October 10th, 2004


Lots going on

Well, my daughter's home from college for the Columbus day weekend, hurrah.  She's sleeping right now - at just about 11 am in sunny Chicago - so I guess she is enjoying her own bed.

Yesterday, unplannedly, I spent the better part of the day adding stuff to my website.  I dug up a lot of old published essays of mine and slapped them into html and attached them too, at the bottom of the front page. I even took something out of this blog, about how the novel was inspired, and slapped that onto an attached page.  It was fun, but I'm not even done yet.  Hey, wait, that could be the rhyme of the day:

It was fun,
But I'm not done.

Nah.  Forget I even had that idea.  Anyway, there are a couple of other essays to put up, including one that I no longer have in electronic form.  I believe it was originally typed on a typewriter, in the dawn of time, before personal computers existed.  I probably did put it into a word processor at some point - but probably on an extinct word processing program on an extinct computer like the Atari 800.  Don't laugh.  I learned Basic on that Atari.

Rhyme of the Day:

I loved my old Atari
But it's gone and I'm not sorry.

It wasn't really needed
Once it was superceded.



We watched Quills last night.  I wasn't really looking forward to it, since from the reviews it sounded icky.  So my expectations were low.  But we enjoyed it.  Well acted, well filmed, all that kind of stuff.  Not exactly a happy ending, but it didn't feel completely tragic either.  Michael Caine plays the real villain of the piece, an "alienist."  That's what they used to call doctors who specialized in "treating" people locked up in madhouses.

Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis de Sade, the man from whom sadism takes its name.  He is locked up in the madhouse, and receives special attentions from Michael Caine and from Joaquin Phoenix.  Phoenix, a priest, is in charge of the madhouse when Caine shows up to "help" him.

By the way, masochism is also named after a kinky writer.

This movie is based on a play, and there's quite a bit of plot, actually, much more than I expected.  It is very talky and witty for a movie, showing its roots in the live-theater form, where those qualities are more typical.

From what I gather, the real Marquis was an evil man in many ways.  The film doesn't really question that.  But the film portrays sado-masochism as something most people enjoy imagining - at least after they get over their revulsion and squeamishness.  I question whether it's quite so universal a tendency as the film suggests.

But it puts me in mind of the "rape" scene in the Fountainhead.  Fun to read.  Bad idea for a first date.

Rhyme of the Day:

I gather his novel, Justine,
Maintains it is nice to be mean.