Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wuthering Heights: Isabella Linton

Pampered, sheltered and utterly bored, Isabella Linton aka Mrs. Heathcliff, is sort of a sideways Cinderella. In her desperate attempt to escape her boring, yet privileged existence, she blinds herself to the publicly known dark personality traits of her sister-in-law's handsome, confident friend Heathcliff and falls in love with him and elopes with him. Once married, he imprisons her in his rough, neglected house and treats her like a slave and a whipping girl to purposely degrade and humiliate her as an act of revenge toward her brother while he waits to inherit her property. Tag poor Isabella used and abused.

The first time I read Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's one and only novel, I thought Isabella was a really stupid girl unworthy of any sympathy at all and even deserved what she got for being so stupid. However, I've read the novel several times over the years and it seems to magically change and I get something new out of it or my opinion or feelings change over particular scenes every time I read it. 

Everyone told Isabella what an evil person Heathcliff was, but she gave up everything and everyone in her life to run away with him. This reading, though, I felt sorry for her and realized she only behaved like a typical teenage girl, thinking everyone who was trying to warn her was wrong and only trying to destroy her chance at happiness. There were many times one of my daughters accused me of "being mean" and accused me of hating her and always trying to prevent her from having any fun when I would forbid her from doing something foolish or dangerous. Poor Isabella no longer had parents to guide her, just her wishy washy brother Edqar who, basically, did the same thing she did by marrying Catherine Earnshaw after witnessing one of her violent tantrums, even enduring physical abuse at her hands.

Imagine how boring Isabella's life was before Heathcliff reappeared on the scene. They sat in the parlor or walked in the yard every day except Sunday when they went to church. I would go insane living like that with no internet, TV or radio to keep me in touch with the outside world. Considering that, most any young lady would get all starry eyed and temporarily lose her mind if a handsome sharp dressed guy showed up. The excitement and adventure of first love and elopement would be very tempting and it would be easy to see only what you want and hope for passion and romance.

Isabella's prince charming turnouts out to be the prince of darkness after the marriage ceremony. Can you imagine what the wedding night was like?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hulu's Deadbeat

Hulu did a really smart thing in creating the supernatural sitcom Deadbeat. They combined the concepts behind two popular long running TV shows (Ghost Whisperer and Psyche) with the overdone, but somehow popular, fat dumb guy who is always on the brink of homelessness, as the hero. Wait. I guess most of us working class citizens fit that description, at least as far as our marketing culture is concerned. None of us are thin enough or smart enough and how many of us are only one or two paychecks away from homelessness?

Our hero is sweet incompetent drug dependent Kevin Pacalioglu (Tyler Labine), or Pac as his friends call him. He only has one friend, his generous, softhearted, African-American drug dealer Roofy (Brandon T. Jackson) who mostly gives Pac drugs for free while also finding him work. Black guy and white guy best friends helping each other make a living with a lot of well-written humor is where the resemblance to Psyche ends as Pac, unlike Shawn, really does talk to dead people. In fact, he has relaxed and casual conversations with them as though they're two people meeting at a public event where the surprise is always on the ghost's face when they realize Pac can actually see and hear them. 

Yes, Pac can easily see and hear the pleasantly surprised ghosts and helps them tie up their unfinished business in the material world much like Melinda in Ghost Whisperer; however Pac seeks out the ghosts for a small fee (due to his hilarious inability to negotiate) as a service to his clients who want to be rid of the haunting. Melinda, on the other hand, is approached by ghosts because she can see and hear them and help them communicate messages to the living, and not necessarily because they want to leave the material realm and move on to the spirit world, but because Melinda needs them to move on for her own life to return to normal.

I've only seen the first three episodes which, in 22 minutes each, are full of sweetness, silliness and smartly resolved story lines as Pac struggles to pay his rent, repay Roofy and overcome the bully Camomile White (Cat Deeley) who is threatened by Pac's knowledge that her lucrative career as a celebrity medium is a sham as she's a complete fake.

I'm looking forward to seeing the remaining 20 episodes!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dear Heathcliff

Who better to ask for love advice than the greatest Byronic Hero of Gothic Literature ever? Do not take this advice seriously, it's for entertainment purposes only.

Dear Heathcliff,

I met this guy online a few years ago and we've been seeing each other ever since. We were living together for a while until I found out he was still seeing his ex girlfriend. In fact, they were even living together for a few months after we were first dating. They don't have any children or pets together so there's no reason for them to see each other at all. When I found out that I wasn't the only girl in his life after he said I was, I was very hurt and angry and moved out. Now he keeps calling me and begging me to forgive him and take him back. He says he's sorry and will give her up for good and that I'm the one he truly loves. I love him more than I've ever loved anyone and think of him as my soul mate. Do you think I should forgive him and take him back?

Lovesick in Lincoln

Dear Lovesick,

Your inability to perceive the situation as it truly is reminds me of my late wife Isabella. She too needed reality to knock her in the head several times before she would realize the truth of our relationship. Look at yourself in the glass and read your letter out loud to yourself. Imagine a friend is asking you for the same advice. How would you respond to that person? I hope you are now fully humiliated and are now aware of how weak your mind has been where this relationship is concerned.
When you moved out you should have moved on. If you love him more than you've loved anyone, you've made a big mistake. He does not love you and never will. If you think of him as your soul mate, your thinking is in error or you do not know the definition of soul mate. A soul mate is someone who is connected to you mind, body and spirit. This man is, obviously, keeping you and the other woman, and whoever else he wants, tethered to him with a leash of deceit. Therefore, the answer to your question is do what you want, I don't care.


Would you like some love advice from Heathcliff? Post your question in the comments below.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Sad Heart in H. P Lovecraft's A Garden

After doing some yard work today, I thought the poem A Garden by H. P. Lovecraft would be a good and fitting read since I'm now too tired and sore for much else. I found it here, a very nice website with a good selection of Lovecraft poems posted in a user friendly manner with some cute graphics as well.

This poem is a good example of Lovecraft's genius in its sweet descriptive language and its timely pace with a little twist at the end. It begins innocently as a little stroll outside but turns gray, gray becomes decay. Soon silence and the odor of death and the sense of being utterly alone bring on a feeling of familiarity from the past that he can't quite place until the last two lines of the sixteen line poem. The rotten withered garden is his heart.

It's such a powerful piece of art that brings feelings of familiarity, not only to the speaker, but to anyone at one point in life or another. That poem could have described myself not too long ago as I gazed upon and identified with my rotten and crumbling concrete steps:
I'm glad I was able to pull myself out of that funk! It happens to everyone now and then. The barren grayness of winter does eventually come to an end and hope returns once again. Lovecraft knew this when he couldn't place the source of the familiarity of the dead and rotting garden implying that it had evidently been quite some time since he knew such sadness. If we are in such a mood, all we can do is keep forcing ourselves to get up each day and one day the gloomy grayness will lift and sweet springtime will rise again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

What We Do In The Shadows: Our Friend Petyr

Photo credit:
Poor sweet Petyr,
The most terrifying flat mate ever!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What We Do In the Shadows (Movie)

After seeing the trailer several months ago, I knew I had to see this movie. Every week I check the What We Do in the Shadows website and scroll through the list of theaters playing this movie and the future dates for other theaters, hoping to find one within reasonable traveling distance. I had almost given up hope of finding it playing locally and was considering a road trip for fear I would miss it altogether if I waited too long. As it turns out, I found the movie playing locally purely by accident when a movie listing in the newspaper caught my eye. Who reads newspapers anymore??

This particular theater is small and doesn't have stadium seating so I was sure to get there early to get a seat up front before, what would certainly be, a huge crowd competing for the good seats. I won't even go to a theater where I have to try to see the screen either scrunched down to see below someone's earlobe or stretched up like a giraffe to see over someone's fat skull. I don't pay good money to look at the back of someone's head. As I stood outside in the cold with my daughter waiting for them to unlock the doors, I couldn't believe there wasn't a line! FINALLY, ten minutes before showtime the doors unlocked and we were in! My daughter laughed at me for rushing to the front of the theater when we were the only ones there. She had not seen the trailer or visited the website; therefore, knew absolutely nothing about the movie. In fact, as we sat waiting for the blank screen to come alive she asked, "What's this movie about again?"

Surprisingly, only one other person entered the theater to watch this spectacularly hilarious movie. What We Do In the Shadows is so chock full of laughs that we never stopped laughing. We were still laughing about it when we got home. We were still laughing about it this morning. I can't wait to see it again! I can't wait to own it on DVD! This movie was all I had hoped for and more. I haven't had so much movie fun in years! It was everything that's missing in so many comedies these days; great wit, great fun and no farts.