Texas and a movie

Here is a haiku which attempts to describe both my weekend in Houston and a movie I watched:

London eschaton
resembles parts of Houston:
grim, significant

No offense if anyone who happens to be from Houston stumbles upon this, but what the hell is the deal, there? It is huge and sprawled and people apparently live there, but from what I can tell it’s like an occasionally built-up ghost town: we rode the one line of light rail (charmingly called the Red Line, as though it has a rainbow of lesser compatriots parallel to it that no one ever sees) up and down from Rice, randomly got off at a stop called McGowen, and were surrounded by the most intense bleakness that I’ve ever seen that close to the ostensible heart of a city. Everything was abandoned for blocks. I have pictures, later. (Also anyone who knows why I can’t send photos from flickr by clicking the button to send photos from flickr hit me up by email or IM, because it is a bother.)

Children of Men was less creepily bleak and more abjectly horrifying, although a real live scene of urban decay where the only people around are asking you for change and directions to the liquor store (true story!) is almost as scary as a filmed scene of urban decay plus terrorist factions. It really got me thinking about how there are images that have so much cultural currency that they produce an instant gut reaction, and how that could only happen now that we disseminate information as rapidly and as widely as we do. Excuse me as I push my imaginary glasses of pretentious philosophizing up the bridge of my nose. Anyway. Children of Men draws incredibly heavily on the xenophobia in the current political climate for these sorts of images. As Guantánamo goes, so goes the world, it looks like, and you see people who haven’t committed any crime but being foreign decked out in black hoods, whipped, spat on. It would have been terrifying even if the whole world hadn’t seen similar pictures all across the news. The converse of that imagery is the (not so-) virgin birth, a miracle complete with resounding spiritual chants in all kinds of tongues. It’s an incredibly intense movie, and I certainly recommend it, but I haven’t quite decided yet if I think it’s too heavy-handed.

For a first real post, this is probably seriously out of character, as I don’t follow world events as much as I should or frequent the movies as much as I’d like. In conclusion, Rounds is my favorite album ever, and perhaps you should be listening to it. (Music-oriented hipster wankery is more up my usual alley.)


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