Location: Iowa, United States

61 years old (pretty old for a blogger) proud to be a grandpa

Monday, October 30, 2006

Warning--this post may be offensive to members of the female gender (and other people, too)

This seems to happen a lot. I go into a crowded public restroom and take my place against the wall. Then the guy next to me, either before he starts or after he finishes -- spits a large stream of saliva into the urinal. Now I don’t know very many guys who make a habit of spitting under any circumstances. You don’t see too many guys spitting these days when they’re in their yard or taking a hike or even out in the middle of the ocean. So why this compulsion to spit when they’re confronted with a urinal? Do they think they’re getting away with something? Is this somehow macho? Have they suddenly taken an interest in the color and viscosity of their sputum? This has happened too many times to be a coincidence. And so I ask you -- am I alone in this observation? Has this happened to you? Do you have any rationale explanation? Youth wants to know!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Silence of the Lambs

I’ve seen parts of “Silence of the Lambs” three or four times now (only once in the R rated version). I know that the acting is terrific and the “production values” are great and that it has other qualities that people in the know prize about movies. My concern has to do rather with why we are attracted to a movie like this in the first place. I can’t help feeling that at least part of the attraction lies in the sick nature of the plot. I’m not saying that somebody is going to go out and kill somebody because of the movie or that in watching it we get to do terrible things vicariously. We certainly want the good guys to win. I think the attraction is more subtle than that. However, I am willing to entertain the notion that no matter how subtle the attraction is, to yield to the temptation to watch it may be wrong. There is certainly no “message” to the film that I could find -- nothing that would justify lacerating our senses as it does. I realize that there are plenty of movies that are produced purely for their “entertainment value” but this film (and others like it) seem to produce in us a wrong kind of fascination. Here are some legitimate questions: Why do we want this in our heads even for two hours? Is the very impulse that makes us want to see it, wrong? Should such an impulse be resisted EVEN IF there are no other long or short term behavioral consequences to viewing it? Perhaps so.