The other night my daughter K and I watched Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The final credits scroll up the screen to the accompaniment of Nilsson’s “Coconut.” Why this goofy little song? Is it just one among several seemingly random 70s pop songs that pepper the soundtrack? Besides, what does the song even mean? You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both up, you get a bellyache, you call the doctor to see what to do, the doctor tells you to put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both up.
After some preliminary diner chitchat the real story begins: a botched jewelry heist leaves two of the gang members dead and one writhing in blood and pain, shot in the belly. By the end all but one of the gang survivors are dead. So: through violent confrontation and armed showdown one guy gets a bellyache. He and his partner wait at the rendezvous for Joe the gang leader, who will call the doctor. When Joe shows up he accuses the gutshot guy of being the rat who tipped off the cops about the robbery. The remaining gang members are divided over whether the injured man is or is not a rat. Violent confrontation culminates in a Mexican standoff. Bang bang bang bang, they kill each other off. Cue the Lime in the Coconut song and the credits.
So basically Reservoir Dogs is a parable illustrating accelerationism, which from now on I’m bound to think of as lime-in-the-coconutism. Cause is also cure: if something makes you sick, do it some more. The bellyache will go away eventually, one way or the other.