Sunday, August 18, 2019

Brexit: Stay Out The Car

A scene haunts me, from the biopic "Pollock", and it keeps telling me about Brexit. The final moments are based on real events, with only minor changes (a strangers' house instead of a bar)...

By 1956 the abstract painter Jackson Pollock had passed the peak of his fame:

"The art critic Clement Greenberg—Pollock’s onetime champion—would later say that by this time “Jackson knew he’d lost the stuff” and was “never going to come back.” Pollock was drinking heavily and had fallen into an abyss of nonproductivity; he was in a “death trance,” according to another biographer friend, Jeffrey Potter." (1)

Pollock's lover Ruth Kligman returned to him from a stay in New York, bringing the receptionist (Edith Metzger) from the beauty parlour she frequented, because her friend Bette wouldn't come.

After dinner they drove out to a party.

"On his way to the car Jackson staggered and Edith asked Ruth if he was "all right? I mean, are you sure he can drive? He's been drinking all day." After reassuring words from Ruth they got in the car - all three in the front seat...

"We drove toward East Hampton. Jackson drove fine, then suddenly started driving very slowly, then slower and slower. Finally he came to a full stop in the fork of the road."

A policeman spoke to Pollock and let him continue.

Edith whispered to me, 'Ruth, he's drunk. Let's go home.'
'Take it easy. He knows what he's doing. Don't worry.'

... Again he started to fall asleep. He drove about twenty miles per hour, his great head falling, his eyes glassy, moaning incoherently. I wished to God I knew how to drive. 'Jackson, please let's go home'... We got him to stop. He turned around in front of [...] a roadhouse bar. [...]
Edith quickly got out of the car. 'I'm going to call for help or call a cab; I must do something.' She was panicked. She was right, but I called her back.

Jackson got furious. 'She can't go in there, get her back.' ...
'Edith, get back in the car. Come on! Don't go in there!'
'But Ruth, he's drunk. I don't want to drive with him. I'm afraid.'
'No, he's not, he's fine, I promise you, we're going home. Come on! Get in!'

[...] I finally coaxed Edith to get back in. We started on our way home. Jackson was fully awake, fully conscious. He was angry, annoyed at us, and began to speed.

Edith started screaming, 'Stop the car, let me out!' She was pleading with him. Again she screamed, 'Let me out, please stop the car! Ruth, do something. I'm scared!'

He put his foot all the way to the floor. He was speeding wildly.

'Jackson, slow down! Edith, stop making a fuss. He's fine. Take it easy. Please. Jackson, stop! Jackson don't do this.' I couldn't reach either of them.

Her arms were waving. She was trying to get out of the car.
He started to laugh hysterically.
One curve too fast. The second curve came too quickly. Her screaming. His insane laughter. His eyes lost. We swerved, skidded to the left out of control - the car lunged into the trees.
We crashed." 

The car had crashed into two small elm trees. All three were thrown from the car. Jackson and Edith were both dead. Ruth survived. (2)

- - - - - - -

Started so well... lost control... drunk, arrogant and overbearing... passenger's move to escape... stupid advice to stay in, from friend... going faster as the squeals get louder...

That's how it feels, to me.


James Higham said...

I have cruder expletives for Pollock, like Pillock?

Sackerson said...

Or, a bit of a drip.