Letters to Holly

Friday, June 15

That's Much Better

Your Sis runs to the approaching weekend as if the school was on fire. And from an administrative perspective, it sorta is. More bad decisions and spotty communication have created a mess about the summer school and who is eligible. Efforts are made to find volunteer teachers after most of them have already packed up their rooms for the summer. She worries she'll be sucked into another obligation if she stays around too long.

I stopped by the art store yesterday to load up on convention gear:
1 pad tracing paper (great for learning technique)
1 small sketchpad (I needed a more portable one anyway)
3 2H pencils
1 two-tip Sharpie
2 mechanical pens

I also packed up my Silver Sharpie, rubber eraser, portfolio, notebook paper, and the business cards.

We assembled a pizza for a quick supper before watching [i]Kinsey[/i].

Motion Picture of the Day

Liam Neeson plays "Prok" Kinsey as he shifts his obsessive research discipline from gull wasps to human sexuality. While watching the film, I noticed we were seeing it as Kinsey might have directed it. That is, this film's version of Kinsey. It's a straight-forward film, at times falling into bio-pic cliche, but it doesn't play up sex for cheap thrills. In fact, sex is perceived as mechanical activity throughout. Kinsey, a product of this time, takes a workman's attitude to sex research and education, offering humanity in his famous interviews but not in his classroom. The first students gasp as Kinsey shows slides of human sex organs. I wonder how this played in the theatre; would the modern audiences chuckling over antiquated attitudes find themselves equally shocked?

It was a different time, a crushing morale and ignorant time not unlike how I blithely meandered through high school. A time when Kinsey realizes his marriage might never work unless he and his wife find an expert to tell them how sex is supposed to work. And they do. And he does. And everything changes. Kinsey realizes everyone has this problem because no one knows anything about sex. The first examples of normal, questioning folks display an almost charming lack of fundamental sex mechanics and recite the warnings of disease and insanity handed down from on high. And then, during the interviews, we see time and again as the subjects as Kinsey" Am I normal?" when what they really mean is "Is it wrong for me to enjoy what I do?"

And what Kinsey can't prepare for is the social reactions to his studies, either in the world media or among his inner circle of followers who can't quites escape the traditional morals even as they swap wives. Humans can choose to mimic the sex play of animals, but they aren't prepared to shed the human upbringing.

I like this cast a lot. Neeson is in virtually every scene, and he's good. Laura Linney is welcome on my TV screen anytime as are John Lithgow, Oliver Platt, and Tim Curry. It's a smart film, one that casts a clean light on events without romanticizing or eschewing the humor of foibles. I like it, and unlike the majority of porn I've seen, it doesn't erase the appetite for sex as it dissects it. Like Kinsey, the film reveals the trappings of humanity without diluting its joys.

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