E.B. White: "Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts." ... ... The film "The Future" (2011) by Miranda July busted me up. It looked like a basic pet movie, where they have a dog or cat pulling on all of your heart strings, this one with a cat named Paw-Paw. If I wasn't such a big pet person, I would dismiss such fare out of hand, as they tend to be kind of geared for children. But this one packs a wallop! We don't even see the cat save for a part of a minute near the beginning. The movie focuses on the relationship of a very nerdy-white couple. At the beginning of the movie they save this stray cat. The cat needs some medical work done on its paw, and so it has to stay at the vet for a few weeks. The relationship starts crumbling not long after that. Although I prefer slow, dialogue-driven movies, not really caring for shoot 'em ups or superhero movies, this one was a little too slow, but the cat kept me in it. Paw-Paw only shows up a few times to give a brief soliloquy about how happy she is to be chosen by a wonderful human couple, and how expectant she is of getting to live in a home for once. Of course, this is heavy string-pulling of the worst kind, but I see that I simply must be the kind of person for whom this sort of movie works. I seem to have a special thing for dogs and cats. Then, near the end of the movie, we learn that this Buffy & Muffin pair forget to pick up the cat, which is subsequently euthanized. I couldn't believe it. I often complain about the child-mindedness of movies (and this was a pet movie, too!), but this was too much adult reality for me! Even Schopenhauer would have been shocked. After all of that cat's dreaming and hoping and waiting, it is left behind and killed. This hit me harder, because it made me think of the neighbor dog, which has had to live its whole life without receiving the affection and love it so richly merited, which also makes me think about how my life was essentially one of waiting to be saved and ultimately waiting for nothing. It was a good point soundly brought home: we are often waiting for something special to happen in our lives, only to find that this waiting and hoping is what our life ends up being about, or that life is what happens while you are waiting for a better life. I also had to appreciate the dramatic trick in roiling up our feelings for the cat in order to get us to transfer some of these feelings to the pain of the busted relationship. There is no way we could have cared very much for what happens to this ultra-white couple, but the loss of the cat breaks your heart. What I did not care for is the bow with which they finally wrapped up the movie. We get the cat's narrative voice again at the end: everything is for the best, because "life is only the beginning", and the cat says, "I am no longer 'cat', I am no longer even 'I'. It's warm. It's light. It goes on and on and on ..." I have never been happy with this kind of answer. So long as we accept there is no longer an 'I', why even bother with any notion that we, in some sense, become part of, uh, I guess the universe or whatever. It would be more honest yet if we just say that we become nothing in ceasing to be 'I'. 'We' are not part of anything in any meaningful sense. The only good thing about that is that our suffering and disappointment no longer exist either, and the waiting is over. Life is but a brief dream. Row, row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ... ... When Pop left for Kay's, I blew up the whole afternoon, from lunch onward, on a super-wank, for over two hours. On the credit side of the ledger, before bathing I broke in the new shaver, and it feels good. I haven't enjoyed this close a shave in a long time. Quick too! Since I did read the instructions, I am following their guidance on cleaning the shaver. I have a lot of serious doubts about running water inside it and over the combs or heads. It seems so obvious to me that water would dull the blades, and they want us to use water after every shave! Nevertheless, after rereading that section again and again, I am following their directions rather than my own poor intuitions and instincts. ... ... Amazon is expected to open a real, physical book store this year in New York City. Nostalgia? True, we are presumably talking about a very high-volume location, but do they really need that business? Maybe it is just a fun idea to run a real book store somewhere.