Monday, February 28, 2011

planting the F-word and the american dream

boy, am i slow on the uptake! watching the academy awards at our wonderful local art-house, the pageant theater (they put on a spectacular feed), i kept wondering "how did they manage to blot out the f-word the actress so dramatically threw out?' this morning the light bulb: 'they planted it of course.' anything to add a bit of spice.

now, i don't want to downgrade the evening. glamorous, not an eyesore by any means, a good show. however, when it goes too smoothly, it's dull. at least the director of the expose' inside job said, 'after three years of the financial meltdown not one financier has been prosecuted, and that's wrong.' the highest moments of the past events marked by political statements a bit embarrassing. after all, hollywood a money-machine.

more than that, though, it's a pretty true view of america. we're afraid of honest emotion portrayed on the screen. it has to be acting. look how different the bits from the foreign films nominated. there truth to life, to suffering and joy, too much for most of the populace. that's why a theater like the pageant barely hangs on by the skin of its teeth, even in a college town. we can't bear to be so vulnerable (what great performances really about). we're a survival-of-the- fittest society. we can't lose control, for fear of going under, and not without reason.

we struggle to have an identity in a mass society, piercing and tattooing ourselves, while at the same time doing all we can to appear normal and hold a job. frankly, i've spent my whole life afraid i'd be penniless, and that's the underpinning of the american dream. it's a gamble in the midst of multiple illusions.

and talking about sex in films, i have to hide my eyes most of the time cause it's so unbelievable, just bump and grind wrestling without falling into gentleness. it occurs to me sex could have easily been a disaster on my own life. for example, a french girl picked me up in an english youth hostel and dragged me to a bed and breakfast. (no, i didn't take much dragging. that's a lie to protect the guilty.) after a very energetic imitation of movie loving, she told me she might have syphilis. her hatred of men flashed from her eyes. i took a train to frankfurt and got a shot of penicillin from my nurse sister. for twenty years after i had myself tested.

yes, sex is dangerous. your whole existence can be turned upside down by it. this is no surprise to those who passed through the age of aids. i myself after twenty years of indiscretion became notoriously celibate. so much for the pursuit of happiness! i've always loved the movies more than real life.

look up the pageant at www.

you can see my one venture into the medium, mother thunder, which i wrote and acted on