Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bad Cinema and Other Year End Observations

My resolution for 06 is to live a bit more simply, write more, whine less.

So, I started by ditching most of the Cable. Took the addressable convertor back to Cox a couple of weeks ago and am supples to just have the barebones minimum package, which is fundamentally just clear access to most network stations. I don't watch other other channels anyways. And I am saving over $40 a month with this move. So, what happens? I take the convertor back and attach the cable to my small by any standerd television, and for some reason I am getting HBO now.... It'll probably go away really soon. This would be a good thing. It is a mind-suck of the nth magnitude..especially when you're down with bronchitis and need some quick escapism.

Tonight was a truly terrible experience in modern cinema: Oliver Stone's Men in Skirts, aka "Alexander". I'm fanatical about my history. Not my fault, I was raised that way. My late mother loved ancient Greece, read us stories from the mythology, had little plaster statuettes and busts of the gods. She passed me Mary Renault's Alexander trilogy when she was done with it...when I was in high school. We drove to a hundred miles to the MFA in Boston to see the Alexander exhibit back in '82. We saw the Pompeii exhibit as well.

I don't want to think what mom would have thought about Ollie's sandle-opera. Well, she wouldn't have liked the nudity. She had standards. A good film can dispose with naked and most of the best films do. A good film can dispense with smarmy "messages" and faux-weepy moments and drawing characters out of the pop-psychology handbook and deconstructing history through the lense of the modern mindset. It makes for dull storytelling that in no way transports the viewer or the reader for that matter when talking about good books.

Part of a good book is the opportunity the writer gives us to step outside of our own headspace and see things from a different viewpoint or through the lense of different values. We are enriched by that experience, and perhaps become better for it, rather than indulging in simple "validation" through characters who think and act no different than modern fashion no matter the era they live in.

Am I making any sense?

2005. I made some wonderful friends this year. Bless the Bunions and their spouses and offspring. Good friends are rare, honest friends are even rarer. Someone who will still be your friend after you rip into their ms is a price above rubies. You guys kept me sane this year. Thank you. I haven't laughed this much in a long time.

Reality television... you couldn't write fiction this strange.. What is this that it has become fashionable to hang ones dirty laundry up in public on purpose? Have people become so blind to themselves that they are no longer capable of being embarassed? Food for thought there. It's almost as if people want to be disagreeable for the sake of being disagreeable.

Interesting study I read on the psychology of blood donors. The study said that blood and especially platelet donors have "lower self-esteem" than average. I would prefer to think that blood donors had a more "realistic self estimation" and that we realize that no man is an island. We're perhaps a little less self involved, a little more understanding, a little more desirious to do what we can for others. It's also a cheap way do do a hell of a lot of good. Doesn't cost anything and you just might score a teeshirt in the bargain... I have a drawer full of em. This is something I am proud of... 70 double units of platelets and still going strong.

Almost time for a new year. That means a couple months of typing "2005" in error.


At 11:09 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Happy New Year, Lisa. I know it's New Year's because everybody is letting loose their six-shooters around here.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

Came by way of M.G.'s...I don't have cable either(I have a satellite-Yikes)

Happy New Year!

At 5:28 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Dana made you smartest, Lisa.

I'm not talking to her anymore.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Lisa, I totally agree about Alexander - what a waste of resources to make that film.

Yes, I think we Bunions have/had good parents who instilled the beauty of literature & art in us. God bless 'em.

And please tell M.G. to get a grip, apparently she ain't talkinmg to me.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger E. Ann Bardawill said...

Wadda minute.


Explain to me why Colin Farrell naked is bad again?

At 10:49 AM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...


You still breathing?

At 3:52 PM, Blogger sdRay said...

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