Friday, November 14, 2014

Gone With the Wind

Last night, I went to a showing of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum Theatre.  The Orpheum was built in the 1920's and is currently being restored to it's former glory.  It's a beautiful building and a lot of work has already been done on it.  About once a month, they'll show an old movie on their big screen.  I've seen GWTW several times in my life but not recently and never on a big screen.  It was pretty incredible.  For a movie that was released in 1939, it's hard to believe some of the things that were included, both visually and morally.  The burning of Atlanta... those aren't special effects, folks.  They pretty much had one shot filming that because the set was destroyed by the explosions and the fire.  And morally... there was quite an uproar at the time because of Rhett Butler using a curse word at the end of the movie.  But I was more surprised at some of the dresses that Scarlett wore.  And the scene near the end where Rhett's drunk and semi-abusive?  This film came out 75 years ago and was considered very scandalous by a lot of people.  If only those people could see the kind of trash that Hollywood puts out now...

The thing that always gets me with that movie is the romanticizing of the Southern way of life.  The knights and their ladies fair, the tranquility and prosperity, the happiness of the slaves... a life of ease and comfort for the ruling class, supported by the willing and dedicated slaves.  Everyone knows this is all hogwash, right?  In fact, there's a very ironic line in the movie.  Ashley confronts Scarlett on her use of criminals to run their mill, knowing that the overseer will abuse and starve the men.  Scarlett says that it's no different than using slaves.  Ashley counters that point by saying that their slaves were always well treated.  That point right there, fair treatment of slaves, was used by many plantation owners to defend slavery.  As if giving them food to eat and a roof over their heads made up for the brutal labor, the constant fear of being sold or seeing their family sold, the cruel punishments for infractions, and, most importantly, the complete absence of freedom.      

Monday, November 10, 2014

An Artsy Winter

Since finishing my last book, I haven't had the chance to read more than the forward of my next book ("Driven" by Donald Driver).  There seems to be so many things that demand my attention and when I finally get some down time in the evening, I'm so tired that I either just watch a movie or do a little computer work and go to bed. 

Josiah gets more self-sufficient everyday but unfortunately, is requiring more and more supervision.  Because he can go up and down the stairs by himself, he roams both floors now, getting into all sorts of things that he shouldn't.  And making messes.  He roams the yard too and because our backyard doesn't have a fence between our driveway and the street, he has no barriers to stop him from wandering into the front yard and out to the street.  He does go outside by himself because he needs to have (what he thinks is) unsupervised time but I'm always in the kitchen or the living room where I can keep an eye on him through the window.  He has a good time by himself, playing in the dirt in the vegetable garden beds with his little trowel and shovel or putting sticks and leaves in his wagon and pulling it around the yard or following Fluffy around.  If we don't sell our house by next spring though, we're going to have to put up a fence to keep him in the backyard. 

The weather this week has been amazingly warm but that all ended about 4:30 this afternoon.  A cold front came through and the temp dropped from around 70 to below 50.  We're not even supposed to get up to 40 tomorrow.  I brought in some of Josiah's outside toys and washed them so he can continue to play with them in the basement this winter.  I'm going to try to make our basement a little more kid-friendly so he has some space to run around and burn off energy this winter.  I think it'll be tough on him to be inside so much so I'm going to have to get creative with ideas of ways to keep him occupied.  Not that I think it's a parent's job to keep their child occupied 100% of the time (in fact, that's very harmful to a child because then they never learn how to entertain themselves), but the way he's kept himself occupied this summer is by going outside to play.  Now that he won't have that, I think I'll have to work with him on being able to occupy himself in the house.  I did get some new crayons and markers and coloring books a couple weeks ago so it might turn out to be a very artsy winter!