I never got sick much as a kid or even as an adult. My compensation for that has been year-round sinus problems. I'm rarely ill but I feel ill all the time. Bi-monthly headaches mostly, but that can often be complemented by a congested head, sporadic coughs and respiratory issues. My fiancee has a similar problem and in addition she's allergic to fairly common things like incense and oranges. At this rate, when we have kids, they're going to be like the boy in the bubble. But they'll never miss a day of school.
Like most men, I'm quite infatuated with them. A girl once asked me if she should buy me a pair of my own, since I was clearly more into them than her. As you can probably guess, we are no longer together. I find the continued gender tug of war amusing: women talk about reductions, men encourage inflations. And Oedipal theories hold no weight with me. I wasn't breast fed. I just like them. I'm not a big believer in psychoanalyzing everything. Just because Freud wanted to score with his mother, well, I don't see what that has to do with me.
Coming to America (1988)
By far, the funniest movie I have ever seen in my life. And I've seen quite a few. But I haven't seen any 50+ times like I have this one. Many white people I know can't discuss this movie without mentioning the Art Buchwald case (Mr. Buchwald, a writer, won a lawsuit against Eddie Murphy and Paramount Pictures, for proving that they jacked his idea for this movie) as if that knowledge somehow makes the film less humorous. Inspiration is one thing, execution is another. I could go on for days about some of the memorable lines in this comedy:
"He helped Daniel get out the lions' den. He helped Gilllliiiiggan get off the island!"
"Your rent's due! And don't be pulling that falling down the stairs crap on me! You conscious?"
"She's your queeeeeeen to be."
"While you're in the clapping mood, please give it up for my band Sexual Chocolate."
"Believe me, I tied my own shoe once. It is a highly overrated experience."
"My name is Peaches and I'm the best, all the DJs like to feel my breasts."
"He ain't never met Dr. Martin Luther the King!"
"I don't know whether to kiss your hand, or shake it, or bow...I feel like breakdancin'."
"What kind of games do y'all play in Africa? Fetch the monkey?"
"Oh, there they go! Everytime we start talking about boxing, some white man gotta pull Rocky Marciano out they %@$."
"When you think of garbage, think of Akeem!"
"I've got a secret...I worship the devil."
"That boy good!!" "Yeah, good and terrible."
This movie is also notable because it was the first time that Eddie played multiple characters in one film, which he and his buddy Arsenio Hall took to the extreme. With the exception of Harlem Nights (for historical purposes), Boomerang and The Nutty Professor, Eddie could've stopped making movies after this one and he'd still be the man in my book.
I was once asked which Biblical character most reminded me of myself. For a long time, I said King David, because of his rather schizophrenic combination of a deep, unyielding love for God and a tendency to commit murder and adultery without a second thought. And some days, I'll still say David. But lately, I've been feeling more peaceful, so I'll have to go with the dream interpreter. His boldness before the royalty of the period is astounding and I'm even impressed by the fact that he appears to be the Bible's first vegan (Daniel 1:12; and no, Adam and Eve don't count). Of course, the bravery that he showed when unjustly thrown into the den of lions was his shining moment. Having been tossed into a lions' den or two myself (figuratively, though I'm sure the literal one is coming soon), I can appreciate that kind of faith.
With the possible exception of my freshman year of college, the single most hilarious year of my life. There was always something funny going on -- whether we were initiating it or commenting on it.
I feel the same way about the prospect of becoming a father someday as I feel about the prospect of turning 50 someday: it's a great honor and I'll appreciate it tremendously, but having said that, I'm not in any rush to get there anytime soon. I think I'll be a good Dad, but then again, so do most guys. I don't think anyone really says, "You know what? I'm gonna be the most laziest, non-communicative, porn watching, underappreciating, Jack Daniel guzzling father I can be. It's the least I can do." Still, I give even those fathers a little credit. At least they stuck around.
Along with "elegiac", grace is one of the most beautiful words in the English language, not just in terms of how it sounds, but also in terms of its meaning. The grace that I most often think about is God's grace, which is alternately one of the simplest and most difficult concepts to grasp in all of spirituality. There are people who've been in church for 40 years and still feel like they need to be the spitting image of perfection to get to Heaven. (If that's true, we should all stop now. Jesus died for a reason, you know.) On the other side, there are those who believe that since God's grace is supposed to be so everlasting and infinite, that they can sin freely till the cows come home. (Romans 6 makes mincemeat of that argument, however.) The reality is that is between those two extremes, but the determining factor is the sincerity of your repentance. No one can judge that but God. But the Bible teaches that if we are honest (and honesty, no matter how you slice it, should lead to a change of action), God forgives us for our mistakes even past the point where we're willing to forgive ourselves. And to me, that's mind blowing. Amazing grace, indeed.
Is this not the most idiotic nursery rhyme ever invented? I can't believe we read these things to children. So this egg-headed fella climbs his way up some wall (probably to impress some girl who could've cared less, that's usually how these kinds of things start) and inexplicably loses his balance, tumbling to his death. What kills me is the last line: All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty together again. Whose idea was it to include the horses? I've spent time around a horse or two in my life and they are not the animals you want to depend on in a moment of crisis. I have yet to see a horse win a game of Tic Tac Toe, let alone reconstruct a Humpty omelet splattered on the sidewalk. And where were the doctors? Could the king's paramedics and surgeons have put Humpty back together again? The king did Humpty wrong, man. You've got people trying to find out who Jack the Ripper really was and all this stuff, forget that. I want to know why there wasn't a civil suit filed against the king for sending some horses and park rangers to save poor Humpty's life. I need someone to get Jesse Jackson and Gloria Allred on the horn, we need to look into this now.
Jason Gilmore is a film director, screenwriter, novelist and unrepentant Detroit Pistons fan. Track him down on Facebook.
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6.20.03 @ 12:41p
I like this! Just getting to peek into someone else's brain is fun.