Born to be awful

It’s a nice creature, if you’re able to overcome your ancestral fear and prejudice when you look at it. It comes occasionally at dusk to feed on the fruits of one of the trees at the backyard in the house by the sea. It can well well spend an hour there if left undisturbed, going easily and silently from branch to branch, leaning back on its hind legs to raise its slender body up to reach for those little, no doubt delicious little fruits. Should it have a fluffy tail instead of a shorn, long, cartilaginous one, it’d be a squirrel, and I’d be inviting my friends over just for us to enjoy the show.

It’s not squirrel, of course, though. As you’ll surely have figured it out by now, it’s a rat. The least thing I’d do is to tell any of my friends, or they’d start making excuses not to come at all for supper. I’ve already cut off the branches I suspect it used to take advantage of to make its way to the tree. J. loudly and vehemently scared it off the other day, and we’ve seen no sign of it again since yet.

You can’t.

‘Til the madness around is gone

I’ve declared a moratorium on current Hollywood films and on TV series from Netflix et al. Don’t get me wrong: I actually love being educated on pluralism, lgtbism, feminism, intersectionalism; I enjoy being shown how bad, aggressive, sexually predators white men are; I love watching male buttocks and what not, and wouldn’t dare want to see a bit of female flesh with filthy, lusty eyes; I can’t but applauding when the Asian character, the lesbians lovers, the African-American gay couple, the husband humbly backing up and sacrificing all to his empowered and outwardly Ennui woman’s career, show up. They invariable do, as of course they should.

But I…, I know I shouldn’t but… —I get bored. I’m ashamed of myself and I’m sorry and I say so. It’s a bit like the Catholic mass of my youth —necessary, rightly compulsory, predictable, and reassuring —but what a bore! I apologize and promise to reform and like the shows and internalize the truth and re-socialize myself in the right way. In the meantime, though,

Episode 6 of season 1 of Upstairs, Downstairs, A Cry for Help, stands out in the series. Written by Julian Bond, the lines spoken to Lord Bellamy by his solicitor showing him how he would serve himself and his family better by way of retracting his rape accusations against a fellow nobleman and by dropping the defense of his pregnant young maid are devastatingly brilliant. And directed by Derek Bennett, what could have been another common story to cater to the audience turns into a bitter yet way more satisfying one, in which upstairs is beaten, both in knowledge of the ways the world goes round and in generosity and goodwill, by downstairs.

Likewise, episode 15 of season 1 of M*A*S*H, Tuttle, is a joy to watch. Also masterfully written and directed, you could say it’s a novel take in the classic, for a reason, The Emperor’s New Clothes‘ tale. Hawkeye and Trapper make up an entirely fictitious Captain Tuttle, who nonetheless ends up being buried with honors, with the whole platoon claiming his friendship or acquaintance.