Monday, January 14, 2008

Songs About Airports


--Flying into Houston, I notice a bridge full of cars directly below us. I look around and realize the highway snakes around the airport, making one feel like the extension of the other. It's a visual preview of the 'delights' the Houston airport has in store. I've been in Chicago, I've been in New York, I've been in the bizarre tramworld of the Atlanta airport, but none of them have anything on Houston's Bush International, less an airport than a lost set from Logan's Run, full of 70s-era sci-fi architecture, circular gate areas segregated from one another in a confusingly-numbered manner, narrow fluorescent-lit hallways that stretch on forever...In fact, everything in HIA stretches on forever. I find myself walking for what feels like miles through a terminal, directed to an escalator, which takes me up to a tram, which deposits me in another looong terminal, which takes me to the aforementioned circular waiting areas, but not before passing Stonehenge-like edifices covered in bright blue, Christmas-style lights, with fountains beneath. I wonder if I'm going to bump into Box at some point, and suddenly feel glad I brought that Iron Man trade paperback with me: the tale of a cyborg superhero negotiating a dystopian future of violence and political paranoia suddenly feels oddly appropriate.

--A bronze statue of Bush pere graces the airport, a kind of token celebration, but one undercut by its being hidden away in a dark, poorly lit corner by the escalator doorways.

--Scrawled on a bathroom toilet paper dispenser: "BUSH IS A COMMUNIST!"

--As I walk from terminal to terminal, I keep thinking of Richard Linklater movies like Slacker and It's Impossible to Learn to Plow By Reading Books, the latter itself a tale of a young man on a wandering cross-country journey. This might be because I just finished teaching a class on Linklater, or maybe it's because he's one of my favorite contemporary directors, and one of my cinephiliac associations with Texas (even if he's based in Austin, not Houston). Maybe it's the way the sunshine bumps off the cavernous white walls of the airport, or the humming drone of the aiport noise, which seems like the background chatter in one of his films. It reminds me of Jonathan's recent post about films and associations with places: mine's a displaced association, a displaced place (which is what an airport is anyway, I guess).

--Bumper sticker on an SUV in the Lafayette airport parking lot: "What Would Scooby Do?"

9 comments:

Michelle Jones said...

I have so much stuff! What do I do with all of it?

These were the exact questions I was asking myself until I heard of this new service named Grand Slam Garage Sales. They’re fantastic! They run the whole garage sale hassle free. All there workers arrive on time, in uniform, and ready to work hard. GSGS sets up the sale on Friday, runs the entire sale on Saturday, and the best part; everything that isn’t sold in the sale is taken to goodwill! They charge a very reasonable base price of $450, considering they do it all, guarantee at least $50 to the customer, and normally make over $800 in a sale (meaning hundreds to the customer). Also, they offer 2 other services including the “Clean Sweep Item Removal Service” and the “Pinch Hit Pressure Washing.”

The garage sale they did for me generated $1,326 and I stayed inside watching TV during the sale and went over to a friend’s house! They really did it ALL…

Go to www.GrandSlamGarageSales.com and check it out for yourself!

dave said...

Great post (spam notwithstanding!)--BTW, where did you get _It's Impossible to Learn..._???

Jonathan Lapper said...

Michelle - OH MY GOD!!! Thanks so much!!! I'm so effing excited my eyeballs are about to pop out of my head!!! I mean, wow!!!

Sure, some people would say, "My God in Heaven you have to be dumb to put garage sale spam in the comments because it is screamingly obvious by its lack of connection to anything written that it is worthless spam." Sure some would say that, but not me.
I - Am - Impressed.

Cinephile said...

Hi Michelle! Thanks for stopping by! If I ever have worthless crap to sell, I'll know where to turn!

Dave-- Glad you enjoyed the post! Plow is on the criterion edition of Slacker-- I can't remember which disc (might be the second one, so you might have to netflix it separately). It's really interesting-- very reminiscent of Antonioni or Chantal Akerman.

Jonathan-- As one J. Lipton would say, "You sir, are a delight."

Caitlin M. Balzinski said...

Dear Michelle,

I have to take issue with your gushing over GSGS. I tried to get rid of my useless crap through them, and I just wound up with MORE useless crap. Such as the piles of Spam they brought by as part of my signing "bonus." They didn't even get rid of MY useless crap. What do I do now? I'm $450 in the shithole, and Lenny and his goons want me to pay up. $800? Yeah, sure!

Yes, the buyer may wind up with "hundreds." Of pennies, that is. Of freaks coming by for hours on end, looking for Star Trek memorabilia that I didn't have. I overheard someone from down the street who used GSGS, and she said she'd just gotten rid of a lot of cans of Spam from her uncle Louie's disastrous luau hurricane party of '05. Hm. Coinkydink?

Your experience may have been positive, and I respect that, I truly do. But those bitches will never pack up and cart off my precious antiques and then sell my old dorm crap ever again. Because THEY DID THAT ALREADY!!!!!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Your comment section is taking on a Buñuelesque appearance these days. There is a sense of non-realism about it that I find invigorating and captivating. Soon we shall find ourselves discussing fish and all things purple.

Please god don't go to "administrator approval" waiting periods for comments because of this. I hate that crap. I've been spammed myself many times (it's just that I check my comments so often no one ever sees them as they get deleted almost immediately).

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hey a nominee for best pop culture blog (I nominated you) should be posting more. You have one vote (me). Let's make it two. And hey, Rick nominated me so how about throwing a vote my way. My goal is to crack the double digits. Go here: http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/users/show/109213 to see my nominees and votes.

Cinephile said...

Hey Jonathan,
Thanks for the nom! When my membership activates, I'll head over.

Cinephile said...

Your comment section is taking on a Buñuelesque appearance these days. There is a sense of non-realism about it that I find invigorating and captivating. Soon we shall find ourselves discussing fish and all things purple.

Please god don't go to "administrator approval" waiting periods for comments because of this. I hate that crap. I've been spammed myself many times (it's just that I check my comments so often no one ever sees them as they get deleted almost immediately).


"This is my happening, baby, and it's freaking me out!!"