Notes On Attention Paid

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First Thoughts

the HCR meeter points downward today… she talks about the fascist tendencies that are being expressed across the country, especially, at present, around local officials’ attempts to meet the COVID resurgence with mask and vaccine mandates… she points out that something similar happened in the 1930’s during FDR’s time in office with an actual coup attempt in 1934 (which was strangely absent from the history i learned)… whether we head in that direction seems hinged on what Democrats in congress do about voting rights… many would argue that the need is urgent, and yet, there are Senators unwilling to part with the Filibuster rule…

… news also, in the form of a text exchange between my brother and sister, that Dad gets worse… i feel a tinge of sadness about it, even if i am estranged from him… even though i long ago gave up any expectations that we might one day come to an understanding… i don’t know if this tinge of sadness is about loosing a father or about the sadness anyone might feel on hearing of the descent towards death of another human being… And therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.1

… a comment on one of my posts!, they do get read after all…

… i have been watching the films of Kelly Reichardt… while H is on Block Island tending to her mother… i am watching art house films she may or may not have been in to… the Reichardt films are what i like to call slice of life films… that is, films which pick up in the lives of rather ordinary characters, observe them for a while, then set them down without full resolution of their present situation…

… last night i watched River of Grass and Meeks Cutoff… the first set in contemporary times, the second set in the 1800’s… Meeks Cutoff was the more enigmatic and thought provoking… basically, a group of religious pioneers making their way across desert landscapes, short on water, not really knowing where they are going or when they will find water… they have a guide, Meeks, who they wonder about the intentions and capabilities of, consider whether to hang him, but don’t (it is a religious group)… along the way, they capture a Native American whom they can’t communicate with but whom they decide to have faith in to lead them to water… it’s questionable whether he understands that is what they want or even if he does, will lead them into the hands of hostile Native Americans… at one point Meeks decides to kill the NA (which he had recommended from the beginning) but one of the pioneers, a woman played by Michelle Williams (one of my favorite actresses), steps in to stop him… shortly thereafter we leave the intrepid band of settlers following the NA into the distance… not very much happens during the film in action terms… it’s almost laughable that it got a 16 or older rating for violence, of which there is practically none…

… i had already seen one of Reichardt’s films, Wendy and Lucy, featuring Michelle Williams as Wendy and her dog Lucy, making their way across country on a tight budget, when Wendy gets arrested for shoplifting, she is separated from Lucy whom she spends the rest of the film trying to find and reunite with…

… there are three more to watch, Old Joy, which appears to be unavailable on any streaming service, Night Moves and Certain Women… i will try to watch the last two tonight and tomorrow night…


  1. John Donne, No Man is an Island [return]