Sunday, June 14, 2009

Masochism Fatigue

Last night's tweets;

I only want one very long hour.
Fluttering slow as the rubber bat flies.
Yesterday's tea seems to have gone sour.
Most minotaurs are terribly bad spies.

Okay, here's my second attempt at a post. I started writing a long analysis of Dodes'ka-den, which I watched on Friday, but I'm so tired right now forcing my thoughts through is like pushing Play-Doh through a balloon. Yeah, it doesn't make sense and it's impossible.

Lots of noises starting here to-day at around noon and I stayed up too late--just before I went to sleep at 4:40am, I had this weird urge to start watching Goldfinger. I only watched the beginning. I started wondering if James Bond's less than flattering portrayal in the third League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book is due to Sean Connery's instrumental role in making the film adaptation of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen a piece of shit. But Bond's unabashed and oddly guileless misogyny is certainly a ripe and satisfying target for parody, too rarely exploited.

It's remarkable what babies men can be, at least the ones who fancy themselves as the furthest thing possible from babies. Goldfinger seems to go out of its way to create a safe and gentle environment for a man to slap women's asses and dismiss their thoughts you wonder how anyone watching could possibly take such a worldview seriously. I started thinking about Artie Lange on The Howard Stern Show last week, who, as much as I like him, can become really tiresome in his pronouncements on the stupidity of women. He's a smart man, and he does bring up genuine examples of stupid women, but he seems to hold female stupidity as greater cause for retribution than male stupidity or ineptitude, something that was emphasised for me last week when Lange shared his surprising tendency to write rather soppy amateur poems for his girlfriends. Of course, he expects them to value the poems for his evident loving intentions rather than for the quality of the work, a consideration he too rarely seems interested in reciprocating.

I can only really feel bad for him at this point, though, because it sounds like he's got a new girlfriend who's destined to completely break his heart. He picked her up at a tanning salon, and within weeks she appears to utterly adore him. One M.O. in life I've come to really dislike is that of the excessive flatterer. I can't really hate the person, because they mean well and are likely totally ignorant of what they're really doing, but I've seen it time and again--people who translate their great enthusiasm for someone or something new into words of unequivocal praise. People who lack an awareness and control of their emotions--ire for them may not seem necessary, but then you need to think of the people who take the flattery seriously. Artie, for example, who's obviously not sensitive to all the relevant issues in the relationship between men and women. One could say Artie deserves the incoming pain when the woman's enthusiasm inevitably dims and he realises the flattery was based more on her feelings than on her accurate impressions of his nature. But while Artie might be a misogynist, he's also a guy who gave thirteen thousand dollars to a woman with cancer who called into the show, which is only one example of Artie's habitual generosity and apparent genuine desire to do good. Too often, punishment's dealt without consideration of the offender's intentions and basic nature. Roger Ebert, in one of his reviews the other day, quoted from Citizen Kane, the bit where Gettys told Kane that he's going to need more than one lesson, and he's going to get it. One might observe that Kane didn't learn anything from the sort of "lessons" Gettys meant, in fact, the effect of pain only seemed to further atrophy Kane's better qualities.

I guess there's something to be said for treating infantile men with gentleness, though such gentle techniques probably ought to be of more substantial content than Goldfinger.

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