Saturday, August 20, 2011

We Aint' Got Time For Burger King!!!



You find odd things on YouTube. We all do. For whatever reason, your searches take you places you didn't think imaginable. It's not unlike life itself. I won't go into how I found Angry Grandpa. I just did. That's all that really needs to be said.


Somewhere in South Carolina, a young man realized the profound entertainment value of his very profane and undiagnosed bi-polar father. A website now exists filled with short films of a man now known as Angry Grandpa. Some of these films are simply five or six minutes of Grandpa speaking to the camera about current events. Sometimes they are (staged) events - Grandpa gets his washing machine repossessed, Grandpa has his cigarettes entombed in Jell-O, Grandma leaves Grandpa. Usually the highlight of the film is Grandpa launching off into an epic screaming fit of transcendent rage.


These short films fall under the genre of do-it-yourself reality television, the underside of the artistic democracy afforded by the web. And in the great American entrepreneurial spirit, this young man has created a product from nothing and now (hopefully) reaps some reward.


Reality television in its mainstream, corporate media network manifestations is a horrendous abomination. Sometimes I think network executives sit in offices envisioning new ways to feed images of vapid, self-absorbed bourgeois cretins to a populace whom they must believe to be in some long-sustained coma of mental inactivity. And to be fair, Angry Grandpa videos often serve to present an even baser goal. Events unfold in his trailer park in rural South Carolina, so we all get to point our fingers and ferment our own self importance.


But THIS FILM (<- click to play on YouTube), is different. (Warning - there is generous profanity in this film).


The film captures Angry Grandpa on a grocery shopping excursion with his son (filming the sequences) along with his grandsons. I don't know why, maybe they just did a good job, but the events don't feel scripted. The mundane agenda of the story allows for the personality of Grandpa to organically present itself. And despite the obtusely troubling sight of small children witnessing and absorbing such titanic amounts of profane language and hostile behavior, I find in Grandpa, an elusive yet palatable warmth. I can't help liking him.

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