What Is the Name of That Movie?
it's called, I now see, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Harry Belafonte stars in it, it takes place in the future. I've preferred to make up names for it, like "Well, Would It Be OK Then?" Maybe it's a comedy. I'm so chicken that even when the doomsday movie is a comedy (like Dr. Strangelove) I never get to the end of them. Anyway I think I can provide you a synopsis of the genesis of that movie, in my own words.
OK so how would you feel about this? Black guy, OK, comes out of a coal mine and discovers that everybody on the planet is dead except him. But then it turns out a white girl has survived, this homely and rather whiny white girl. And, it turns out, a really evil white guy. I'm not sure quite how it will happen but the girl will make a phone call and Harry Belafonte will pick it up and learn that the evil white guy is coming after the girl and she wants someone to rescue her. Basically, if you aren't seeing it by now, it's the "What if she was homely and he was the last black guy on earth and there was only one white guy and he was really really evil -- could he date the white girl then?"
I gave up at about the point where the two men start heading towards the girl, because I was a little afraid it might get ugly, so it's mostly the beginning that I remember. Harry Belafonte coming up out of the coal mine, a devil-may-care fellow, with a lot of animation and spring in his step, dashing about and finding out that everybody is gone, he's the only person in the city, maybe on the whole planet. I think he shouts, "Hey, where is everybody!" At one point he realizes that he can have a Cadillac by just tak--
Did you hear what I said?
"Dashing about and finding out that everybody is gone." That is what it has been like around here for the past week. And yet, here I've been posting more in one than I probably ever have in any previous week. For days it looked like the only people who were coming here were me and L. and the usual suspects, the people who get here via searches for "passa passa dancing," "talk dirty to me," "naked grenadian girls" "get caught masterbating" (always spelled that way, oddly), passa passa dancing, Desmond Dekker lyrics, and "the proper name of an infant beaver."
I'm not sitting here lonely and whiny, you understand, or you know I would have called -- some of you at any rate, know that. OK actually I did try to call a few people yesterday. And during the week. But that's not why I called. But nobody was home anywhere, yesterday. Nobody was reading blogs apparently. And that's when I began to feel like Harry Belafonte. I didn't think you had all been carried off in a plague, but I did wonder if you had all snuck off to a picnic without telling me.
Do you remember that one Wallace and Grommit when the evil penguin moves in and worms his way into Wallace's affections and Grommit knows, but Wallace won't listen and he makes Grommit sleep outside in the doghouse and it's raining and Grommit looks in the window and he sees Wallace and the evil penguin yukking it up at the dinner table? And he hears Wallace say, "Have some more cheese, penguin!" and it makes a big tear steal down Grommit's face. That scene made me cry. So if you have all gone off to a picnic, I hope you feel suitably guilty.
No, I must find a way to account for the overall nonpicnic feeling of yesterday. (Not as in, "That was no picnic!" I didn't have food poisoning or anything, after all.) Well, part of it was the discussion with self about whether to take the laptop to the cute Spaniard. Indecision about that sort of took up a large part of the day. And you see how well that turned out. Then, the weather is about to turn officially DC-summer-nasty. I had work hanging over my head to do, paid work that is.
And last of all the increasingly intransigent problem of the notebooks. I haven't put anything into them for a couple of weeks. I know I was just tired for a while and needed a break. But I'm over that now, more or less, and they have become so unwieldy, they are in such an unusable format (my uncle laughed at me when I told him I wrote in lined notebooks with a pen -- oh, didn't I tell you I spoke with him too?) that I feel like an explorer who has gone hacking his way into the jungle and gets to a point where the vegetation is so dense he can't go forward and it has regrown behind him so he can't go back either, and not only that it's over his head and there's a canopy.
Yesterday I looked at a long piece I wrote on Faulkner and Bellini's "Feast of the Gods" (can't find the image I want and couldn't post it even if I did), which I remember writing with great excitement after that Venetian Painters show came through here last summer. Well, there it sits, unedited, because of where it sits. I looked at it and didn't feel the excitement so much as a sense of stuckness. So I'm giving myself a week to come up with a suitable drastic action. Meanwhile I tell myself "Look, you don't have to be all inspired all the time, you know that, you just have to keep going because of what the subject is. It has very little to do with you personally at all." This idea intrigues me. It's not so much "impersonal" writing or (God forbid!) automatic writing, it's more like "anyhow" writing. As in, write anyhow.
Background sound volume increases: crowd of people who Kia knows, some of them having never met or heard of each other till this day, milling about, talking, making jokes, genteel murmured laughter, clink of champagne glasses, babbling of brook, chirping of birds, someone says "Oh, my, is that huckleberry pie? How perfect!" Another voice says, "Isn't that Kia's favorite kind of pie?" Silence. Then everybody bursts out laughing, much "Woo-hoo!"ing and hi-fiving.