January 11th, 2003

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Mamet Mamet Mamet

Ah, yes. As soon as I'm in danger of regaining my faith in humanity, along comes David Mamet to remind me what a thoroughly reprehensible lot of wasted carbon we all are.

It's not that Glengarry Glen Ross is a bad movie - unlike The Edge, say - it's merely filled to the brim with loathsome characters. Apparently the "world of men" (as it's called by several of the principals) is a place of cruelty and competition, backstabbing, deception, and relentless nastiness - tell me again why it is also presented as something to aspire to occupying?

I'm conflicted, in part I'm sure, because it's also stuffed to the brim with brilliant actors giving vibrant performances. Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, & Jonathan Pryce - quite the list. I'm a bad cinemaphile - I have trouble with movies in which I find none of the characters sympathetic. I maintain this is because I go to films to escape the assholes in my real life, so why do I want to attend a movie filled with the type of people I'm trying to get away from?

There are attempts to inspire sympathy for the characters. One has an ill daughter he obviously cares for, and you can feel sorry for his repeated failures to "close" early on. But when he thinks his fortunes have changed, he's as churlish and unpleasant as the rest of them, maybe moreso.

If people are really like this, I have no business living in this world. Perhaps I should be grateful that I am not afflicted with brass balls; that I don't have to choose between a world of clockwatchers and a world of men. That coffee in my world is for any damn one who pleases, and that the majority of people I encounter allow me to continue my naive beliefs about the value of honesty in work.

I have to give the movie a positive recommendation, because it really is a well-crafted piece of work. Just don't ask me to watch it again. I have to like this sort of thing from a considerable distance.
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on the other hand...

Maybe there is some hope after all.

Illinois Governor Ryan to Empty Death Row

There are lots of sides to argue about the death penalty, from vengeance to deterrence to repeat offense, but the gist of the problem to me is what is addressed here: how to be certain the person you execute is the guilty party. Otherwise you're a criminal yourself, party to the slaying of an innocent person.

An someone successfully makes a pact with the supernatural to restore the victim(s) to life when the killer is executed, you might have a chance of convincing me of the worth of a death penalty.
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nuthin' to say

I seem to spend most of my posts complaining, or being cranky, or some such - so I thought for once I'd put up a note when feeling pretty decent. No particular reason, even.

Pity thing is ire tends to make me far more eloquent. Or at least more loquacious...
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