Commonplace: N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn

“The rain diminished, and with nightfall the aftermath of the storm moved slowly out upon the plain. The last of the wagons had gone away from the junction, and only three or four young Navajos remained at Paco’s. One of them had passed out and lay in his vomit on the floor of the room. The other were silent now, and sullen. They hung upon the bar and wheezed, helpless to take up even the dregs of the wine that remained. The precious ring of sweet red wine lay at the bottom of a green quart bottle, and the dark convexity of the glass rose and shone out of it like the fire of an emerald. The green bottle lay out in the yellow glow of the lamp, just there on the counter and within their reach. They regarded it with helpless wonder.”

~ N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn

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Emma Thompson and Sense and Sensibility

In one of those magazine article zeitgeist things, the Guardian and the Atlantic both have articles on Emma Thompson and the 1996 Sense and Sensibility, for which she wrote the screenplay (winning on Oscar) and played Elinor Dashwood, embodying sense and emotional reticence. The Guardian article doesn’t seem to know what to make of a woman who is both comic and doesn’t really give a damn about what people think. The Atlantic is more meditative on how Thompson’s script and Lee’s film provides a space for a more emotive form of masculinity, one that is becoming the more dominant form of masculinity today. I’d agree when it comes to Alan Rickman’s Colonel Brandon, who is closer to Austen’s text than Hugh Grant’s Edward Ferrars, mostly because he occupies less of the movie than he does the novel. (I like Grant’s painfully shy performance, which emphasizes why he is tempermantally unsuited to the public life of a politician, which is what his mother desires and emphasizes why his empathetic tempermant fits both a calling to the church and Elinor, who needs someone to read her emotions.) I now want to reread Thompson’s diary for the film, which she published along with the screenplay. It’s a fascinating look into her process and anxieties. She was painfully aware of being 35 and playing a 19 year old. 

Who Runs the World

In a word, not Chris Martin, the poor dear, who is a weird add on to the true synergy happening here between Bruno Mars and Beyonce. I adore the fact that they actually used the field like any high school dance troupe, and they had what I think was an all female drumline was a nice touch too. Also, can the Bruno Mars dance team (I’m not sure what to call Mars and his regular group of four dancers/singers/consigliere) be any more in sync?

Watch now, because I have no idea how long this video will be up.