‘This Month on the Home Binge Office: UK Cinema’ by Jason Bentsman

Which Of Course Miscarries  (1986) 


Biopic chronicling the curious friendship between two 20th century Irish writers. A friendship which, of course, miscarries. Dugan is at the height of his powers, Klugan at the width of his. Their conversations often consist of stony silences, directed at their respective wives. Both suffused with melancholy. Klugan for the inherent suffering of the world. Dugan for cuckolding Klugan. Their literary paths slowly diverge as it becomes increasingly clear that Dugan seeks to write every combination of letters possible, more even than monkeys typing for eternity, or than God could, whereas Klugan only the perfect letter, if he can just figure out which. Oh, and that Dugan is sleeping with Klugan’s wife. A relationship which, of course, miscarries. Both go on to write numerous works. All of which, of course, miscarry. Today the only reason we know of them is this obscure, deeply problematic picture. Stream it or skip it? Stream it! What the hell else you got going on today?


* * *


Obscure Light 


By a vague pull, like the magnetoreception of certain creatures, they reunited, neither old nor young, in a congenial city. Each day at the same hour they would set out for the quay, walking silently in lockstep, matching footfalls, weathered hair rustling in the collars of weathered jackets, across the cobblestones, through the wooded paths into the forest proper, returning the same way. Heartening there are still cobblestones, unravaged forest, a measure of untainted earth and sky. Their conversations often consist of meaningful silences. They finish each other’s glances. Their clothes grow interchangeable. One day they do not return. At the endmost point of the route stands a tree fused of two trunks, its branches reaching up to the heavens as if upsidedown. Like everyone else, gains were offset by losses, and they knew sundry misfortunes; yet their karmic pocket is fortunate. Even if a post-death consciousness transference simulation. Booyakasha! Wow, way to undercut it. Very nice, very nice.


* * *


Jojo Wanes Lyrical


Jojo has been standing on the same Detroit street corner for the last 45 years selling glorious words out of his deep-pocketed trenchcoat. For $5, you can get Loquacious. For $15, Opalescent. For $50, a beautiful rarity like Hiraeth. Now we’re talking. But gentrification—plus scorching heat, choking air, pandemics and diseases, mass upheavals and conflicts arising from untrammeled pollution and climate change—threaten to uproot the lovable rascal. 


Unfortunately, before the documentary can be completed, he meets his demise—along with the entire crew—via a roving violent disinformed Capitalist mob of #MeMyself&I conspiracy-theorists-cum-anti-quarantinists protesting universal medical insurance and Polio vaccinations. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. 


We witness his life flashing before his eyes—but at the last instant he realizes it’s someone else’s. Inexplicably, that of Dream Alliance, the unlikely champion race horse bred by a small town Welsh bartender, who’s not even dead. What gives? The sheer exultation of running full tilt, dim triumph of coming back from insurmountable injury to take the Grand National, and inordinate love of parsnips, the giveaways.


Daddy, I have to go Number 3. Come on, pal, the movie’s almost over. Can’t you wait a few more minutes? I don’t understand this movie, daddy. It’s past my bedtime. Clarence—this is where you’ve been? You take the child to a midnight screening of an R-rated documentary?! That’s it, I want that divorce. Sgloom.



These vignettes appear in a darkly comic novel the author completed recently, titled ‘This Month on the Home Binge Office’ on the theme of cinema.

About the contributor

Jason Bentsman
Jason Bentsman was born in Belarus and grew up in the US. His prior book is The Orgastic Future, a work of poetic nonfiction about consumerism, plastic pollution, and other threats facing the planet. He runs the literary / humanities website FWIW. He also takes fine art photographs. Find out more at: www.linktr.ee/Jason_Bentsman

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