Four things (Day 2)

Second Day of Passover. SNL did a skit (as VP Harri’s husband Doug Emhoff is Jewish). It wasn’t uproarious but it wasn’t bad.

 

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Today I spent my professional time writing a lecture about the war crimes of the (German) Sixth Army.

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Last night, after dad went to bed, I graded with “A Man for All Seasons” (1966) on in the background. This is one of my favorite classic films (although it’s only superficially about the English Reformation). Paul Schofield and Robert Shaw are excellent. I feel a certain about of disorientation, though, after the last few years of reading Hilary Mantel.

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Today I worked on lining up money for the move and thinking about how and if to transition the senior care people to dad’s new setting. I ordered a bunch of new clothes for dad (also destined for embroidery) and thought about which pictures from our house might move with him. I also talked at length to the neighbor across the road, who is angry about the road repair and the sale of our house (we facilitated the repair by selling, and I imagine a lot of people are feeling frustrated, but I’m not sure if they thought the town would just let the road rot indefinitely if no one sold?). He was busy relocating his wife’s daffodils out of the right-of-way. He’s near retirement and they will sell and move away, too, only next year, after the road repair is done and the water retention pool is in.

I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but I marveled yet again at the capacity of the average middle aged man to see his life in terms of their own rights rather than in terms of what might ease the burden for others (or even benefit them). It became clear during the conversation that he really thought it was dad’s right to continue to live in the house until his death and our obligation to facilitate that preference — at whatever cost. “Dad can’t live here without support that we can’t provide anymore” was not an argument for him. I suppose he is always going to identify with dad — but I wondered why he didn’t come over more often to help with the yard work. Or maybe he thought we were just supposed to leave dad in the house until he finally created a situation where the county had to intervene. I didn’t say that to him, of course.

But if men wonder why some women hate patriarchy? There it is.

~ by Servetus on March 29, 2021.

25 Responses to “Four things (Day 2)”

  1. Yes, it is very inconsiderate of you not to live your life for your neighbour! He will benefit from the new road presumably?
    (‘The last few years of reading Hilary Mantel’ made me laugh as that is roughly the time it takes me to read one of her books. She is a great writer but she does produce hefty tomes.)

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    • Mantel: I really enjoy those books. But I haven’t even started the last one (it came out the week of the lockdown and it’s now on a list of “things I want to enjoy after the move”). Nonetheless it is a huge perspective shift. Probably a whole generation of people will never realize that Cromwell is not the hero fo the story!

      re: the neighbor — he and a lot of other people are mad about the destruction of things that are planted in the Village right of way. (We originally planted our furthest out line of trees outside of it, but that was 30 years ago, so although the trees are outside of it their root system is not.) I’m not sure what to say about that just because that land was never really theirs / ours — it was just that the Village was not using it. That is the end of the right of way anyhow — this will be the last significant change to the structure of the road.

      The other thing is that this area of the community has a severe water draining problem. Sump pumps run constantly, esp in the spring. It’s reasonable to think that when they put a retaining pool in where our house was, a lot of the local water issues will go away. (Aside from issues that have to do with auto traffic.) And the last road repair was over 20 years ago. It went under during the Great Recession and now they can afford it again. So in eighteen months when everything is done and the dust settles, I think on the whole people will be happier, or at least not displeased. The people who are really opposed to sidewalks will move (and houses are selling above fair market value, so they won’t suffer on that score.) But there’s a lot of anger right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There is no arguing with such people…

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  3. It could have been my mother. She’s constantly bothered by her neighbours’ mess when they’re trying to do up their houses. In the end, the value of her own house would benefit from their restorative work (add value to the street), but she’s oblivious. Can we call it white superiority matriarchy as well?

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    • I definitely think there’s a class component to this kind of response, but our neighbor’s objections focused mostly on the fact that now dad won’t get to die in the house he built. On some level, that is also self-justifying in terms of (potential wealth). The other thing i notice is a sort of growing insistence that when public decisions don’t suit one, that the people who make them must be conspiring maliciously.

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  4. Maybe that’s one highlight: in a few months you won’t have to deal with that neighbour anymore…
    Don’t think I’ve ever seen A Man For All Seasons but Zinneman was a good director who made some good classic movies (I especially loved The Nun’s Story).

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    • Frankly, I don’t like any of current neighbors that much. The guy across the road is at least sometimes helpful. The guy next door — uch — just had a huge tussle with him because i interfered with him taking out trees on land he doesn’t own. I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.

      Zinneman: also High Noon and the first film version of Oklahoma! (my fave) and From Here to Eternity (a fave of mom’s, and it has that classic beach scene with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster). I thought of you last night as TCM is running “The Children’s Hour” this month — but i don’t have the nerve for that serious of subject matter at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, but that it a good movie! Save it for another time…
        Yeah, High Noon is one of the few Westerns I do quite like and From Here to Eternity I’ve never seen completely yet.

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        • yeah — for whatever reason the movies in my class are all kind of downers (I mean, for whatever reason I chose all downers). Hotel Rwanda and The Lives of Others are coming up and those both require a lot of emotional energy to watch, too.

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          • Yeah,tough movies but good ones!

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            • If I do this class again I need to include at least one uplifting film — maybe “Hidden Figures” or something like that. Or I could do “The Green Book.” Or not.

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              • Didn’t you hate Green Book? But Hidden Figures is cool!

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                • Yeah, I hated Green Book. But that can be really productive for a class — showing a bad film. There are a few historical problems in Hidden Figures, too.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • What is the subject matter of the class? If it’s about racial inequality, maybe ‘Loving’ might be a good one too, about an interracial couple wanting to get married but not being allowed too, I really liked that one, the tone of the film was non-sensational, just a couple going about their lives and happening to get caught up in such an issue.

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                • it’s “History Goes to the Movies,” and the general topic is ‘how history gets portrayed in film.” So the instructor gets to choose — I just chose ‘modern history’ as my topic but I could do all civil rights era, for example. I have not seen “Loving” but I am definitely interested in the topic.

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                  • Cool! My husband would do one about heraldry in movies – they seldom get it right. “A Knight’s Tale” with Heath Ledger is a movie that got it right (best one he knows). Richard’s movie “Pilgrimage” didn’t do it right. 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Interesting about “A Knight’s Tale.” I think I’ve seen it … once?

                      re: Pilgrimage, it’s not really a film about the subject it purports to be about. This is one of the things the class is supposed to help the students learn to analyze — that historical movies are as much about the time they are made as about the subject they cover. “Stalingrad,” for instance, is about 1942-43, obviously, but it also relays the perspective of Cold War united Germany about the German past / WWII / the Eastern Front. It’s somewhat problematic as a picture about 42-43 (e.g., very much erases the topic of Wehrmacht war crimes), but it’s incredibly revealing about how Germans wanted to see their past after reunification. Vilsmaier (he died this year) was sort of notorious for that: he had a lot of nostalgia for Weimar Germany and his oeuvre often centered on a vision of Nazi Germany as a tragic stage of German history that was created by a few criminals as opposed to the conscious product of a certain kind of society that enshrined criminality in law.

                      Liked by 1 person

              • Oh, and it’s a true story as well.

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