Saturday, January 5, 2008
Looking for anything in Paris is kind of a drag because every single district tends to look the same, there are some subtle nuances to each one but they all retain a very monotonous Parisian flair.
Looking for a thrift store in Paris is another challenge, the French do not necessarily make the concept of thrift readily available; gone are the days of Buffalo Exchange and shoplifting at Goodwill stores. That is not to say that there are no stores such as this within the city, they are just hard to come by. When one does come across one it is quite a treat because of the quality of the clothing.
Cheap Versace for the burgeoning Versace ghetto thug look so prevalent in metropolitan outskirts. Prada and Dior from the 1970’s and 1980’s with flawless construction and a faint mothball smell. One can neither deny the tasteful tackiness of bright flowered apron dresses or the refinement of checkered dress pants for 20 something dudes that wear scruff because it is the only way that they can pass off as attractive in scenester visual vernacular.
A treat indeed, and such treats as this can easily be uncovered in one particular area of Paris called Le Marais. Le Marais is a maze-like quarter with fag hangout spots and impeccable boutiques with garments from Japan made by shy patient Asian girls; among other things like Ted Baker or conventional Diesel stores. In one particular area of Le Marais owned exclusively by Jewish merchants, there are roughly two or three amazing thrift stores that should be considered a must for anyone in search for anything other than uniform wear sold by the mainstream.
On a boring Thursday afternoon it is definitely redeeming to shoplift or “buy” amazing clothing from places such as this, it just tends to make the day a little brighter after finishing your second can of Amsterdam beer.
Walking through the racks is a bit tedious, especially from a guy’s perspective. There is much more attention to be drawn on the selection of clothing for women. Even ‘Your’s Truly’ has to compromise by purchasing jackets made for women that are somewhat unisexual. But one can understand the envy that arises from coming across beautiful dresses and other wonders that women can so often take for granted. I take the risk like sounding like a total fucking fag right now but I will take it, coming across clothes like this make me wish I was a chick. Excluding the fact that if I was I chick I would most likely be a total gang bang whore, I would more than likely be clothes crazy.
But alas, I have a cock and I don’t have long hair to play with. Also I can not, in my right mind, wear amazing dresses. Although, this does not mean that I can not dress girls up like Barbies in any which way that I want, isn’t this the reason why Karl Legerfeld and AIDS exists? But this isn’t just any girl that I want, my tastes are more specific, and there’s more to this than physical beauty. In thrift store places such as this I long to be around those girls with very vague particularities that I can only describe in retarded descriptions.
Finally, I arrive at my point for this particular article.
The Sophia Coppolla Girls.
There are times when I wish I was straight, really. Especially when I come across girls that I can only describe as Sophia Copolla Girls. Ladies such as this make me wonder if I could settle for soft skin and supple natural breasts instead of throbbing hard cocks and hairy chests. More often than not, I can only admire and befriend them from a platonic distance within a fag hag relationship construct.
There are physical attributes to these types of girls that are quite discernible, but surprisingly enough a lot of what gives a girl a Sophia Coppola quality comes from within.
Now, to clarify I must elaborate on the fact that I am referring to the female characters from pretty much all of the Sophia Coppola films; except Marie Antoinette. I am, in fact, referring to the female characters from: Lick The Star (Kill the Rats), Virgin Suicides, and Lost in Translation.
Each of the female characters in these films possesses feminine mystique in it’s most raw of forms. These are not babes or Gwen Stefani types, but rather beautiful girls that can be beautiful without the use of make-up or big tits. The operative word here is ‘natural.’
To me, these are females that at 27 are still able to retain a lot of the fascinating qualities that make them girls. As someone that understands the patriarchal society from which I come from, I have often said that I will never understand the degree to which girls have been fucked with psychologically by their commercial culture and familial background.
A constant confrontation by society telling someone that they should behave or look a certain way can only, I imagine, do wonders to one’s own sense of identity. Bitches and Ho’s have a reason to get angry.
But this isn’t a written qualm directed towards the passe sentiments of the feminist revolt. This is, at least to me, a written admiration and homage to the girls that are still able to remain, for the most part, unadulterated girls within a mass consumer nation.
As a person that holds a strong disdain for the reasoning of a woman that feels the need to mask herself with layers of colorful wax in order to be perceived as a ‘woman’, I am enamored whenever I come across girls that disregard this constant need for make-up. I can only back up my disdain by describing instances when I get to know a girl only when she wears make-up, and then I am surprised to find that I can’t recognize her without it.
It is quite hard for me to describe the simplistic yet complex feminine mystique that I associate to the Sophia Copolla girls. It is, for the most part, an abstract notion that I can only point out once I come across it; and even then I can only blurt out, “That’s so Sophia Copolla girls.”
I will loosely elaborate on characters from the Virgin Suicides from the Jeffrey Eugenides novel and the visual language behind Coppola’s film adaptation of these characters; primarily the Lisbon sisters. Lux Lisbon,Mary Lisbon,Cecilia Lisbon,Therese Lisbon, & Bonnie Lisbon
It is appropriate to state that the story, Virgin Suicides, does not originate from the girls’ perspective but rather from the perspective of several neighborhood boys and their reflections of the past when they all had this infatuation, this obsession,with these ideal girls. These girls are presented as these kind of magical, beautiful creatures.
This curiosity and infatuation is best illustrated with a very poignant scene in which one of the boys, after being invited to the Lisbon household for dinner, casually rummages through Cecilia Lisbons belongings. He picks up a chap stick and smells the flavor which causes him to daydream about Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst). He is also drawn to the packed shelves of Tampax and other girl products and that he would normally never come across. The boys locker room will always be 275 feet away from the girls locker room, and that will inevitably give anyone warped perceptions about the opposite sex.
The horror of being in high school is only a faint nostalgia to me. The aspect of pretending to be something that I am not at 15 is now a mere novelty, and only because I refuse to take my identity seriously. Then again, these are things that matter a great deal when one is caught within the subjective constructs of life between recess, lunch, after school, home, and prom night. Even then, this is my interpretation as a boy, and then again what I know is very limited. The construct that high school girls create for themselves and their group of friends is in a way the blueprint that precedes the real life outside high school, the life worth fighting for; or so it seems.
Sophia Coppola illustrates the justifiable turmoil quite well with an early film titled,”Lick the Star.” In the most simplistic of terms the story is:
1. Girl has friends.
2. Girl and friends dislike another group of girls.
3. Girl and friends decide to poison one of the members of another group.
4. Plan is set, rat poison is used.
5. Friends of Girl change their mind and conspire against Girl.
6. Girl is ostracized from original group of friends or any other clique and is left to walk halls of school by herself.
A simple explanation, I know, but it works as a way to illustrate that a high school experience for a girl is quite different from a boys’. Everything that is talked about in all those teen dramas and Mean Girls blockbusters is, for the most part, true. This kind of social behavior is embedded within a a lot of us, and we are left listening to Nine Inch Nails thinking that we can’t trust anyone; until we grow out of it and get pregnant or become other kinds of cliches.
Sophia Coppola girls are able to communicate longing and sexuality in a way that does not require words, or even tangible notions or signals. The manner in which a girl plays with her chewed gum is enough of a key into a girl’s subconscious realm. A scene such as the one in which Lux Lisbon and Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett) are sitting in a car outside of the Lisbon household making out is strong in it’s implication of innocent sexuality. Before Lux gets out of the car, she kisses Trip Fontaine and leaves her chewed gum in his mouth. This is a layer into a central characters personality and motivation in expressing intimacy.
Nothing is completely accessible within girl characters such as these, and it is much more apparent and elusive when one encounters real life Sophia Coppola girls. This factor of elusiveness is better underlined when I admit that I will never understand the extent to which girls have been fucked with by the world around them; to the point that it is almost invisible or even mistakenly instinctual by nature.
Much like the scene between the child psychologist (Danny DeVito) and Cecilia Lisbon when she is asked why she tried to kill herself and that she doesn’t know enough about pain. Cecilia responds by saying, “Obviously doctor, you’ve never been a 13 year old girl.”
Aside from the fact that I enjoy that I never really know what Sophia Coppola girls are thinking, I also love how the one’s that I know in real life look amazing in thrift store clothing. Their aloof nature makes me wish I liked pussy, or at least makes me wish I was one of them.
A common add on to the aloofness is a drive toward mild self destruction that is often very attractive. Whether emotional or physical carelessness over personal safety, I can always count on a haunting smile over any dangerous endeavour that I share with any Sophia Coppola girl that I encounter.
Like a lot of us in the other sexual gender, these girls are affected or even somewhat damaged by their past; sometimes I can only describe such traits as, “Daddy’s little girl at 24.”
When I hold their hair as they are puking the night away in a toilet in Oakland or an Echo Park party, I look at our awkward reflection in the mirror and recognize them as my equal but respect them for the distinguishable and obvious attributes that I can only hope to understand.
As I help them fit into a sweater that we stole from an American Apparel store I look at the scars on their wrists not with shock or ignorance, but with an understanding that their pain can sometimes come from a deeper place that is closely connected to the earth itself.
Even as we smoke too many bowls of pot inside of their Honda Civic outside of their parents house in Downey, I can imagine myself being one of them; because we are them. Without the menstrual bleeding of course.
Pass the apple buttercup.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I got shit-faced tonight on Amsterdam beer and walked around Le Marais and Louvre De Rivoli heading in the direction of love. For those that need advice on a cheap night out in Paris, Amsterdam beer has 11.4% alcohol by volume and it only costs about 1 euro; 2 euros sometimes but that’s like super rare.
One amsterdam is enough.
Two amsterdam is pretty much a night out.
I didn’t have my music so i sang Elliot Smith songs to myself. It’s better to look crazy and lonely in Paris than lonely and foreign.
‘Step out quiet, nobody is looking, so leave alone. Leave alone, cause you know you don’t belong.’.....sing this on a bridge on the Seine river and you like pretty much have a Gus Van Sant movie.
There’s this park right in front of Louvre called Jardin de Tulieries. If you need to look for love in all the wrong places this is definitely one of the places to be in Paris. A must see.
It has a maze-like design with walls made out of huge bushes; kind of like the maze in Alice in Wonderland. Remember the one? When Alice is running around looking for a bunny or drugs or some shit outside of the queen’s castle.
Well, in any case you won’t really have bunnies popping out at you in Jardin de Tulieries, but more like sleazy looking guys pretending to be on their cell phones with their dick out. I prefer to smoke ciggarettes.
I guess it’s like any other cruising spot for married or lonely men, or twenty somethings that can’t speak French. Although I think the fact that it’s situated right in front of the Louvre gives it an extra ounce of romance. There’s also a ferris wheel in the distance that you can gaze at while some guy named Pierre or whoever the fuck is sucking you off.
Great place to fall head over heels or to walk away from ashamed of the person you can sometimes be.
I don’t really get laid much in Paris and if I do it’s on impulse. It’s not something I particularly enjoy here. I think maybe I’m growing out of my sexual promiscuity or whatever, but I’m pretty much over the random guy blow job or sex date. For now at least, in the meantime I had to look for other vices.
More productive vices.
It’s a shame cocaine is so expensive because I think I would make a great addict, a fun neurotic one with a shriveled dick. But you can easily get cocaine in Paris, the dealers are friendlier yet their still shady. And it appears to be a very fashionable drug among everyone that I have made friends with, it’s like no biggie. I would honestly not be surprised if whole families did a line on Christmas eve before opening presents, I’d maybe raise an eyebrow, but that’s all.
With any drug there are do’s and don’ts, it’s like a ‘No shit Sherlock’ understanding.
Rule: You don’t take acid and then go home to your parents house for Christmas eve.
Rule: Using needles was never fashionable and they make you look pathetic and self destructive.
Rule: Never take more than one pot brownie, it just doesn’t add up in the end. 1+1 does not equal fun.
Cocaine use comes with a few rules, more than with other drugs. Some rules are understood as common sense and others are guidelines in tact and sensibility. First thing to understand is that cocaine provides enough audacity for one to breach any of these guidelines.
Be aware, be a friend. Stay in School.
Yes. It’s a drug. It’s not lethal and it won’t necessarily kill you, but there are stereotypes that come with it. Accept these stereotypes and the fact that it’s very easy to fall under any of them, restraint and use with moderation are just Happy Meal extras.
Straws or rolled up dollar bills, either one is not going to make it any less of a drug.
Mirrors are easy answers, yet they can be a little awkward when you have to look at yourself in the mirror while racing. Be original, use your daughters Peter Pan coloring books and your library Card.
WHERE MY MONEY AT?
It’s up your nose.
Coke is expensive, and good coke is hard to come by. Here in Europe, a gram can roughly run you about 50 to 60 Euros. Similar to the states, only it’s technically more since the Euro is worth more than U.S dollar. If you are an American student like me, you better be celebrating like Lindsay Lohan if you’re forking over a month’s worth of food. Feeling like you deserve to have your nose bleeding after conversations at 7am on post modern philosophy is a pretty good feeling. It’s just a thought.
WHERE MY MONEY AT? (part two)
You’re friends sometimes have money, and absolutely no problem sharing in on the fun. A friend indeed.
The type of relationship one has with such people is also variable in situations like this. There’s friends that will keep tabs and friends that don’t like doing drugs by themselves. Whatever the case is, always remember that they are sharing; so share something back. Small details go a long way.
This is what makes the ultimate difference. They can ultimately decide to only give you one line for the night and then continue to sneak away to the bathroom to snort their stash. Or, they can keep you high until you have to leave for work at Target the next morning. So prepare to pony up for beer or endless cigarettes. Mooching is so five minutes ago.
There are times when mooching can seem like the only answer, just be ready to only get a few lines out of this. Experienced drug users,for the most part, can smell hidden agendas even after they have destroyed their nasal cavities.
Practice sensibility. Pretend to care less whether or not you get some nose candy, blasse and cool is a safe bet.
A “DON’T” ON MOOCHING.
If at a party coke is introduced at the kitchen counter to a few friends, do not walk over there without being invited. Everyone will know that you walked over to try to get some. That’s so Whitney Houston of you.
If you don’t get invited then keep on dancing, later go into their refrigerator and inhale all the gas from their whip cream cans. You’ll be passive aggressive with a 40 second smile.
A “DO” ON MOOCHING.
People always like someone that can keep up a great friendly conversation, it’s not for everyone though. If charm is on your side then charm away, make them laugh or let them rant about some new age book they’re really into these days. Politely ask for more until they decide it’s time to cut it, although it’s always better if you cut it first:
“No, I can’t. No I really can’t, I feel bad. Oh my god you’re too much. Ok fine, but just one more.”...they will think you’re cool, and it’s just called being polite.
*a great DO for clubs or parties where your not well aquainted with others.
EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE REALLY FAST INCLUDING MY WORDS.
People like to talk after snorting their paycheck money. Although, a lot of times these conversations go nowhere and everything just goes around in circles. This is, understandably, hard to avoid.
Just remember to avoid waiting for your turn to talk. Listen to what people say and try to move the conversation to places, you would be amazed at the kind of collaborative ideas that come out of all night soirees. If the person is to ADHD to hold a decent conversation then just offer to play video games with them or anything that requires little thinking. You’re better off.
Some people tend to get tempers when they are on coke or their high is fading away. If this is you then don’t go to social gatherings and stay home with your sad little Colombian gram.
Extravagance is always fun when accompanied with a great high with people you enjoy. If you are fun enough to be as crazy as can be, then by all means do it. Try to get girls to make out with each other, or have people show each other their genitals for giggles. It can be really easy to become David Lee Roth at a gathering.
*A great suggestion is to invite as many people into the bathroom and continue to have the party in there. This is the reason why Nan Goldin photographs are so kick-ass.
Absolutely no Techno. I’m sorry, but I don’t care if you just got back from Burning Man or whatever dumb rave. Techno is like a serious faux pas with coke.
Anything from the 70’s or with a Studio 54 flare is totally aproppiate, it’s cheesy but you’ll have a laugh about it. Do not be ashamed of Donna Summer or Rod Stewart. Extra brownie points for David Bowie or Velvet Underground.
*Don’t be afraid of taking a risk mr. DJ. That Madonna song or that Ace of Base number might just win you the kick ass award.
There’s no sex while on coke.
Men, simply go into the bathroom and observe how your above average shlong goes from 9 inches to shriveled baby fat.
I can’t speak for women though.
HUNGRY WOLF BITCHES.
I’m a fag so I don’t really have this problem. But guys that like pussy, be aware of greedy sneaky bizatches that will have no problem coming up to you demanding you to give them some more. These bizatches know they have pussy allure on you. So make sure their going to pay up that snatch by the end of the night, but if the SEX paragraph has anything to say; I would opt out for telling them to buy their own shit.
IF YOU’RE A HUNGRY WOLF BITCH.
First off coco bunny don’t look so damn hungry, it’s not the end of the world if it all starts to slow down again.
Second, if you’re going to be so damn hungry then drink a lot of beer. Alcohol, especially beer and cigarettes help you retain your high on a whole different level.
And try to be, or pretend to be, sweet and polite when asking for more and not the skank you’re father taught you to be.
THINKING STRAIGHT WHEN THINGS NEED TO APPEAR NORMAL.
It’s tough to look cool, but begin by thinking cool.
*Can’t find you’re wallet? Well then it must be in the car, don’t start suspecting people around you. It’s easy to misplace yourself when your going at 15 miles per hour around a warehouse party.
*Avoid using long sentences when addressing people you need to act ‘cool’ around. Cops especially. They have had enough practice with all the Electra’s, Lohan’s, and Hilton’s in the world.
WHAT IT IS.
It could be that everyone has a different interpretation of what a cocaine high is like. But in all honesty it feels like you’re walking down some street, minding your own business. And then out of some bushes a really attractive, intellegent, charming person gives you a few compliments that make you feel really great. This feeling lasts, roughly, 16 to 25 minutes, dependant on the amount of compliments.
After the feeling subsides you want to find someone else to give you more compliments, anyone at this point will do; they don’t have to necessarily be attractive, or charming.
Some people will lie to get more, or debase whatever principles they have. In a party with lots of compliments to be had there is the worst of everything.
Cocaine culture has a thick layer of glamour on top, with unabashed decay underneath. Even the best addicts still look like addicts.