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I had a dream last night

I was in a cathedral, standing in the nave. The pews were empty, the building dark. It must have been night. Without warning, a choir’s song sliced through the hushed darkness, their voices intertwining to illuminate the room — a bright, pure light. I could see their faces, one thousand beautiful children, dressed in white. I stood there motionless, enraptured by their song, their words washing over me. The tune was bracingly enigmatic, yet hauntingly familiar — they sung a single phrase over and over:

Vincent Gargiulo is horrible.

It might be hard to believe, but it all happened in the dream!

Even odder, I’d never even heard the name before! It just came to me, seemingly from the ether. When I woke up, I immediately looked it up online, and as things go, “Vincent Gargiulo” is an actual person. Who knew? I bet he has a life and personality and family and probably a personal history too! Of course, that’s just conjecture, as I didn’t dig any deeper than a Google image search.

And you know what the honest to gracious truth is? He doesn’t look all that horrible at all!

But those words — those being-piercing, life-altering words. They must have an important meaning for my life. How can I pass?

So, I’d like to announce my next project — Vincent Gargiulo is horrible. It’s not about Vincent Gargiulo’s horribleness, or anything like that. Really, the title just seems to be the perfect vessel for an auto-biographical venture — it really captures a feeling I’m looking for. Vincent Gargiulo is horrible may sound as if it were about Vincent Gargiulo, but it would be about me. Get it? He’s the backdrop for my story.

Admittedly, the name gives me a moment of pause. I’ve considered something less polemic like Vincent Gargiulo is probably pretty okay in all likelihood or Vincent Gargiulo might deserve the benefit of the doubt or Vincent Gargiulo chooses Duluth for a project that the city would be really psyched about except for its name. But come on — would a choir of cherubim illumine my soul and crowd-sourced fund raising campaign with dull words like that? Highly doubt it.

I’ll be rolling out a Kickstarter in the next couple of days — I’m thinking I’ll need around 10k to execute the project properly — so get your Amazon Payments Account ready.

Everything’s embarrassing,


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59 Comment(s)

  1. Wow. Forty-seven days after the original “Duluth is Horrible” controversy started, people are still stewing over it. I cannot begin to express how little it matters to me that someone has chosen to make a small movie with that title. The fact that so many people (including our ever-vigilant mayor) seem to consider it an outrage makes me a little embarrassed to be a Duluthian. We’re not all so sensitive.

    Maybe we should put up signs at all the entrances to town: “Welcome to Duluth: City of Delicate Tight-Asses.”

    Ramos | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  2. +1 Ramos. While ass-stick is surely a national condition, I can count on one hand the Duluthians I’ve met who’ve had a satisfactory sense of humor and whimsey, who weren’t overly serious artistes or whatever. That shit gets so tiring. Look at me, I’m an artist! Yesterday while walking to the lighthouse, we were accosted by this beautiful young lady walking alone who was super friendly and full of smiles and humor. It was unbelievable.

    I remember every beautiful young lady I’ve ever met who was genuine and full of humor and life, and not guarded, fake, and vacuous. In young attractive people, this is so rare as to be a nearly impossible condition, and leads me to conclude these rare individuals are wise beyond their years. It was so fucking amazing it happened in Duluth. I guess you never know.

    Herzog | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  3. No I thought about it, two hands maybe.

    Herzog | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  4. Ramos, your ability to count things is second to none in this town.

    It’s quite a stretch, however, to say the mayor was outraged about Duluth is Horrible. He began his comment about the subject by welcoming the filmmaker to Duluth and concluded it by offering to buy him a beer. In the middle he encouraged Vincent Gargiulo to come to Duluth with an open mind and admitted at times it can seem stark here.

    So frankly, I’m outraged that you’re outraged that the mayor is outraged.

    Anyway, my only hope is that I am cast in both Duluth is Horrible and Vincent Gargiulo is Horrible. I better start getting my head shots ready.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  5. Hmmm. You’re right, Paul. I may have exaggerated the mayor’s position. I meant to say this: “The fact that so many people (including our awesome mayor, who I frequently want to hug) seem to consider it objectionable tells me that I am wrong not to take this very seriously.”

    That’s better. I feel more optimistic already.

    Ramos | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  6. I’m thinking ‘Duluth is Passive-Agressive’ might be a little better title for your planned film, Adam.

    burnettd | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  7. I just can’t believe he was able to raise 10k. I think I might have to start a project that requires about 5k and ask for 12k on Kickstarter. Seems a hell of a way to earn a living. Especially since if it is a film it can possibly suck, but no one can bitch who donated. Well they can bitch but they will still be out their donation. I’m not saying his film will suck, I just think he is personally going to be pocketing a tidy sum of left over donations when this is done regardless of the film’s outcome.

    Jadiaz | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  8. I also want to add kudos to Vince for pulling it off as I am all for people making as much cash as the can. No sarcasm.

    Jadiaz | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  9. Man, Jadiaz, what’s your problem? He raised ten thousand dollars, not ten million. Transportation to and from Duluth, living expenses while in Duluth, and all the production and editing and promotional expenses of a movie will easily eat up ten grand. I was wondering how he was planning to make a movie for so little.

    My movie will be called “Jadiaz Is Inexplicably Bitter.”

    Ramos | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  10. I suspect this post is a clever piece of internet marketing meant to incite more controversy and publicity for this film and is not, as it appears at first, to disparage Vinny.

    Then again, it might not be.

    Either way it’s pretty funny.

    andrew | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  11. Maybe the fact that Duluth can suck at times and can be a great place at times is at the center of all of this controversy. Anyhoo, the film is about relationships as far as I can tell.

    Let’s face it, the fact that this film is going to happen in our fair city on the hill is an opportunity. Why not make the most of it and the community it can bring together.

    BigBen | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  12. What Ramos said. I travel a lot for work and I can easily drop a couple thousand traveling for a week, with airfare, housing, meals…. It adds up — and remember, he is hiring people to be in his film too, it’s not just his personal expenses. Sheez.

    Claire | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  13. I am SO looking forward to when the movie is released, and we can get all thin-skinned and over-emotional all over again.

    BadCat! | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  14. Who’s bitter? I said Kudos to the guy and I meant it. I have no problem Ramos. As far as the 10k, if budgeted smartly 2 grand gets you travel, lodging and food as long as you aren’t going all out. I’ve traveled as well. I still do. Even if after that he spends 6k on filming, promotion, actors (which are being compensated but not at budget breaking prices), etc. that still leaves 2k for his pocket. Not bad. I’ve seen student films that sound very similar to his ideas, well done, for only a few hundred bucks. I worked on a few while at UWS. From what I’ve read of his idea it won’t take nearly as much money as everyone thinks. He needs to make a living to. I’m not bitter about that. I’m trying to figure out a good premise to get people to give me 10k. I didn’t donate, and wasn’t keen on his idea, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire him for achieving the dream of getting something for virtually nothing. And I do. Again kudos to him.

    Jadiaz | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  15. And Claire, I don’t know what you do when you travel, but wow a couple grand a week is truly astounding.

    Jadiaz | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  16. My mistake, Jadiaz. My next movie will be: “Jadiaz Is Definitely Not Bitter About Guy Who Is ‘Getting Something For Virtually Nothing.’”

    Ramos | Jan 27, 2013 | New Comment
  17. This sounds like a FANTASTIC movie! Heck, I’ll even give $20 to your campaign. Please let me know about the audition process.

    VincentGargiulo | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  18. At this point. Vincent, you could probably just make a sitcom. Each week, the episode can be about one certain, self-righteous Duluthian who has kicked and screamed over the title of your film.

    The pilot can be about the person who has no idea how Kickstarter works and automatically assumed you were pocketing some of the cash.

    Hot Shot | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  19. People, Adam Carr is this guy.

    Remember “January in Duluth”?

    Terry G. | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  20. If an artist is going to have Too Much to Dream Last Night, it should be Rick Allen, I think he could handle it.

    Herzog | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  21. Better yet --

    emmadogs | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  22. I used to run Amity Trail with my sweet dog Emma while listening to Wayne County.

    Those were the days.

    emmadogs | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  23. Ramos | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  24. Just a show about nothing… | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  25. Adam Carr did Duluth right. | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  26. Barrett Chase | Jan 28, 2013 | New Comment
  27. “I need to pick up some mace too tomorrow.”

    What a drama queen. No one is going to assault you, Vincent.

    andrew | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  28. That’s not entirely true. Vincent’s intelligence will be assaulted by people who don’t understand when he is making a joke, but other than that he’ll be fine.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  29. I just read Vince’s blog and I think it’s hilarious, a California Boy in Duluth and all the cultural differences he’s encountering. His observations are spot on, really.

    I can hardly wait to see what happens to Vince when the temps dip down again.

    And Vince, if I were you, I would shop at Mt. Royal or the Coop, they both have paper bags with handles.

    Claire | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  30. Gargiulo’s piece is not funny until the last line, is it?

    And the distinction here is instructive. Adam came to Duluth to understand and represent Duluth. Gargiulo is using Duluth as a backdrop for something else.

    It’s the difference between being invited to dinner and being invited to be an extra for a movie filmed in a restaurant. Either way, I get fed. But in only one do I feel like I have a chance at a genuine, open-ended, mutually-enriching dialogue. | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  31. Well, yeah. Exactly. Adam Carr came to Duluth to document it. Vincent Gargiulo is coming to Duluth to make a fictitious movie.

    What’s funny is that some people perceived that Gargiulo was attempting to do the opposite of Carr’s project and come here to make a movie insulting Duluth. By flying off the handle about it, they actually gave Gargiulo more attention, which helped fund the project and also proved that if someone wanted to make a movie about Duluthians being idiots, it would be easy to do.

    And then Adam Carr executed a parody of Gargiulo that made even Gargiulo wonder if Carr’s post was “anger fueled.”

    So should we defend Duluthians from Gargiulo or Gargiulo from Duluthians or Carr from Gargiulo fans or Gargiulo from Carr?

    There have been plenty of good plot twists so far, and Gargiulo hasn’t even started filming his movie (which, of course, isn’t about this at all).

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  32. Uh, Rhetoricguy, movies aren’t supposed to give you a chance to engage in “genuine, open-ended, mutually enriching dialogue.” They’re supposed to present a story that somebody thought up and filmed. You can like the story or not, but your point of view is irrelevant to the story, just like it is when you read a novel.

    It sounds like you’re crabby about fiction in general.

    Ramos | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  33. Gargiulo and Carr should have a snowshoe race to settle the Fiction vs. Nonfiction debate once and for all.

    Ramos | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  34. I think they should have a snowball fight on the beach on Park Point at sunrise.

    Claire | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  35. Ramos, you move too easily to polemic. Successful fiction must resonate with experience, right? I have no beef with fiction; I have a beef with fiction that doesn’t have that resonance.

    So what should my investment in Duluth is Horrible be? Where will it resonate with my experience? The creator has decided that it need not resonate with my experience of Duluth, which is an adequate choice to make. (Gore Vidal made the same choice, right?)

    Without that resonance, I am left with something like the moments, in watching “Jingle All the Way” with nieces and nephews on a holiday,” of saying “I know the spot where they filmed that scene, in downtown St. Paul.” But recognizing that Jingle All the Way is not set in St. Paul, and I am not intended to resonate with it as a person from St. Paul. So instead, I must resonate with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character and the challenges he faces. I am not intended to resonate with Duluth is Horrible as a Duluthian. Cool enough.

    So long as you are cool with that, and VG is cool that I approach his film that way, then Jingle All the Way to Duluth, friend. | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  36. PS:
    (Incidentally — I never once met Adam Carr. It is his work I feel I had a dialogue, a mutually enriching dialogue, with., not the creator.) | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  37. I think we should suspend our judgement until we see the finished product. We *will* see the finished product, won’t we, won’t we?

    Wait until Vince finds out you have to drive over the bridge to Superior to buy beer on Sunday. Ha!

    Claire | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  38. I don’t know what I’ll think of the finished movie (I have very high standards) but I think it’s cool that Gargiulo saw Duluth in a dream and came halfway across the country to be here, despite knowing nothing about the place. It suggests an adventurous spirit.

    Adam Carr had the same sort of spirit, expressed differently, last year. That’s why I don’t understand his irritation with Gargiulo. Maybe it’s just a matter of “This town isn’t big enough for two adventurous spirits.”

    Speaking for myself, I could handle two or three more. Maybe next year another filmmaker can make a movie called “Duluth Sucks Ass!” and another creative nonfiction guy can write an article called “Duluth Makes Me Cream My Jeans!” Then everybody will be happy.

    Ramos | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  39. I don’t get why two “outsiders” (Adam and Vincent) can’t come to Duluth with completly different opinions and goals, and make completly different projects. I think Duluth is big enough and interesting enough to allow for two people to see it differently.

    Do all of the Vincent-bashers realize that we have spent more time discussing and reacting to “Duluth is Horrible,” than when the Phelps family or racist skinheads stopped by to protest us??? Is this really a good use of your time?

    BadCat! | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  40. So it’s been about a year since I’ve submitted anything to PDD, and what a glorious PDD-maelstrom this post has been! A perfect Duluth reintroduction.

    I agree with Paul — the twists and turns in the comments, alone, have taken me to the mountaintop of bliss and chasms of despair.


    I’m not a satirist, but took a shot at it in the original post. I wrote from a playful place, not a hateful one, but clearly, I could have been a lot more clear. I wrote a response to Vincent’s response on his blog.

    I wasn’t trying to be territorial or negative, just goofy.

    That said, I’m ultra-willing to take on Vincent in any competition where we can match feats of strength, endurance, dexterity, and/or mind. There can be only one, right?

    Adam Carr | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  41. In the words of another adventurous spirit who came to Duluth to make his art:

    “The booster’s enthusiasm is the motive force which builds up our American cities. Granted. But the hated knocker’s jibes are the check necessary to guide that force. In summary then, we do not wish to knock the booster, but we certainly do wish to boost the knocker.”

    –Sinclair Lewis

    Barrett Chase | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  42. Ramos, maybe it’s just an old fashioned cock measuring party? Wouldn’t be the first time. This whole thing offers up enough kooky material though for the next chapter in my forthcoming book, Weird Duluth: Stranger, You’re No Stranger. Or Weird Duluth: When the Weird Got Weirder, it Went Pro.

    Myself, am more concerned at the moment that Bridger Bowl just got forty seven inches. Anyone headed west?

    Herzog | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  43. A lot of Duluthians settle disputes by streaking along the Lakewalk. Whoever gets to London Road first wins.

    Ramos | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  44. I want to give Vince props for driving here in the middle of the fricking winter from Minneapolis, when he’s obviously never even seen snow before (I am positive he wasn’t even alive when it snowed in the SF Bay Area in, I think, 1976, and everyone went bonkers.). That takes guts, I remember how many ditches I ended up sliding into the first year or two I lived here, because driving in snow and ice takes some expertise.

    Vince should contact Zeitgeist, I’ll bet an establishment that bills itself as an arts cafe would be receptive to his filming there. Maybe he can discuss with them showing the finished product there someday in the theater downstairs.

    Claire | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  45. Lewis’ booster speech by Babbitt: “… the ideal of American manhood and culture isn’t a lot of cranks sitting around chewing the rag about their Rights and their Wrongs, but a God-fearing, hustling, successful, two-fisted Regular Guy, who belongs to some church with pep and piety to it, who belongs to the Boosters or the Rotarians or the Kiwanis, to the Elks or Moose or Red Men or Knights of Columbus or any one of a score of organizations of good, jolly, kidding, laughing, sweating, upstanding, lend-a-handing Royal Good Fellows, who plays hard and works hard, and whose answer to his critics is a square-toed boot that’ll teach the grouches and smart alecks to respect the He-man and get out and root for Uncle Samuel, U.S.A.!’”

    spy1 | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  46. And you thought this thread was bad!

    -Berv | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  47. It sounds like you’re getting Kusick of this.

    I’ll let you have this one, Berv.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  48. Oh, and Rhetoricguy? It’s cool with me if you want to watch Jingle All the Way by yourself. You don’t have to invent “nieces and nephews on a holiday.”

    Ramos | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  49. I have talked to Mr. Carr now and we’ve come to a truce. There can be two people coming from town to do different takes on a city. But no more! So Joshua Heinemann from Los Alamos, New Mexico, you are strictly banned from making your proposed “March In Duluth Sucks” fictional film, documentary, and blog. Please take your idea to Hibbing. Thank you. A message from the Carr-Gargiulo Friendship Fund.

    P.S. Jingle All The Way?

    VincentGargiulo | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  50. Congrats you got your movie and made it to Duluth, Vincent. It has certainly been an interesting analysis of Duluth attitude, inside-out. I’m not sure who to defend or if anyone really needs defending, so I’ll stick to inquiring about some Sanka up in here.

    After revisiting the initial post, I really only see three potential non-supporters out of an entire community:

    1) There’s my comment about the name being dumb -- I still honestly think it would get more support and a bigger audience with a little brighter name that has more meaning.

    2) Jadiaz has to pass. Perhaps the last line is a little firm, but I didn’t get the feeling he hates the filmmaker.

    3) Claire offers the reasons she’s not receptive along with a California alternative in “Salinas Sucks.”

    All seem to be entirely personal opinion. All have an element of humor in them, at least IMHO. Oh, and Nicolai doesn’t like Kickstarter -- perhaps one more non-supporter, but maybe not -- I see humor there too.

    That’s all, but it’s enough to trigger words like “fuck-tard” and multiple comments about haters and how irritable we are here. Even after the thread gets more constructive and intelligent, you can still find “haters gonna hate” and the like at the bottom, 70-some comments later. That’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that anywhere else I have resided for a substantial amount of time. But nowhere else I have lived had PDD or a community blog either.

    Even if the few potentially negative-in-any-way comments were totally imprudent, I’m inclined to be much more concerned about the reaction to them, or in this thread-case, Adam’s post. It reminds me of seeing a driver get caught in an intersection, forcing a turn just as the light turns red. Then the waiting driver on the opposite side honks, gives the finger and goes ape shit because their own light turned green with a rear end still passing by, even though they’ve done the same thing many times themselves. I’m not scared of the late turner. The flipper-ape-shitter who can’t let it go scares me to death though.

    My conclusion from this whole Horrible Duluth episode is that we could all take each other’s online comments with a bucket of road salt around here. Allow simple, personal opinions without blowing so much snow in your neighbor’s yard. I know it’s cold out at times, but it’s evident that some of us could use a little more time away from the computer too. And just chill out a little. Hence, the Sanka. (See what I did there with the seasonal slant?)

    *Please note: This comment is just my own conclusion and opinion, not intended to offend, trigger any sort of evil or the necessity to buy mace. We all have struggles, regrets and communication issues at times when actual people aren’t in the equation. And frustration. Even our fearless Mayor has had “Clarence” moments online. We’re all human. Still. I think. Actually, the Mayor might have mutant powers.

    Shane Bauer | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  51. Claire, if Vincebus has never seen snow before now at the tender age of twenty something, then having a Kickstarter for him to drive one hour east into the mountains at least once during the last two decades of his short life, should’ve been priority number one squared. Fuck sake. If this thing gets any weirder I’m gonna have to eat the worm.

    Herzog | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  52. Am I the only one who thinks young The Once-ler from The Lorax is Vincent’s doppelganger? I just got done watching the movie and that’s all I could think, and I’ve only seen 30 seconds of video of him and a couple pictures. I’m probably the only one though.

    wskyline | Jan 29, 2013 | New Comment
  53. Ah, but I will push one last time. (It’s my job; teachers are paid to argue with students to make their answers better. And I can’t turn it off.)

    “There can be two people coming from town to do different takes on a city.”

    So you are coming to town to do “a take on a city?” I was much happier when we were your soundstage, almost could have been anywhere. But if you’re doing “a take on a city…” Well, I would expect more? | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  54. Herzog… it’s entirely possible someone growing up in the western part of California would never see snow — or, rather, never see snow up close, never touch it. I was 16 the first time I ever saw snow up close enough to touch it. And we had to drive for hours for that to happen. Read the guy’s blog, he sounds like he’s never left California before this trip. I’m loving the blog, BTW, Vince is actually quite perceptive beneath the hilarity.

    Claire | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  55. I know, I know… And Lundgren never saw the desert until he was 35. It doesn’t make it right! I blame the parents. Two hours to Yosemite, 10,000 feet, whatever. You ever smelled a genuine SF bum Claire? They get stronger as you go toward Humboldt. My first thought is to get as humanly far away from them as possible into the clean snow of the Rockies. I book that Greyhound ticket so fast, your head is spinning. I was three years old when my uncle was lashing me with genuine Pacific Ocean kelp, chasing me into the waves to get pummeled. Taunting alligators in the Everglades.

    Yeah I love art as much as the next guy, penguins on bicycles, fast food trash mounted to a wall, self portraits made with lard and pubic hair. Who wouldn’t want to spread the beauty? But why is sending blankets to Syria always last on everyone’s list? Isn’t that spreading beauty too? Saving those kids who lost their toes last night? I guess when it comes to Kickerstart, maybe art and modern folks in general, some of it comes over as a little masterbatorial, to me anyway. Big Lebowski, now that was a project worth doing.

    Tell me I’m crazy.

    Herzog | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  56. Ramos | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  57. An alternate meta-project:

    Hearts of Seasonal Darkness, a film maker’s brush with vitamin D deficiency.

    We were in Duluth, our thick mittens were clumsy, the camera had too many small buttons, and there wasn’t time to slowly go insane.

    Hayburn | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  58. The Onceler picks up where Dagney Taggert left off. | Jan 30, 2013 | New Comment
  59. Are people reading VG’s blog? It is HILARIOUS. I just have to cut and paste a few sentences about his visit to the Zoo, which made me laugh (the owl):

    I ventured over to the zoo for a scout. I was alone. Just me & the animals. And they were all very social, as if they were saying “You are the first person we’ve seen in weeks. Play with us. Please!!” Well, except the Burrowing Owl, who got off his ledge and came right up to the window to hiss at me. Loosely translated I think he said “You fuck my wife? You fuck my wife!!??” It’s a nice zoo. A little sparse. But there are parts that are achingly gorgeous in terms of landscaping.

    Claire | Jan 31, 2013 | New Comment

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