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Sunday, April 03, 2011
one ring to rule them all
Listening to:Somebody's Baby", Jackson Browne in my head
Reading:
Weather:Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood
I turned on the Fellowship of the Ring this morning and caught the beginning. I never read those books, but I really enjoyed the beautiful films, even with the excessive slash smash battling and camera movement. I love the idea of a little hobbit, a halfling, who just keeps on walking an impossible distance with impossible obstacles popping up periodically, and who saves the freakin world from all powerful evil. Sweet.

I had this friend Ken Ervin who died a few years ago. He was a wheelchair activist and interesting hellraiser. Had a harem, like all the progressive leaders seem to. Applied the tools and philosophies of MLK and the civil rights movement to push forward and rally the troops. Had a hilarious spazzy laugh. Our mutual friend Helen Panzironi painted a fantastic portrait of him. She told me that while she was working on it he said "can you make me look a little more like a hobbit?"

I think he was serious. I find it somewhat ironic that, although he's hobbity in the sense of chugging along overcoming obstacles to kick evil's ass, he couldn't walk. Hobbits have these big honking feet straight up made for nonstop all-terrain walking. The movies are all about the walking. According to Randal Graves in Clerk 2: "Those fuckin' hobbit movies were boring as hell. All it was, was a bunch of people walking, three movies of people walking to a fucking volcano. Even the fuckin trees walked in those movies."

Even though Ken, who was deeply admired by many people for his work in liberating people with disabilities, perhaps liked to think of himself as part Frodo Baggins part Malcolm X and apparently part Hugh Hefner, he couldn't stand up on big old hobbit feet.

Speaking of ironic and of Clerks, Liv took me to see Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in Pittsburgh!!! It was just a frickin blast. Kevin does these performances, not really stand-up cuz he's sitting down and there's really no typical jokes or one-liners, but he regales the audience with hilarious stories of his life. He's a filmmaker, so he's all about telling stories. He and Jay were absolutely hilarious, including recurring mentions of things that actually are or are not ironic (he told a story about walking around the streets of Pittsburgh with Alannis Morrisette while they were filming Dogma).

But what really made the show were the two sign language interpreters on the far side of the stage. I'm guessing there may have been a patron who requested this accommodation. But either way, they had never previously had interpreters on stage with them, and watching them get such a kick out of it was worth the price of admission.

This won't make much sense to you if you aren't already familiar with Kevin Smith's body of work. I love all his movies, but there is a strong and wide thread of pretty much constant vulgarity throughout. So now that you know that, please picture two somewhat frumpy 40-something women sitting next to each other on stage doing sign language for all manner of detailed descriptions of bungled sex acts. Sometimes Kevin and Jay were so entertained by the interpreters that they'd stop and look at them and say "wait, let me see that again. Cocksucker."

We had so much fun. We are huge Kevin Smith fans, seen all the films many times, even made a pilgrimage to Red Bank to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store. It was so delightful to get to see him in person for the first time, and with my kid. He's about my age, and has a daughter of his own, too, and after all these years I'm still thoroughly entertained by what he has to say. Frickin awesome gift, thank you Livi!

I finally got around to watching the movie Agora today. I downloaded it from Amazon for $4. I had been hoping to stream it on Netflix, but like nearly everything I can think of that I want to watch it's not available to stream on Netflix. I'm enjoying the many offbeat documentaries I've been streaming, but I'm getting to be about done with that and wish that more of the movies I want to watch were available.

Anyhoo, Agora is about Hypatia of Alexandria. I'm superweak on the history, but I think she was a philosopher, astronomer, and atheist. In the style of the old Greek philosophers she had a little troupe of disciples whom she taught and worked out her stuff with. According to a professor who wrote a lengthy comment on the IMDB boards about the movie, it's riddled with inaccuracies. I wasn't totally looking for historical accuracy as much as an interesting story about a famous atheist in history.

I mostly enjoyed the movie, it was beautiful to look at, but I did find it a little confusing and without a solid uniting storyline. It did inspire me, however, to read a little more about Hypatia and to look for a good biography of her to add to my to-read list. This has become a hella long list since my pal Fred gave me a boatload of books on my kindle.

Last weekend in St Marys I found myself in Connie's living room with Fred and Mike, and all 3 of us whipped out our kindles. It was rather delightful to be amongst kindle-dred spirits, heheheh. But seriously, these are my peeps, country people, pickers, beer drinkers, computer geeks, kindle readers.

One ring to rule the mall. That sounds like a good punchline, but what's the joke?


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