Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Letters, We Get Letters...

The previous posting got a number of great comments, both posted here and sent to me privately. One of them in particular, from a marvelous lady you've gotten to know as Oldhousegal, triggered today's thoughts.
She wrote, in part, "I heard that Oprah once did a show asking audience members questions about various general knowledge topics, such as whether the earth revolved around the sun or vice versa.  One woman (who answered the question incorrectly) stated that 'she never felt anything moving.' "
My initial thought, of course, was probably the same as most people's: it's a trick question - everyone knows the world revolves around Oprah. Beyond that, though, it reminded me of one of the finest mini-soliloquies I've ever heard in a movie. If you saw Men In Black, there's a good chance you'll remember the scene in which Wil Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are sitting on a park bench. Tommy Lee has just shown Wil that there are aliens on earth everywhere. Wil asks, "Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it." And Tommy Lee, bless his manly-man heart, had this response:
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicy, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everbody knew the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago everybody knew the earth was flat. And fifteen minutes ago you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."
I love that. It makes me think. And it got me thinking about other movie lines I keep as favorites because they make me think.
From Superman (the first one) comes the only quote that beats the Men In Black one as my all-time favorite. This is Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, after explaining his plot to do evil things:
"Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe."
For me that's just a great description of what an eloquent friend once called our "sacred search."
And this from Clint Eastwood's great western, The Unforgiven. Eastwood is Will Munny, a retired gunfighter whose career included killing men, women, children and animals and, as one of his lines says, "deserve" had nothing to do with it. The Schofield Kid, a young, inexperienced gunfighter wannabe, has just helped Munny kill a man, his first. Shaken and looking for reassurance, the Kid turns to Munny and nervously says, "Yeah, well, I guess he had it coming." To really get this, as you read, squint, snear a little, and imitate Eastwood's trademark disengaged cynicism. Ok, ready?
"We all got it coming, kid."
Now that's something to think about.
I could go on - I love quotes, including movie quotes - but I'll keep it at these for now. Besides, I have to start working on the true meaning of gum base, corn syrup, glycerin and extract of peppermint.
In another unrelated item (there seem to be a lot of those in this space lately) I just saw a news item reporting that Dick Cheney made an unannounced visit to Iraq. How unspeakably cool would it be if, as he was preparing to leave in a day or so, he got told his stay was being extended an additional three months? Just asking...


oldhousegal said...

I've never been called a "marvelous lady" before.  I'm still chewing on that, trying to decide if I like or not!  I have many favorite movie quotes also, most of them from my favorite movie of all time, "The Big Lebowski."  Unfortunately, most of them from that movie are not suitable for a family audience such as this.  My favorite general quote of all time is:  "You wouldn't worry what other people thought of you if you realized how little they do."  My second favorite quote of all time is a snippet of conversation between two 17th century gentlemen.  I can't remember where I encountered this, but it goes something like this:

1st Gentleman:  You, sir, shall die either on the gallows or of the pox.
2nd Gentleman:  That, sir, depends upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.

rdautumnsage said...

I think it all depends on the individual as to what speaks to them. I, myself have a habit of trying to find the balance in any bad choices or words that are spoken. I guess looking for what purpose certain words that may have been spoken and to what effect they where meant . My fav. all time movie is "The Crowe" with Brandon Lee. Some people call it a horror movie, to me it's the ultimate love story.
To love someone so greatly you can't even die in peace until justice is served and the balance once again set right. In one scene he is rescuing a street urchin that he and his fiance had been helping before their untimely death. As he pulls her out of the way of an oncoming car, the girl starts yelling about the rain. He whispers it can't rain all the time. Indeed in life throughout our storms there is that realization.....It can't rain all the time there are better days ahead if only we believe. (Hugs) Indigo

oldhousegal said...

OK, so much for paraphrasing my all time favorite quote.  Here it is for real:

We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.  ~Olin Miller

lilpriasebaybee1 said...

hello, Ben. i know it's been a while. Hope all is well with you. I had to stop by to tell you thank you for your wonderful comments and prayers. all is well with me hope you stop by soon.. God bless~ Stace