Some interesting points here:"For some reason, the idea persists that popular equals good. Popular equals popular. Few would argue that McDonald's makes the best hamburgers, or that the 1963-64 season of 'The Beverly Hillbillies' is the greatest TV season of all time. They're satisfactory; they're entertaining; maybe they're good, maybe they're not. … Finally, popular is often conflated with "right." I'm often reminded of a letter to Rolling Stone after that magazine criticized one of Journey's early-'80s albums. "Five million Journey fans can't be wrong," the letter-writer wrote. I wonder if she's still listening — and whether she's agreed with every winning politician of the last 25 years." I don't think he goes far enough in discussing the objective good and bad in film (and they exist, kids; it's not all relative), but still, the column's not too bad.
This is pretty good: "Western literature has fooled us into thinking that we come of age at puberty, through stories about falling in love with the local teenage badass or stealing cigarettes from somebody's big brother. The real threshold into adulthood is crossed when we realize that we'll never be rock stars, never be secret agents, never be better than everyone else. Coming of age happens when we accept boredom, disappointment and compromise. It would be hard to make it any clearer that the character in your film has found this acceptance than to have him shoot his immature self with a nine millimeter Glock. … These curmudgeonly critics claim that the protagonist in this film is always spouting whiney, self-indulgent philosophizing-and in fact they're right, because he does exactly that right up until those final few moments. He deals with the freaked out, pissed off disillusionment of the real-life generation he reflects, so that the audience and character can make the journey together. It's a tough pill to swallow when you realize that there's no prescribed ideology or plan that will make you into who you were meant to be. Maybe all those critics are just too old to remember that."
"It gets crazy on the road, and awful lonely. That's why I love pornography." Yep: Man, remember back in fall 2004 when we really thought things were about to change for the better? Sometimes when I think back to that brief moment of optimism I could just cry till I puked blood.