Sunday, July 10, 2005

... the sound of a gentle word ...

Those who do not like to contemplate people over 50 remembering what it was like to be young adults should perhaps turn their heads or skip the next paragraph.

There are few things more hedonistic than lying in bed, naked, on a hot night, with your partner, carving juicy slices from a chilled pluot (a fruit new to us, and quite tasty, too. It is possibly the 'fruit' of the union of plum and apricot. Okay, that was bad, I know.) The firm flesh of the fruit and the slightly less (alas) firm flesh of the partners makes for an experience that is almost sinfully, shamefully sybaritic, filled with sensuality and (ahem) sexuality.

I hope I can do this justice. I am often inspired by what my fellow Netizens have written, and tonight I am inspired by a new and valued correspondent, Judith Heartsong. She and we share a liking for the TNT miniseries, "Into the West." Judith has expressed the valid criticism that the actors were not used to the best of their capabilities, and I agree with that point. I suppose that, given more resources such as time and money, they could have done a much better job. Looked at strictly as entertainment, it does leave somewhat to be desired.

 But I have a slightly different viewpoint. The depiction of intertwined families represents to me only a detail of a much larger picture. Upon the larger canvas is portrayed the grand sweep of history, and that, it seems to me, requires rather broader brush strokes than otherwise might be desirable. The intimate stories of individuals are but short chapters in a sprawling saga covering vast distances of time and space. Looked at in this respect, it may seem more understandable that some sacrifices of character development needed to be made.

Another thing, I think, is that we are better off for having the story told in as much detail as they were able to fit in. There are parts of this story of which I was aware in snippets, but this is the first time that it was forcefully brought home to me how every other race than Caucasians was brutalized and exploited. In this series that fact is thrust to the forefront. This story can also be used as a springboard for one to dive deeper into the pool of this country's sometimes sordid history. (If you haven't yet read it, there is an excellent book telling the story of the New Madrid earthquakes, but also fleshing out the tale of the Native American uprisings and the events leading to the War of 1812, and including the story of the first steamboat to sail the Mississippi and how it fared during the earthquakes. The book is named "When the Mississippi Ran Backwards" and the author's name is Jay Feldman. Look for it at your local library.)

Lastly, I got to thinking that the miniseries is a lot like life - it could be much better, but it's all we've been given, and we may as well make the best we can of it. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, Judith; it's just that when I get to thinking, it's sometimes hard to stop.

Cynthia, we hope most of the storm misses your area; you and yours are in our prayers. (sistercdr of "Sorting the Pieces")

And a tip o' the Malcolm toupee to Queen Big O for teaching me to link. (No, I don't wear a toupee. What few hairs I still have are my own.)



sistercdr said...

Oh, I want some pluots now!

sistercdr said...

Thanks for the good wishes.  We're far enough north that all we're expecting is a rainy week.  I've enjoyed what I've seen of "Into The West," but it's been so overhyped that almost anything would have been a letdown.  Isn't Judi wonderful?  "When The Mississippi Ran Backwards" is a very good book.  I've grown up feeling tremors from the New Madrid and have visited Reelfoot Lake, which was formed during the big quake, more times than I count. A town which bore my husband's family name was carried upstream by that quake.  At the time, it was a rival to Memphis in size and commerce.  As you can see, that time fascinates me.

judithheartsong said...

yes.... I think you may be right about those broader brushstrokes. No offense taken at all. Life is a dialogue and I love hearing what others think..... it helps to inform my own opinions. :) Great post and good heavens the fruit sounds delightful! judi

gaboatman said...

Your observation about the resources ie, time and money are indeed the cause and effect we are seeing on screen in this miniseries.  I know, given more time, Spielberg could do a better job of directing the actors.  Given more money, this could be a ten or twelve part miniseries rather than six, giving us more of the pieces we could assemble in this grand plot.  I have to go with you on the broader brush stroke theory.  As far as pure entertainment, it still beats any summer rerun or new series I have come across.  I liked your thoughts on this.  Now, pass me some of that fruit, please.

sunnyside46 said...

hi! i just came to read your journal & I want to know how to link! Can you pass on your newly acquired knowledge to me?