Sunday Salon: Things I’m Done With; a Rant

Insulting people for being old:  You mock the thing you are to be, as Mel Brooks once said.  I’ve had enough.  There are too many people out there who think it’s cute to make cutting remarks about old people. I’m going to call them on it, as nicely as I can.  It’s one of the rew remaining acceptable forms of prejudice left, at least among the left-leaning circles I move in.  The elderly and catholics.  I’m calling both out when I see them.  Be warned.  And stay off my lawn!!!  Not, really.  I don’ t have a lawn anymore.

Get Shorty:  Sorry Elmore Leanord and fans of Elmore Leanord. I tried, I really did. Read 100 pages, but enough is enough. I do not like Elmore Leanord. I do not like him on the train.  I do not like him in Starbucks.  I do not like him in my comfortable reading chair.  I do not like him lying on the sofa with a Bassett Hound.

All white futures: I don’t go to the movies very often anymore, but this week I saw Snowpiercer, which is in limited release so you’ll probably have to travel if you want to see it.  I liked it, quite a bit, but for two things. It’s a movie set in the future (Isn’t everything these days?) by Korean director Bong Joon-ho, so I naturally thought it would have  Asian actors in it.  Turns out, the future Bong Joon-ho envisions is mostly full of white people, with a few Asians and a couple of black folks.

Before the movie there was a preview for the new film version of The Giver, which is a wonderful book by the way.  The movie version is about a utopian future where everyone is really good looking and white.  Strangly, they all see the world in black and white as part of a mind control thing to keep everyone in line.  The young hero is exceptional in that he can see the world in color.  Which means that instead of seeing everybody in black and white he can see that everybody is white.


Since today’s film market is international, why don’t directors and producers make their casts international as well?  If the actor playing Jonas in The Giver was a big star in China, most Americans who are going to see the movie would still go see it, and it would very likely do very well in China.  And if seeing the world in black and white was meant to supress racism, shouldn’t the actual world be multi-raced to illustrate this point?

Authors who tweet dumb things about books: Here are two dumb things  authors I follow tweeted about books recently.  “What is literature of ideas? I hope I never write any,” and “There is no difference between literary and commercial.”  I should probably spend less time on Twitter, I confess, but seriously?

I almost tweeted a response.  “You’re right. There’s nothing worse than a writer with an idea.”  “If you don’t know the difference between literary and commercial, then you’re probably neither.”  Honestly, I get it that authors need to maintain a social media presence in today’s market, but think before you tweet.

Google’s soccer doodles: Enough already.  That horse is dead. Stop beating it.  I beg you.

Orange is the New Hogan’s Heroes, I mean Orange is the New Black. I enjoyed the first season of Orange is the New Black.  The show was fresh; it brought perspectives that I have not seen on television before.  The acting is terrific, the storylines are all compelling.  But season two got so out of hand I stopped watching after four episodes.

It’s just that the people running the prison are all grossly incompetant on a level not seen since Colonel Klink and Sargeant Schultz ran Luftwaffe Stalag 13 on Hogan’s Heroes.  On Orange is the New Black, one guard is in love with a prisoner and has gotten her pregnant, which none of the women on staff have noticed; another gaurd is actively smuggling drugs into the prison; one prisoner simply wonders out an open door and into town; the woman who runs the prison is using prison money to pay for her luxuary car.  I could take all of these, but when one prisoner found an actual tunnel leading under the walls that she could use to smuggle contraband into the prison, I had enough.

That’s stealing a major plot element from Hogan’s Heroes.  Hogan and his gang built a network of tunnels running from under the stove in their barracks throughout Germany.  They were able to get as far as London in one episode.  I expect that on Orange is the New Black, the first gaurd he sees the tunnel will probably turn away and say “I see nothing — NOTHING.”

The more I think about, the more the characters on Orange is the New Black line-up with the characters on Hogan’s Heroes.  Maybe Hogan’s Heroes was ahead of it’s time.


19 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Things I’m Done With; a Rant

  1. Maybe Netflix can’t manage a decent second season? I felt the same about House of Cards–loved season one, hated season two. It’s sad when I hope Scandal is more representative of our government than HoC.

    As for the old, there is a fair amount of ageism going on out there. I’ve worked in and around the nonprofit sector for most of the last decade and was taken aback to realize there are groups called “Young Nonprofit Professionals” in numerous states. I’m too old to qualify for young. I joked with one of the leaders of the local chapter that I wanted to start an “Old Nonprofit Professionals” group, and she was very much not amused. But the problem is worse than just a lack of humor.

  2. Try looking for work after you turn 50 and you’ll see just how bad the problem is. It’s strange to hold a prejudice against a group of people you are certain to one day be a member of. If you live long enough, you ageism will come back to bite you.

    1. Oh, I’m well aware. My husband is 55 and looking for work. Some of the things he’s experienced are mind-boggling and absolutely prejudicial. There’s an assumption that someone his age is an old fogey who’s way behind on technology, when in fact, he’s extremely current and always looking to learn more.

  3. I will occasionally make fun of the literary establishment, but mostly when it takes itself too seriously and insists on a false dichotomy between the literary and the genre. (Both can be enjoyed!) But if I ever say anything so dumb as “What is literature of ideas? I hope I never write any,” please call me out on it.

  4. I see your point about S2 of OITNB, though I admit I enjoyed it quite a bit – the final few episodes work the plot elements out in a really dramatically satisfying way, realistic or not! About ageism, I try to remember what my grandmother used to say: “You young people forget that the old people around you have already done all the things you think are so new and exciting. Including sex!” I’m with you about Elmore Leonard — though I’ve never actually read his books, if one more person approvingly cites his 10 rules for good writing I will totally lose it!

    1. Your grandmother was right, wasn’t she. I guessing she was the same generation as mine, in her 20’s in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Those were wild times, people don’t realize just how wild they were, today. There’s nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes.

  5. I do enjoy a good rant! I haven’t watched Orange is the New Black, but I recently read an article in The New Yorker about a Baltimore jail that sounded just as crazy – though I don’t think there was a tunnel.

  6. I know things get crazy from a friend of mine who used to work for the county jail part time, but a tunnel? Honestly? That pushed it over the edge for me.

  7. OITNB was a bit overboard this season (a bit is an absolute understatement). There were a few times when I almost walked away and if the show had been aired weekly I would have given up on it. Instead we just plowed through the episodes and moved on with life. Bleh. You certainly did not miss out on anything. Season One was far superior.

    1. I really thought the idea of the show was a terrific one for a mini-series. They should bring those back. Some shows are great for a limited number of episodes.

  8. I love your rants! I totally agree about not respecting the elderly – it is one of the things I love about Japanese society – they really respect their elders, whilst most people in the West idolise young, beautiful people. It’s so wrong 😦

Comments are closed.