Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Innocence Lost

I've been memed, which feels like losing my blogging innocence. I was under the blissful fetal impression that blogging was all about me, my thoughts, my observations, my preferences, me me me. The meme, despite its name, commands me with the authority of Mt. Sinai: Thou Shallt Blog About These Seven Issues That Interest Others. It doesn't even help that the issues are all about my thoughts, observations, preferences, me me me. I'm devastated to learn that I have to write about what interests others, that I have to respond to others, even be responsible to others. Blogging isn't the Eden of solipsism I imagined.
  1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies: I teach, so I inflict my bookish preferences upon others for a living. I've learned through much hardship to avoid inflictions upon friends and family. Occasionally my passion for a book blinds me to previous hardships, and I venture an infliction. I've had a few that were less than disastrous. For a long while, it was Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, because she thinks so profoundly through literature. More recently, I've been pressing Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, especially to those turned off by the fanfare he received when the book came out, which bears no relation to the smart, insightful, and fun romp through postmodern America. Lately it's been Robert Reich's books.
  2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music: Once upon a time in Austria, I went to a beautiful Renaissance palace, to a small ornate, acoustically perfect room, for an intimate performance of Mozart music by a quartet of accomplished international classical musicians. The setting couldn't have been more ideal, and I couldn't keep my eyes open. 'Twas then I decided it was ok to dislike classical music, which has made it possible for me to like it more.
  3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue: I thought it might be the Animaniacs' Who's on Stage routine, but I found the YouTube clip fatiguing. If "without fatigue" means every year or two, at the top of a long list (that prominently features Hitchcock) might be Scorcese's two comedies, After Hours and King of Comedy. They both play out Scorcese's exploration of class conflict in comic terms, and they hold up remarkably well.
  4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief: I'm a sucker for suspension of disbelief, so it's easier to talk about performers who re-instate my disbelief. Somehow they all seem to make their way into my disbelief while I'm standing in supermarket checkout lines.
  5. Name a work of art you'd like to live with: The Patricia Chidlaw nightscape hanging in my friends' living room.
  6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life: For years people have been telling me that I look like a well-known actor. They mean it as a compliment and frequently tell me, when I scowl in response, that it's a good thing, that there are worse things in the world. I suppose so, but I've mainly found it embarassing, even kind of insulting. It doesn't help that the actor has made a career as the guy in a chick flick. So not only am I obscured by people's celebrity fantasies, I'm doubly obscured by the Hollywood fantasies of men packaged for female consumption. Yuch! At least my mother tells me, "you're much better looking."
  7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: "Mine! Mine! Mine!"


George said...

Get your own damn Chidlaw.

And thanks for playing.

RK said...

Aha! King of Comedy and After Hours are among my favorite Scorsese films, too. I love how many people stumble onto After Hours without even realizing its Scorcese and fall in love with it...

And, when you're feeling bound in by comparisons to a certain movie star, think not of his beautiful romances with Julia Roberts on screen, but all he's done for Tibetan Buddhism in the US!

James said...

I love the classical music story.

"ok to dislike classical music, which has made it possible for me to like it more" -- I find that so many things are like that.

George said...

Oh, you could also think about what said movie star did for male prostitution, too, if it's ok to go back 27 years.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you were better at play acting in a chick-flick, possibly enjoying it and even having a look at some of the outcomes, you wouldn't be where you are now.

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