Today's debate: the veracity of the saying, "Never meet your heroes."Generally speaking, this is true. I mean the phraseobviously exists for a reason—granted, not all reasons arerooted in reality, but I'llspare the morose existentialism for anothersunny day—and there's certainly no short supply of experiences out there to corroborate its generational persistence. The obvious takeaway from all that being mystery and intrigue are almost always better than a glimpse at what really goes on behind the curtain and some things are best left to ones imagination. Especially nowadays in our social media-centric world where direct, unfiltered access to the thoughts and actions of the famous has never been more easy and, consequently, never more disastrous, discouraging, disheartening, disappointing, and many other dis-oriented words.
There are things you'll hear about while growing up that will remain with you for a lifetime. Today's case in point being the Green Door. I first heard of it early on in my teens while dumpster diving at the home video store where I'd spend all my hard-earned paper route money on VHS rentals. I was particularly fascinated by the cult films, especially those in the schlocky bowels of the horror and sci-fi genres, and whenever I discovered a new director I'd not only ingest their entire filmography but I'd chase the associated rabbits down each and every hole I could possibly find*. Where am I going with this? Well, David Cronenberg was one such director I took a shine to and I started off with Videodrome** (1983), which proved to be a real mind fuck as a kid, and from there I devoured Scanners (1981), The Brood (1979), and, the whole point of this random ass intro: Rabid (1977),starring Marilyn Chambers, who made her screen debut in the seminal pornographic film Behind the Green Door (1972)—yes, the very same film that Jackie Chan popped into the video player in his car in The Cannonball Run (1981), a trivial reference that had me convinced all my stars were in perfectly squalid alignment.
When I was in grade school, my parents decided to take a family trip to Chicago. This was a "very big deal" then, because my family never went anywhere more than a two hour's drive time from home (ours being in dead central Wisconsin, so Madison was about as "big city" as it ever got for us). Anyway, while heading into Chicago my dad accidentally got on the dreaded "loop," at which point my mom started freaking the f' out and stressed my dad out so f'ing bad that we never went on any "big city" trips again throughout the duration of my time under their roof. Weird how that memory has stuck with me over 40 years later, but I've got Chicago on my mind because that's where you're about to go in a much smoother and far less stressful manner with Timothy Johnson.
For most of my working life I've had this unfortunate habit of taking on more than I can logistically handle; or, I don't know, maybe it's just a thing where I have a really hard time saying "no" to people? Hmm. Reading that now it's clear I'm a prime candidate for a manager, but then again I'm also nowhere near those big, dick-swinging, there-goes-10-percent-of-your-income leagues, so it's not exactly a viable option in my small fry shoes. All of that is neither here nor there, though, aside from the fact I dug one hell of a deep hole for myself last summer when I agreed to participate in the Subliminal Project's 30th anniversary art show for The New Deal—a skateboard company started by Andy Howell, Steve Douglas, and Paul Schmitt way back in 1990.
Soon after the United States started shutting down—well, some of it at least, because god knows how spring breaking must go on come hell, high water, or deadly pandemic—we decided to throw an impromptu art contest for anyone who wished to creatively span the unexpected time indoors.