27.11.17

Culture Vulturing at an awkward moment



Because when you're in Dublin, and the Abbey Theatre has a production, you go, right?  And so, I did.  This production, Let The Right One In, is based on the Swedish movie (which was based on a novel) and was just opening when we saw it, although it was originally seen on stage in London, New York and other places since 2013.  I mention this to give some context: this isn't a new production (except in Dublin) nor is the subject matter new.  I also mention this to tell you that there are no spoilers here because see above.

Without getting into the performances or the technical aspects (although I certainly could), there was one moment that took me aback.  Those who know me know I love me some vampires.  And I know that Eli is a vampire.  And that Haken is not her father but an old man in love with Eli, an old man who probably fell in love with her and agreed to be her protector (thrall?), helping her to cover up her killings and move from town to town when much younger.  But Haken is at the end of his life, while Eli is still "young" - and his despair at this realization and that Eli might be looking for someone new/younger is palpable.  So when Eli offers to remove her shirt, or to sleep with Haken, I know that this is actually a very old being offering comfort to a younger man but... but... the visual is of a young girl and a much older man. 

Had I seen this when it was on stage in New York (2015) or London (2014) or even two months ago, that moment wouldn't have taken me aback.  But in this post-Weinstein, post-Spacey, post-Roy Moore moment?  It did.  There have been a number of articles about how we come to grips with the artistic works of people (like Woody Allen or Richard Wagner) when we have contempt for the person.  Clearly this moment isn't about that, but it did make me wonder: how will the vampire story fare, on or off screen, given our moment of #metoo?

12.11.17

Landmarking

We all have those landmarks we're waiting to pass: first birthday, first time in "double digits", first time driving a car, getting into college, buying a car or house, etc..  It's a natural way to measure time and our progress in the world. 

Over the past couple of years I've started to think about upcoming landmarks, some of which are personal (health, family) and some are professional (retirement, last job).  Last night, as I drifted off to sleep, some of those drifted through my mind, not always in a pleasant way.  Example: I have so many books on Mt. Bookpile - will I ever read them?  Another example: since my eye problems began, I've had two relapses - when is the next one, or can we prevent it?

And then there was the pleasant one of our Big Girl giving me kisses as I read (totally interrupting Saturday Book Club reading), something I haven't had since last year when our Old Guy joined the Mantle Cats.  And our Only Guy has gotten a little friendlier... my landmark will be when he lets me cuddle him (or, more realistically, when he curls up in bed and doesn't run away after a minute).

I've been reflecting on some of the landmarks long since passed, and others that never really happened.  Some, like children, were just not going to happen.  Others?  Most days I don't think about them but some days there's a fleeting regret.  Let me be clear: I hate regrets.  They're like guilty pleasures - at a certain point in your life, stop.  You're too old to feel guilt about something that gives you pleasure.  I've reached that time, but the time to stop having regrets?  Not so much.

Maybe that's my next landmark?  The land of no regrets.  Or as close to it I can get.