Monday, October 3, 2011

Pinecones and Paperweights

What matters
16 x 20, oil on masonite
(The horizon is actually straight on this. It's the photograph that makes it dark and crooked.

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO: Finally! A perfectly rational explanation for how Irish dancing began

Bidding on the 1,500 word essay "Tell Me about the Rabbit George." Signed, hand-bound limited edition of 1 continues: $91.00 Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Bidding closes midnight Friday, December 2, 2011 To bid send an e-mail to To follow the initial story see my July post on the right ----------->

was published in the West Quebec Post, August 18, 2011

Pinecones and Paperweights

I haven’t seen a decent movie in years. There are two reasons for this. The first one is because apparently plot, dialogue and character development in movie scripts has been supplanted by special effects, cartoon actors and slack-jawed monosyllabic grunts. I meet these monosyllabic grunts on a daily basis because this is what constitutes communication now at the vocal level ever since they developed the Blackberry and other such nonsense. I’m beginning to get used to the idea. I mean, what choice do we have?

I know the day when the finesse and credibility of movies started to decline was the day that Kevin Costner started getting starring roles. The man cannot act. He and Brad Pitt are about as convincing as actors as pinecones would be as paperweights. They are basically pretty boys, eye candy for the feminine persuasion in the audience and a diversion from the reality of ridiculous scripts covered up by even more ridiculous special effects. They have become so desperate in the department of special effects that now they are bringing out 3D movies with scratch cards so we can smell the roses so to speak. I suspect that eventually the chairs we sit in at movies will start gyrating as we pretend to ride horses and will throw us out into the aisles as the horses buck. I wouldn’t put it past them, these movie people. They have to do something to compete with on-line movie rentals. What else are they going to do with dwindling audiences at their movie theatres? Maybe they can turn them into community centres? However, I digress.

The second reason I haven’t seen a decent movie in years is because of Rhonda. I hate Rhonda. I don’t hate Rhonda just because she’s seen every movie ever made. I don’t hate her because she sees every movie the instant it comes out. I hate her because she tells me about it. Rhonda is a walking talking movie spoiler. She will greet you with a punctilious smile carefully orchestrated to invite discussion. You think you’re going to talk about the weather but she will then immediately launch into why you need to see the movie she’s just seen. It is apparently so darn good that she must describe it to you in infinite detail from beginning to the bitter end. And no matter how much you protest about how you don’t want to know the ending she always finds a way. You can do whatever you want to distract her but it won’t work. The woman is a master spoiler.

“Would you like a coffee Rhonda?” you will ask on the way to the kitchen after having stated in no uncertain terms that you would like to see this movie and would she please keep the ending to herself.

“Oh yes. I’d love some coffee! That’s just like the character in this movie. He was drinking coffee at the bar in Come-by-chance, Newfoundland where he went to escape the Mexican mafia drug cartel after he killed the man with the limp (which was caused by a barrage of shrapnel during the blitz in Guatemala) by poison dart tattoos when he was trying to rescue the woman that he--this man at the bar in Come-By-Chance--fell in love with over tuna fish sandwiches with artichokes in that cave near Luxembourg. So after he drank the coffee he killed himself by throwing himself off the cliff in St. John’s.”

“Would you like some cream with that coffee?” I ask.

“Oh. I’m sorry I did it AGAIN.” She laughs. She ALWAYS laughs at this point. “It’s such a good movie! I just can’t help myself!” And of course she’s right. She can’t help herself: it’s an itch that needs scratching, a ritual that needs ending, and a deed that needs doing. Just like how I usually add the cream before pouring the coffee over her head.

“I just can’t help myself,” I say sadly. It’s just a deed that needs doing. That’s the way it is. It hasn’t worked yet with Rhonda but I live in hope. Maybe I’ll add sugar next time.

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