27 January 2008

unselfishness with a bit of unkindness

We watched “Away from Her” last night. I say "we" rather loosely because Richard spent much of the time playing his Premiership Football game. He lost interest in the film after about 5 minutes. Although I could easily have given in too, I decided to stick with it.

Did I like it? I’m not sure. It was an interesting view on losing someone, or rather letting someone go. In the context of a movie, it was slow and quiet. I’m not sure why Julie Christie’s performance is considered Oscar-worthy. And frankly, I’m still not completely clear what was going on at times. Had I the ability to better grasp subtlety, perhaps it would have made more sense.

But what struck me was the husband’s path toward the decision to let his wife go, and how unselfish an act that can be.

In that situation, if Richard had Alzheimer’s, I believe that I too would cling to whatever memories he was able to retain, and desperately fight against the notion that the disease would inevitably take him. I hope the disease doesn't visit either of us, or anyone we know.

Quickly changing topics, after the film we watched “Vicar of Dibley” on PBS. It was an hour-long special and midway through, we were treated to a 10-minute interlude for station fundraising. Now, Richard likes to say that I’m kind, and yet I had much-less-than-kind things to say about the two women begging for our money. They embodied one of the things I detest about public television: They make being liberal look very unsexy and downright dowdy. Like we're a bunch of ugly losers with a cause. They need to pay Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Angelina Jolie or Madonna to make those fundraising pitches. I’m sure the return on investment would be worthwhile.

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