Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Snippets: The Desecration of the Trees and Other Farewells

--This is a movie week-end.  I had planned to see movies like Dallas Buyers Club before they left, but then I waited too long.  Then, when the movies were nominated for Oscars, a second chance!  So, yesterday it was Dallas Buyer's Club and today Twelve Years a Slave.

--Dallas Buyer's Club was a different movie than I expected.  I thought it would be darkly comic, and it was, here and there.  I didn't expect it to be quite so sordid.  My friend and I discussed why the characters were so keen to keep living when they didn't seem to have much to live for.  There's a scene where 2 characters discuss this very same thing.

--The movie reminded me that there are very ill people out there who would give ANYTHING to have what I so often take for granted:  a rather mundane life filled with daily joys.  A very ill person might happily trade places with me even during my aggravating days.

--We found out this week that a former colleague has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  So in many ways, this movie resonated in ways that it might not have if I'd seen it in November.

--The skeletal qualities of the actors did startle--those beautiful men transformed themselves into something scary.

--I drove by my old house on my way to and from the movie.  The new owners have cut down all the trees.  I understand why they didn't like some of them, but to chop down the mango tree?  Really?

--We got the tree as a seedling, when we lost a magnificent orange tree to a doomed effort to eradicate citrus canker.  But I'd feel the same sorrow if we'd moved into the house with a mature tree already there.

--On a lighter note, here's a wonderful blog post about Jimmy Fallon's last night on his very late-night show.  It's also a great meditation on joy.  Linda Holmes writes, "It's funny now — those words surprised even me when I reread them, because I had forgotten over the course of five years that I didn't know in 2009 that Jimmy Fallon even had an animating principle, let alone know that it would turn out to be joy, which is the animating principle of entirely too little of popular culture."

--Be sure to watch the clip with the Muppets.  If that doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.  Holmes writes, "He staged his goodbye as a performance of 'The Weight' with The Muppets, which continues perhaps the best LNJF tradition of all: that of making really good, really strange choices that somehow, in retrospect, are perfect. We could have sat around trading ideas, the rest of us who don't live in that bubble, for a year, and we'd never have come up with 'he should sing 'The Weight' with The Muppets.' But now that I've seen it, I can't possibly imagine it being anything else."

--The Muppets never age; most animated characters don't age.  How would our view of aging change if we saw those creations age?

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