Thursday, July 17, 2014

I love watching people fail

An attempted hit goes wonderfully, wonderfully wrong in David Lynch's Mulholland Dr.

I don't know who you are, but I'm probably rooting against you. I realize how that sounds, and it's not something in which I take pride. But it's true nevertheless. If you exist and you're not me, I kinda want you to fail and fail hard. Wow. That sounds so ugly. It's not something I can control about myself. That's just how my brain works. Keep in mind, there are limits. I don't wish disease, death, or dismemberment on anyone. I don't want you to get pancreatic cancer or lose an eye in an explosion. I'm a monster, sure, but I'm not that much of a monster. When I say "fail and fail hard," I mean stuff like unemployment, divorce, and bankruptcy. Oh, and public humiliation's always good if it's happening to someone else. I wouldn't want you to get terminally depressed over it, because then we're getting into "disease and death" territory. But your team losing in the quarter-finals or your son flunking out of college? Oh, hell yeah. Sign me up for some of that.

I cannot tell you how much pleasure I got from the utter collapse of Brazil in the World Cup. I'm far from alone in this. We wouldn't have that marvelous world schadenfreude otherwise. Or Fail Blog. Or most of what's on TV right now. That's pretty much what comedy is: laughing at the other guy's misfortune. Once we enter the realm of fiction, all bets are off. Since the characters don't really exist and aren't truly suffering, it doesn't matter what happens to them. The worse the better, as far as I'm concerned. And that includes disease, death, and dismemberment. Take David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. (2001) as an example. In one of the movie's best scenes, a surfer-dude-looking blonde thug named Joe Messing (Mark Pellegrino) pays a visit on his giggly, long-haired, low-life pal Ed (Vincent Castellanos), who sits behind a cluttered desk in the most pitiful, decrepit office building in Los Angeles. Neither of these guys is very bright, and both are worthless sleazeballs to boot, so what happens to them in this scene is especially delightful.

Here, take a look for yourself. If you haven't seen it, you're gonna love it. If you've already seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it again:

So good, right? So much delicious failure in such a short amount of time. And I love how whiny Joe gets. "Oh, maaaannnn...."

1 comment:

  1. This is, without a doubt, my favorite scene in this whole film. I cackled like a maniac the first time I saw it and it's one of those rare things that is capable of bringing a smile to my face just thinking about it.