Sunday, December 09, 2012

Titanic- chick flick?(I think not)

I just got done with a fresh viewing of the movie Titanic. Picked it up when it first came out, watched maybe twice and put it on the shelf, where it's sat patiently all these years, just waiting for me to watch again. Nice movie(at least as an adventure story), but just wasn't all that taken with it

As I remember, when it was first released, female viewers were watching it over and over like It's a Wonderful Life at Christmastime. Well okay, there is a love story in there, and to add to the pathos, star-crossed lovers at that: the whole Romeo and Juliet thing of a boy and girl from different backgrounds, plus he dies before they really get started. Her one real true love..

Yeah, women go magoo over that kind of stuff. Understandable that they'd watch this one a million times. 

With this viewing, I had a slightly different perspective than last time. For one thing, I took into account the year it took place: 1912. In that year, Teddy Roosevelt was President, the Panama Canal was built around then, New Mexico and Arizona became the 47th and 48th states(we wouldn't get Alaska and Hawaii until 1959). 

More important though, was what hadn't yet happened. People didn't have electricity in their homes until starting 1920, and also women didn't have the right to vote! (Also 1920--August 26th to be exact-- the Nineteenth Amendment). I imagine love honor and obey were still in most marriage vows as well. 

This explains a lot of Rose's fiancee's controlling ways(besides just being a rich arsehole), and her Mother's insistance that Rose hook up with him. Mom is desperately trying to hold on to her Old Money status even though in fact she's broke. She is particularly strict and severe with the maids, which further displays that insecurity.  

Okay, so those are the various dynamics of the movie. It is a compelling story, no problem there. But my interest was really piqued around the end of the first tape(if you're watching in that format), after they'd hit the iceberg and things start to fall apart. That's when it became an action movie, and thus more interesting to me. 

Almost all boys, whether we're 8 or 58, like watching stuff blow up. We like car crashes, explosions, anything that makes a lot of noise and a lot of smoke. So the progressive destruction of the great ship was cool to watch--not for the damage but for the pure action, the adrenaline rush. The second half of the movie was, at least to me, much more interesting than the first. 

Funny, I'll bet most of the female viewers would differ on which half was more interesting, if they had to pick one. Last year, I had a girlfriend who would come over and watch movies with me. We never watched Titanic, for some reason. Next time out, if I get a girlfriend who likes movies, I'll have to put this one on. Chances are, though, I'll probably have to watch it more times after that than I might want to..   

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A Week of Snits

In the office where I work, where I spend roughly 37.5 hours of my life every week, we all seem to get along most of the time. To our clients coming in, it's a form of purgatory(maybe even one of the rings of Hell), but behind the wall separating them from us, it's a friendly place, with a fair amount of jocularity going on throughout our workday. I used to say that amid all the stress(mostly from dealing with the clients)I had a good hearty laugh there every day. 

Of course, being people(and therefore largely ego-driven), we have our differences on occasion. Someone will be offended by something somebody else says or does, and the silent treatment goes into effect. And, not unlike some of the issues we deal with and their periods of effectiveness, these can have different durations, different expiration dates. I witnessed one, some years back, that ran 2 weeks. The person giving said silent treatment told me this, with some sense of pride. Weird...

I dunno. That's a bit too much drama for me. I had someone turn  frigidaire on me over a phone call they didn't want to take, and after about 3 days of this silliness, I asked them a question about something completely unrelated, and we instantly moved on. 

Still, when somebody pisses you off, even if you understand  intellectually that it(usually) has much more to do with them than with you, you're still bugged emotionally, and thus it's good to have that period of - silence-, to get the hell away from them for a minute. With me, it's usually about a day. By then, it's run its course

Yes, I experienced something along this line myself  during the workweek. And, as described, it was over and done with in the course of a day. Like I said, I don't like a lot of drama, in or out of the workplace.   

There is another snit going on in the office this week, another Cold War, but at least it's quiet. It does, however, silence the music that would ordinarily be emanating from that side of the room, as well as the good ol' boy jocularity(there's that word again). Well, hopefully this will resolve itself, and they will once again be a happy row of workers.. 

I am grateful that even though we have our occasional spats, we're a relatively drama-free office. Seems like the histrionics we have had were usually due to one or two individuals at a time. There are of course those folks who seem to thrive on it, and thank goodness they've been a minority. 

We had one such lady in our office over this last year or so, who was mad at somebody over something on almost a daily basis: with me, my infractions included yawning too much, and having the wrong kind of plate for eating popcorn.  Heinous crimes, to be sure. And her occasional silent treatment was my punishment. Naturally, if you have someone this easily offended, you're gonna have someone else with a proclivity toward offending others who will be on them like bark on a tree. 

Well we do, and his remark du jour was usually delivered first thing in the morning, after which she would storm off to her office. To her credit, she did possess(however eclipsed)the priceless ability to laugh at oneself, and eventually saw the humor in the situation. And it is tough when the joke's "on you"..  

My friend David Hoffman, who played in the Ray Charles Orchestra for some years, said that kind of thing went on all the time between players, where one wouldn't speak to the other for the whole tour. He told me about two such players, where finally one picked the other up in the air(he was about 6'5")and kissed him on the lips, saying, "I think we should kiss and make up". This was pretty much in front of the whole band, all of whom broke up laughing. 

So I had to ask, "did that put them back on speaking terms?"  
"Oh yeah. Steve(the kissee)laughed too. But then the next week he was mad at somebody else, and not speaking to them."

Oy vey......