Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Last of the Mohicans

I watched The Last of the Mohicans again yesterday. I can't count the number of times that I've watched it though. They show it on the cable channels a lot. I don't know what keeps me coming back. The movie is all right for what it is, but it isn't the sort of film that really merits repeated viewing. The music is part of it. The movie's score may be my favorite. I can't think of one that I like better.

The acting is a mixed bag. Daniel Day-Lewis is an overrated actor, but he does a good enough job as Hawkeye. The Last of the Mohicans is the only movie in which have seen Madeleine Stowe do a credible job of acting. Her work is usually forgettable. The one really excellent job is that turned in by Wes Studi as the Indian Magua. He's one of the great movie villains.

I guess we all have certain movies that we watch over and over again, movies that don't have much intrinsic, artistic merit. With a few exceptions, mine run to war movies like Midway, Blackhawk Down, and Saving Private Ryan. I don't know why, since I tend toward pacifism. Maybe it's a guy thing. On the other hand, my father was a career Air Force officer, and he would occasionally take me to the movies when I was a little kid. They were always war movies. They were the only ones he liked. It reminds me of the boast that is attributed to the Jesuits. Give me a child for the first five years of his life, and I have him forever.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Candy From Strangers

"Never accept an invitation from a stranger unless he gives you candy."

Who in the hell Linda Festa, and why do I ask myself that question? Well, the quotation above, which made me chuckle when I read it, is attributed to her. The only information I could find out about her was that she was a lawyer and politician who lived from 1847-1908. This was before the age of the automobile, so she wasn't talking about a Catholic school girl in her cute, little, navy-blue uniform, who's being lured into a Ford coupe by a smooth-talking stranger. It would have been the horse-and-buggy era. The guy would have had a handlebar mustache, a sleazy leer, and a black tophat. The girl would have likely been a ragamuffin. A box of chocolates would have meant something.

I found one other quotation that is attributed to Linda Festa. "The most important thing in a relationship between a man and a woman is that one of them must be good at taking orders." That's precious, and true, though it's not politically correct to say so in this age of denial. A relationship certainly may not boil down to something as harsh as the giving and taking of orders. It may be more subtle than that, but it does come down to control. One person has it, and the other cedes it.* If that doesn't happen, then the relationship is doomed. It's the way of the monkeys and, let's face it, we're monkeys down in the DNA. There are no 50-50 intimate relationships. Someone's going to be the alpha.

* Ms. Festa is talking about heterosexual relationships, but it has been my observation that the same thing is true for those who prefer partners of the same sex.