May 24, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. James Lileks

This is what I get for neglectling to read The Bleat for one lousy day: A three way movie review of Team America, Star Wars I-III and The Incredibles in which James not only lifts it out of the park, he sinks it in the hole on the 18th green of the golf course across the river. Just read this:

“Team America” was made by 17 year old boys who cut class to smoke cigarettes. “Star Wars” was made by a sophomore who was bumped ahead to the senior class because of his smarts, but never fit in and spent lunch hour drawing rocketships in his notebook. “The Incredibles” was made by 30 year olds who remembered what it was like to be 16, but didn’t particularly care to revisit those days, because it’s so much better to be 30, with a spouse and a kid and a house and a sense that you’re tied to something. Not an attitude; not some animist mumbo jumbo, but something large enough to behold and small enough to do. “Duty” is a punchline in “Team America”; it’s a rote trope in "Star Wars" that has no more meaning than love or honor any other word that passes Lucas’ cardboard lips. But it meant something in “The Incredibles,” and all the more so because no one ever stopped to deliver a lecture on the subject.

Beautifully said, James, just beautifully said, especially the bit about the sense of being tied to something "large enough to behold but small enough to do". As a recently ex-30's guy with spouse, kids and house, I am aware of that sensation on at least some level 24 hours a day. But it is so ingrained and omnipresent that it is never discussed, much less made the subject of a lecture.

Go on and read the rest. I agree with Lileks that Team America was amusing, although (he said ducking and covering) I never understood all the hype. As for the latest Star Wars entry, I guess I'm on the wrong side of a generational divide that even George Lucas himself recognizes.

UPDATE: Well, so much for that theory. We Llamas seem to be the No. 1 response to a Google search for Blog Swingers, so evidently we aren't taking our duties to heart as much as we should.

Posted by Robert at May 24, 2005 01:55 PM

It's because of those Juliet Huddy pix

Posted by: beautifulatrocities at May 24, 2005 03:23 PM

Mr James Lileks, sir, my granny wig is off to you.
there's IS some salt retaining its savor, after all.
(i esp appreciated the bit abt the kid who drew the rocketships during lunch, having taught a few such in my day as h s english teacher. they inspired the aristotelian pity and fear, all right, but sadly i, anyway, never found a way to get through to them.)

Posted by: mom at May 25, 2005 11:30 AM
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