Category Archives: Books, Movies, Music

Whaddaya mean, “You people?”

Tropic Thunder 3, by Deadly x Design on Flickr

We’re home now, just got back from NJsux, 11 PM out on the porch. Gorgeous full moon.

Nitram: The sky is so bright! Looka those clouds.

Me: Yeah. The moon looks so cool! It looked really cool in New Jersey, though, when it first came up.

Nitram: Yeah.

Me: It was HA-YOOJ.

Nitram: Yeah.

Me: It looked like cheese.

Nitram (laughing): …Cheese. You’re like cheese.

Me: I’m like Vietnam. (When it’s a hot and humid New England summer night, he always says, “It’s like Vietnam out here!”)

Nitram: *laughing*

Me: People say weird shit.

Nitram: What people, yooooou people?

Me (channeling RDJ in Tropic Thunder): Whaddaya mean, “You people?”

Nitram: *laughing*

Me: That was pretty good, huh?

Nitram: Yes, yes it was. You, you — you people, you.

Me (channeling Brandon T. Jackson): What do you mean, “You people?!”

Nitram: I gotta go in!

Me: Can’t take it?

Nitram: No, it’s chilly out here, I need more clothes.

Me: Whaddaya mean, “More clothes?”

Nitram (hiding behind kitchen door): You crack yourself up, don’t you?

Me: I kill me!

Man, it’s good to be home.

You All Look Alike

Me: Here, listen to this.
*music plays*
Me: Do you get anything out of it?
Nitram: Is it some kind of Grateful Dead thing…?
Me (trying to not gag): Ack! NO.
Nitram: What…?
Me: Okay, if you could read the lyrics and listen, would that help?
Nitram: Do I have to?
Me: Yes.
Him (long-suffering): Okay…
Me (brings lyrics up on screen while playing music): ‘k, lissen.
*music plays*

You All Look Alike
The Byrds

Starlight crossed my eyes, she took me by surprise
Said You’d come to town last summer, brought me down
I said I’ve never seen the likes of you before
She pulled a gun and not in fun, I’m dyin’ on the floor

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

Lyin’ there and dyin’ there I’m tryin’ to get my strength
It’s so hard to get on back when you’re lyin’ at full length
All the crowds and all the dogs from miles around just stare
They looked at me and shed a tear, I’m glad those people care

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

Me: So, what did you get out of that?
Nitram: Get out of…?
Me: Arrgh. Do you get anything out of the lyrics? A story or something?
Nitram: Some guy kills a dog…?
Me: aieeeeee
Nitram: What…?
Me: He’s some guy who fucks over — and fucks — a lot of women, and one time he goes someplace he’s never been before — a very unfriendly town by the sound of it — and this woman mistakes him for a different guy who fucked her over, and she kills him. I get the sense that she’s kind of insane anyway. The irony is that he’s not that guy, but he is that guy in the sense that he’s everyman in respect to the situation, cos all those women are alike to him anyway. So she gets retribution, and he gets what he’s always deserved anyway. I just thought it was kind of cool all that was packed into a simple little song, especially the irony.
Nitram: (looks at me like I’m barking): No, I totally didn’t get that.

I grew up watching lots of science fiction, Westerns, and martial arts movies because that’s what my grandfather watched, and I always watched TV with him. So when I was a kid I thought this song was about a Western, because of the shooting and the classic town-unfriendly-to-strangers theme, but I was too young/clueless to figure out the “plot.” When I was a teen and really into the SF I thought maybe it was about this poor guy stumbling upon a town of creepy aliens and they had to kill him to keep him from revealing them. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s and heard it again after a long time that I finally figured out what it was really about.

“Who Played the Raisin?”

Ray As The Raisin

One Saturday night, Nitram and I were watching old movies on TBS. One movie was In the Heat of the Night, and I was riveted to the screen. What a truly great film! I couldn’t even get up to pee, it was so good.

Later that night we were talking about old movies and Nitram said something about the movie A Raisin in the Sun. Not having seen it (yet), I asked what it was about. He said, “It had to do with prejudice, I think, and took place in the Great Depression, in the Dustbowl, in the South,” which I thought was kind of a weird description. Immediately Morgan Freeman’s face popped into my mind, and I said, quite sincerely, yet worded quite wrongly (and leaving out one very important word), “So who played the raisin, a black man?”

Nitram lost it. Completely. After a couple minutes I started laughing too just because he was laughing so hard. Then I sort of played it over in my mind and really started laughing. I tried to gasp out an explanation: “You said Dustbowl… deep south… prejudice — I meant, I meant — not who played the raisin, but—” and since I’d repeated the phrase he was good for another few minutes of crying and choking and gasping, and so was I.

Finally I managed, “Well I thought maybe it was an old black man, you know — dried up and wrinkled… like a raisin…” “Old” being the word I’d left out the first time, a distinction I felt was very important. But there was to be no distinction no matter how important, the cause was lost. We were staggering around the kitchen for a good ten minutes, then out onto the porch for more staggering and sputtering. I guess I really capped it off when I tried just once more: “Well, you said the South, the Depression — there was a lot of racism going on back then!”

He howled.

It’s not often he gets one over on me, but this one should be good for years of abuse in his mind.