Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trashy Movies: Part 4

I'll probably go see a trashy movie on Christmas. Maybe not.

In recent weeks I've posted here a few times about my years of attendance at trashy movies, and I've offered a few (lame) excuses: (1) my boyhood in Oklahoma (where the wind came sweepin' down the plain--and where the four movie theaters in Enid showed pretty much all trash); (2) my teaching career (I felt I ... "owed" it to my students to be able to talk with them about the films they were seeing--not that I wanted to go, you understand?); (3) my desire for escape (except there's not a lot I want to escape from).

And now we reach Excuse Four: I have a character flaw--or, more precisely, I go to trashy movies because I am trash. There are those in my family who would agree with that (no names), but then again, last fall my the whole family, brothers and all, went to see World War Z. Trash or art? Artsy trash? Trashy art? Let's just say that my brothers and I enjoyed it more than our wives did.

So what kind of character flaw is this? I mean, how is it that a person who held forth in classrooms (public and private school) for nearly half a century, a person who professed his fondness--no, his love--for great literature, a person who reviews books in significant publications, a person who reads the complete works of Dickens, Trollope, Thackeray, Shakespeare, Twain, and many other literary luminaries, a person who spent decades traveling around to see every Shakespeare play in a live stage production, a person who has memorized more than 130 famous poems, and a person who ... how can that person lie in bed last night and watch--via streaming Netflix--Redemption, a recent Jason Statham film? It's the kind of thing that drove my mother to despair, I know. And Joyce has looked at me with ... surprise, as well.

Joyce. She married me in spite of this: One of our first dates was to see The Green Berets (1968) with John Wayne, a film that was appearing near her house in one of those "second-run" movie houses (remember them?). And--even more inexcusable--on our honeymoon in New Orleans in late December 1969 we went to see On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only James Bond film with George Lazenby, a Bond film that ends with his marriage to Tracy (Diana Rigg)--and then, while they are driving off on their own honeymoon, some assassins attack the Bond car, and Tracy takes a bullet in the brain.  ("Happy honeymoon, Joyce.")

Since those dark early days, Joyce has gone with me many times to see films that she would never have gone to see in any other situation. (She doesn't always go--I'll grant her that. But almost always.)

Now, I know why she does this: She loves me. In spite of my trashiness. (She also knows that something egregious on the screen will earn points toward a visit to the Cedar-Lee, our nearest venue for independent and foreign films--it's an hour away, which is why we don't go more often.) Perhaps she looks at me as if I were a new car that didn't quite have all the right features? I'm afraid to ask her.

I will say that I go much less frequently now to trash. Am I maturing? Growing up? You might think so--but then there I was, just last night, watching Jason Statham hurt people.

So my grand conclusion is this ... why have I gone to so many trashy movies?

I don't know ...

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