Good god, I've let this thing slide... it's literally been weeks since I posted. Oh, well... I've found a new posting obession over at Xixax.com, a forum for cinephiles. There have been a few heated spats about some of the time-wasting that goes on there, particularly of the misogynistic and homophobic sorts. And I don't use those words lightly; I have an excellent sense of humor and consider myself quite politically incorrect when it comes to that. But some of the shit there was completely without mirth, leaving the impression that the hateful posters were trying to keep the board a sort of exclusive, "let's dis fags and talk about hot chicks" affair, when they should know that's impossible; every afficionado of stereotype realizes that the gays love movies! Anyways, I've been posting there so much, it's starting to cut into my other time, which is scary. I don't wanna become one of those Internet losers, spending so much time online that my head is full of pointless junk and my eyes have black circles... must try to cut down.

I guess I'm just lonely for people to talk to about film since leaving Portland for Seattle. In Portland, I had film-fanatic friends I could discuss and argue and watch movies with, and I never realized how lucky I was until living here. I'm sure Seattle is full of cinephiles; I just haven't found them yet. I'll have to make that a point. God, it's like being in high school. "Find new friends." That's why it's so hard; it's one of those things that you feel should be so simple and sort of happen by itself, it's embarrassing that you have to make a point of it. I have some prospects, but we'll see how they work out.

The whole situation was crystallized for me this weekend, when I attempted to watch The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover,- one of my favorites of all time- with my partner, Jason, and he fell asleep within the first half hour. I've learned that being with someone whose taste is exactly the same as yours is a) impossible, and b) would actually be either boring or horrifying if it were to ever come about, but now I'm also learning that c) you've got to develop those outside interests in a more full way than I have been if you don't want to find yourself "appreciating" dozens of movies alone, with nobody to share it with. Maybe that's an inbuilt tension of cinephilia; watching a film, like reading a novel or really being an audience member of most things with the possible exception of rock 'n roll, is an inherently solitary experience. But the feeling you get when your solitary experience seems to match closely with someone else's is, I imagine, what political solidarity must have felt like back when people still believed in the saving grace of such things.

I just finished reading Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, which is really wonderful, comparable in scope and feeling to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. It's been a good few years for books, at least from my perspective. Also book-related: I saw Margaret Atwood get Q&A'd at UW by a really awful Seattle radio talk-show lady (I use the term "lady" for this person because, compared to the ribald and brassy Atwood, she seemed terribly stuffy, self-serious, and humorless). Atwood was promoting her new novel, Oryx and Crake (I'd missed her when she came to Portland to read at Powell's when promoting Alias Grace in 1996 and have always regretted it). It was a fun evening. Atwood, in person, is a sardonic, yarn-spinning comedienne. Audience Q&A was best, though. The audience was, of course, full of very young lit students, and her responses to their questions were sometimes knee-slapping. To wit: A young woman who identified herself as a "young female Canadian studying in the U.S." asked what advice Atwood had for her. Atwood: "When I was a young female Canadian writer in the early sixties, things were different. You felt the weight of all these 'genius' males- Hemingway, Faulkner- on you, and you were made to feel presumptuous. Now, there have been great women writers. Young women are surrounded by people and groups who will say nice things and encourage them. I'm thinking of starting a DIScouragement group." A young woman of about 19: "What, if anything, do you think we can take hope in in these terrible times?" Atwood: "You must not have lived through the Blitz! I grew up saving rubber bands, tinfoil, and bacon grease. People find ways. You'd be surprised."
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