Barfly. If you haven't seen the movie, you should.

First of all, it features the absurd and pathetic life of the talented Charles Bukowski. Bukowski wrote searing poetry, and steadfastly refused to clean up his act. Like many drunks and addicts, he believed his own hype and it made him an unbearably self-righteous person to be around. But his words were worth it (if you didn't have to live with him).

Second, it's probably Rourke's best role. It prefigures his turn as "The Wrestler," before his face was battered by his earnest courtship of boxing and equally earnest pursuit of chemical living. I guess that as a man he was already tiptoeing along the edge and that gives his portrait of Bukowski/Henry Chinaski a reckless core, convincing, probably because he was barely acting.

Finally, you'll get a dose of 1987 Faye Dunaway. If you're my age or younger, you're probably not quite old enough to remember the power of Faye's sexuality (or, she may have tormented your early adolescence). In "Barfly," she plays, like Rourke, an unrepentant booze-hound. But no matter how slovenly or sick she gets, her allure burns a hole in the film. Part of the tragedy of the movie is watching that light boxed off and traded away.

Anyway, drinks.

In what will surely go down as one of his many strokes of genius, my friend Rich married my friend Kristin. Together they came up with another nice idea: revive the cocktail hour.

There are many institutions from the first half of the 20th century that have thankfully fallen to the dustbin of history: segregation, smoking in restaraunts, sock suspenders. Yet in our headlong rush into the new, we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater: Vive l'Heure de Cocktail!

In support of that effort, Kristin and Rich bring you "52 Drink-up," now added to the "Stuff and Fun" blogroll to the right of this column. Drink along, and bring the "happy" back to "happy hour!"


Review Daddy said...


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Lets cheer for your friends make some toast!

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