Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Memo For File XXIX
Last winter I had a family council with my son about movies that have “Doofus” Dads in them. The reason for this, was that we had just seen such a movie and I had come to appreciate, over time, that this was part of a trend. I had no idea how big a trend it was, until we were finished. We found something, like, 50 or 60 movies like this.
Movies are not trivial. Movies are important. During their formative years, our children come to form their opinions about the world around them…through movies. Nobody wants to admit this, since if the person admitting it is a kid, he makes himself look like a dolt, and if that person is a parent, he looks like he’s abdicating his responsibility. Well, the truth of the matter is you can’t stop this.
Maybe there’s an opportunity available if you’re still married to the kids’ mom. Maybe not. I don’t care. I found a way to turn lemons into lemonade. I’m not in a position to fully control what my son can see, but I’m in a great position to instill healthy habits about how to process it. So that’s exactly what I did.
But wow. Sixty movies? I had no idea.
Since then, I have come to learn something else about movies with “Doofus Dads” in them. My resentment toward this mind-numbed, silly movie-making habit isn’t so much as a Dad; although it is partially about that, since it makes my job as a Dad much harder than it should be. No, most of my resentment is as a consumer of movies. I figure, when I spent money on a movie, I’m paying someone to be creative. Going solo, going on a date with “She,” going as a fam and paying through the nose for overpriced candy and popcorn. Or renting. Or catching on cable. I figure, there’s some huge money going toward someone to render the service of showing a ilttle bit of Goddamn creativity. That is the advertised service, it’s paid-fer in advance, so let’s see it.
The “Doofus Dad,” I have come to realize, isn’t simply a father-figure who is a doofus. There are three rigid, rock-hard, uncompromising, distinguishing characteristics for the Doofus Dad.
Pretty structured, huh? But let’s concentrate on that second bullet about the dysfunction. There’s a lot going on just within that.
Long list, huh? And yet…out in our highly-creative “Hollywood” land, we got an awful lot of product being pumped out that conforms to it, every word of it, hand-in-glove.
I was noticing that about, of all movies, this one. Claire Danes is on the phone with her father at the beginning of the movie, which is a clever way of establishing that Claire Danes is in the movie and so is her character’s father. Subject of the phone call? The father, a general in some unspecified branch of the military, has work related obligations and can’t make something. Wedding, or something. And Claire Danes whiiiiiiiiines away, in perfect allegiance to the tired ol’ trope, “You prooooooooomised!!!”
Now I don’t want to spoil the movie for any who may have not seen it. But this has nothing — NOTHING — to do with the plot. It is completely detached, unrelated, even awkward.
ASSHOLES. It’s like, when the script is being written, someone’s in the room ready to bust kneecaps if the “Doofus Dad” cliches aren’t religiously tossed in.
Like I said, I really resent this as a Dad. I resent it even more as a person who pays big money — well, big money to me, anyway — for what are supposed to be highly imaginative and creative intellectual products, meticulously sculpted to make one or several memorable experiences for my family, such that we end up closer to each other for having sat through it together.
That’s what movies used to be. I don’t think they even want to be in that business anymore. Well, as the customer it’s up to me to define what the job is, and they impress me as not really wanting my money that badly.
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