Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'd Have Balked, Too

Thank God for Lauren Bacall, who reportedly "balked" when a fawning interviewer referred to Nicole Kidman as "a legend." Kidman's a good actress, to be sure, but no legend. I doubt anyone will mention Far and Away or Moulin Rouge in the same breath as The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not. At least, I hope no one will.

Kidman has at least one thing in common with her ex-husband, Tom Cruise, though: As far as I know, she has never managed to share any onscreen chemistry with a person of the opposite sex. She always comes across as a chaste little thing, with plenty of light but no heat. Even her explicit sex scene in Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain (a.k.a. The Scotch-Irish Patient) felt wrong somehow; I couldn't help thinking Renee Zellwiger was a better match for her than Jude Law.

Which, strangely enough, seems to be the film's point, too. In the misandrist world of Cold Mountain, women need men for the occasional round of fighting or fucking. But on the whole, they're much better off when they keep company with each other.

I probably shouldn't object to that idea -- especially since it means "more for me." But because I'm a guy who falls in love with other guys, I tend to take Hollywood's covert misandry doubly hard.

Hit Me Again

Some of my readers have a wicked sense of humor. One sent me this classic one-liner earlier today:

The American left frequently claims that our capitalist republican government is evil and oppressive -- yet it wants that same government to get more involved in our personal lives.

This is like saying that your dad was abusive and he wasn't around enough.

I wish I could claim copyright on that remark. Still, for what it's worth, I couldn't agree more.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Happy Labor Day!

After nearly a month on the road, I returned a few minutes ago to my home in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. The odometer indicates that I've driven four thousand miles; I feel like I've gone at least ten.

In theory, regular posting should resume immediately. But alas, I don't usually work that quickly: When I'm away from my computer, even for a day or two, it can be as long as a week before I "warm up" again. Still, I'm planning a few travel-related pieces for your delectation, as well as another soul-searching personal essay that will probably be quoted at some choice Internet sites -- assuming it's any good.

We'll talk soon, gentle reader.

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