Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hook Is Back

Does anyone remember the movie, Hook, from when you were a kid (or a bit younger as the case may be)? It's got about as many cliches as it has minutes and I have never been the biggest fan of Robin Williams. Strangely enough Hook is still one of my favorite movies. I even occasionally quote it. "I've just had an apostrophe!" is surely one of the best lines in cinematic history. The part where Hook first walks out and you suddenly realize that it's Dustin Hoffman and he's freakin' short, is hilarious. Perhaps the strangest thing about this movie, for me, is that for once I find myself liking Peter Pan more than Captain Hook.

I have read Peter Pan and Wendy at least twice and have watched several movie versions of the story including the Disney animated. I never liked Peter Pan as a character in any of them. He was better in the movie versions, usually. But I still never liked him. I think I was born too old to appreciate Peter Pan, if that makes any sense. Recall the line from It's a Wonderful Life Mr. Bailey tells George that he was born older than his brother. Some people are just more mature from the day they were born. However, does it follow that such people have an advantage in life?

Let me put it this way, I never had any fun reading about Peter Pan. I never wanted to stay a kid forever, so I had no common ground with the charaacter. I did not want to grow up fast, but I sure did not want to be a kid all my life. I never believed in Santa Claus. When I watched movies like Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street I found myself unable to get into the story. Not because of the characters, but because of the message. Santa Claus and the perpetuation of him as an idea was not important to a person who never believed he existed. Suffice it to say, I am a born cynic and always have been. My skepticism is outrageous.

Yet I still think Hook is a good movie. Maybe it is able to reach the little kid that still exists in me. The cliches are the sort of cliches that kids do not notice. Captain Hook is hardly scary, but he is still a well done badguy, in my opinion. He's comical and even somewhat silly.

I could go on to express an opinion about the state of family films in the status quo. I could digress over the fact that no movie is good for both adults and kids these days. But it would not apply. It would be irrelevant. The fact is, there is very little adult-appreciable material in Hook. The jokes are the sort that kids laugh at. The expressions of imagination and emphasis on imagination are the kind that kids see the meaning of. You have to be a kid to like that movie. Or be partly a kid. I think the movie Hook does what the book Peter Pan and Wendy was meant to do. But better. Because I never liked the book and I never liked Peter Pan. I thought as Hook did that Peter Pan had very "bad form."

Then again perhaps that is the brilliance of that book. Perhaps it differentiates between the child and pirate in all of us. Some of us are closer to being Hook than to being Peter. Peter was a noble character in that he helped others and lived free. Peter's fatal flaw was that he forgot his friendships in the immature way that a child fails to realize how much others care for him. But Hook remembered everything. Yes, he obsessed over his memories and used them to harbor ill will. Still, he remembered. He took care of that which belonged to him, even if he hated it. His belief in appearances took precedence over his likes and dislikes of the people around him. The form mattered more to him than the heart of a person. Hook's fatal flaw was his belief that he was good just because he appeared good. In actuality he was the cynical, dark badguy with no happy thoughts. That darkness which exists in every person conquered Hook. However, Peter -- Hook's opposite -- was not the ideal human either.

Then comes the movie, Hook, and it shows a softer side to Peter Pan. A more manageable, mature side. Here is a Peter Pan who finally stands up for his loved ones. He puts his children before his own need never to grow up. Here is a Peter Pan worthy to defeat Captain Hook. There it is. That is why I hate the book so much. Because it ended too soon. The book Peter was not a worthy opponent. He was a silly, forgetful, immature ten year old who could not understand the important things in life. The Peter that Robin Williams portrayed was a man who has lost himself in darkness. This Peter discovers that light exists when he has to battle an enemy who is the image of his former, dark, foolish self in order to protect the goodness of his children who are the image of his childish Neverland orphan self.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The politician I despise the most will always be Al Gore. Why? To borrow a line froma a really good movie (Sense and Sensibility): "Because he has threatened me with rain when I wanted sun." That's why. In a nutshell. He is using global warming for his own profit and people think he cares about them. The fact is that we humans believe we can turn this world into a greenhouse just because we have cars. Cows flatulating cause more environmental problems than cars. You know what, I think nature can pretty much take care of itself. I don't mean to say we should trash the place, but we should not go frantic over something as fad-like as global warming. In the 1970s we were expecting a new ice age. What happened to that? Hello. We do not understand the way the temperature of the earth works because we have only been recording that temperature for a hundred and fifty years or so. It is pure arrogance to think we are going to destroy this planet with cars.

Besides all that, Al Gore flies from one end of the country to the other in his own private jet. He has an enormous house, and there's a mine on his land that is in working order. He probably uses up four times the energy anyone else uses. Don't be fooled by the bore.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Big Snow, Er, Mess

I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of a lot of snow and ice. Why? Well, for one thing if it is bad enough I will get the day off work and still get paid. For another thing, I could stay home and sleep and clean. And for another thing, I would have an excuse to skip class.

Truthfully, I just like snow. There is nothing like the sight of fresh, clean snow resting undisturbed over the countryside. It's beautiful. It's prettier than a diamond. After a few cars have driven in the snow and turned it grey, or a few people have made footprints it's not the same. I hate to see dirty, disturbed snow. Even as a kid I never liked walking out and adding my footprints to the mess that destroyed all that beauty. Sledding is tons of fun as is making snow angels. But it is a pity that both these activities disrupt such brilliance. Ah well, that's the price you pay for liking to look at the snow as much as you like to play in it.

As for ice, it's been so long since I've seen a good ice storm. I would say about four years. We had one while I was in college. It was so bad the trees were dropping limbs and exploding. The sap froze and expanded, you know. My school cancelled classes for two days. It was great, except for a few minor power outages. When I was a little kid we had a marvelous ice storm once. I remember trying to walk up a hill and being unable to take a step without kicking my way through the ice. The ice covered the snow in this instance and the snow was more than knee deep to my 10 year old self. I had to stomp really hard to get my foot through the ice. I proceeded up the hill with slow progress. When I reached the top I kind of slipped -- partly on purpose. I landed on my tummy and slid all the way back down the hill like that. No sled! It was too much fun. But I was supposed to be working (gathering sap from the maple trees) so I had to haul myself back up that hill. Luckily, I was able to use my footprints left there by my previous attempted climb.

Snow and ice are tons of fun when you do not know how to drive! Here I sit, peeking out the window, waiting for the snow to start. Oops, I forgot something at the store . . .

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Searching For Esther

You may have noticed my recent disappearance from the blogging world. I have kept up a bit more on my livejournal. But not much. I ought to receive some sort of corrective treatment for my long absence.

The truth is I haven't much to say. My life has been a whirlwind, mostly revolving around work. I find it is best if I do not talk about work on my very public blog. You know, it pays the bills and that's all anyone need know. I can still afford to have the internet. Enough said.

I have not been writing much. Every once in a while I try to edit, but my editing is not going so well. I have kept the house cleaner than normal. So I'm not a total bum. I've even taken up cooking, more often. I also got some books to read and I study more often for my class.

We all go through these times of low inspiration. Actually, it's not that my inspiration is low, it's more that my inspiration centers around ideas too personal to put on my blog. I try to be more honest on this blog than I once was. But some things are still not meant for cyberspace.

Furthermore, I'm putting more effort into being a leader at my church. That takes up a bit of time. We have an event coming up and I seem to be rather in charge of a few things for it.

That leads me to an actual subject in this useless ramble. I tend to get put in charge of things a lot even though I do not consider myself much of a leader type. I'm fairly confident. But I do not like to be the face of an organization. Once a week I have a short meeting with about 15 therapists at my workplace. Let me tell you it gives me nerves. I have to go in there and talk to a whole bunch of people who analyze other people for a living. Agh. Why couldn't one of my co-workers who's a better talker do that? Well, because it's my job and not anyone else's. It's the same with being in charge of stuff at church. That means I'm the face of the organization and I don't like to be the face. You can see why I never enjoyed acting or singing. Performance oriented stuff is not my thing. I like to be behind the scenes. The idea of doing a more obvious job sounds fun to me, but I do not think I would enjoy myself very much. I am not sure what the point of all this is. Perhaps it will get my creative juices flowing and I will write something real again sometime this week.

If You Want To Laugh

If you need to laugh (you know who you are) I can help you. Well, I can't, really. I'm not very funny. I'm just me. But this guy can help you. Watch some of Brian Regan's clips from various talk shows and stuff. He will have you rolling on the floor. He has a way of finding the absurd in life and pinpointing exactly why it's funny. Yet his jokes are completely clean. He's amazing.

The best part of all this is that I have tickets to go see his show next month! I'm psyched. It's going to be so much fun.

Take . . . Luck!