Well, it’s been a while since my last post. Sorry, my brain has been occupied with other things. I could have written last night, but instead decided to put on my blue sunglasses and watch Soledad Miranda in Nightmares Come at Night.
Yay, Morpho! Oops, right actress, wrong movie.
I would have loved for my wife to watch it also, just for the great riffing potential, but this isn’t her cup of tea. She pretty much avoids old exploitation movies that are devoid of any kind of storytelling action. The Lord of the Rings trilogy would have felt like a fifteen second Super Bowl ad compared to this thing. It’s as if the director was given ALL THE FILM STOCK IN THE WORLD to shoot this movie and still captured nothing interesting. Scene after scene of people talking . . . and walking . . . opening doors . . . sitting down . . . standing up . . . staring vacantly . . .
Nope, this movie would have beaten her. I can enjoy the schlock and imbedded camp humor, but she would have dozed off and woke up later to the same exact scenes she fell asleep to, the movie still playing on the television like that burning yule log channel at Christmas time. She would have ripped the movie out of the player and smashed it with a hammer, and then clutched the hammer to her breast as she cried tears of joy.
Last week, she made it approximately 20 minutes into Tree of Life before falling asleep. I sat there watching a sort of inside-the-head essay on faith, creation, love and family while she experienced a movie that was more like the equivalent of watching a tree actually grow.
For the record, I loved Tree of Life. Especially Brad Pitt’s performance as an overbearing father of three boys who is struggling mightily to keep up appearances while dousing the flames of his own professional disappointments. He’s not a bad man. He’s just a gruff and wounded man, one who doesn’t give nearly enough thought to how his casual eruptions scar the psyches of his children.
The movie is basically about a family in search of something. Pitt’s character, with his firmly set jaw and his quick backhand, is mourning his own unfocused life. Most men at my age can identify with that. But what none of the movie characters seem to realize, is that they are all in search of the same thing. They want the quality of grace that comes with the discovery that life will never be easy until we stop struggling against its sometimes harsh embrace.
Yeah, my family will attest that I can sometimes come across as a stern, almost joyless taskmaster. In other words, a typical conservative. For some reason, I’m remembering an incident five or six years ago when I was working with a new home builder in California.
The house was freshly occupied and I showed up to inspect something, I don’t remember what, but this was a typical modern family of Democrats. They still had John Kerry stickers on the bumper of their Toyota minivan. I don’t like bumper stickers all over cars. It doesn‘t matter if they‘re conservative labels or liberal labels, it just annoys me. I mean, one or two are okay, but some people go overboard and turn their vehicles into rolling advertisements of their own personal beliefs. And right next to the minivan, these people had absolutely plastered the back of their smart car with all the typical liberal slogans like SAVE THE PLANET, KILL YOURSELF and SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, A VILLAGE IS MISSING ITS IDIOT.
I drove a big Ford pickup 4X4 and this little smart car looked like a golf cart to me. A death trap. If this thing had been in front of me on the road, I don’t think I would have been able to see it over the hood of my truck. My lawn mower at home was probably bigger. It makes me wonder how people go shopping in one of these cars. Seriously, I don’t think it could carry any cargo that exceeded the size of an iPod and a couple bottles of purified water.
The people met me at the door and were friendly enough. In particular, I remember their little girl the most because she told me that she wanted to be President some day. Her parents, the liberal, bumper sticker plastering, smart car driving Democrats were standing there. I asked the little girl, “If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?”
She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.”
Her parents beamed.
“Wow . . . that‘s a very compassionate goal.” I told her, “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can go over to your neighbors houses and mow their lawns, pull weeds, rake their yards, and they will pay you money. Then your parents can take you where the homeless people hang out, and you can give them the money to use for food and new houses.”
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why don’t the homeless people come over and do the work, and our neighbors can just pay them the money?”
I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party,” and shot her parents a little wink.
That’s when I was asked to leave.
Yeah, I’m a conservative. More accurately, I am a fiscal conservative. I want Washington to downsize and stay on a budget. I want people to be self-reliant. But my social opinions actually tend to reflect a more open-minded viewpoint. Maybe that’s why I can embrace liberal entertainment while some of my more right-leaning friends denounce it.
They hate modern media because it promotes liberalism and assaults their values.
This is true, I can’t deny it.
When you see the typical Hollywood movie, it will reflect a Democrat’s values. The stars of those movies go out and attract attention with their liberal activism.
A few months ago, I watched a television report of Matt Damon at a Save Our Schools rally in Washington DC, and apparently, he got offended when a reporter suggested that teachers need incentives to do a good job (and implied termination when they don’t).
I chuckled at the actor’s ridiculous position, that people don’t need incentives to work hard, that incentives don‘t affect behavior, and well, together with all his other political brain farts over the years, I just mentally assigned him to belonging to the Flat Earth Society.
His mother is a teacher. She was standing right there beside him.
Now, I like Matt Damon’s acting ability and will continue to be interested in his films, but this embarrassing episode was just a movie star using the platform of his fame to spew gobbledygook under the guise of sounding erudite, and showing off for his mom.
Nothing he says can make me angry. I don’t take him seriously because reality doesn’t take him seriously. Matt Damon is not an authority on politics. He’s an authority on pretending. And saying things like “intrinsically paternalistic view” to a reporter. He kept talking, but she was blinking like crazy trying to figure what the hell that meant. He sounds smart, but what he’s actually saying isn’t. God help the guy if he abandoned the cameras, took that brand of passionate liberalism to Main Street, USA, and actually tried to work shitty jobs. If he could find one in this economy. He’d find out pretty quick that incentive means everything and his alligator mouth is eating his own hummingbird ass.
Which gets me to a subject I’d like to explore on the next blog: WHY ARE ARTISTS ALMOST ALWAYS LIBERAL? While I work on that for tomorrow’s post, I’ll be watching the liberal artistry of another Soledad Miranda movie in the background and knowing the doomed fact that she only lived for a few months after these images.