9:17 am - Mon 12/15/03
Sat 12/13/03 (10:10 p.m.)
(The funny thing about my entry yesterday? I almost never buy popcorn at the movies–It's too damned expensive.)
Listening to the commentary track on the dvd of Shane. I checked it out from the library on Thursday, along with Five Easy Pieces.
For a long time, Shane was only one of two Westerns I'd ever read (The other being Lonesome Dove). And it was years after I read the book that I finally saw the movie for the first time; when I bought my first vcr, it struck me that I'd never seen many Westerns, so I rented all the classic Westerns I could get my hands on, Shane amongst them.
The dvd had a commentary track from George Stevens Jr. (Son of the director), and Ivan Moffatt, who I think was an associate producer; Apparently, in an alternate universe, Shane would have starred Montgomery Clift, William Holden, and Katherine Hepburn (That's a high-powered group of actors, but I think they did pretty well with who they cast).
For years, the only thing I'd ever seen from Five Easy Pieces was the famous "chicken salad sandwich" scene, which is always part of any "great scene" montage at awards shows and such. But when I first saw the whole movie, I was kind of...bored. I haven't always had the patience for "character studies" I do now, and I didn't really "get" Nicholson's character.
But watching it yesterday, I felt a lot more sympathy for "Bobby Dupea" than on my first viewing. I saw how stuck he was–Disgusted with the intellectual pretension and snobbery he came from, but too bright and talented to ever be comfortable with the "lower classes" without feeling like he's "slumming". He wants something that feels real to him, and can't find it anywhere. So he keeps moving, hoping to find someplace where he won't feel angry and upset and antsy all the time.
And I felt a great sympathy for Karen Black's character ("Raylene"?), "Bobby's" put-upon, sweet-but-not-too-bright, wannabee country-singer girlfriend. Even though the "relationship", such as it was, would never have worked out, she deserved better than to just be abandoned at that gas station without even a goodbye (He hitches a ride with a trucker while she's inside buying a Coke or something; the movie ends with a long shot of her coming back out to the car, as the truck he's in starts rolling down the highway; a good chunk of my sympathy for "Bobby" drained away at that point).
I like checking out videos and dvds at the library. I feel like I'm "getting away with something". But I'm afraid it's never going to replace going to the movies or the video store, because–at least at the library nearest me–there just isn't enough to choose from.
But speaking of the library, I've got to get those dvds back. I also have to go to I. Martin, the bike shop, cause my front tire is flat...again (There's a story behind that I'll get to later).
Sun 12/14/03 (9:28 a.m.)
Well, they got Saddam Hussein.
Obviously this is a good thing–He's a genuine bad guy, and deserves to pay for his crimes–but I have to admit, my instant response to the news (Which I heard right before going to bed last night) was, "Damn! Now it's going to be another four years of Bush for sure!".
I'm wondering, I imagine like a lot of people, what this means in terms of the war. I don't think things just stop, but do they get better...or worse?
I guess time will tell.
10:40 a.m. (Transcribed from the "book journal")
Thoughts about the Saddam capture.
1. If you do the right thing for the wrong reason, do you still get credit?
Now that he's caught, there's a lot of rhetoric about his evil regime, the thousands of people killed and tortured, etc, as if that's why we went to war. Suddenly it's "What 'weapons of mass destruction'? This was always about saving the Iraqi people from this brutal dictatorship". And you know what? It really wasn't.
2. I don't feel any safer. Do you?
3. Saddam's comment about being a "firm but fair" ruler (Thousands of dead Kurds would beg to differ), reminded me of Mr Pupo; Mr P. explained away the crimes of his regime as having been "...perhaps too strict, but it was only out of love" (I wish Saddam had said that!).
4. Nice visuals for the capture--Saddam looking like a homeless man (Which I guess he pretty much was), hiding out in his little "spider hole".
"How the mighty hath fallen" and all that (It's pretty much the final "nail in the coffin" regarding my own aspirations as a Dictator. These things seem to end badly so much of the time...).
5. I think he needs to be handed over to the Iraqi people ASAP (As soon as the mechanics of that can be figured out). We aren't the "injured party" here--they are.
It will be interesting to see what happens next, to say the very least...!
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