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A July of Flowers (Contd.)

I'll begin this entry with a quote from Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul: The plants that are closest to you are those from your childhood; those are the ones you truly love. I read that and immediately it rang true. Well, more or less true. Certainly, many of my favourite plants species are those I grew up with in dear ol' Leeds (Alabama, not England — a pity) and Jacksonville (FL). For instance, morning-glory, kudzu, magnolia, the dwarf crested iris, colicroot (star grass), sea oats, daisy fleabane (one of my very favourites), dwarf dandelion, Queen Anne's lace, primrose, purple loosestrife, and so forth. Some of these grow in the northeast, where I hope to eventually relocate, but others do not. I fear I will miss them.


I took Ambien last night, and I'm pretty sure some crucial portion of my brain remains blissfully unconscious. I must have dreamt of flowers.

Today is mine and Spooky's 4th anniversary. Today, we are four. She proposes that we celebrate by taking crayons and colouring upon the walls. It's unlikely I'll think of anything more appropriate or enjoyable.

To my general relief, the Daughter of Hounds CEM did not arrive on Friday when I was instructed to expect its arrival. With luck, it shall not arrive today, either, as I'm in no humour to entertain it, scarred and defaced as it will be by some copyeditor's eager pen. Perhaps it will not come for many more days. That would be a blessing.

What did I think of Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hill Have Eyes? Well, it's undoubtedly a brighter, shinier, more expensive film than Wes Craven's original version, but throughout there is a persistent sense that a remake was simply unnecessary. The test-site visuals were a nice touch, though they never really seem to gel with the greater part of the film. The soundtrack was superb. The make-up effects were, on the whole, inevitably impressive. I think perhaps this film is most interesting, though, as a comment on exactly why so much of the rest of the world has come to hate Americans, here in the early part of the 21st Century. Of course, it was made by a French director, and no, the French are no angels their own selves. In the film's opening moments, I found myself instantly detesting the gun-toting, gas-guzzling, Jesus-worshiping family, as white as the desert sky, as they proceeded to listen to the nice inbred man at the gas station and drag their great silver behemoth of a trailer down a nameless dirt road and into the wasteland. I decided then and there I'd have no choice but to root for the mutants. And I tried, but found them at least as loathsome as the tourists they were busy preying upon, simply a degraded mirror image of their prey, and so I resolved to root for the surviving dog, instead. The problem here isn't so much the loathsomeness of Americans, per se, as the loathsomeness of Humanity. For all their macrocephaly and cleft lips and cannibal appetites, there's little to distinguish Aja's mutants from the nice white family on their way to San Diego. Human gluttony is human gluttony, which might be one of the film's messages that's been overlooked in the French bashing and baiting and the whining about excessive gore and violence (really, people). It would have been nice, I think, if the director might have concentrated a little more on the latent fairie tale aspects of the script as aspects of fairie tale: the stolen child, for example. In the end, I was surprised to find myself sympathizing with one of the mutants, Ruby, and one of the lost family, Bobby. Of course (SPOILER), Ruby dies protecting the insufferable token Democrat, and we can only guess that Bobby will go on to years of trust-funded therapy, followed by a ruthless, NRA-supported campaign to hunt down and exterminate radioactive troglodytes everywhere to protect other lost white families dragging their privileged carcasses through places they ought not be in the first place. But it was certainly worth a rental, unless you've a low tolerance for gore, violence, dust, and unspeakable sadism, in which case you'd probably be best off watching something else.

Please do have a look at the auctions. Cool clothes from Spooky. Books by me. And let's not forget Snapdragon. All proceeds go towards our train fare and our first "vacation" since summer 2004 (though it will be a working vacation) and the preservation of the final scraps of my sanity. Today, anyone using "buy it now" to purchase either the limited edition of The Dry Salvages or The Five of Cups will receive a free signed copy of the Silk trade paperback. From now until midnight (PST). Thanks.


( 13 comments — Have your say! )
Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Today is mine and Spooky's 4th anniversary. Today, we are four.

Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
Happy Anniversary to you both!
Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Sometimes the fey and the strange find each other...and stay together for many years (four of them accounted for so far)...

Keep enjoying each other. I'm glad for the both of you on your anniversary. (See? The calendar IS good for something!)
Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your 4th. Tomorrow will mark two years since listeningowl moved in with me.

The Hills remake struck me as more pointless than anything else. But then I suppose I'm tired of the incessant horror remake machine. The high-water marks remain Carpenter's The Thing and Cronenberg's The Fly. And those were 24 and 20 years ago respectively.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
The particular element in The Hills Have Eyes is that it puts into conflict two vastly different versions of the traditional American "Nuclear Family"--one, the Mom-Dad-Buddy-Sis family in their classic 1950s Airstream trailer, and the other...well, a literal nuclear family.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
Happy Anniversary :) Someday you should tell us all the story of how you and Spooky met, even though you probably already have and I just missed it.

Also, I love the quote. I feel the same way, probably because my backyard was half manicured lawn, and half wild plants, flowers, and trees. So now every time I see lily of the valley, bleeding hearts, magnolia trees, etc. I get that little twinge.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
A very happy 4th to you both!!!
Jul. 3rd, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
Happy 4th anniversary. Crayons sound fun - and there's no one there to yell at you for drawing on the walls.

I'm looking forward to two years from now when there is the Now We Are Six anniversary, for which reading Pooh might be appropriate.
Jul. 4th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
for which reading Pooh might be appropriate.

Appropriate, indeed. :-)
Jul. 3rd, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Happy 4th. Wes and I celebrated our 4th this past Thursday. No forest fires this time around.
Jul. 3rd, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Happy anniversary!
Jul. 4th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
Today is mine and Spooky's 4th anniversary.


She proposes that we celebrate by taking crayons and colouring upon the walls.

Careful consideration at last prompts me to endorse your scheme as prudent. Though apparently 4th anniversary is linen, so maybe you ought to draw on tablecloths?
Jul. 4th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC)
Happy anniversary to you both!
( 13 comments — Have your say! )

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