Tuesday, September 4, 2012

J is for ...

J is for Jackass.

(Yeah, so a lot of this post is recycled from a post I made in 2010. But I spent the whole Labor Day weekend with an enormously sore shoulder which led to a stiff neck which wasn't relieved until my sister, the massage therapist, came over and rehabilitated me this afternoon. So bite me.)

My friend LB and I are juvenile.
One of our favorite ways to pass time together is screaming in laughter.
Typically at things that would similarly amuse preteen boys.

Don't get me wrong- we are highly educated, sophisticated, well-read women. Our times together have included museum visits, book discussion groups, and important, award-winning films. But inevitably, we go back to Jackass.

I think we stumbled upon it just channel-surfing. Something about a grown man putting a toy car up his bum just cracked us the hell up.

On vacation in Vermont, we watched Jackass 2.5, and in between groaning and hiding behind our hands, we screamed with laughter like goddamn lunatics.

Before I went to see Jackass 3D in the theatre (yes, it's one of only 2 movies I've ever deemed worthy enough to spend the extra money to see in 3D), LB and I had the following conversation:

God rest his filthy soul.
Me: Dammit, there was something I was going to tell you today that would've made you very proud of me but I forget what it was. Oh! I know! I watched my first episode of A Bit of Fry & Laurie last night! I hearted it to death.  And I'm going to see Jackass 3D tonight!

LB: You can't see me, but I just put my hands up to my mouth and welled up a bit with tears. I AM SO PROUD!!! yayay!! I love that show, tooooo! you are going to have fun. lucky duck. ;) i will be working tonight. wish me luck with the crazy folks!

Me: I will be thinking of you as Bam Margera pees out into the audience in 3D. Did you see the Buffalo Roller Skating clip on the Daily show last week? I'll try to find it and send it to you. HILARIOUS.

LB: i did not see this clip!! send it to me!!  yes, think of me when there is pee!

Me: Is that like you being proud of my #2?
(Note: sometime this past summer, I had three good things happen to me at once. I listed them numerically in a note to LB. She wrote back: "I am so proud of your #2!" Giggles ensued.)

LB: hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. let us not get started on that again... i can go for hours. (that did not come out right. ... d'oh! i said "come out"!!). it's hard not to accidentally talk about poo.

And then the following day:


No, seriously, it was AWESOME. I laughed till I cried.
We must do a jackass marathon next time we hang out.
It had a giant pig eating an apple out of a guy's ass. Does it get any better than that???

LB: I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Also, they played weiner baseball. Batted a ping pong ball. did you hear that they had the premiere at MOMA in NYC???

LB: OMG. i thought you meant like a hot dog. oh my. ahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa. crack.

i did hear that. i am proud of them boys.

Yeah, we have a problem. But I don't care. It makes me laugh, and that's good enough for me. But I think there's more to it than just a bunch of guys goofing around.  I think there's a great deal of forethought and attention to detail that accompanies each stunt. One scene in the movie has Johnny Knoxville being Mr. Invisible. He's wearing a suit painted like a tree in front of a rainbow to blend into a backdrop. And then he tries to become 'invisible' to hide from a charging bull, but that's beside the point.

And they actually took the time to create an enormous hand on a spring that would snap out of nowhere and "high five" people right over onto their butts. If the only point was to knock people over, you could've done it with a simple board. But they went a couple steps farther and created a real high-five. That's dedication. Yeah, some of it is pretty disgusting and definitely dangerous, but there's such a goodnatured gleefulness about it.  There's a slapstick element to it that harkens back to Buster Keaton.

There have been numerous articles comparing Jackass to performance art, therefore the premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Manohla Dargis' review in the New York Times states:
                 "... there is a certain, sometimes inexplicable, queasy pleasure to be had from watching Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius and the rest of these MTV-sponsored merry buffoons wreak semi-havoc on one another, themselves and an occasional rattled and confused onlookers... At times Mr. Knoxville and his pals seem to be exploring, with degrees of knowing and naïveté, some of the same surrealist terrain described by Luis Buñuel in his memoir, “My Last Sigh.” Buñuel extolled Surrealism partly for its “aggressive morality based on the complete rejection of all existing values”. The Surrealists were responding to church and state, among other forces, while here the guys are reacting to, well, someone sticking something in the nearest hole. But the men’s raucously playful, uninhibited and affectionate engagement with one another’s habitually unclothed bodies can seem like a spit in the face (and elsewhere) to the outside world’s homophobia.

Personally, I think it's the details involved that impress me- like Johnny Knoxville wearing a pink cardigan and old-school rollerskates, dancing to Roger Miller's song before getting knocked to the ground by a buffalo. Or Ryan Dunn dressed like a duck in the Duck Hunting scene. The unnecessary attention to minutiae is THE BEST PART. The buffalo hit is just the punctuation mark to the joke. You don't need elaborate costumes and backdrops to launch a dude on a teeny motorbike over a creek, but it adds so much, and hey- who doesn't like dressing up?

But MOMA-deserving or not, me & LB just like butt jokes and people getting knocked down.
We're ahead of our time, that's all.

1 comment:

  1. oh yes, the whole, sling shot porta potty thing, oh man.....