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Sunday, October 21, 2001

I've read a lot of Stephen King, but not Hearts in Atlantis, so I sort of knew what to expect when I went to see the movie today, but only in a general sense. The portrait of everyday life would be almost too precisely detailed. Childhood would be idealized, except for some unspeakable horror lurking in the shadows (or the sewers, or somewhere). For good or ill, not everything would be as it seemed.

In that sense, when Mom and I saw the movie, I wasn't disappointed. The creepiness factor is similar to Stand By Me, rather than any of King's more overtly menacing stories. It's a slight plot, but with enough forward motion and depth of character to hold my interest. Still, there was something slightly off here, something I can't quite put my finger on. (Good thing I'm not a film critic, eh?)

Anyway, I mostly liked the movie because of the performances, and the portrayal of the sweet innocence of childhood that even the nastiest intrusions of the darker side of human nature can't destroy. The relationships between some of the characters are pulled and twisted in different directions, and sometimes strained to the limit, but they nearly always turn out to be salvageable.

Naturally, that's what I liked most about the movie. Any kind of optimism is welcome these days, even at the expense of high art. I like to see people trying to understand each other, and then, when it seems a lost cause, trying again and trying harder. The world can always use another example of kindness and hope triumphing over cruelty and cynicism.

cloudy sky

Clouds and trees, looking northeast from my back door.

What happened to music? Well, what's left of it is now on VH-1 Classic, one of the new channels the satellite company just added with no notice or fanfare. I stumbled on it yesterday. It shows videos from back in the days when they were all about the music — because music was about music then, too. Songs had melodies, and you could understand the words.

I don't mean to be an old poop (yes I do), but I miss that. That's why I listen to show tunes and oldies so much. That's why pop groups have suddenly (well, suddenly over the last few years) popped up everywhere and become so popular.

To me, you have to be able to sing along, or you can't call it a "song." I'll take folk music and reggae any day. I can't sing a lick, but I do anyway. That's another reason I like living out here in the woods with no neighbors. I couldn't sing out like that in a duplex. Okay, I could have, but they probably would have asked me to move, so what would be the point?

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Latest recommendation:

Bonnie, The Chattering, entry for October 21

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: Living Space

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