Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Don't Get It

Although I am trying to do something else, I have on TCM and Gigi is showing. I am told this is one of the best musicals ever made. The subject matter, however, is appalling. It's about a young girl basically being groomed to be a consort of rich men in Europe at the turn of the century. No matter how it is prettied up, it's basically about prostitution and infidelity. It reminds me of The Memoirs of a Geisha, which I read because I bought it because the author is the grandson of the newspaper mogul in Chattanooga and I heard him speak at a writer's conference. When I got to the end, I was sickened by the whole thing. I think at the end of Gigi, though, true love and morality prevail.

Speaking of which, I went to the Meacham's writing conference today, or at least a session of it. Yes, this is somehow related to the Jon Meacham of Time Magazine, or his family, also part of the aforementioned Chattanooga press mogul's family (they are all descendants of Alfred Ochs). Years ago (like 1986) I submitted a story to it for a class I was taking, but I haven't been since. I saw a few people there I knew. Anyway, three writers read. The first, I think his name was Mark Fitten, read part of his new novel and I liked it; he obviously knew what he was doing with a novel and has been published before. Then a student read, and I felt like I was the only one not in on the joke behind his two short-short stories. He seemed like he wrote fiction so he could say bad words and talk about his own body parts. The third was an elderly gentleman, James Tate, a poet who won the Pulitzer Prize, so he's nothing to sneeze at. I found his poems... quirky. Not that I didn't like them; I just didn't see the poetry in them.

So I go to Wikipedia and find this insight, which fits my reactions: Tate's writing style is difficult to describe, but has been identified with the postmodernist and neo-surrealist movements. He has been known to carve, invert, and play with phrases culled from news items, history, anecdotes, or common speech; later cutting, pasting, and assembling such divergent material into tightly woven compositions that reveal bizarre and surreal insights into the absurdity of human nature.

I also don't get the health care bill, and Huckabee (yikes, I watched a few minutes of Fox!) had a very good section on it tonight. Huckabee is coming out as an articulate and reasonable guy. I voted for him in the primary the last time, even though I knew he wouldn't win. I would vote for him again, although the left loves to make fun of him as the former fat guy and just a Baptist preacher. Uh, he was a governor for 10 years, and of the state the wonderful Bill Clinton was governor of, so not much argument there. Not that the left ever really does have much of an argument other than "what about the poor people" and "I'm offended."

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