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May 23, 2012


I got mine pierced in 1969, too. I did it myself with a needle and an icecube. My mother wasn't shocked, but that's because by 1969 so many fundmentals were under attack that a fourteen year old piercing her own ears was not a big deal.

Now, if I had done it three years earlier...

It feels as if you are conflating two issues: the sexualization of 12-year old girls, and the fact that the filmmaker got 1965 wrong. The former, it seems to me, is real; the latter is so routine as to be not worth mentioning. As a historian, I take anachronisms in movies for granted - some more annoying than others (even to the point of unwatchability), some merely idiosyncratic. But hardly noteworthy.

Would you feel happier if Wes Anderson had set this in 1975 rather than 1965? I honestly can't tell.

I find the 1962 Lolita still to be far more disturbing an image than any of the images from Moonrise Kingdom (not that that negates anything about the underlying concepts). But, just as far as the imagery is concerned, Suzy just looks like a girl with some makeup on. Lolita looks like a hybrid of a sexually mature, attractive woman and a pre-(or barely )pubescent girl, and more succubus-like than Suzy. (I imagine large bat-like wings unfolding behind Lolita as she bares her fangs, once she has disarmed her prey with her hypnotic gaze. Suzy looks more like she's planning on peeing in the punchbowl, just to get back those idiots - whoever they may be.)

I have no problem with associating Suzy with Lolita if we accept that Sam, like Humbert, is an unreliable narrator.

Lolita is disturbing and it should be. 'Lolita' only exists in Humbert's construction and Dolores Haze is totally overwritten by Humbert's self-serving narrative. Far too few readers twig to this.

Most of the time I can manage to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. This is not one of those times.

OT: nous, I saw Meshuggah this past Friday at the TLA in Philly. I think I left my body a couple of times. They're special.

Awesome, hsh. We skipped them this go-around but were thoroughly impressed with them on the Obzen tour (with Cynic!).

Do not know how they keep it together live, but they are a tight unit and they make it easy for us to do our part. Just nod along with the hi-hat and ignore the kick.

Astral projection optional.

From your last paragraph, you seem to be suggesting that at the heart of this is a culture that objectifies all women, such that any woman, no matter what age, is fair game and Wes Anderson is a example of that culture and perhaps, we should think twice before watching his or others movies. Is that a fair restatement?

If it is, I think the logic is a bit problematic. I'm thinking of Anderson's previous movie, The Royal Tennebaums, where the modern trappings of success and the indications of being elite are concentrated in one family, so that is taken to absurdist lengths. If you accept that is a part of Anderson's artistic core, it is kind of difficult to ask him to take something that we are virtually swimming in (the sexualization of women) and 'tone it down'. In fact, anyone who wants to have some sort of artistic fictional take can either ignore something that is around us all the time (opening themselves up to the charge that they are trivializing it) or heighten the contradictions, as it were, and then open themselves up to the charge that they are supporting it.

I've seen both Rushmore and the RTs because a student did their graduation thesis about Bill Murray (fortunately, just before Garfield) and one of the main themes of the two movies is unrequited love (Hackman's character chasing after his estranged wife and the efforts of Jason Schwartzman to help Bill Murray's character find love) From your description of the new movie, it sounds like that is the theme in spades. In addition, Anderson was flirting with the notion of an unreliable narrator by presenting these absurdist takes with a documentary approach. All these things seem to argue that taking our anger out on Wes Anderson about the way things are is a bit unfair.

The artist in modern society has the role of the court jester for the king, making sly jibes to keep him and everyone else laughing, but using his role to deliver some criticism. As such, simply ignoring the problem is not really an option. Unless Anderson wants to start presenting bromance movies with no female characters in sight.

Randomly focusing on the title and not the content: I once prepped a talk entitled "Why Does 2+2=4?" It was at least two hours long, so it's probably good that the official speaker managed to make it and spared everyone my musings on mathematical logic.

Damn good talk, though, if I say so myself :)

Why Does 2+2=4, Anarch?

Because I'm Your Daddy and I Say It Does!

Now go back to bed.

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