Weekend update

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It was a jam-packed weekend. Most critically, I finished the long overdue final draft of a novelette called "Not of This Fold," which is about Mormon missionaries and alien first contact. That goes into the mail today, and means I can get back to my novel Inclination. The goal is to finish the first draft of that by the end of the summer, so I can finally shave this beard off.

Saturday night, Laura and I went to a dinner party in Brooklyn with some friends we don't see often enough and who are now moving to Maryland. Why didn't we hang out more??? Because we're bad people.

Ella spent last week doped up on an anti-inflammatory because of a slight limp in her right hind leg. She still occasionally pulls up the leg and hops along on three legs for a few steps, but otherwise we don't see much sign of the limp. Still, she goes in for X rays today to see if there's anything to be seen. The poor fuzzball will have to be sedated. Our Maryland-bound friend's guide dog recently was treated for Lyme disease, so we're also going to have the vet check for that.

I got my hair bleached and cut yesterday, and also spent some time recording future Accidental Terrorist chapters for my podcast. Plus, I squeezed in a viewing of the French film Irréversible, which is probably the most profoundly disturbing movie I've seen1.

But that's not to call it profound. In fact, though I'm still mulling it over, the film struck me as a pretty facile exercise by the time it was over. Still, the brutal fight in the basement of the gay club—where one man has his arm broken at the elbow and another's head is gradually caved in under repeated blows from a fire extinguisher—was the single most horrifying scene I've ever watched. It was so horrifying, in fact, that not only did I walk away from the screen afterward and not come back to finish the movie until seven hours later, it undercut the more infamous rape scene that comes later (or earlier, in the movie's backward chronology), in which Monica Bellucci's character is assaulted in an (apparently) unbroken nine-minute take. Bad as it is to watch, for me the worst part of that scene is the tiny figure that appears at the end of the underground passage where the rape is taking place, stops, and leaves again. That just ground my guts.

What is the point of this movie? Is it an honest attempt to illustrate of the fragility of the thread that supports our holds aloft our happy, civilized lives? I'm not sure that anyone who can sit through this movie in its entirety really needs to have that lesson shoved in his face. I'll admit it, I feel violated, though I did go back and finish the movie, just to see if it would redeem itself. I don't think it did.

Finally, I'm jotting these notes from my new office high above 37th Street in Manhattan. I actually have a window at my left that looks down on the street! This is the life.

1 Which may only tell you what kind of movie I don't normally watch.

Crossposted from Inhuman Swill

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on June 5, 2006 9:27 AM.

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