Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
I hate it here in the future. TV and movie cops have gone soft. These days, it's all “science” and “thinking” and “smart police work.” On shows like the umpteen incarnations of “CSI,” crimes are solved with microscopes and blacklights and an encyclopedic knowledge of bicycle seat design. Well la-de-frickin'-da! I ask you: Whatever happened to the good old days of fictional policing, when a cop saw the aftermath of a crime, took a slug of whiskey from the pint bottle in his back pocket, and then just fired randomly in all directions until he finally hit the culprit? What I'm saying is, whatever happened to the guys like “Dirty” Harry Callahan? Always armed with a gun big enough to shell Fort Sumter, Harry was the roughest, toughest, shootin'-est cop ever to walk the mean streets of San Francisco. Harry didn't just collect a suspect's DNA, he collected their actual testicles. Here, Bravo — cable TV's undisputed channel-of-questionable-masculinity — gets a testosterone boost with a back-to-back marathon of all four films in the Dirty Harry Saga. First up, the 1970s wide-tie classics “Dirty Harry,” and “Magnum Force,” followed by the Reagan-era deathfests “Sudden Impact “ and “The Dead Pool.” Now, I know what you're thinking. Did he just list four movies or only three? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as these are Dirty Harry flicks, the most powerful movies ever committed to celluloid and which can blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question …
11:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7
The question I always find myself asking whenever I hear that somebody is hooked on heroin is: Who in the hell would ever think that taking heroin is a good idea? Other than, say, Keith Richards, have you EVER heard of heroin turning out OK for anybody? Gateway Drug rhetoric aside, for every heroin addict there was a moment when they said: “Hmmmm, the pills aren't working anymore. How about some heroin? I know it's expensive, and hard to come by, and that if I get hooked on it I'm probably going to end up toothless, homeless and sitting in a pantload of my own poo under an overpass somewhere, sexually servicing out-of-town businessmen for two bucks a pop, but I don't care. Heroin it is! (armspike)” It's just a bad idea people, and it's not like anybody is deluded about that fact. Personally, I blame “Trainspotting,” which is simultaneously a love song to the crazy sense of freedom that being a hardcore drunk or drug addict can bring, and the greatest anti-heroin public service announcement ever made. Starring a young Ewan McGregor, “Trainspotting” follows the adventures and misadventures of Mark Renton, a young scag addict living in Edinburgh, Scotland. While that existence is about as crap-tastic as it sounds, Renton's life is made more bearable by his friends, all of whom are in various stages of addiction. By turns lovely, poignant and disgusting (the scene in which Renton literally dives headfirst into the filthiest toilet in Scotland is an instant classic), it's hands-down one of the best films of the 1990s. Tie off a vein and mainline this one straight to your skull.
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