Tuesday, May 21, 2013

a stool for my high horse

Nostalgia lives on a cul-de-sac.  And it is easy to get stuck there.

I felt a bit like that after wandering down my Oxford memory lane yesterday.  Because there is the danger of thinking of Melaque as a cultural sinkhole -- to Osterize my metaphors.

Well, it can be.  But that does not mean I cannot get in my car and motor down the road to Manzanillo -- where there is a multi-screen movie house.

When I was in Manzanillo last week, I almost decided to stay for the new Star Trek movie.  But it did not start until after 4 -- a three hour wait.  I passed.

Monday afternoon, I decided to return.  And I am glad I did. 

It is a rather good movie.  At least for character development.  And that is usually the weak point of this genre.  The last three Star Wars movies are great examples.  They gave cardboard a bad name.

Of course, these prequel movies always seem to be far more prescient than they truly are.  After all, they get to create a back story -- while we rubes sit there with  jaws slack and mutter: "Gee.  I always wondered were she came from."  And now we know.

We get a lot of those threads here.  Tantalizing canapes that have developed into full stories on the television series or in earlier movies.  It lets the viewer indulge in the hubris of the rare success in psychotherapy.

I, for one, simply enjoy seeing the younger version of characters I have grown up with.  It is a fun film.

What is not so much fun are the special effects.  They manage to be both flat and tired.  The flatness must come from the 3-D process.  If so, it is ironic that new technology makes film look more primitive.

And tired?  This movie does nothing original with special effects.  Instead, it indulges in grave robbery.  Having fighting adversaries jump from moving machinery is about as old hat as a movie can get.  I almost expected Tom Mix to show up.

While I was leaving, I ran into another geezer in the lobby.  I suspect he started talking with me because we look as if we could belong to the same VFW post.

He was upset that all of the non-dubbed movies start after the matinee prices expire.  He was convinced that it was discrimination against white people.  After all, they are the only people who attend non-dubbed films.

I thought he was joking.  I told him I was just in a subtitled movie and everyone other than me was Mexican.

He was not interested.  He was convinced that he had been discriminated against solely because of his skin color.  And the great discrimination?  He would be charged $57 (Mx) rather than $44 (Mx).  $4.60 (US)  rather than $3.60 (US).  And, for all I know, there may (and probably is) a very good reason for the difference.

The conversation reminded me of one I had recently in Melaque.  An acquaintance told me she would not return to a local restaurant known for its great food because she went in twice alone and other parties were served before her.  Her conclusion?  The restaurant discriminates against single women.

One of the things I do not miss from The States is the rampant victimhood worn proudly by citizens.  I am sorry to see it here.  But our neuroses travel as easily as do we.

The drive home made me quickly forget about the Two Grouseketeers.  And of plays in Oxford.  I rolled down my window to enjoy an evening and setting I could never find in Oregon or England.

And that was culture enough for me.


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