Lileks, of course:
Gnat had a playdate today; afterwards we went to Target for basics. I picked up a cartridge for the Clorox Foamy Wand, or whatever itâ€™s called â€“ itâ€™s a toilet brush that spews bowl cleaner at the touch of a button. I bought the item under the impression that the brush revolved. It did not. My disappointment was keen. Sharper than a daughterâ€™s tooth, it was. But a few months ago I made my peace with the device and restocked the foamy tubes. Today I saw the unit on â€œCLEARANCE,â€ which is distinct from â€œSALE.â€ If itâ€™s on CLEARANCE itâ€™s on the way out. Do I stock up on foamy tubes and hold out, or just buy one and deal with the productâ€™s end when the day comes?
Wouldnâ€™t want to ruin the suspense, so I wonâ€™t give the answer.
It gets worse:
Finished â€œOne Flew Over The Cuckooâ€™s Nest,â€ which came on the HiDef channel. Hadnâ€™t seen it since its original run. You take different things from the movie depending on where you are in life, perhaps; at the time I saw the hero as a Brave Jester poking holes in the hidebound, oppressive world for which the nuthouse was a potent metaphor. Now McMurphy just seems like a selfish jackass. A charming one, yes; a welcome breath of anarchy, perhaps, but we are talking about a mental ward. I do need to read the book, because I suspect â€“ I hope â€“ the particulars of McMurphyâ€™s commitment were fleshed out. As the movie had it, he was sent to the mental ward for Being Jack Nicholson. But I still think itâ€™s an exceptional film, partly because it did say something differently to me last night than it did 30 years ago. Nurse Ratched is less evil; Louise Fletcherâ€™s performance absolutely walks the edge of the knife-blade, and thatâ€™s not something you see when youâ€™re in your question-authority worldview. Yes, sheâ€™s a controlling ice-cold biatch, but keep in mind sheâ€™s trying to deal with some rather challenging individuals; perhaps youâ€™d dial back your reactions too.
McMurphyâ€™s actions – apart from his unlocking of the Chief – are almost entirely irresponsible, and you can argue that Billy Bi-bi-bibbitâ€™s fate is equally tied to Ratchedâ€™s deployment of the guilt-bomb AND McMurphyâ€™s hapless inability to understand Billyâ€™s emotional fragility. It was all cut and dried when I first saw it. Not any more. A fine movie.
Lileks is an argument against both evolution and intelligent design…