Monday, October 10, 2005

day: decadent

What frikkin brilliance, huh? Chris Columbus "discovering" America means I get to spend the day luxuriating indoors, stepping out into early-season cold only to purchase my favorite cereal. (Which, at nearly $5 a box, counts as a treat. Fucking NYC.) This whole day is a treat though: Chris never merited us a day off from Swarthmore. On the other hand, why would it if our beloved pinko-commie institution, that Kremlin on the Crum, didn't even recognize Labor Day? We started classes on Labor Day.

In fact, I had one history professor who found this so insulting she continued to rebel against it, year after year. Once, I remember, we spent our first day listening to the Monica Lewinsky tapes. I remember thinking, they sell this shit commercially now? You should try them: they're spell-binding and vomit-inducing all at once. You can hear Linda Tripp working on potato chips in the background as she tries to smarm more information out of poor, clueless Lewinsky. It's worthy of the Sopranos.

Speaking of which, the Sopranos are what I've blockaded myself inside with today. Entirely by accident, among the episodes I've been enjoying is their personal Columbus Day pride parade. The best part, in my opinion, is AJ reading Howard Zinn, as assigned by a teacher at his new skool, and parroting from it that Columbus would be tried for war crimes if he were alive today. Tony, incensed, retorts, "Great - he finally reads a book and it's bullshit."
The episode's moral, that there's too much ethnicity misery poker going on nowadays -- and its sub-moral, that no one will ever truly understand anyone else's history as long as everyone wants to claim equal-time suffering -- is a little heavy-handed. Still, having stayed away from the show for a while, it's refreshing to be brought back into the brilliance. That's how I advise anyone interested to approach the widely disregarded season four.

I saw Capote also this weekend. It was a wonderful character study and acted as well as befits the first star vehicle for one of my favorite actors. But it didn't shake my world -- it was too small for that. I wonder whether a more seasoned director could have done more with it or if the limitations are inherent to the story.

Nothing's blown my socks off this year. It's sort of disappointing. Well, Hollywood has the entire autumn to make it up to me. Ironically, one of the contenders Good Night, and Good Luck, tells the exact story I told in a seminar paper for that same history professor mentioned above. If only I'd thought to make the paper into a screenplay THEN. If only someone had told me.


Anonymous said...

your comments re: capote remind me of my reaction to kinsey. same deal--too small?

ester said...

Definitely, maybe. I never saw Kinsey -- the reviews weren't quite good enough to tempt me. But perhaps we have pinpointed the inescapable flaw in biopics.