Monthly Archives: December 2012

I Sing an Outlaw Eccentric, or L’histoire de Bonnie et Clyde

If it is written on paper, it is malleable and can be bent in any number of ways, or in fact get burned. Nothing is safe, so long as it is written down. You know, of course, the story of Jesse James. That being the case, it is true that the outlaws among us, at least on film, are the better dressed. Abiding by the rule of law inevitably implies a kind of acquiescence, limits possibilities, privileges the mundane, here, good citizen, your tax form. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, then, a glossy version of swag: Brigitte Bardot with a tommy gun, Gainsbourg seated on the steps and smoking. Let’s go get’em, says Jay Z in the passenger seat.  Try to keep this in mind: this is not a story about Jesse James, it is actually a story about Jay Z, which is to say this a story about alliteration: Beyonce and Bonnie and  Bardot, about the side of a highway in France or Mexico, and sitting around the camp fire in Montana is probably not in the cards. Like magicians, Jay Z and Beyonce are nimble, changing vehicles, a step ahead of la Police, you see, and in another room, tac tac tac Serge lip-syncs, or even maybe sings, and her tommy gun is aimed at strings that may or may not have anything to do with the heart.  A life of sin is all I need, a kaleidoscope, imperfect like no one who walks on this earth is. And Clyde Barrow is doubtless what Bonnie nee Beyonce is thinking about, stroking a horse on a baja California beach a half hour after sunset, training the cross hairs. For surely, a gun is more menacing before it is shot. For surely Bonnie and Clyde will get caught.

–Mark Gurarie

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