Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In which I am a salty, cranky, hating beeetch

...or "Things I should have loved but hated":


Maybe it's because I have no soul, but I didn't like March of the Penguins (or specifically, the English version that I saw). While the cinematography was spectacular, and the facts of the penguin life cycle truly amazing, the whole anthropomorphizing of the penguins and their struggles seemed forced and silly. I felt like it was yet another indication that we can't just let the natural world be what it is. We have to simplify and Disney-fy everything, layer it all with digestible maudlin crap and project our own psychological issues onto it to make it palatable. It's always all about us. Blech.*


Something else I should have liked (because I like me some satire) but hated instead was Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. I remember actually throwing it across the room in frustration. It just seemed so boring and heavy-handed to me. (Mind you, I was 17 when I read it, and possibly not in the right frame of mind.)


Even though by description it sounds totally in line with my values, I also utterly failed to enjoy the ever-popular Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I believe can be effectively summarized thusly (and it will help you appreciate my point, I think, if you read this in a sneering, whiney tone): "I fix my own bike. My friend takes his to the shop. My way is more Zen because it means I am attentive and involved in the present and my own life." Congratulations, mofo.**


I also hated Seinfeld, maybe because of the high-waisted-jeans-with-white-running-shoes look. Maybe because I got sick of it being the only thing my fellow office workers could talk about on any given day. (Rehashing sit-coms = me frantically clawing about for either something to puncture my eardrums with, or something to smash noisily so that it drowns out the natter.)


And I guess to round off this petty little tirade, I'll freely announce that I hated Friends. Don't you, dear reader, know a bunch of people who are way more wacky and fun and interesting than those whiney losers? I thought so. Me too.

And what things were YOU supposed to like that you hated, with the whole of your rancid little heart?


To completely guarantee my spot in hell, here's something I LIKE. I showed it to a few friends and they were HORRIFIED. But I think, while it's terribly dark and a bit over-the-top, it's a brilliant skewering:

What do you think of it? Horrified? Horrified but still think it's clever?

* But hell, I guess if the only way to get people to care about the environment and global warming is to glorify how cute penguins are, bring it on I guess.

** I actually physically shuddered with revulsion and had to explain it away as a sudden chill when a woman I knew at university proudly announced she was going to write her academic paper in a religious studies class on "Zen and the Art of Rowing". (As you may have guessed, she was an enthusiastic rower.) (The religious studies class, for context, was purely academic, and not affiliated with any faith or denomination, i.e. not to be confused with theology or seminary studies.)


At November 22, 2006 9:06 a.m., Anonymous blackbeltbarrister said...

I may be showing my age, but when I was at university everyone LOVED Billy Bragg. So honest, so English, so working class! But I hated him. I hated every song I ever heard him sing (and man, I had to listen to a lot of them). I hated his mooing ersatz sincerity, his bellowing paeons to the righting of Thatcherite wickedness, his tuneless folk-punk plonkings. Thank god popular music has been so relentlessly shallow in the past 10 years that he disappeared off the communal airwaves.

At November 22, 2006 6:14 p.m., Anonymous Jonathan said...

Okay - I didn't go and see March of the Penguins specifically because it was voiced by an American actor, and I presumed (wrongly) that it was made by an american company.

The reasons for not seeing it were many-fold. Most of them go back to a visit to the museum of natural history in Golden Gate Park, SF, where we discovered that American museums are woeful in comparison to british museums.

I'm not going to write the rest of the rant here, but without even seeing the penguin movie, I guessed it would be trying to anthramorphise (is that a real word?) the animals.

At November 24, 2006 12:32 a.m., Blogger sgazzetti said...

Can I just add that there's a small irony here: in this one episode of "Seinfeld", Elaine is ostracized and her life reduced to rubble because she hates "The English Patient". "Sex in a tub?" she says, "That doesn't work. Give me something I can USE.

Just thought I'd add that for the record.

I never liked toast. What's the big deal? Warm, crispy bread? What is that?


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