Spending Super Bowl Sunday with a drunken country singer

Is there an internet shorthand-y, acronym-y set of letters that conveys a good guffaw?

LMAO is as good as you get, I s’pose.

Sometimes when I contemplate the state of my own manhood. GUFFAW

What kind of man am I?

What kind of man bonds with his son on Super Bowl Sunday, the pinnacle of testosteronized macho indulgence, by going to go see a flick about an aging, dissolute country singer, with a showtime one hour before kickoff?

What kind of man are you David?

I’ll tell you one thing. I was a surprised man when I drove into the parking lot of the Alhambra Renaissance Theater this afternoon at 1:30 and saw that the parking lot was crowded.

This is the reason I specifically go out during that unique window of time when the rest of uncivilization is howling drunkenly and getting in barfights. Those nice few hours you expect a little piece of rare quietude.

Instead I found a lot of cars.

However, the lobby was quiet. I guess the cars belonged to people who caught the early shows in hopes they could leave the theater and rush home before the game. Modern man, in all his rushed glory, seeking to make use of every single second of the day.

How many people ever rest for the sake of resting?

More curiously, how many people are able to cart gargantuan family broods to the theater without sinking into bankruptcy?

Just me and my son, mind you.
One adult and one child admission.
Then, a #1 combo which included 2 drinks and a barrel of popcorn.


Sitting in a theater with a bunch of older and indifferent men and disaffected wives while the bars and restaurants outside were brimming with bad sports afficianado fashion?


With my creepy little popcorn barf tale still fresh in my mind from the other day, I nevertheless proceeded to polish off the full bucket with a little help from my son.

When you think about it, popcorn is a bizarre food. To contemplate the steps that led to its discovery baffles the mind.

But it is so damned good and its consumption during a movie seems to increase the cinematic enjoyment tenfold. It’s a mental device, we are pawns of suggestibility and the movie studios and theater chains have cultivated this Cult of Popcorn paradigm of movie watching. Watching a movie without popcorn is like watching a movie without a soundtrack. Think about it.

We have been conditioned to expect such things. And to define the experience as such.

And such was the experience as we watched Jeff Bridges wail away drunkenly in “Crazy Heart,” in which he plays Bad Blake, the iconic hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-sexing, weathered country singer devoured by his own inebriated demons. He follows in the tradition of a long line of similar American populist artists such as Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Men fragmented by loss and pain and self-abuse.

All in all, the movie was good. Not great, but good.

Mostly, I enjoyed its portrayal of two opposing views of country musicianship with Bad Blake symbolizing the “old school” country singer. The one who is not preoccupied with public image or marketing or grand production devices

Opposite him, his former bandmate, Tommy Sweet, played by Colin Farrell. Tommy is the “new” country, soulless and large and commercial.

Earlier in the movie, someone refers to new country music as “plastic.” A true sentiment I agree with.

Country, more than most other musical genres, is born of populist roots. Country music never claimed to make a man wealthy or afford him a life of luxury or extravagance. Country has always been done best when it’s done simply, amidst the ruins of one’s tortured and disassembled soul.

Country music is rendered inert by luxury and success; it is a musical form built on the grit and grime of imperfect humanity. It seems shallow and contrived when the artist is making millions of dollars per album and living in a spacious mansion.

It was a good movie and the parking lot was more crowded after the movie than when we arrived earlier.

Who won the game?
Forget that…who played? All I know is that one of the teams was the New Orleans Saints.

The Super Bowl is obviously an event that now transcends the sport. It is an unofficial holiday, a social gathering of sorts.

Perhaps that is why I ran into the arms of spiritual torment.