17 July 2009

Greetings From Michigan

I would like to apologize to all three of my dedicated readers. This blog has been silent as of late, and I only have one or two excuses to peddle in my defense. First, I was completing a writing project under a deadline. It was a deadline I set for myself, granted, but I still felt I needed to finish the project by a given date. And what date was that? The date of my second excuse, my vacation back to the sunny climes of my origin, Michigan. I've been here for a little more than a week now, and will return to the hustle and bustle of the big city in a few short days.
I'm afraid I don't really have anything substantiative to say. While touring such luminous sites as Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Fayette Historic State Park, Fort Michilimackinac, and the wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula, my mind was blissfully blank, a state it has continued up to now, the whole catching-up-with-friends-and-family phase of returning home. Sure, a topic here and there has flitted into my mind, but isolated from my daily routine, and bereft of time to myself, I have been unable to trap them under glass and nurture them until they spring forth in the form of a beautiful blog post.
Most people wouldn't mind this. After all, writing is a form of work. But I am one of those types who does not like to stay idle for too long, and as I sit in my room late at night, too tired to do anything more than read (currently on the fantastic Generation Kill, which was made into the sublime HBO-miniseries), the inner reaches of my mind prods my frontal lobes. "Just gonna keep wasting your time, huh? Can't even write something simple for the blog? Can't even work on a plot outline or something? Sketch out a little scene or two?" No, Inner Reaches of My Mind, I reply, I cannot. I am sorry. Things will be better once my vacation is over. I promise.
But I didn't want to let you off without one random thought. A couple of days ago, my grandmother was over for dinner. Afterward, we turned on the television and watched whatever Turner Classic Movies was showing, in this case, Elephant Walk, starring Elizabeth Taylor's Wandering British Accent. My grandmother said she'd seen the movie at some point, years ago, and we watched it in that post-meal haze, with my full stomach and the film's mediocrity lulling me into a nap. When it was over, grandmother informed me that Elizabeth had remained with husband Peter Finch rather than American lover Dana Andrews, much to her chagrin.
It was the sort of incident I've experienced a few times before, and I'm sure you have too. You visit a grandparent, or an older relative, and they'll have the television on, and it will be playing a quiet old movie they remember seeing years ago. And they might tell you what they remember of it, and it might remain on in the background during your visit. It's usually whatever TCM is playing, naturally, and you probably dismiss the film, finding it a little too bland or slow-paced for your tastes (and let's face it, the grand bulk of the movies made back in the day were no better than the grand bulk of the films made today).
This time around, I was struck with a realization. When our generation is gray and old, and when we who live long enough to see our grandchildren are being visited by the youth, what old movies will we be watching? What will future littluns dismiss as being too boring? Can you imagine having your grandchildren visit you while Transformers 2 blares in the background on the television/computer/telephone/communications module? "Oh, this?" you yell over the blistering sounds of crashing metal and thumping explosions, "I wasn't really watching it. Turn on whatever you want." And of course they will, because by that point, Transformers 2 will seem like Drums Along the Mohawk.
I, for one, cannot wait. I intend to be watching Salo when company comes. And I will say "Oh, this? This is just something I had on."

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