February 18, 2008

Monday Morning you look fine

The good news is I have the day off. I have nothing to say to you at this time. The old creative juices are sour. The fingers, both of them, are poised over the keyboard. The coffee is brewing away. The brain is stuck in idle.

We had a pretty uneventful weekend. I did have a nice and interesting conversation with my youngest son. He is taking American History in his 8th grade class. They are studying WWII. He read about Anne Frank. I gave him a copy of Night, by Elie Weisel. The boy started asking about Hitler and the death camps. He could not understand how the people of Germany let such horrible things happen. How could they elect Hitler? I tried to explain the historical background. I started with the idea that communication was much different then. There was no computer, no TV, The state controlled the radio and the newspapers, thus the information the people received. We talked about WWI and the Franco=Prussian war and how they shaped the political landscape that brought Hitler to power. I could not answer his basic question, however. He asked repeatedly how they could do it, the ones running the camps, giving the orders. In the end I could only tell him that I did not know, that such hatred is beyond me. He then asked a harder question. "There are Muslims who want to do the same thing to all of us isn't there?" He is pretty smart for a fourteen year old.

I was messing around over at Amazon last week. I finally ordered my copy of America Falling by Don Brockette. Yes, I am a terrible procrastinator. Yes, I am a bum. Sorry Don, but the book is on its way now.

I also ordered a copy of one of my favorite films ever. It is called The Duellists. I had an old version I taped off TV about a decade ago on VHS, it was pretty much unwatchable. MY new DVD copy arrived Saturday and I have already watched it. This movie was directed by Ridley Scott and the visual appeal is almost as compelling as the story. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, two French Hussars embark on a series of duels. The movie speaks about honor, about pride and about the certain deadly politeness that governed the manners of the 19th Century. For me, the film also touched a deeper fiber of my being. I could identify with one of the characters. I will not tell you which. The swordplay is spectacular and the film captures the times very well. I have also read the short story The Duel by Joseph Conrad, of Heart of Darkness fame. That novel was made into the war classic Apocalypse Now. But please, do not let you opinion (favorable or not)that film influence your decision to watch The Duellists. You can read The Duel here. Doubtless you can pick up a copy of The Duellists at Netflix or such. If not, this film will make a fine addition to your DVD collection.

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