Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dazed and Confused Goes Down in History

I've got one movie that no matter when it's on, what part it's in, or how busy I am I will always stop to watch. Judging from the title of this post, I'm assuming you've figured out the movie I speak of is Dazed and Confused — the 1993 classic about 1976 that has basically allowed Matthew McConaughey to make pointless chick flick after pointless chick the past 15 years (with that awful dragon movie and We Are Marshall thrown in there for good fun).

See, I like this movie so much that back when I had my "What Grinds My Gears" column sophomore year of college, I had to bring it up in my regrettable (only because when you look up my name on google it still shows up) "Ode to Hash Bash." If you forget, here's the passage I'm referencing:

I just so happened to be watching "Dazed and Confused" the other night and came upon the perfect Hash Bash slogan. It involves the character of Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey), and his first encounter with Mitch (Wiley Wiggins), the eighth grader who hangs out with all the high schoolers.

They enter a car and Wooderson asks Mitch, "Say man, you got a joint on you?" Mitch answers, "No, not on me, man". And Wooderson responds, "Well it'd be a lot cooler if you did."

There's your slogan: "You got a joint on you? Well it'd be a lot cooler if you did." That was easy.

That isn't my favorite scene from the movie, though. My favorite happens to be a scene with the character Ron Slater aka the long-haired stoner kid Slate. In it, he opines about the qualities of Martha Washington and how she was essentially a drug dealer. Let me give you the full transcript:

"Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man."

He goes on to explain how Martha used to take care of the crops and put in all this work in the fields to keep her pot harvest going. All along, I obviously took this with a grain of salt considering it came in the middle of a huge field party, from the mouth of a guy I watched smoke continuously, and the simple fact that it was in a movie.

Plus it sounded nothing like the old lady who sat at George Washington's bedside as a nice old lady who helped usher this country during its infancy. Well, seems as if good ol' Slate was a lot more right about Martha Washington than we thought. I read this fascinating study in The Washington Post the other day:

Contrary to popular opinion, even among some historians who should know better, Martha was not fat when she married George. Yes, she liked to read the Bible, but she devoured gothic romance novels, too. She capably ran the five plantations left to her when her first husband died, bargaining with London merchants for the best tobacco prices. And unknown to most, while George was courting her she had another suitor, a Virginia planter with much greater wealth and stature. In a little-known letter, Charles Carter wrote to his brother about what a beauty she was and how he hoped to "arouse a flame in her breast."


Basically you substitute pot with tobacco and Slate has proven himself quite the capable historian. I really think we should take this into consideration next time we're trying to list great movies of all time. Below I've included a picture that appeared in the Post, depicting what Martha probably looked like during her prime years as a foxy lady. I gotta say, not too shabby.

3 comments:

Ian said...

we all have our i-can't-turn-this-movie-off movies. the three that come to mind are major league, back to the future, and the fugitive.

Jessica said...

Mark,
Jess and Becca here. Great article, we loved it. There is one small problem though... we know that you are lying about the Martha Washington part of the movie being your favorite part, because we know that your favorite part is the scene outside of the billiard hall when Pink casually removes his belt buckle (which happens to be a piece), takes a hit and remove it to its place. We have been with you man times in the past where you have specificall mentioned this as your favorite part. Please don't lie to your readers.
Love you,
Jess and Becca

Jessica said...

oops... didn't proofread, but you get the point.