fuckhead favor

    Eventually Georgie said, “We better get some milk for those bunnies.”
    “We don’t have milk,” I said.
    “We’ll mix sugar up with it.”
    “Will you forget about this milk all of a sudden?”
    “They’re mammals, man.”
    “Forget about those rabbits.”
    “Where are they, anyway?”
    “You’re not listening to me. I said, ‘Forget the rabbits.’”
    “Where are they?”
    The truth was I’d forgotten all about them and they were dead.
    “They slid around behind me and got squashed,” I said tearfully.
    “They slid around behind?”
    He watched while I pried them out from behind my back.
    I picked them out one at a time and held them in my hands and we looked at them. There were eight. They weren’t any bigger than my fingers, but everything was there.
    Little feet! Little eyelids! Even whiskers! “Deceased,” I said.
    Georgie asked, “Does everything you touch turn to shit? Does this happen to you every time?”
    “No wonder they call me Fuckhead.”
    “It’s a name that’s going to stick.”
    “I realize that.”
    “‘Fuckhead’ is gonna ride you to your grave.”
    “I just said so, I agreed with you in advance” I said.
    – Emergency, in Jesus’ Son: Stories by Denis Johnson, HarperPerennial, 1993, pp. 83-84

Billy Crudup as FH in Jesus’ Son

Jack Black as Georgie and Denis Johnson as Terrence Weber in Jesus’ Son

When a fuckhead friend does you a favor, be thankful you are not a bunny.

In French, with inverted species relations:
Rien n’est si dangereux qu’un ignorant ami ;
Mieux vaudrait un sage ennemi.
— Jean de la Fontaine, L’Ours et l’Amateur des jardins

Image:Gustave Dore L'Ours Et L'Amateur Des Jardins.png
Illustration by Gustave Doré for Jean de La Fontaine, L’Ours et l’amateur des jardins

Хотя услуга нам при нужде дорога,
Но за нее не всяк умеет взяться:
Не дай бог с дураком связаться!
Услужливый дурак опаснее врага.
— Иван Андреевич Крылов, Пустынник и Медведь

extracted from correspondence

― for Fred Rexer  

I have long believed that love must be pervasive or bogus. The kind of love that generates bereavement must also be permanent. On several occasions I have been cured of living love by dint of its object proving itself unworthy. The rule of “de mortuis nil nisi bonum” ensures that that cannot happen with the object of love gone beyond the pale of all change. Continue reading extracted from correspondence

man’s best friends II

― for P.N.  

I have held off this response as long as I could. I do not and cannot expect it to serve as a peace missive. But I make every effort to soften the blows that I must dispense. I am hoping to factor out emotions like jealousy or anger. Not that I lack such responses to your bid to inflate your literary stature at my expense. The canonical riposte to this attempt would be to promise and ensure that you would only go down in history as a footnote to me. But I refuse to play our game in the service of vanity. Every time we tangle up in our egos, I stray from my course. It is a vice that I shall no longer tolerate in myself. To risk unsolicited if timely advice, it is also a luxury that you can no longer afford in your life.
    It remains that I owe you an answer. I further believe that you owe me contrition. Whether or not you acknowledge and discharge this debt is beyond my control. Continue reading man’s best friends II

friends in print: fred rexer

“In self-defense, there’s no such thing as Overkill. The word ‘kill’ is absolute: you can be less than dead, but not more than dead. Dead enough. Other words that are absolute are ‘malevolent,’ ‘dangerous,’ and ‘stupid.’ If a person is malevolent, dangerous, and stupid enough to try his luck while you’re toting your .45 Automatic, he ought to be absolutely killed… not wounded. Don’t set yourself up to argue in court with some lout who’s accosted you. Kill him! Dead men give no testimony. Let the bum’s morgue photos speak for him while you’re being no-billed by the grand jury.”
—Fred Rexer, Jr., Dead or Alive: A Textbook on Self-Defense with the .45 Automatic, IDHAC Publishing, 1977, p. 2

[John] Milius remains adamant — and persuasive — in his claim to the heart of the matter. “My whole career is justified by having written Apocalypse [Now],” he says “I wrote the screenplay in 1969, and based the [Martin] Sheen character, and some of Kurtz, on a friend of mine, Fred Rexer, who actually experienced the scene [related by Marlon Brando] where the arms are hacked off by the Viet Cong. There were six drafts of the screenplay — well over a thousand pages. At one point Francis [Ford Coppola] said, ‘Write every scene you ever wanted to go into that movie.’” The title, he recalls, came from a button badge popular among hippies during the 1960s — “Nirvana Now.” [Note: “My whole career is justified” is from author’s phone conversation with John Milius.] <…> Continue reading friends in print: fred rexer

petit mort pour rire

― in memoriam Cosmo of the Magnificent Sunrise        
February 26, 1994 ― January 6, 2006        

    Petit mort pour rire     A small death for giggles
Va vite, léger peigneur de comètes !
Les herbes au vent seront tes cheveux ;
De ton œil béant jailliront les feux
Follets, prisonniers dans les pauvres têtes…
Take off, agile currier of comets!
These weeds wind-swept will stand in for your fur;
Your gaping orbs will shoot forth will-
o-wisps, locked up inside the noggin of a cur…
Les fleurs de tombeau qu’on nomme Amourettes
Foisonneront plein ton rire terreux…
Et les myosotis, ces fleurs d’oubliettes…
The ornaments called lilies of the valley
Will burgeon over your terrestrial woof…
Emboldened mice that trace your hillside grounds…
Ne fais pas le lourd : cercueils de poètes
Pour les croque-morts sont de simples jeux,
Boîtes à violon qui sonnent le creux…
Ils te croiront mort ― Les bourgeois sont bêtes ―
Va vite, léger peigneur de comètes !
Let’s go, friend: the crate that shelters poets,
A worn-out plaything proffered for a proof,
A violin boxed up, its echo thrown aloof…
They think you dead ― mistaken for a goof ―
Take off, agile currier of comets!
    ― Tristan Corbière     ― traduced by MZ

male bonding

    Pat Garrett: Say, I understand those Mexican señoritas are still pretty as ever down there.
    Holly: Yeah?
    Pat Garrett: Yeah. [Holly smiles.]
    Holly: Yeah.
    Luke: Yeah. [Luke smiles.]
    Billy the Kid: I know one’s waiting on you, hoss, with a knife. Remember them sisters?
    Pat Garrett: No. Which ones were they?
    Billy the Kid: That one you got up and asked how much you owed her. And she said. “Whatever you think it’s worth.” You threw a dime on her pillow. And the girl said, “If that’s all it’s worth, I might as well sew it up.” And Pat — [Billy laughs] — Pat said, “You could use a few stitches.” [Pat nods; Billy pauses; Holly and Luke laugh.] I didn’t feel she did.
    Pat Garrett: Son of a bitch. Come on, I’ll buy you a drink.

— Sam Peckinpah, Rudy Wurlitzer, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, 1973

carl schmitt on friends and foes

    Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, Section 3

    The friend and enemy concepts are to be understood in their concrete and existential sense, not as metaphors or symbols, not mixed and weakened by economic, moral, and other conceptions, least of all in a private-individualistic sense as a psychological expression of private emotions and tendencies. They are neither normative nor pure spiritual antitheses. Continue reading carl schmitt on friends and foes