Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan: Rochambeau Myself

As you may have heard, Fear Inoculum, the first album by Tool in 13 years, comes out this Friday, August 30. To commemorate the occasion, Phoenix New Times is rerunning some of the best columns by Maynard James Keenan, the band's frontman and Arizona winemaker. This piece originally ran on September 24, 2012.

I love a good comedy. Browsing through mental notes of quotable material, apropos for tedious moments brought on by the petty, the narrow-minded, and the desperate, keeps me questionably sane.

Snippets from films like Talladega Nights, Super Troopers, and The Jerk can have an almost Fountain of Youth effect on me when applied to said moments. Other films supply the occasionally necessary yet unintentional gut laugh, such as Battlefield Earth, Godfather III, and the entire Twilight series. (Side Note and Fun Fact on the Twilight Series: The scripts WERE NOT randomly generated by an iPhone app or by a team of Emo Eunuchs on LSD. They were, in fact, intentionally written that way. This was not an experiment as I had originally assumed upon viewing.)

The reason I bring all this up is that I've been buried under grapes for seven solid weeks now. It's been a month and a hefty half of fantastically productive 14-hour days with some very promising juice for the 2012.

I miss my trips down to the 602 to dine and complain poetically with Mr. Wexler at Noca or to dine and plot some twisted yet simple dinners with Mark Tarbell. I needed a break and I needed to get out of the house/bunker, but there's no way I can be two hours away from the winery this time of the year.

So I checked in with my local theaters to see if there were any just-above-marginal films to which I could set my brain on cruise control. Doesn't have to be a zinger. Just has to have fresh-popped corn and sugar stuff. I am fully capable of manufacturing and rationalizing any excuse to watch a crap film as long as I can go face-deep in a popcorn container large enough to require a child safety warning. Double-fisted side of red licorice, please. (Children, be warned. If you kick my chair, interrupt my two-hour vacation, or attempt to stick your grubby booger paws anywhere near my popcorn or licorice, you will become the poster child for that bucket's safety warning. Please refer to the Robert Downey Jr./Juliette Lewis scene in Due Date. Copy?)

So I looked at the local movie listings. Very promising. Four of them involved Sweaty Gladiator types with guns and explosions and lots of running towards or away from situations/things/persons that were either supposedly spooky and/or somewhat dangerous. And although I didn't bother with the trailers, I was certain they would include some yawningly awesome one-liners. This may call for a civil round of Rochambeau.

Wait! What's this? An Obama film! Say it isn't so! Could it possibly be as Painfully Comedic as Fahrenheit 9/11, Fox News, or Al Gore's film? I can't remember the name of that one but I believe it was something like WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, unless you scrap your perfectly good vehicle & ONLY drive your sister's emasculating hybrid. I may be a little off on that one, but I'm on a roll and too lazy to Google it.

That said, I did watch his film, and because I am the paranoid type, I now have more hoarded SPF 200, ham radio batteries, and MREs (formerly referred to as C-Rations. Don't make the mistake of picking up a gross of those. Not so tasty anymore. Saltpeter has no shelf life) than I'll ever know what to do with. I'd love nothing more than to introduce Mr. Gore to Rochambeau the hard way. Note to Secret Service: I'm kidding, so you can remove your twitchy hands from your pistols, please. And don't worry. I have no intention of turning this column into a bipartisan mixed vomit bag of political agendas. But I will say this. Politicians are the new Andy Kaufmann. If only he were around to enjoy it all.

Now I must be off to my two-hour vacation. It's a toss-up between The Bourne Legacy and Expendables 2. Tough call as both are running pell-mell towards Feel Good Comedy of the Year. Suppose I'll need to Rochambeau myself to decide.

Chicken Little out.
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Maynard James Keenan