The evil of banality

Do you have anything a bit stronger that might
leave my brains on the basement wall?
 Posted by Picasa

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 it’s called – it’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 daughter’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 “CLEARANCE,” which is distinct from “SALE.” If it’s on CLEARANCE it’s on the way out. Do I stock up on foamy tubes and hold out, or just buy one and deal with the product’s end when the day comes?

Wouldn’t want to ruin the suspense, so I won’t give the answer.

It gets worse:

Finished “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” which came on the HiDef channel. Hadn’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 – I hope – the particulars of McMurphy’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 it’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 Fletcher’s performance absolutely walks the edge of the knife-blade, and that’s not something you see when you’re in your question-authority worldview. Yes, she’s a controlling ice-cold biatch, but keep in mind she’s trying to deal with some rather challenging individuals; perhaps you’d dial back your reactions too.

McMurphy’s actions – apart from his unlocking of the Chief – are almost entirely irresponsible, and you can argue that Billy Bi-bi-bibbit’s fate is equally tied to Ratched’s deployment of the guilt-bomb AND McMurphy’s hapless inability to understand Billy’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…

Previous post

Next post

Late Nite FDL: Kate Circles the Drain



Yeah. Like I would tell you....