Man-Size (man_size) wrote,


My great friend/cartoonist/cum novelist, Bob Fingerman, told me about his most recent sojourn out in the land of the living and I thought his story would make for a great Live Journal post. I asked Bob if he would type it up so I could share it with you folks [and maybe get Bob bit by the Blog bug?], and he kindly indulged me.

For the few of you who don't know Fingerman's work, check out his website [which needs a serious update]:

Come September, be sure to pick up the softcover version of his perennial, BEG THE QUESTION:

and ZOMBIE WORLD: Winter's Dregs And Other Stories:

In October, Dark Horse will release his black humor book, YOU DESERVED IT:

By Special Guest Star Bob Fingerman

Last night I went to see granite-jawed übermensch Bruce Campbell promote his hilarious new [1]book, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, at the Union Square branch of Barnes & Noble. Having had the pleasure of seeing him do his thing for his last tome (If Chins Could Kill – Confessions of a B Movie Actor), I knew I was in for some serious fun. Unlike most (all) authors who show up to publicize their offerings at B&N, Campbell didn’t do a reading, opting instead to open the floor to a Q&A session.

Campbell is that rarest of breeds: a guy who seems like the coolest, nicest, most engaging guy you’d ever want to meet, and also a total fucker. He manages to charm his fans as he insults them, and vice versa. Not an easy thing to do, but he’s a true artiste. He manages to ridicule his loyal admirers but never alienates them. That’s almost sorcery.

After a forty-odd minute back and forth the lineup for the signing began. I’d attended with my friend John, but had no intention of waiting in line for a signature and inscription. I did that last time around and didn’t want to spend over ninety minutes in line (a conservative estimate, as Campbell, ever the trouper, doesn’t rush his stalwarts).

As John and I exited the booksellers a young guy shouted to us, “Hey, you guys interested in seeing a screening of George Romero’s Land of the Dead?” Well, shit, Skippy, you don’t have to ask me twice. He told us there was limited seating (50 lucky attendees was the max) and that it was in a private screening room. Heaven! Say no more. He then handed us fliers with a phone number and a laundry list of questions for the automated phone answerer: full name, phone number, age, ethnicity, email address, how many in my party and the code number on the invite. I called to RSVP and in high spirits plodded ankle deep into a puddle. There’s always some sludge in my own private Mudville.

It was only after I’d left my personal info on the machine that it hit me: I am almost too old to matter any more. Stated clearly in bold type on the invite was the caveat: Age 17-40 Only. In August I will turn 41. I will have aged out. My opinion will no longer matter, my demographic being that of AARP and other wrinkly horrible creatures deemed too hideous and inconvenient to matter.

But that’s bullshit. Total bullshit. It’s infuriating. What was this invitation to? [65-year-old] George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, for fuck’s sake. Who’s going to see this? Besides the young whippersnappers, old fossils like yours truly who’ve been down with the program since the original Dawn ­ not to mention maybe even the real oldsters who saw Night on the big screen. I’ve waited twenty years to see George trot out this installment of his zombie saga. Fuck the 17 year olds (Literally! That’s the age of consent in NYC! So go on, fuck them, right in their tight little ideal-demographic-having assholes!)! Land of the Dead? This is my movie!

To further illuminate my point, witness the group of youngsters seated directly behind me at the screening, a bunch of late-teen college dipshits each vying for the coveted title of Most Annoying Attendee Of The Day. There was a clear-cut winner, a douche-bag named Scott, who kept bellyaching about how he hated zombie movies (except for Shaun of the Dead). “When’s it going to start?” he bleated. Well, Scott, if you hate them so much, why are you here? “If it’s bad I’m going to go to sleep.” I almost hoped it would be bad, just so he’d nap. On and on he went in this grating nasal drone. When he got up to use the toilet before it started his friends started talking about what a dick he’d been at Batman Begins. How he’d screamed the loudest, to prove he was a better screamer than the other screamers in the audience. I don’t even think his friends liked him, the Marilyn Manson T-shirt-wearing moron. Marilyn Manson? That’s so over, kid. But I’m the one who’s out of step? I don’t think so.

Why, at just shy of forty-one, is my voice one that no longer matters? I have plenty of disposable income. Isn’t everything based on money in this stupid fucking country? But let’s face it; the real votes that matter, at least in terms of pop culture, are not even the good old 18-34 crowd. These days it skews waaaaaaay younger. At MTV they don’t even want the opinions of anyone over 17.

Oh, and for whatever this old codger’s opinion is worth, I really enjoyed Land of the Dead. George didn’t let this diehard fan down. He even came up with a great new pejorative for the zombies. See, 65 and sharp as ever.

Suck on that, peewees.

[1] Described by the B&N events host as an “autobiographical novel,” which encouraged a loud, “What the hell is that?” from Campbell.

(c)2005 Bob Fingerman

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