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Thursday, October 14, 2010


yellow and blue

It's been a quiet and restless day without a car. Watched 2 movies, Larry the Cable Guy's, Health Inspector, which was actually funny in its demented way. Had me laughing at crazy things he says and his state of mind. His pickup's back bumper was covered with bumper stickers. One I especially liked said Gun Control Means Hitting Your Target.

The next movie was from Taiwan, the Nationalist island off the coast of mainland China. It's largely composed of descendants of people who left China to get away from Communism after the Nationalists lost the war and evacuated to Taiwan, like Cubans evacuated to Miami. The city, Taipei, is an advanced modern city along the lines of Hong Kong and Macao, but different. Hong Kong was under British control and Macao, Portuguese. Taipei is Chinese governed.The Taiwanese carry on the old Chinese traditions Mao cut out on the mainland.

The story in the film is such that I can't say it is a story. Relatively very little drama. At the moment of the movie's climax, we got a climax, and that was release of the building tension that was about the question, What's going on? Everybody was asking that question in their behavior. It was like the camera followed 3 different people living their lives, each in their own circumstances. Interesting visual compositions all the way through, the way doors and shadows fall on floors and walls. It was made with an artist's eye. Very little talking, just seeing the different ones in their places and times. It was called, What Time Is It There?

One of the people we watch, a young woman of maybe 20 went to Paris. She bought a watch from a boy we're watching of about the same age before she left, emphasizing she wanted a watch that kept two different times, Taipei and Paris, when he was out selling watches from a suitcase that opens into a display full of them. She wanted to buy the watch he was wearing, but he said it was bad luck. She insisted, he sold it. The boy's mother is the 3rd. She is in mourning over her husband who died at the beginning of the film. The boy is too. She hires a priest to try to conjure her husband's spirit back. The son thinks she's ridiculous. They eat together and seldom talk. The city is going on all around them wherever they are. Buses galore, swarms of yellow taxis, cars, motor scooters, bicycles, walking.

Today I've kind of felt in mourning for humanity. Tuesday at lunch Jim Winfield said something about killing being a bad thing to do. Ever since then I've looked at humans since the earliest tribes that carried spears and had bones in their noses, at war with neighboring tribes all the time. Killing somebody of another tribe is nothing. All over Africa killing is what's going on. We glorify it in war, make a very big deal of it. The Old Testament wars were genocidal wars like going on in places like Sudan where warlords and their armies get about in Toyota and Nissan pickups with machine guns mounted in the back, manned by teenage boys high on reefer mowing people down.

The Indian wars on our continent were genocidal like the Bible wars, chaplains preaching sermons about the glorious Hebrew killing machine, something akin to Genghis Khan in the far east. God's chosen army. Dying going on all the time everywhere and it's just numbers. Political murders are always ok. CIA and FBI murders, don't ask, don't tell. But if I shoot somebody, there's hell to pay for committing the most heinous of crimes. Younger, I believed human life important. From what I see all around now that I've grown up, I'm not so sure. If it is, we're still a long ways from getting it.

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