Ennui and a dull blade, Thoughts on High Fidelity (2000)

“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? “ Rob, in the movie High Fidelity (2000)

“John Dillinger was killed behind that theater in a hail of FBI gunfire. And do you know who tipped them off? His fucking girlfriend. All he wanted to do was go to the movies. “ – the character Rob, again.

Our trusts and distrusts, confidences and lack thereof, may reflect deeper anxieties, of which the surface distrusts are mere prolongations.

What kind of anxieties? Oh, I don’t know, like say about acceptance, loyalty, abandonment..

So there I was, chilling out with my friend A. F., over at his 2nd floor Cheviot flat, several weeks ago, checking out his library. He generously passed a few books my way, a bit of Schopenhauer, some Bukowski, and a few other tidbits. Of course he was keeping some treasures, some really cool volumes of Henry Rollins’ poetry, all sorts of philosophy books, and a couple of beautifully and artfully bound limited editions of Crowley.  My tolerance for the “great beast’ wanes increasingly the older I get. The books themselves were beauts, works of art, in any case.

Later he demonstrated his projector over in the living room, the thing’s a beast, acquired under rather favorable conditions from a friend, whose department evidently didn’t need it. One of those kinds of projectors whose bulbs alone will set you back several Benjamin’s. Firing it up, he decided to pop in the DVD du noir; High Fidelity.

John Cusack’s character, Rob, in High Fidelity is very sympathetic because he illustrates many ambiguities, perceptions, mis-perceptions, and anxieties experienced by many men in the 1990’s and 2000s.

That and it’s a great nostalgia trip.

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