Thursday, September 08, 2005

Vacations and Jerkers of Tears

Lovely vacation what! Tally ho! Pip pip and all that tommyrot.

It was magnifico, splendiferous, relaxing, elegant, fulfilling, and familial. I don’t know. It was great. Honest. I am not going to go into everything because it’s all too new. Too fresh! Too hard to crystallize. I shall crystallize sometime later. Crystallization will occur. We will have prismatic summer stalactites to observe perhaps in winter when we need them most. Suffice it to say that I am very fortunate to have a most excellent family, immediate and extended, and absolutely lovely friends. True story!

Now, for the important stuff: Depressing Morning Commuter Moment! As you may or may not know, I am a glutton for morning radio show banter torture (GLUTTON) and so I listen with sinister precision to The Mathew Blades radio show on Zzzzzzzzzzzz104. He is probably the stupidest man who ever drew a breath. Give or take. And he has a somewhat “sassy” sidekick named Whitney (never, ever a good sign) who seems like she is perhaps white trash but has redeemed her stature with her spunkiness or something. She’s funny sometimes and—praise the Lord—she gives Mathew a hard time for being such a Velveeta stuffed provincial cow licked moron. Worst of all, he’s from my beloved Minnesota. BLECH.

Anyhoo, the fascinating topic for today, so fascinating that I am going to replicate it here, was Movies That Make Men Cry because Matt likes to talk a lot about his “sensitivity,” as though it’s some kind of penis enhancer.

I just detect this disingenuous male bullshit technique of copping to “sensitivity” from him that is a thinly disguised Fonzie-fied way of appealing to the fillies. It often occurs in sports fanatic men who like Velveeta and hockey and are always talking about what lucky stiffs they are for being married to Iowa Marshmallow Queens named Nicoli.

Anyway, Movies That Make Men Cry was the topic for the day and we were getting the usual drivel like What Dreams May Come, which Matt predictably loved and which I will not watch because it has Robin Williams in it during the high fructose corn syrup phase of his career (think: Patch Adams).

Then someone called and said Brian’s Song.” And there was a pause. And I was waiting for everyone to concur in a mass of concurrent concurrence, because it’s the biggest tearjerker EVER and it’s about sports so it is de facto the perfect guy tearjerker. But the pause was because THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF BRIAN’S SONG. For crying out loud. Maybe because it was made (for TV) in…er…1971? But still!!!

Back in the day it was big. Back when every single movie and made for TV movie was about someone dying of the Big C. Love Story started an epidemic and you couldn’t turn a corner back then without someone becoming luminously ill and dying on a perfect padded Hollywood fluffed pillow with lots of “there was joy there was fun there were seasons in the sun” music going on in the background. Anyway, callers called in saying “My husband always cries during Beauty and the Beast.” Mmm hmm. And then Matt threw in Armageddon. WHATever.

This leads me, naturally, to my all time tear-jer-ker. The forget-it-I-have-to-leave the-room-I-am-crying-so-damn-hard movie. And I can’t even explain why it devastates me so. But even when it starts I get weird and the closer we come to Greer Garson’s true face on that fake alp on their honeymoon, I am getting weirder by the minute and then the tears start and they are voluminous, soggy sheets of uncontrollable lachrymity.

The movie is Goodbye Mr. Chips. The British 1939 version with the gorgeous Greer Garson and Robert Donat. It’s about a schoolmaster. When he starts out he’s all stiff and boring and none of the boys like him and then he meets Greer on holiday and falls in love and they get married and she comes to live with him at the boarding school. She softens his image—never underestimate the power of sex!—and the boys begin to love him. And then…well, you’ll just have to watch it.

Here’s a quote from Greer to her husband, Mr. Chips:
It must be tremendously interesting to be a schoolmaster, to watch boys grow up and help them along; to see their characters develop and what they become when they leave school and the world gets hold of them. I don't see how you could ever get old in a world that's always young.

I know, you’re probably already crying, but here are Mr. Chips’ dying words:
I thought I heard you saying it was a pity... pity I never had any children. But you're wrong. I have. Thousands of them. Thousands of them... and all boys.

FORGET IT. It’s amazing. I mean it’s dated and cheeseball and they pull out ALL the stops, not just some, but it’s a good movie and it’s the one that makes me have to wear a bag over my head to breathe. So there ya go!

What’s your sad movie? As long as it’s not Beauty and the Beast or Armageddon or Patch Adams I want to hear about it.

P.S. I didn't know what to say about the Hurricane, so I thought I would just elude it with stupidity and fluff, but then I read this article and I wanted you to read it too because it's brilliant: "The 'Stuff Happens' Presidency"


Cynicism is another word for reality

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