Author Topic: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V  (Read 1737 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:26:51 pm »
Look, there on the silent screen...That's smilin' Fatty Arbuckle, right across from Buster Keaton.  It's Out West, and Buster is trying to keep his friend Fatty out of trouble.  It's right after the bar fight scene, and things are pretty heavy in Mad Dog Gulch.  They've beaten Wild Bill Hickup in a fair fight, but something new and bad is happening.

There's a new sheriff in town, you see, and his name is Matthew Brady.  Brady has heard that Fatty took indecent liberties with a bit actress, which led to her death.  He has investigated the matter, and there's no evidence that Fatty did anything wrong.  On the contrary, Fatty was the only person to try to help the very ill actress when she collapsed, and did so in front of multiple witnesses.  But Brady sees political hay to be made, and poor Fatty is taking a dive.

Before long, he's been blacklisted, despite being acquitted and exonerated.  His films are banned, and he is run out of Mad Dog Gulch on a rail.  It will be 85 years before his reputation, as it were, is restored.

But he's still smiling.  There are other towns than Mad Dog Gulch, and other worlds than this one.  Besides, Fatty is and was known for being concerned about others.  If World War I couldn't break his smile, then an ambitious, crooked DA didn't stand a chance. 

So, back to the movie.

Fatty is walking down a deserted highway.  His bowler is at a jaunty angle, despite the decrepit condition of his clothes.  All his friends, even Buster, have abandoned him.  Around him, off the highway, are the colossal wrecks of the 20th century.  Here, a crashed B17 Superfortress.  There, a burned out Tiger tank.  Off in the distance, a young Vietnam-era soldier stares at him with a deadpan face.  A hundred thousand dead Iraqis litter the desert floor.

Fatty looks at the camera, while the piano works it's way to a crescendo.  Fatty is still smiling, and says something.  The screen shows a cue card, reading:


"It's going to be alright."

He then looks surprised, as if someone had rebutted his claim.  He gestures at the wreckage and speaks again; the cue card reads:

"No, really.  You've made it this far,
you've survived all of this.
You've survived atomic bombs, reactor disasters,
world conflict, pandemics, depressions, and all
manner of other calamities.  You'll get through.   

I did."

Close up of Fatty's smiling face.




The camera recedes away from Fatty, as he speaks:

"It's going to be alright."

Fade to black.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 04:29:21 pm »
Whoa, dude! Whoa.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 04:32:43 pm »
Nice!
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 04:34:58 pm »
That made me very, very happy.  As much as I love your stories of Horrible Truth™, I also really dig Truth when it's only not-as-horrible.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 04:50:23 pm »
That made me very, very happy.  As much as I love your stories of Horrible Truth™, I also really dig Truth when it's only not-as-horrible.

Roscoe Arbuckle has always been one of my heroes.  Cheated out of everything he loved and everything he accomplished, reviled falsely for things he never did, he still smiled.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Anna Mae Bollocks

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 06:27:16 pm »
I don't think anything I've read nails it like these. Seriously.

And yeah...Fatty Arbuckle was a stone rocker.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 01:00:03 am »
That isn't a HUMAN smile.

Had this anthropology professor once.  A Texan, a pervert, and honest about both factors.  (Rare type) 
He showed us how a human smiles, meaning friendship.
Then he showed us how an ape smiles, displaying weapons.

That smile, which I know logically was made to the camera man, or the public, makes me think that screaming and leaping first is the best course of action, really.
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 04:54:29 am »
The sand in that desert isn't sand. It's ground down steel and glass and concrete rendered into sand-like particles. All our failures and triumphs reduced to a giant litter box for the ignorant and the false-historians to shit in. When the wind kicks up, it will blow the 'sand' in your eyes and you will cry tears of salt, oil, and blood.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 06:36:45 am »
Roscoe Arbuckle has always been one of my heroes.  Cheated out of everything he loved and everything he accomplished, reviled falsely for things he never did, he still smiled.

My only knowledge of Roscoe has been the scandal, mostly the section about hom in Hollywood Babylon. He seems to have been left out of the history book in the UK, I don't recall ever hearing his name mentioned in conjunction with classic comedy. I'd like to learn more about him, can anyone suggest a better source than wikipedia? Books or anything detailed would be great.

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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 12:05:30 am »
Wow that's powerful writing, Roger.

I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of Fatty Arbuckle before.  I can only imagine what he thought and felt before, during, and after his trials.  What a heartbreaking story.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 08:45:20 pm »
Bump because I have a vague idea about this.
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Re: Pedestrians on the Lost Highway, part I of V
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 09:44:02 pm »
I fucking LOVE this Lost Highway stuff.
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