Friday, July 15, 2005

# Posted 7:43 AM by Patrick Belton  

AT THE MOVIES WITH OXBLOG: Yesterday, I went to see War of the Worlds with OxBlog's friend, Taylor Owen. This was originally meant to involve a double date, but oddly enough, feminine company trickled off and we ended up watching alone this science-fiction film involving the destruction of earth by really big machines. Afterward, stunned and moved, I leaned over and asked my moviegoing partner:

PB: Tell me, did that film have any redeeming feature whatsoever?
TO: Um. No, it didn't.
PB: So in other words, we've just managed to accomplish two hours of completely remorseless indolence?
TO (laughing): Yes, I guess we did.
PB: So mission accomplished.

We then marveled on three phenomena, which as a social scientist I thought I would note here: (1) the relative imperviousness of fetching, clever blonde ladies to science fiction, even if in other contexts their tastes extend equally to such other pinnacles of human achievement as the classical Hellenic corpus and biochemistry; (2) the marvels of a single-product economy, which by providing on the supply side only one film the entire summer, has registered our faint desire to eat popcorn, sit in air-conditioned comfortable chairs, and make silly jokes at the expense of Tom Cruise as a vote for this lovely film; (3) the possibility that the first draft was full of Stoppardian wit, Sartrean moral ambiguity and dilemma, and Hamlettian soliloquoys, before a Hollywood market designer went through with a red pen and scribbled 'no, scratch this, insert really big machine. yeah, and scratch this. insert another really big machine.'
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